The origin of Fontanelice, like that of other towns in the Santerno Valley, has its roots in prehistory.
This is evidenced by scattered Stone Age fragments that become more numerous in the Villanovan, Etruscan, Celtic, and especially Roman periods. The later urban development, medieval in character, is still evident in the layout of the town center, gathered around the square overlooked by the former public palace, now home to the Giuseppe Mengoni Archive Museum.
Fontanelice was at Imola’s side in the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines, but then switched with Bologna against Imola itself, allying with Tossignano. The feudal period saw it in the hands of the Alidosi family, owners of several other surrounding lands, until 1424, when it became a territory ruled by the papal power.
Renowned for its wines and gastronomic specialties, Fontanelice offers a rich calendar of cultural initiatives.

The excellences of Fontanelice

Giuseppe Mengoni Museum Archives

The former town hall houses the Giuseppe Mengoni Museum Archives, a famous architect born in Fontanelice on November 23, 1829. Mengoni designed and supervised the construction of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. The result of a donation by Carlo Basile, heir of the Fontanese architect, the Archives was inaugurated in 2002 after extensive work to inventory and catalog the material. The archive contains more than one thousand seven hundred design documents produced by the Milanese studio of the architect Fontanese Mengoni: the largest part consists of project material, photographic, cartographic and written documentation, produced and used for the construction of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, still considered one of the most beautiful in the world, and the arrangement of the areas surrounding it. This documentation is developed from the first drawings for the competition announced by the City of Milan in 1861 for the “Arrangement of Piazza del Duomo and adjacent streets,” to the executives and true-to-life details intended for the various firms executing the work on the gallery.