Erected some time between the 9th and 10th centuries by local feudal lords – like other fortresses in the area, for example the Rocca delle Caminate and the Elmici Fortress – in 909 it belonged to Forlì’s noble Calboli family, who endowed it with a defensive structure. In 1471, Pino Ordelaffi expanded and fortified it, turning it into an impregnable stronghold. In fact, over the course of centuries, no enemy was ever able to conquer it, which is also why its appearance has remained nearly intact. Its elevated and hard-to-reach position certainly contributed, located on a rocky summit made of puddingstone, a natural conglomerate of pebbles and siliceous limestone cement, named after English ‘pudding’. The locals more hurriedly call it ‘prè’ (stone) and it’s from here that Predappio gets its name.
Protected by an imposing surrounding wall and equipped with majestic circular towers, yet devoid of merlons (which however appear in ancient drawings), the fortress dominates the small village of Predappio Alta. It is open to the public only for special events, but is worth visiting. It can be accessed via an entryway that in the past was most likely preceded by a drawbridge. Few of the interior rooms can be visited, but it’s worth seeing the small garden, where concerts and shows are held during the summer. Looking around one can observe how the structure is fully integrated with the rock of the foundation, so much so that in various points it replaces the construction. Meanwhile, the underlying valley can be admired from a panoramic balcony.
A series of wooden steps climb up the three-tiered terrace, arriving at the walkway which connects the first and second towers. Another panoramic terrace has been created here, which overlooks the town piazza.