Sant'Agata Feltria

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A legend says that into this little valley in the Apennines at the foot of Mount Ercole came the virgin Agata, together with the heremits Marino and Leo, to convert the local people to Christianity and here she remained giving her name to the town. First it was a fief, then an earldom, a free city, a rectorate, a form of selfrule, a vicariate, as well as a marquisate under the rule of many lords like the Cavalcas, the Montefeltros, the Tibertis from Petrella, the Faggioplanis, the Tarlatis from Arezzo, the Malatestas and the Fregosos from Genoa. The fortress was named after this last family. It was built during the X century and later restructured on a design of the famous architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini, who was sent by the Duke of Urbino to civilize the dark and "rough" fortresses of his shire and to diffuse the "light of the Renaissance".
Today the Fregoso fortress is a museum where exhibitions, market exhibitions, and many other important cultural events are held, which gain impetus from the famous National Trade Fair of the precious white truffles also held in this town. In the historical centre stands one of the most ancient theaters of the Marches, the Town Hall and some interesting ancient churches and convents. Above the town you can walk in the beautiful chestnut wood and on the other side lies Petrella Guidi, a rare example of an intact medioeval hamlet.

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