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Imola and surroundings

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Imola, a municipality in the province of Bologna, lies in the Santerno valley, on the left bank of the river. Awarded by the Republic of Italy with the Medaglia al Valore Militare (Italian decoration) for its partisan activities, today the town is a flourishing agricultural, commercial and industrial centre. The first human traces date back to the Palaeolithic age. With the Roman dominion, Forum Cornelli, the town's ancient name, saw the beginning of a prosperous period. In the 6th century it was annexed to the Papal States; the following centuries witnessed incessant wars against the surrounding municipalities and after these conflicts the town became a free commune for two centuries, starting from the early half of 14th century. The main architectural and cultural attractions of the city are the Rocca, built in the 12th century, the characteristic Chiesa dell'Osservanza, which houses important masterpieces, Porta Montanara, belonging to the old city walls and Palazzo della Volpe, with its marvellous terracotta decorations dating back to the 15th century. Other important cultural sites are the famous Art Collection housed in Palazzo Tozzoni, the interesting Museo Scarabelli, the marvellous Municipal Gallery, the beautiful Arms and Ceramics Collection housed in the Rocca Sforzesca and the Diocesan Museum housing sacred art. At present Imola is most noted as the home of Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari (motor-racing circuit) and the Formula One San Marino Grand Prix. Not to be missed is Baccanale, a must for all gourmets.

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