Up to the first half of the XIV century, Castelnuovo followed the political events of all the Rimini area between the Conca and the Foglia, marked by the passing of the Ventena stream. The Canonicals of Rimini in 1202 hired to Bernardo “de Castronovo” a manse of land. This piece of land was not far from Castelnuovo, in the parish church of Trappola and in the chapel of Santa Maria in Fabbrica (today Gerone of Tavoleto). So, Castelnuovo is constantly under the religious and administrative control of the Bishop of Rimini. After him, the council of Rimini took over and in 1223 Castelnuovo too seems to be part of the authority of Montescudo. In the second half of the XIII century the Bishop Giacomo claimed the return of his ancient castles, among which Saludecio, Castelnuovo, Inferno, Pian di Castello, Ripassana e Valle Avellana, Girone. Since the family who ruled Auditore had disappeared, the Malatesta of Rimini started to rule the whole country, Castelnuovo included. In 1331 Pope John XXII granted to the Malatesta all the property that once belonged to the Bishop, among which Montefiore, Castelnuovo, Scorticata and Sogliano. From the second half of the XIV century up to 1797 (more than 4 centuries), Castelnuovo followed the historical events of Pesaro, instead of those of Rimini, like an administration island. This was because of the division of the territory of the different members of the Malatesta family. In 1361, Castelnuovo was still part of the Rimini Country because the local community had to maintain the so-called “strada regalis” between Rimini and Urbino. After the will of Malatesta l’Antico and the division among his sons, Castelnuovo went to Pandolfo, with Gradara, Montefiore and Pesaro. With the peace with the Count Antonio of Urbino (1380), Malatesta son of Pandolfo was engaged for Gradara, Castelnuovo and other properties. In 1445 Galeazzo Malatesta of Pesaro, renounced to his dominion in favour of Alessandro Sforza, brother of the Duke of Milan. Together with Pesaro and Gradara, Castelnuovo followed the consequences of the new and subsequent dominions, up to the French invasion in 1797. In medieval times, Castelnuovo’s population was quite substantial. In 1371 the community was registered for 25 family units: a little less than Tavoleto but more than Auditore who counted respectively 30 and 21 family units.


It is situated over the Ventena valley and is a rural centre on the borders of the provinces of Rimini and Pesaro. The village is abandoned, there’s about 50 houses that are lined along the street. The village’s history goes back to the XI century. In the XIII century it was an estate belonging to the revenue of the bishop of Rimini. It then passed over to the Montefeltro who built defensive walls and then to the Dukes of Urbino. The strong imposing walls date back to the XIV-XVII century and there are also beams of the hill where the castle once stood. At the bottom of the walls there are various openings. These openings are entrances to humid grottos that once were cellars. Further down there’s the church with its high bell tower, one of the few buildings that is still in a good condition. Between walls and church there’s a rustic little fountain on the road.

Province of Pesaro and Urbino Tourism Councillorship


It developed in the XI century as a rural village perched on a hill that overlooked the valley underneath which at the time was full of beautiful woods. As the description made at the time of Galeotto Malatesta says, Castelnuovo had 35 family units. This shows us that it was one of the most important agglomerates of the time, if we consider that Tavoleto had 40 family units, Ripamassana 16, Valle Avellana 24, Auditore 31 and San Giovanni 18. In the XIII century it became feud of the revenue of the Bishop of Rimini and then it passed under the Council. In 1226, the Consul Giovanni Ranieri took oath of military help to the people of Rimini, supplying men from 14 to 70 years of age to fight against the expansionistic aims of the Duke of Urbino. In 1332, Castelnuovo passed to the Malatesta who wanted to defend this border area in every way by creating a defence belt in order to slow down or stop the progress of enemies against the most important castles of Montelfeltro and San Giovanni in Marignano. Castelnuovo was fortified by building big stone walls and it was transformed into a fortified village. It is from this reconstruction perhaps that it got its name because from a rural village, it became a real castle. After the defeat of the Montelfeltro by Pio II, Castelnuovo too was enclosed in the Dukedom of Urbino maintaining its independence and sending a representative in Urbino. Today Castelnuovo offers visitors an example of a sad and deserted abandonment, very frequent in rural areas. The ancient fortified town has been completely abandoned, the houses and the church are ruined and they are nothing but a heap of rubble. Of all the families who lived there up to some years ago, who were attached to rural life and to its earnings, only 20 are left today and maybe in a short time, there won’t be any at all.

From G. Timperi “A ritroso nel tempo fra vecchie cose”, Urbania, 1978.


Map of Papal land register


Label of Captaincy


Painting of Mingucci of 1625


Geographical plan of Mingucci
Borgo di castelnuovo - Concorso  

Realizzazione: andrel multimedia