The comune takes its name from the Rubicon, famous for Julius Caesar's historic crossing. A combination of natural and man-made changes caused the original Rubicon to change course repeatedly since then. For centuries the exact location of the original river was unknown. In 1991, the Fiumicino, a river which crosses Savignano sul Rubicone, was identified as the most likely location for the original Rubicon. Prior to that the region was called Savignano di Romagna.