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Places and Itineraries
The historical centers of the Piceno: a precious chest with hidden treasures

(The Piceno: a unique territory rich in art)

There are numerous historical centers. Often small boroughs with walls and towers, city gates and squares, solemn buildings of sober elegance, as well as cathedrals and theaters define these small nuclei where art and nature intertwine in perfect symbiosis. Towns and villages are placed on the hill like pawns positioned in a game of chess, not as opponents of war but as partners in a figurative dance. Solemn mountains and severe fortresses.

Rolling hills and towns are marked by striking urban genius. The sea to the east lined with villages scanning the blue horizon. Nothing is missing in this landscape, which seems to have come out of a fairytale. .

 

 

While visiting these splendid places, we recommend some interesting itineraries..

CASTIGNANO

This itinerary is characterized by deep cracks in the land called “calanchi” that were formed by water erosion on the clay soil lacking vegetation. From this territory comes the “stele di Castignano” that is now exhibited in the archeological museum of Ascoli Piceno. The name “Castignano” recalls the presence of the religious order of the Templars whose Foundation came about in the church of Santa Maria del Bordo in the XI century. In the lower part of the town in the church of Sant’Egidio (Saint Giles), works by Simone De Magistris (XVI century) and Giuseppe Ghezzi (XVII century) can be admired.

Castignano

 

COMUNANZA

The ancient church of Santa Caterina (Saint Catherine) can be found here, including the remains of its bell tower that was completely redone by Pietro Maggi in 1823. Inside, together with a monumental organ, there are paintings by Pier Leone Ghezzi, a Roman painter from Comunanza, and Antonio Amorosi, as well as statues and plaster works by Domenico Paci.

Comunanza

 

FORCE

This is one of the many balcony towns of the Marche whence fantastic landscapes can be admired with Mount Sibillini as a backdrop. Here there are traces of walls with a tower, the church of San Francesco (1882), rebuilt on top of a previous Romanesque structure, the Collegiate Church of San Paolo from the XVII century with a Romanesque apse of the ancient church of Farfa. Copper metalwork is typical of this town.

Force

 

GROTTAMMARE

Besides the detached Art Nouveau houses along the coast, it is worth visiting the ancient village where there is the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista (Church of Saint John the Baptist). In the square there is the ancient Arancio theater and the clocktower. Moreover, there is also the battle tower and the church of Santa Lucia erected in 1590-97 over the birthplace of Sixtus V.

Grottammare

 

MONTALTO MARCHE

The territory of Montalto Marche was a fiefdom of the Abbey of Farfa, elevated to the rank of city, bishop seat and capital of a vast territory composed of fourteen lands by Pope Sixtus V, whose family originated from here. In front of the Sistine Museum rises the monumental Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta that began in 1587 with the project of Domenico Fontana and decorated in the XIX century with magnificent paintings by Luigi Fontana. In the historical center, there is the square of Umberto I, where there is the Palazzo del Preside from the XVIII century, that hosts the archeological museum, the museums of water, earth and painting, the civic art gallery and the evocative prison museum with a narration of prisoner discussions traced in historical documents. In the hamlet of Patrignone it is worth visiting the church of Santa Maria in Viminatu that is completely frescoed and hosts a monumental wooden tabernacle by Desiderio Bonfini. While in the hamlet of Porchia, it is worth visiting the church of Santa Lucia with an important altarpiece by Vincenzo Pagani (first half of the XVI century).

Montalto Marche

 

MONTEMONACO

This is the highest Municipality of the Piceno, which favors Montemonaco as an exceptional sight in all the Monte Sibillini area. The downtown is still surrounded by great castle walls with towers from the XIV century. Visit the Palazzo Comunale (1549) and the civic tower from the XIII century. Abutting the walls is the church of San Benedetto (Saint Benedict) that hosts a German Pietà from the XV century as well as the church of San Biagio (Saint Blaise), seat of the Museum of sacred art. Among the rural churches, it is worth visiting San Giorgio all’Isola (erected in the XI century but remodeled until the XVI and XVII centuries) that conserves important Byzantine frescoes, San Lorenzo in Vallegrascia that hosts some low reliefs from the Early Middle Ages, and the church of Santa Maria in Casalicchio in Tofe also adorned with frescoes from the XV and XVI centuries. Among the most striking excursions is the lake of Pilate together with the Gola dell’Infernaccio or the “Throat of Hell.”

Montemonaco (Lago di Pilato)

 

MONTEPRANDONE

Monteprandone has the distinction of being the birthplace of James of the Marches (1394-1476) and the painter Carlo Allegretti (1555-1622). It has traces of the castle walls, the city gate of Borgo da Monte, from the XVI century, as well as the house where Saint James was born. Here there is the imposing and richly decorated Collegiate church of San Nicolò (Saint Nicholas) built by Pietro Maggi, the Palazzo Comunale and the Library Museum of Saint James of the Marches where there is an exhibition of some very important manuscripts belonging to the convent.

Monteprandone

 

RIPATRANSONE

In the square of this charming village there is the Palazzo del Podestà, a Roman-Gothic structure, Palazzo Comunale, rebuilt in the XVII century, the Archeological museum and the Mercantini Theater. There is also the remarkable civic “Uno Gera” Art Gallery in the Bonomi-Gera building, the Cathedral, erected between 1595-1629, which offers an important view of the Roman works from the early seventeenth century attributed to Orazio Gentileschi, Giovanni Lanfranco and Alessandro Turchi known as “l’Orbetto.” There is also the peasant culture museum, the museum and workshop of the potter, the ancient fountains from the XV-XVI centuries, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Putrella, and the narrowest alley in Italy.

Ripatransone

 

ROTELLA

This town can be found at the foot of Mount Ascensione. It was property of the Farfa Abbey and this ancient defense structure still conserves the remains of walls and a massive clocktower from the XV century. Along with the church of Santa Viviana (Saint Vivienne), it is worth visiting the church of San Lorenzo that is an authentic jewel that conserves many paintings by the Fermani painter Filippo Ricci. In autumn in the surrounding countryside, it is possible to see the unique geological phenomenon “dei vulcanelli,” which are emissions of cold mud caused by the force created by gaseous hydrocarbons.

Rotella

 

SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO

In this high town and very close to the museum of sacred art, there is the tower of Gualtieri that has been recently restored and is now open to the public for visits. Nearby there is the church of S. Benedetto Martire (Saint Benedict, martyr) that is rich with works of art. Heading down the valley to the ancient maritime village, there is a museum on fishing and the maritime civilizations associated with the Antiquarium Truentinum and the museum of the amphorae. The seafront, of more than two kilometers lined with high palm trees, is one of the most beautiful of the Adriatic Sea. San Benedetto also has one of the most important fishing ports in the Mediterranean.

San Benedetto del Tronto San Benedetto del Tronto San Benedetto del Tronto San Benedetto del Tronto San Benedetto del Tronto

 

While visiting these splendid places we recommend some interesting itineraries..

 

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