Forlì travel guide

Forlì is one of the bigger towns in the Emilia Romagna region. It is also the capital of the province of Forlì. The biggest attraction of this rather wealthy town is the Abbey of San Mercuriale.

Forlì travel guide

Useful information

Tourist information: Piazza Aurelio Saffi, 8. Phone: +39 0543 712362. Opening hours: From 09:00 till 13:00 and from 14:00 till 19:00. Closed: Mondays.

Town hall: Piazza Saffi, 8. Phone: +39 0543 712111.

Railway station: The city has its own railway station, a short walk from the historical center.

Nearest airport: The nearest airport is in Bologna, but the nearest big international airport is Milan’s Malpensa.

Tourist attractions

Abbey of San Mercuriale Forlì
Abbey of San Mercuriale Forlì

The Cathedral of Forlì was almost completely reconstructed in 1841. It is of medieval origin.

The Basilica of San Mercuriale was constructed toward the end of teh 12th century. This church is charcterized by an impressive bell tower.

The Palazzo Comunale is also of medieval origin.

The Palazzo del Podestà was built in 1460. It had actually been built two years earlier, but the building had collapsed as soon as it was finished.

Forli’s ancient city walls were demolished in 1905. The only gate surviving the destruction is the Porta Schiavonia.

A brief history of Forlì

The history of Forlì starts in the 3rd century BC, when it was established as a Roman colony.

In the 9th century, Charlemagne donated the city to the Papacy.

In the 12th century, Forlì was subjugated by Ravenna.

Throughout the late Middle Ages, there was a rivalry with nearby Faenza over trade issues. In 1241, Forlì got the upper hand.

In 1282, the city defeated the French army that had been sent by Pope Martin V.

In the early 14th century, the city became a feud of the Ordelaffi family. This family remained in power for over two centuries and was responsible for several urban works.

Hereafter, Pope Sixtus V gave the feud to Girolamo Riario, who was married to a member of the influential Sforza family from Milan.

After a brief period under the Ordelaffi, Forlì then came again under papal rule.

In 1797, Forlì became the capital of the Cisalpine Republic, a northern Italian sister Republic of France. It even became the capital of the Rubicon department of this Republic.

Napoleon gone, Forlì returned to the church.

In 1905, the protective walls surrounding the city were demolished.

The city was badly damaged during World War II.

Events and festivals

On February 4th, the Festival of the Madonna del Fuoco takes place.

How to get to Forlì by car

The city is on the E45 between Bologna and Rimini and on the SS67 between Florence and Ravenna.