Villa Conventino, Gradara, suspended between land and sea, stands next to the famous medieval Gradara Castle, on the Adriatic Coast, close to the Riviera’s most famous resorts, Cattolica, Rimini and Riccione and overlooking the rolling hills of the hinterland, and occupies a wonderful position: it is just a few minutes from the motorway exit and Cattolica railway station and only a few kilometres from Rimini airport.
Its special location makes it an ideal starting point for tours of the area, beginning with Gradara, accessed by a short stroll in the shade of the ancient towers.
The most interesting places of cultural interest include Urbino and Montefeltro, with their artistic and historic treasures and Rimini and Pesaro, famous for their rich cultural heritage and events of national and international importance.
The natural history sites in the Marecchia Valley and the picturesque villages of the Conca Valley, on the border between the Marches and the Romagna regions, are not to be missed.
There are also plenty of opportunities for pure fun: the Adriatic’s most famous beach resorts are just a few kilometres from the Conventino, with their discotheques, vibrant night life and large theme parks ...
A splendid medieval village suspended in time, still girt by its Fourteenth Century walls, interrupted at regular intervals by 14 lookout and defensive towers: this is Gradara. The old village, with its delightful alleyways and craftsmen’s shops, lies in the shadow of the massive Castle, which first appears in the documents in the late Twelfth Century.
The Castle, built as an impregnable military stronghold but gradually transformed over time into a splendid Renaissance palace open to artists, men of letters and poets, was held over the years by the leading aristocratic families: The Malatesta, Sforza and Della Rovere families all helped to make it a centre of strategic importance for local political and military balance of power and a treasure-house of art and culture. The rooms of the Castle still house important Fifteenth Century works of art, including the Pala di Gradara by Giovanni Santi, the frescoes by Bologna-born painter Amico Aspertini and the great glazed terracotta altarpiece by Andrea Della Robbia.
Main sights: Castle, Church of St John the Baptist, Church of the Holy Sacrament, Multimedia exhibition “Infinita commedia” [on the Divine Comedy], Permanent exhibition “I Signori della Guerra” [“The Warlords”], History Museum, Battlements.
Pesaro, lying between two hills, overlooks the sea with its beaches of very fine sand and jealously guards an impressive historic and cultural heritage a stone’s throw from the shore. The historic centre is actually a kind of multicoloured mosaic, with works and remains from the Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical periods mingling and overlapping in a most attractive way .... But Pesaro is above all a city to be experienced, exploring its wonderful traditions of craftsmanship, food, theatre and local festivals.
The immediate surroundings, dotted with small fortified villages and little historic towns including Candelara, Novilara, Fiorenzuola di Focara, Mombaroccio and Ginestreto, are equally fascinating.
Main sights: Oliveriano Library and Museum, Cathedral, Rossini Birthplace, Ducal Palace, Town Museums, Gioacchino Rossini Conservatoire, Synagogue, Church of St Mary Magdalene, Churches of Saint Francis and Saint Augustine, Church of St John the Baptist, Montani-Antaldi Palace, “Pescheria” Visual Arts Centre, Costanza Castle.
Urbino continues to delight visitors with its unique appearance, shaped over the years by the various artistic periods: the medieval centre with its daring views and secret alleyways, the Renaissance harmony which dominates the majestic Ducal Palace, and other aristocratic buildings, gardens and churches of rare beauty, which bear witness to the ceaseless flourishing of art over the passing centuries.
Main sights: The Ducal Palace, which houses the National Gallery of the Marches and the Archaeological Museum, the Cathedral, the Albani Museum, the University Building, the Church of St Dominic, the Convent of St Claire, Raphael’s Birthplace, the Church of St Francis, the Oratory of St John the Baptist, the Church of St Bernardino.
Urbino is also the dramatic gateway to the Montefeltro district, a land of ancient traditions that combines beautiful scenery with fine food and wines, culture and folklore.
Fermignano, Urbania, formerly Casteldurante; Frontino, Frontone, Pietrarubbia, San Leo, Montecerignone, Sassocorvaro, Macerata Feltria...
Rimini and the Marecchia Valley, the Arch of August, the City Museum, the Churches of Saint Augustine and Saint Dominic, the Malatesta Temple, ...
Mondaino, San Giovanni in Marignano, Montegridolfo, Saludecio, Montescudo, Montefiore, Montecolombo, Gemmano...
Sports and attractions
Sports, fitness, golf, tennis, swimming-pool, cycling, horse-riding, natural history itineraries. San Bartolo Natural Park, Beaches, Aquatic parks, Theme parks, night-spots.
Rossini Opera Festival, International New Film Festival, Ancient Music Festival, Festival of the Ancient World, Ducal Festival, Kite Festival, Adriatic Carnival, Seduction at the Castle Event ...
Villa Conventino, Gradara, for visiting a land rich in history, culture and entertainment, for enjoying nature, the sea and beaches in a mood of wellbeing and relaxation.