Gradara is situated at 3 kms from Cattolica and looks like a green island among the Marches region hills. Although at 142 mts. above sea level, the fragrance of the sea breeze is still noticeable. Gradara is a fairy tale place of ancient flavour, where legend and history blend together telling us about the tragic love story of Paul and Francis, a story beautifully reported by famous poets such as Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio and D'Annunzio. The start of the construction of this crenellated castle goes back to the first half of 12° c. when Piero and Ridolfo, two brothers of De Griffo family, conquered the area and built the first imposing tower to mark clearly their power. Towards the end of the 13 ° c. this valuable possession became a bone of contention among various noble families out of which the Malatesta from Verrucchio - with its leader Giovanni – turned to be the winner and, with the help of the Papacy, started a long period of domination.
A stroll along the quaint alleys of Gradara, especially at night with the fortress impressively illuminated and surrounded by age-old oaks, offers to lovers an incredible environment where love, poetry and history blend into a magic atmosphere. Spending a day in Gradara, will be an unforgettable experience in a place dense of mystery and fascination. For the ones wishing to discover this jewel that History has left us, there is a full range of visits' opportunities.
Check about the public transportation and " trenino" ( road-train shuttle ) schedules linking Cattolica to Gradara till late at night.