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Santa Sofia

Standing on the banks of the Bidente river, the town features several findings from the Neolithic age suggesting the presence across the territory of hunting populations. Inhabited since the prehistoric time, Santa Sofia, like all the other centres of the Upper Bidente Valley, was first under the influence of the Roman town of Mevaniola and later of the powerful Abbey of Sant’Ellero.

On the banks of the Bidente river the settlements of Mortano, on the right, and of Santa Sofia, on the left, were built during the Middle Ages. In the 16th century the town passed under the government of the Medici family of Florence, except the settlement of Mortano, which along with the nearby centres of Civitella and Meldola remained under the rule of the Papal States. The Florentine rule was not so much the result of a military conquest, but of a cultural involvement pervading all aspects of local life and leaving a lasting legacy.

In the following years (1548-1811) and until the establishment of the municipality, Santa Sofia became part of the town administration of Galeata. In 1923, like other mountain villages of Tuscan Romagna, was passed over to the province of Forlì and the two villages of Mortano and Santa Sofia merged to form a single centre.

On Piazza Matteotti, facing the Bidente river, are several buildings, partially reconstructed after the earthquake of 10th November 1918. This part of the town is known as “little Florence” and includes the Civic Tower, the Town Hall Building (the former Crisolini Malatesta Palace), and the Oratory of the Highest Crucifix, also known as the Gonfalone, commissioned by Giorni family during the 16th century. All these buildings were rebuilt after the earthquake that hit the village in 1918.

Beside the oratory was a hospital that, according to tradition, was built on the site where a valuable 14-century crucifix was found after being carried away by the flood of the Bidente river. Giorni Palace was built by the Mortani family around the 17th century with late Baroque features which are particularly visible on the front and features on the back a beautiful garden serving as public park. Today the building houses a bank.

Santa Sofia is comprised in the area of the National Park of the Casentino Forests, Mount Falterona and Campigna and is the seat of the National Park Community. A very interesting feature of the town is the attention being given to music events (Roveroni municipal band and several upcoming bands) and to contemporary arts (Contemporary Art Gallery “Vero Stoppioni”, the Park of the Sculptures along the banks of the Bidente river, Campigna Priz).

Altitude: 257 mslm
Inhabitants: 4.231 inhabitants
Surface: 14586 kmq

How to get there

Santa Sofia is at about 40 kilometres from Forlì along the 4 Bidente provincial road.

Address: Comune di Santa Sofia - Piazza Matteotti
Tel: +39.0543.974511 - +39.0543.974517 -  Culture Office  +39.0543.974551 - UIT +39.0543.971297
Fax: +39.0543.973034 - Culture Office +39.0543.970345

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Other news

Santa Sofia is one of the 12 municipalities of the National Park of the Casentino Forests, Mount Falterona and Campigna and is the seat of the Community Park. Today it is the centre of activity tied to the forest, agriculture as well as craftsmanship and agro-industrial sector.

Cartographic references

Riferimenti cartografici 1:25000: tavola n. 265 N.E. S.Sofia

Ultimo aggiornamento mercoledì 15 gennaio 2020


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Comune di Forlì - Piazza Saffi, 8 47121 Forlì - Tel. 0543 712111
Partita IVA: 00606620409
A cura della Redazione di Turismo Forlivese, Diaz, 21 - 47121 Forlì -

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