From the top of its 436 meters, Montebello dominates the valley of the Bear and Marecchia. Offering visitors a fascinating panorama. The mighty fortress was placed in this strategic position to guard the important road that goes up the Valmarecchia which was the main way of communication with Tuscany and Montefeltro.
Castello di Montebello History
Already in the III century a.C. the Romans, understanding the strategic importance of the "Mons belli", erected a first look-out tower. The first news of the castle is due to a notarial document dated September 24, 1186, when the castle was sold by Ugolinuccio di Maltalone to Giovanni Malatesta. The Malatesta equipped the castle with fortifications, being on the border with the territory of the Montefeltro family, historical enemies of the Rimini family. In 1393 the Montefeltro, with a daring coup, managed to conquer the fortress. In 1438 Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta succeeded in reconquering it.
But the military fortunes of the Malatesta declined until, in 1462, it was defeated at Pian della Marotta, near Senigallia, by the papal army sent by Pope Pius II (Piccolomini) and led by Federico da Montefeltro. Following the defeat, Montebello was enfeoffed in 1464 by the Counts Guidi di Bagno and since then they are the owners.
During the 16th century the fortress underwent interventions to adapt it to a noble residence. Compared to the structure of 1464, the Guidi have restructured an entire wing of the castle with a noble wing. In the seventies of the last century the castle was the subject of extensive restoration work to restore the fortress from the heavy damage of the bombing of World War II and then became a museum from 1989. From the same year it is open to visitors and is inserted among the monuments of Italian national heritage for its high historical value.
The history of the castle is also linked to the legend of Guendalina Malatesta, better known as "Azzurrina", according to whom the girl, daughter of the feudatory Uguccione, was born albino and kept segregated in the castle to protect her from accusations of witchcraft. At the summer solstice of 1375, the girl, while she was playing with a ball, slid down the stairs to the castle icehouse, leaving a last scream as a single trace without ever being found again. But every five years, during the night of June 21st, his ghost would wander into the castle making echoing sounds echo.