The town of Imola sits on the Santerno river, to the southeast of the city of Bologna and is traditionally considered the western entrance to the historic Romagna region. Imola is, and has for centuries been, laid out like a classical Roman colony around the Forum Cornelli. For centuries, Imola was conquered and ruled by various powers until 1499 when the town was taken by Cesare Borgia and was incorporated into the Papal States. In the early 16th century, Leonardo da Vinci produced his only topographic work of the city of Imola.
Because it’s on the main rail line from Bologna to the port of Bari, Imola is a regional industrial center. The town and its surroundings are also known for its fruit, namely strawberries.
But Imola is best known as host to the Formula One San Marino Grand Prix. The race is named for the neighboring republic of San Marino, which, at 24 square miles, is too small to host a race of this size.