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Tenaciously clung to the side of a high hill made of fluvial sediments and dominating the Savio valley, Sarsina was born thanks to its geographic position which was strategic for connections between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas.

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It is a very ancient city, founded by Umbrian people between the VI and the IV century B.C. In the III century B.C. Sarsina ruled a big state which was spread on the two sides of the Apennine ridge and embraced some Romagnole valleys and the upper Tiber. Economy was mostly connected to sheep-breeding and to woods (wool, animal skins, cheese, wood).

The first certain date in Sarsina history is the Roman conquest in 266 B.C., after which it became a federal city and was then municipalized. In 250 B.C. Tito Maccio Plauto was born in Sarsina; he was the most important latin playwright and today we own 21 comedies still successfully played.

The actual economical ascent and the urbanistic development began in the first half of the I century B.C. after the social war brought Roman citizenship to every Rome federate city.

The construction of the city walls dates back to the late republican age, as well as the construction of some of the big cusp mausoleums by local important people. The city became then a big emporium, where people from the East set up their sanctuaries; it managed to avoid the agriculture crisis of the cispadane plain for a long time.

Saint Vicinio lived here between the end of III century and the beginning of IV. He was the first bishop and is now the saint patron of the city. He is still famous for being a thaumaturge and an exorcist.


Sarsina declined after the collapse of the Roman empire and underwent devastation and plunders, but it still maintained part of its importance for being an episcopal see, although changing different dominations (Ordelaffi, Malatesta, Venetians). Later on, feoffees and Lords contended for the city (it is told to have been almost in ruins in 1371). In 1503 it fell under the domination of Venice; it went then to the Pope in 1509 for ten years. Until 1859 it was part of the Papal States and then of the new-born Italian kingdom.

In 1859 Sarsina was included in the Roman Republic. In 1860 an infantry unit expedition (the "hunters", auxiliary troops) led by Luca Silvani from Sarsina tried to annex the Montefeltro region to the Italian kingdom.

In 1944 Sarsina was subjected to a fierce reprisal by the Nazi with many dead and injured and the fire to several private houses and public buildings. Anyway, because of this German reprisal and for being crossed by the front during the second world war, Sarsina received a Cross for military bravery.

Economy was once only agricultural, whereas nowadays, since the 1960s, it has significantly changed because of the establishment of some factories which gave birth to a fair handcrafts satellite.

Sarsina is now a touristic resort of great importance with excellent chances for the future, thanks to the big Archaeological Museum, the Basilica Co-cathedral (on the inside you will receive Saint Vicinio's Blessing, what attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims each year), the natural beauties and the quick link to the freeway E45.