General

Beautiful Places

(Too Many) Beautiful Places in Italy

There are so many beautiful places to see in Italy. So many small towns and villages with their own dialects, cuisines and ways of thinking. But, one of my favourite places in Italy is locked away in Romagna – Santarcangelo.

I have so many good memories here. Getting caught in the rain after eating at our favourite restaurant, Lazaroun, long before we were married. Florence trying on her first real Italian walking shoes. Cold fall days exploring quiet and beautiful streets; shopping for fine, handmade artesian gifts.

Every time I arrive in Santarcangelo I’m struck by its beauty. By its cleanliness. By how cultured everything feels. This is chic Italy. Each shop displays a beautiful window and is filled with beautiful and well merchandised items. Nothing is loud. Nothing sticks out.

The air, clean and fresh, the hills of Romagna not so far off in the distance. Even when the city is bustling with activity, there’s always a quiet to Santarcangelo. A peace.

The main piazza, with its looming old Roman triumph arc watching over the city as a reminder of Roman glory, is full of locals meeting and greeting. Laughing and enjoying coffee. Shopping and trying to get the best of the fresh veggies and fruits. But perhaps because of its affluence, how settled it is, nothing feels loud and brash. It all just feels so very Italian.

How To Get To Santarcangelo

Like most beautiful places, getting to Santarcangelo isn’t easy. The nearest ‘big’ city, one visitors tend to frequent – is Bologna. One and half hours south-west of Bologna, the drive isn’t difficult, and the many little towns and villages along the way are also worth a stop – if only for the art. Or food.

You will need to rent a car after visiting Bologna and drive the short distance to Santarcangelo. Usually I don’t suggest tourists drive in Italy (racking up fines is really really easy here), however, the drive to Santarcangelo is easy, and if you plan your trip well there are other beautiful places to visit in the area: San Marino (which is an independent country), Rimini, Ferrara, Ravenna.

What To Do / Where To Eat

After arriving in Santarcangelo park your car at the ‘top’, where the castle is, or the ‘bottom’ near the piazza and Roman triumphal arc. The city is built on a mountain – so you will either find yourself going up or down as your explore Santarcangelo.

Shopping, as I mentioned is a huge draw of Santarcangelo. In fact, Santarcangelo is somewhat of an artists retreat, and you will find many tiny shops selling beautiful watercolours, pottery, porcelain, and clothing – all artesian made. If you are looking for a souvenir to take home – look here.

Friday is market day, and it is one of the best local markets I’ve found on mainland Italy. Fresh cheese, vegetables, and fruits. Nice clothes. Cheap clothes. It’s all there – and unlike a lot of the markets here in Rome – it’s safe!

For a coffee try any of the cafe’s lining the piazza or in the surrounding area. Unlike other places, you won’t pay a dreaded tourist tax for sitting at a table to actually enjoy your cappuccino and company. The people watching, of course, is excellent.

For lunch (or a romantic dinner) try Lazaroun. The food here, through years of happy experiences, is consistently excellent. It’s on the pricey side, but it’s not overly priced. For an antipasta, first, wine and dessert we usually spend about 60euros. Lazaroun is a restaurant, and it’s not somewhere you should show up in shorts and sneakers.

Notes

SNOB: Santarcangelo, as my mother-in-law calls it, is a bit – ‘snob’. This isn’t really the place to be wearing your dirtiest shoes and ripped up pants. It’s a very insulated place and you will stick out.
KIDS: Santarcangelo is a great place to explore with children. Safe and without cars in the main area’s they can run ahead. There is also a gorgeous park just out of the piazza for them to enjoy.
FOOD: Even though we love Lazaroun, you can’t go wrong with the food in Santarcangelo. Pubs, bars and restaurants all serve beautiful food and drinks.

AboutKara

I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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