The first mention of the Colonna degli Anelli (Ring Column) and the ancient Bertinoro hospitality tradition is in the commentary to the XIV Canto of Purgatory in the Divine Comedy, where Dante meets Judge Guido del Duca.
Del Duca was Judge at Bertinoro from 1212 to 1218 and he and his bosom friend Arrigo Mainardi ordered the construction of a pillar with 12 rings to put an end to the constant disputes between the town’s noble families. Each ring represented a family: when a pilgrim arrived in Bertinoro and tied his stick or his mount to one of the rings, he would be the guest of the family which owned it.
Removed after work on the piazza, the Ring Column was re-erected on 6 September 1926 in San Marino stone: a gift from the ancient Land of Freedom to the ancient Land of Hospitality. Since then, the Hospitality Rite has been solemnly repeated on the first Sunday of September every year, as part of a major commemoration