Predappio is an Italian village in the province of Forlì-Cesena, built up on the hills of the Apennines of Forlì all around a medieval castle and overlooking some smalls residential areas, such as for example, Dovia, where was born in 1883.
Predappio is, as a consequence, very well-known because the fascist dictator transformed and improved the village and today his tomb, which is exactly in the cemetery of San Cassiano, is a real touristic destination.
In parallel, Predappio recalls even the name of Adone Zoli, a very influent catholic anti-fascist, buried in San Cassiano as well, not so far from Mussolini.
In addition to Predappio and Dovia, we know Predappio Nuova and Predappio Alta.
When we talk about Predappio Nuova (New Predappio) we turn back to the 20s, period in which the Duce took the lead on his village and decided for the construction of a new residential area that in practice absorbed his native village, Dovia.
On the contrary, with Predappio Alta (High Predappio) we refer to the medieval hill town that in the meanwhile grew up in population.
It’s 2 kilometers above Predappio and its peculiarities are the fortified castle and the central square. Here you find even the wine museum, where of course you can find the local red wine, San Giovese.
Benito Mussolini’s birthplace in Emilia Romagna.
San Cassiano cemetery – Mussolini Tomb – source.
Needless to say that the historical heritage as well as the main centers of interest of Predappio revolves around the imposing figure of Benito Mussolini: as already said, his tomb is usually the first step when we decide to visit the town. In any case, don’t forget to stop even at the Romanic Church of San Cassiano, that is beside the cemetery and shouldn’t be missed. It’s exactly here that Mussolini has been christened.
Beautiful as well is Piazza Garibaldi, a semi-circular amphitheatre that can be considered the centre of Predappio. Is above the square that you will find the birthplace and the home where Mussolini spent his childhood.
There you will see a very nice and gorgeous green area where you can stop for a lunch break, a picnic or just a fast nap, that leads to the house, which has been turned into a Documentary Centre.
From Piazza Garibaldi you can find the main streets of the town where you’ll see many buildings such as Palazzo Caproni, Palazzo delle Assicurazioni, the Scuola Elementare and many others that shows you the features of the architecture of well-known architects and townplanners of the time: Di Fausto, Bazzani, Giovannoni, etc…
Furthermore, Piazza Sant’Antonio, still in the centre of Predappio and Scalea Esperanto give you a clear idea of what was the fascist architecture.
It is probably the most majestic and solid building of the village, the renown Casa del Fascio e dell’ospitalità, which represents the political centre as well as the importance that Mussolini reached in the Italian political life: many pilgrims used to visit his birthplace as well as the tomb of his family, so he gave birth to this building to host the wanderers and of course, to represent the nascent fascist regime.
Together with Casa del Fascio, don’t miss the chance to visit Casa dei Sanitari, the Caserma dei Carabinieri and the Basilica of Sant’Antonio.
Connected as well to the life of Mussolini is Rocca delle Camminate, one of the most famous fortresses of Romagna. It rises above Predappio and overlooks the Forlì plain: you can see the tower of the castle from all over the village. Today it’s a property of Forlì-Cesena and we can say that the castle is in state of neglect because of the imminent possibility of collapse, but the park of the fortress is open to public and is not to be missed.
Of course it’s well-know because in 1927 it has been renovated and used as Mussolini summer residence.
Well it is Emilia Romagna, let’s eat!
Last but not least, don’t forget to consecrate some time to your pleasure and entertainment. For what concern the cookery, Predappio is a typical town of Romagna, so you can’t miss the chance to taste a Piadina! It’s some kind of unleavened bread usually filled with Parma ham and mozzarella, but you can put in whatever you like! The same is for the Crescione, similar to Piadina but heavier, full of tomato, mozzarella and potatoes!
You must taste even the typical filled pasta called Cappelletti or Tortelli, as well as the home made Tagliatelle and Strozzapreti with porcini mushrooms or truffle. What’s important is not to forget a glass of SanGiovese!
If you want to know the products and the artistic and natural peculiarities of this beautiful town, you should experience the so called “Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori”, that is to say the itinerary of wines and flavors.
What’s more, if you organize your trip during the summer, and you have the time to go some kilometers far from the centre of the village, in the direction of Premilcuore, you can enjoy the Tontola Beach Centre, with many swimming pools and beaches with parasols and chairs, little tennis fields, beach volley, bar and restaurants.