Ponte Alidosi

Castel del Rio

Castel del Rio Logo Be in Wonderland

People first settled here in the 7th century, on the hills overlooking modernday Castel del Rio, when families from the Po Valley took refuge from barbarian invaders. The 10th century saw the construction  of the Cantagallo castle, probably intended as a defence against the Hungarian advance through the  Romagna region.

The history of Castel del Rio was later shaped by the Alidosi family. They ruled for over four centuries (from 1209 to 1638), sometimes diligently, sometimes slyly, through alternating times of wealth and poverty. The family produced several high-ranking officials. For example, Riccardo ‘captain of the people’, was magistrate of Florence and later a senator in Rome. Francis was cardinal and trusted servant of Pope Julius II, who appointed him Treasurer of the Church. Ambassador and papal legate to Bologna, Francis would be betrayed and killed by the Duke of Urbino. Lastly, Obizzo was a lawyer, governor of Ravenna, Cervia, Bertinoro and Cesena and the man who had the Alidosi bridge built.

Castel del Rio and the Republic of Florence were bound by close ties. In exchange for protection, the Republic demanded that the Alidosi’s coat of arms depict a lily on the breast of a griffin. That lily remains on the Municipality’s coat of arms to this day. The Alidosi bequeathed a lasting cultural  heritage, as exemplified by monuments such as the family-named Palazzo and bridge. In 1638 the Pope’s troops ended the Alidosi’s reign. Castel del Rio remained under papal rule until the unification of Italy, when it was initially part of the Province of Ravenna. In 1894 it passed under the Province of Bologna.