When we left Rimini, located on the Adriatic coast of Italy at the southern edge of Emilia Romagna, and headed south to the neighboring region of Marche, I did not expect to see much in terms of scenery or landscape. Italy was about to surprise and delight me once again!
As soon as we crossed into the Marches region a few miles south of Rimini, the scenery miraculously changed to one of green rolling hills, small Roman and Medieval towns perched on the hilltops or hidden in sea level coves, and quaint and quiet country roads wimding through a rural landscape seemingly forgotten by the modern world.
“Have you read the Divine Comedy by Dante?” asked our guide. “In 1310 or so, Dante Alighieri wrote about this castle, the Castle of Gradara, in his poem the Divine Comedy. He told the tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca, a true story which took place in that castle, and which later inspired Shakespeare to create the fictional Romeo and Juliet story. [...]