The region of Poggio Berni extends over three small rises decreasing nearest the Adriatic sea, between the Marecchia and Uso rivers. In this area the oldest settlement dates from the end of the Bronze Age, as the site found in Camerano attests. There, it has preserved several bronze objects date from the end of XI and the early X centuries B.C.
As the remains found in the ground attested, especially under the Roman rule, the lower Valmarecchia became the major centre of concentration, and particularly, it was exploited as a business and strategic place. The evidence of the strategic importance of the area is proved by the fact that in the period of Medieval communes the three Castles of Poggio Berni were built very close to each others.
In 1197 Poggio Berni was one of the Malatesta's richest properties in "Curia Castri de tribo". The administration centre of the considerable property (including wood, vineyard, meadow, garden and mill) was the " Tomb of Poggio Berni" , known today as Palazzo Marcosanti. Still now, the "Tomb of Poggio Berni", as a fortified luxury residence, keeps its high economic value even after the fall of the House of Malatesta. Later the notable families of Montefeltro, such as the Duke of Urbino, the Houses of Della Rovere and de' Medici inherited the property. They preserved their ownership for a long time, even though the Palace was so far from Romagna where they did their business. Nowadays, in Poggio Berni still exist several historical palaces such as:
- Palazzo Marcosanti dates from XIII century ( formerly it was the " Tomb of Poggio Berni");
- Palazzo del Poggiano dates from XIV century ( formerly called Palazzo Tosi);
- Palazzo Borghesi dates from XVI century ( probably it was the Bishop's residence);
- Palazzo Astolfi dates from XVIII century (formerly known as Palazzo Gilioendi).
Moreover, the watermills found in the area are very significant elements for their historical and cultural value.
In a Duke of Urbino's paper dating from 1588, with reference to "capitolo dei molinari della fossa Viserba..." it has been mentioned about the watermills of Poggio Berni which are:
- Mulino Pantano
- Mulino delle Pere (now Ronci)
- Mulino del Palazzo ( now Sapignoli)
- Mulino dell'Osteria ( now Moroni)
In and by the Marecchia river it has been found several important fossils, most of which are the remains of species of fish since in the Pliocene Age the sea covered the whole region of Poggio Berni.
Oddly enough ( and this is the peculiarity), most of the fossils found in the area have never been found in the Mediterranean sea.
As regards the local Gastronomy it is simply and genuine according to the tradition of the place. In fact, it is based on the local agriculture and sea products.
Tagliatelle, ravioli, strozzapreti (that is the local homemade pasta) are seasoned with vegetables or the typical ragù ( meat sauce), while cappelletti and passatelli (another kind of typical local pasta) may be served in broth or with ragù; meat and fish are cooked on the barbecue; instead Vegetables are cooked in different ways.
Finally, all the courses would be best appreciated if accompanied by the typical wine: Sangiovese.
Yet, only contacting Palazzo Marcosanti it is possible to receive informations and local guides for seeing the traditional maturing process of two special varieties of cheese which are:
Il Formaggio nella Roccia- Ambra di Montefeltro
Il Formaggio nella Roccia - Ambrato di Montefeltro
(We thank you Palazzo Marcosanti for the text of Poggio Berni)