Places and Works of Art
Bertinoro is located in a panoramic position on the slopes of the hill of Monte Maggio, and pleasantly dominates the Via Emilia between Cesena and Forlì. Today, as in the past, it is well-known for its vineyards and mythical wines (among which "Albana" stands out). The ancient "Castrum Cesubeum" of the 11th century was the seat of the country and a reason for dispute among the people of Cesena, Forlì and Rimini.In 1558 it fell under the rule of the Church. Bertinoro still preserves its medieval aspect. Historical events which echo through the narrow, ancient roads and old walls, among which there is the memory of a Jewish Bertinoro tied to the biblical scholar Ovadià, who lived here for a few years, between the 15th and the 16th century before moving to Jerusalem.
Ovadià Ben Avraham Yarè, an important exponent of bible studies, did not forget his birthplace (he was born in Bertinoro around 1450) and it is not by chance that in his correspondence he compared the vineyards of his native town to those of Jerusalem. In the course of time, it rose to the pleasant rank of "capital of the Romagnolo hospitality". Today Bertinoro is not only the seat of lively entrepreneurial activity in the wine-producing field, but also of the Residential University Center, the summer seat of the University of Bologna and Romagna. The "heart" of this Center has been respectfully built in the millenary Fortress.
The legend tells that Gallia Placidia, after having tasted a drop of the sweet Albana wine said: "You are worthy of a gold goblet" (in Italian "Berti in oro", hence the name Bertinoro). Apart from the legend, the Albana wine of this little town; is a delicious, golden coloured "nectar" and is rightly considered to be one of the best Italian wines, togethet with its brothers Sangiovese, Trebbiano and Pagadebit.
Bertinoro is a hymn to good wine, because of its business and feasts at grape-harvest time. An artistic "monument to the vine dressers" and the beautiful countryside dedicated to the Albana of Romagna are both signs of the vocation of this sweet bill. A meek piece of advice: if the Sangiovese "calls" for piadina, the Albana "calls" for cake this makes an exquisite mixture of food and drink.
The History of the
This is a completely different story to the "infamous column" Manzoni wrote about, the "Colonna delle Anella" is a symbol of the hospitality of Bertinoro and Romagna. It is a curious, but wonderful tradition. They say that in past times the noble families of the little town argued ferociously over the hospitality, or prestige, of putting up the people from other towns who came to stay in the village.
To put an end to these endless arguments, around 1300, a column with lots of rings attached to it was erected; there were as many rings as there were families at the time. Removed for "work in progress" in the 16 th century and then forgotten about, the Column was found again, in pieces, while other work was being carried out on the Palazzo Comunale. Once the ancient foundations had been discovered, in the central Piazza della Libertà, the Column was reconstructed on 5 th September 1926 in front of a crowd of people from all over Romagna, as it was and where it was, because of the will of the little town.
Since then, every year on the first Sunday of September, the Hospitality Feast has been celebrated. A special Committee chooses guests and these people must leave, not their horse, but a card with their name on it in one of the rings. They do not know whose guest they will be, in this pleasant lottery of good hospitality, but they will be sure to find unforgettable dishes and good, cheerful company.
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