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BORGO SANT'ADRIANO - 100 KM del Passatore | Firenze - Faenza


BORGO SANT’ADRIANO (hamlet of Marradi), 260m above sea level – km 70,2 – Refreshment n. 16

Two kilometers from Popolano towards Faenza we meet the small hamlet known as Sant’Adriano, a working class suburb nearly on the borders of the Pontifical State. A small distance beyond at the place known as “Rugginara” stood the frontier customs post which kept a close and rigorous check on of men and goods between the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Church State. Further below is the “Marignano Bridge” that now marks the border between the modern regions of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. This too was once the location of a customs post that also checked men and goods directed towards the Papal State.

An ancient tower still rises over Sant’Adriano and now some dwellings are incorporated in this solid square edifice which rises impressively over twelve meters. In 1935 this tower was modified with the removal of the upper floor which had become very unstable. Inside are the remains of a wide (1.8m) stair built of square stone and the remnants of columns and architraves can be seen. This makes us presume that in the distant past this tower was “something” significant.

Nowadays the building is called “Casa Cappello” (or Cappelletto) and is currently the property of the Dalmonte family. Local tradition states that this was the Palazzo that the children of Pagano di Susinan, Pietro and Bonifazio, built as their residence while on the mount above their father Pagano held the “Rocca du Benclaro”.

Other remains found, an oven and a hexagonal well, are also of some importance . However, what gives it a certain relevance are the evident traces of antique underground passages that lead to the castle of Benclaro. This makes us presume that the (still existing) “Tower” was nothing else but an offensive or defensive outpost.

Castle of Benclaro

Not far from the tower rose the castle known as “Benclaro” which was subsequently called “Castrum Sancti Adriani” and rose from a 300m slope that was south of the current parish church. At the time it had various names such as Monte Claro, Benchiaro or la Rocchetta. According to some, the name “Benclaro” had a particular etymological reference, maybe indicating the clarity and purity of its air, or maybe, as others maintain, “well visible”. It may be compared to another locality in the locality of Brisighella, such as “Purocielo” (Pure sky), “cielo azzurro” (blue sky) situated near the locality of Sant’Eufemia.

Historically the Castle of Sant’Adriano is of particular importance. According to the historian Calegari in his “Chronicles of Brisighella and the Valley of the Lamone” in 1294 Maghinardo who had renounced his post as Captain of the Comune of Faenza took up residence there and from this location may have made his last will. Next to the bed of the dying and feared warlord were present significant personages of the time, such as his wife, daughters, nephew Bandino, the Bishop of Faenza and some of his faithful followers. Maghinardo was a man with good qualities and bad, as do all men, but is remembered by History as “Great”.

 Piero Malpezzi


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The warrior spirit of Maghinardo Pagani of Susinana still seems to be present within the walls of this suggestive tower and of this house
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