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San Leo joins the most beautiful small towns of Italy

San Leo has made official what many people have been saying for years: it has joined the club of ‘I Borghi più Belli d’Italia‘ (the most beautiful small towns of Italy). More appropriate than joined, is perhaps admitted, as this is a small and exclusive list of towns throughout Italy that meet some specific requirements “both structural, such as the architectonic harmony of the urban fabric and the quality of the public and private building heritage, and general, regarding the quality of life in the village in terms of activities and services for the people”

San Leo is a real treat – a tiny village which has two spectacular churches (it’s romanesque church is spine tingling, not just because of the thick stones which produce a chilled atmosphere even on the hottest of summer days), and a huge castle that dominates the Marecchia valley (San Leo has always been a hugely strategic spot as a result).

There is a special ceremony today in the town to celebrate the news, and it coincides with the 2nd ‘Festa Nazionale del Plein Air’, an open air festival for camper/caravan & fresh air enthusiasts, who will convene on the town on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the wonderful natural surroundings.

San Leo is one of the towns in the ValMarecchia that controversially passed, by referendum, from the adminstrative area of Pesaro-Urbino in the Marche, to Rimini in Emilia-Romagna.  It’s also a town that has been suggested for a UNESCO World Heritage Site – similar to its near neighbour, the world’s oldest republic San Marino (the two mountain top settlements were originally founded, according to legend, by two Christian fugitives from Dalmatia – San Leo and San Marino, who headed inland from Rimini in the 3rd or 4th Century AD).

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