San Leo, Rimini: what to see in the Borgo di Cagliostro

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

Author and references

There are villages that just a glance is enough to fall in love, to make you go back in time and to be attacked by that I want of stories, legends, curiosities.
There is a village in Romagna, right near Rimini, which is called San Leo, which has less than 3.000 inhabitants, but which absolutely deserves to be visited!


  1. What to see: the Fortress of San Leo on the Rocca
  2. The Prison of Cagliostro
  3. Useful Info
  4. User questions and comments

What to see: the Fortress of San Leo on the Rocca

Situated on a spur of rock which overlooks the whole Valmarecchia, and the contours of San Marino and the Adriatic coast are distinctly recognized, the fortress of San Leo its origins are still uncertain.
Domain disputed between the Malatesta and Montefeltro until the mid-400th century, it was precisely the best known of the latter family, Federico da Montefeltro, to rebuild the fortress to make it an even more impregnable stronghold. It then passed to the Borgias, again to the Montefeltro and then to the Della Rovere, until the definitive devolution to the Papal State in 1631.

The Prison of Cagliostro

The architectural beauty of the fort, which seems to arise directly from the spur of rock that cradles it, is surpassed only by the interest in what was its most enigmatic "guest": the Count of Cagliostro. But let's start from the beginning.
After the passage to the Church, the fort was used as prison of the inquisition, for all the heretics and unbelievers who found their punishment here.
And in fact, to date, the fort hosts a torture instruments museum: the garrote, the stretch bench, the confessional chair, ...
Giuseppe Balsamo, better known as Cagliostro, found his death right here, after four years of confinement in a cell specially built for him, the "cagliostrina" or "cell of the cockpit": a trapdoor with a single opening in the square meters, with a single air point represented by a window. But at least it had a great view.
Escaped from the imprisonment of the Bastille and then locked up in Castel Sant'Angelo, he spent the last 4 years and 5 days of his life practically walled up alive.
There are even those who swear to still warn their ghost wandering around the castle rooms ...

Useful Info

  • Address: Via Giacomo Leopardi, 61018 San Leo (RN)
  • Days and opening hours: from April to September, every day from 9:30 to 18:45
  • Useful numbers: 0541926967 or toll-free number 800553800
  • Admission: € 9,00 full, € 4,00 reduced (children from 6 to 14 years), € 6,00 students, over 65s and disabled, € 7,00 for groups over 15 adults.

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