Hospitality (and Wine) in Bertinoro

September 16, 2008 / Food & Wine
Back when wine was drunk out of wooden cups, the daughter of Emperor Teodosio, Galla Placidia, was visiting her father’s lands. When she got to the hills of Romagna, she was served Albana, the local white wine. Galla Placidia was stunned to drink such a delicious wine out of a humble cup, and it is said that she addressed the wine, remarking: ”Sei cosi’ buono che merita berti in oro!” (You are so good that you deserve drinking in gold!). And so the town of Bertinoro got its name.

Nicknamed Il Balcone della Romagna (Romagna’s Balcony) due to the wonderful view from its main square, Bertinoro is also known for its hospitality. An interesting feature here is the 13th century Colonna Delle Anella. Visiting traders were the main source of news, so the main families would argue constantly about who had precedence to offer shelter to travelers. The Column of Hospitality, or “of the Rings”, solved this problem: visiting travelers would tie their horse to one of the rings, and the family “owning” that ring had the right to offer hospitality to that traveler.

On the first Sunday of September, Bertinoro renews this tradition of hospitality, and local families welcome an out-of-towner for lunch at their table.

by Vanessa DellaPasqua

Owner of Global Epicurean, a bespoke travel services provider organizing culinary trips to Romagna, and publisher of

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