30 hours in… Forlì

The new chapter of the it-ER monthly column to discover the Emilia-Romagna region!

Abbazia di San Mercuriale

Forlì is a city characterized by history, cuisine, and culture, set in a charming natural backdrop. 
The province of Forlì and Cesena, composed of 30 municipalities, is located in the Romagna area and is bordered by the province of Ravenna, the Adriatic Sea, the province of Rimini, and Tuscany (province of Arezzo and the Metropolitan City of Florence).

In Forlì you can find a branch of the University of Bologna, the Forlì Campus. It is historically born due to a link with the School of Political Sciences, in particular with a course in International and Diplomatic Sciences recognized as one of the best at a national level. Beginning from the last years of the last century, courses in economics were developed, with the first national course on social economy, the specialization of aerospace engineering, and the School for interpreters and translators. 
The territory has numerous industrial research laboratories, including the Ciclope, a unique structure of its kind and located in the Municipality of Predappio, inside a former aircraft factory (Caproni Galleries).

The territory is equipped with a system of public transport of buses and trains, which connect the main cities of Forli and Cesena (that are located on the Via Emilia) to Bologna. Every year one of the most important festivals related to well-being and the common good takes place, called the "Week of the Good Living".

From the main cities it is possible to reach the coast with public transport, in particular the city of Cesenatico which is the province's outlet to the sea, or the mountainous areas with real gems such as the Acquacheta waterfalls, the Ridracoli dam or the village of Cusercoli. Halfway between these two cities is the city of Forlimpopoli, which gave birth to Pellegrino Artusi, a scholar and a literary man who first published a book of recipes for home cooking, and is still recognized today as one of the most read and used at national level.

If you want to go on a short getaway, here is an itinerary so as not to miss the most important attractions.


During the morning
The Historic Center is the first must-visit stop on this journey. Explore the picturesque cobblestone streets lined with Renaissance-style buildings. In the heart of the city, you will find Piazza Saffi and the Palazzo Comunale, an architectural gem.

Palazzo Comunale

Palazzo Comunale

You can then pay a visit to the San Domenico Museum, seat of Forlì's Pinacoteca Civica. It is an avant-garde museum structure composed of five buildings that offer permanent and temporary exhibitions of great value. It consists of various spaces, including what was once the convent, now home to the picture gallery, two cloisters and the recently renovated Church of San Giacomo.

The exhibition route runs through the different areas of the museum, taking the visitor through different eras, from Beato Angelico to the Oval Room, which houses the Hebe, a famous work by sculptor Antonio Canova, the greatest exponent of Neoclassicism.

Don’t forget to see the impressive works by local and national artists!

Museo San Domenico

At lunch
For lunch, we recommend heading to a local trattoria or osteria to savor the wonderful cuisine typical of the region, such as fresh pasta, lasagnas, and more.

In the afternoon
After a fantastic meal, you can discover Parco Franco Agosto with its gardens and decorative statues. Take a stroll inside to relax and enjoy nature.

Parco Franco Agosto

At sunset
As evening approaches, you can opt for a typical Italian tradition and enjoy an aperitivo or dine at a local restaurant. Forlì's nightlife offers a vibrant culinary scene with various options to choose from.

To end your day, we recommend not missing the Diego Fabbri Theater. Be sure to check the schedule to see what theater, music, or dance performances you can attend.

Teatro Diego Fabbri

Ad Accademia Perduta/Romagna Teatri la gestione per sei anni del Teatro "Diego Fabbri" di Forlì


During the morning
You can start your second day by heading to the Archaeological Museum of Forlimpopoli, a short drive from the city. There, you can travel through history with archaeological objects and findings.

Museo archeologico di Forlimpopoli

MAF - Museo archeologico di Forlimpopoli - Ministero della cultura

At lunch
Upon your return to the city, and after savoring a meal filled with regional flavors, you can explore Palazzo del Merenda. The building was constructed in 1722, based on a design by Giuseppe Merenda, as a hospital.
From 1922 it became the permanent seat of the cultural institutes: the "Aurelio Saffi" Library, the "Melozzo degli Ambrogi" Civic Art Gallery, the "Benedetto Pergoli" Ethnographic Museum, and the "Albicini" Armoury.
Particularly striking is the central hall, known as the hall of Hebe, due to the presence of Canova's masterpiece until 2009; this hall houses large paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries, including two Guercino, Cagnacci, Cignani and Maratta.

Palazzo del Merenda

In the afternoon
You can spend the afternoon discovering the places around Forlì and organise an excursion out of town: you can go to the coast, in particular to the lively city of Cesenatico, and take a swim, or visit the mountain areas full of real gems such as the Acquacheta waterfalls, the Ridracoli dam or the village of Cusercoli.

At the end of your stay in this picturesque city, you will take away charming memories filled with history, art, culture, and exquisite food. We hope you enjoy your trip!

Photos from Comune di Forlì website

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