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history of bubano

The existence of a village called Bubano is first attested in 783: at that time the settlement was composed just of few fields surrounded by woods and swamps.

Later on, difficumappalt and hard works of reclaim of land were performed by the monks of Santa Maria in Regola, settled in Imola. They already established a small stronghold at the end of the 13th century, where nowadays we can find the church square.

During 15th century several conflicts between lords and free towns situated in the neighborhoods occurred, each of them willing to expand its own territories. In the same period, the stronghold of Bubano was conquered and spoiled several times, changing in this way its master: in a first time it was under the Alidosi, lords of Imola, then it was bought by Estensi, lords of Ferrara, then it was conquered by Bartolomeo Colleoni and then by Taddeo Manfredi.

caterina sforzaFinally, Bubano became part of the domain of family Sforza, dukes of Milan. The small castle of Bubano, together with the ones of Mordano and Imola, were part of the dowry of Caterina Sforza, who was born in 1463 and married Girolamo Riario at the age of 10. Her husband received from his uncle, Pope Sixtus IV, the dominion of Forlì.

Girolamo Riario was killed in 1488, during a palace revolution, thus Caterina became mistress of Imola and Forlì.

scuderieDue to her strong personality, she decided to bolster her castles and make stronger her domains. The castle of Bubano was totally rebuilt near to the old one (called “Castellari” or “Rocazza”), that was designated as stable, able to host 300 horses.

Caterina was deeply attached to this castle: she personally followed the rebuilding, she imposed to it the new name of “Castello della Contessa” (Castle of the Countess), forbidding to use the old name of Castle of Bubano and establishing a fine for the perpetrators.

She occasionally dwelt in the castle, e.g. in 1497 she greeted here Lorenzo de' Medici, that became her brother-in-law after her marriage with Giovanni de' Medici (the famous warlord Giovanni delle Bande Nere was born from this marriage).

Due to the pressing danger of war, Caterina obliged the farmers to work for free for the rebuilding of the castle, in order to speed up the process. Furthermore, she seized to the inhabitants of Bubano everything that could be useful for the army.

§reach Naples. The French army sieged the castle of Bubano to press Caterina to ally with France, but Bubano opposed a firm opposition: the Frenches, troubled about having too much deaths, withdrew on Mordano, that was conquered and destroyed.

The Castle of Bubano stayed under the dominion of the family Sforza till 1499, when it was conquered by the merciless warlord duke Cesare Borgia, dubbed Valentino.

Years passed and the Castle slowly went wrecked and nowadays it is almost destroyed. Nevertheless, small parts still exist. The central fortified tower can be observed among the small streets of the downtown. Near the church, part of the horse stable can also be observed: modernized, with no more battlements and covered by a roof. The inhabitants of Bubano are used to call this building “Il Torrione” and from this originates the name of the Palio.

palio del torrione bubano