Rocca di Ravaldino:
fortified citadel in Forlì
Also known as Rocca di Caterina Sforza, the Rocca di Ravaldino is one of the most important historical sites of Forlì.
Located at some distance from town center, throughout the Middle Ages it had a defensive tactical function. It's a classic military fortress, having an imposing place with circular towers, surrounded by wide and deep moats and massive walls to protect the inner citadel.
Now one of the symbols of the city of Forlì, the monument is the result of several architectural interventions. It originally consisted of a small building, called Bonzanino: it was a ravelin (in Italian rivellino, hence the name Ravaldino), an independent minor fortification that protected the door of a major fortress. This original defense was then strengthened between 1360 and 1371 with the erection of another building.
It was by the will of Pino III Ordelaffi, Lord of Forlì, that the fortification became even more impressive with the construction of new elements which fortunately remain mostly as they were. On 1481 the Citadel was built on commission of the new Lord of Forlì Girolamo Riario, and also the ravelins of Cotogni and Cesena were added.
Due to its complexity, the Rocca di Ravaldino was considered impregnable for many years, but it was the genius of Niccolò Machiavelli who instead deemed it extremely vulnerable precisely due to its intricacy.
In 1500, after days of siege and a heroic resistance led by Caterina Sforza, the fortress yielded to the blows of Cesare Borgia's artillery.
When the role of fortresses became outdated, the Rocca di Ravaldino also changed its function, becoming the city prison, and operating as one til the last century.
You can easily reach the medieval site on foot from Piazza Saffi, along Corso Diaz to Via della Rocca.
Today the fortress is certainly one of the must-see monuments of the city and with our flights to Forlì you can finally visit and admire it.