Within the territory of Marchigiano is located the enchanting Aso Valley that over time has well preserved the characteristics of a medieval environment: villages perched on the hills and farms with farmhouses scattered among a multitude of colors that change to every look, passing from the intense white of the snowy peaks of the Sibillini Mountains through the shades of green – yellow – reddish – marrams that paint the hills that gently descend to Valle, continuing with the many colors of the orchards of the valley, to end with the blue of the sea and the sky that melt on the horizon and contrast with the golden beaches.
Of ancient origins, dates back to the VIII century, when the Lombard Elprando began to build a castle and consolidated with the Farfensi around the year one thousand. Interesting: the Church of S. Michele Arcangelo, the Church of Sant’Agostino with alongside the Convent, the Medieval Tower, the Museum of Ancient Crafts.
It gave birth to the Cardinals: Fulgenzio Travalloni and Gregorio Petrocchini.
Parties and Events:
Feast of Saint Anthony – Baccalà Festival 15-16-17 January each year
Polenta festival – 2nd Fri-Sat-Sun of August each year
Remote origin with Etruscan and Picene traces.
Interesting: The Ghibelline Tower that dominates the town.
Holidays and events
Festa Popolare – Wine festival and typical gastronomy 3rd Saturday and Sunday of September every year
To the south of the town, in the locality of “La Cuma” there is an interesting archaeological area where the remains of a monumental Roman Hellenistic Temple and Portico are well visible (XIII – XII A.C.)
Village perched on the hill, 4 km from the town stands the Castle of Rocca Monte Varmine of Lombard origin.
Celebrations and Events
Festa Popolare – Roasted Sausage Festival Period of August
MONTALTO DELLE MARCHE
Located on a beautiful hill that ends on one side in the Valle del Tesino and on the other slopes gently towards the Valle dell’Aso. In 1521vi was born Felice Peretti, the future Pope Sisto V °.
Of great historical interest is an old water mill “Mulino Sisto V °”.
Celebrations and Events
Festival degli Appennini – Choral Songs 3rd Saturday of May each year
“Novalia” folk festival – Typical gastronomy 1st Sat – Sun of August each year
Folk Festival – The Night of Witches and Goblins 13.14 August each year
Between the Valle del Tesino and Valle del Tronto, stands Offida, also known as “Paese del Merletto a Tonbolo”. They are fine handmade laces with special tools “fuselli”, a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation for more than 500 years.
It is on a cliff that stands the Church of Santa Maria della Rocca of Romanesque-Gothic forms.
Celebrations and Events
Market Exhibition – Wine of the Piceno Hills, First days of September each year
Past plurimillenary (existed before the birth of Rome). To this day the Romanesque mark is still present, the Medieval and the Renaissance, as shown by the Rue, the Gates that give the name to the Sestrieri della Quintana, the Temples, the Towers (Ascoli city of a hundred towers), as well as Piazza del Popolo and the Palazzo dei Capitani.
Celebrations and Events
Historical revocation – Quintana, July and August
TORRE DI PALME
Village built in the Middle Ages by the Eremitiani monks of S. Agostino. Among alleys, arches, arcades, porches and flowered squares, glimpses of the landscape that reach the striking view of the Conero, it is no coincidence that the village is called “Terrazza sul Mare”.
A city of ancient origins, rich in art and culture, it has preserved its Renaissance appearance intact, as are the mighty palaces, churches and bell towers. Interesting: the Duomo and the Historical Theater.
Celebrations and Events
Historical re-enactment – Parade with Medieval costumes, August 14th each year
Historical re-enactment – Cavalcata dell’Assunta, August 15th each year
Mariano cult town. Inside the Basilica there is the Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto, where the Virgin Mary received the Annunciation.
Celebrations and Events
Agora of young people from the Mediterranean – Meeting young people from all over the world, September every year
It is the birthplace of the great poet Giacomo Leopardi. Since the 1700s, the birthplace of the poet, today “Palazzo Leopardi” in Piazza “Sabato del Villaggio”, is still inhabited by his descendants.
Recanati also collected the inheritance of the tender Beniamino Gigli.
City known, among other things, for the Sferisterio, a Neoclassical work designed in 1823. The Sferisterio hosts the opera’s summer season.
To speak of Genga means to speak inevitably of the “Frasassi Caves”, they are part of a hypogeum complex that extends for about 18 Km.
It is a fantastic journey through stalactites, ponds between crystal arabesques, alabaster spears hanging from the majestic vaults, etc ..
The Consortium of Frasassi proposes speleological tourism.
NATIONAL PARK OF THE SIBILLINI
Eighteen small towns in the hinterland are part of the Sibillini National Park.
The Historical Slope
Tradition has it that Visso, now home to the National Park, was founded well 907 years before the Roman era and that, from its recognition as free and until the Napoleonic invasion, was divided into five districts called “Guaite” that included also Castelsantangelo and Ussita. A territory rich in castles and watchtowers, which still characterize the structure of numerous inhabited centers, built by the inhabitants of the valley to defend themselves from the repeated incursions of the Saracens.
From the naturalistic point of view, in this area, the Gorge of Valnerina, excavated by the impetuous Nera river, which can be traveled by car, and the mountain massif, of dolomitic appearance, of M. Bove, are interesting. discover all the high altitude plant associations, typical of the Sibillini. The municipalities of: Castelsantangelo sul N., Pievebovigliana, Pieve Torina, Ussita, Visso belong to this side.
The Sacred Mountain
Norcia is the heart of this important sector of the park, home of St. Benedict the patron saint of Europe, famous for its beautiful old town, the square with the church (XIV-XVIII century) dedicated to the Saint, the Cathedral (XVIII century. ) and other interesting historical buildings.
From here the excursions start: to the “marcite”, the original system of permanent irrigation of the lawns built, according to some, since the time of the Benedictine Monks; the Piani di Castelluccio, which consist of two large karstic plains, in the midst of which stands the homonymous village; to the Abbey of S. Eutizio, founded at the end of the 5th century and became famous for the ability of the monks to treat the sick with the precious and medicinal herbs of the Sibillini Mountains. The Municipalities of Norcia and Preci belong to this side.
The Magic Slope
The Sibillini in the Middle Ages were known throughout Europe as a kingdom of demons, necromancers and fairies. Among the many legends the most famous are those of the Sibyl, “Illustre prophetess” who lived in a cave located on the homonymous mountain and that of Pilate according to which the lifeless body of the famous Roman procurator was dragged by some buffaloes in the red waters of the ” demoniaco “lake, located in the high valley engraving that crosses the Vettore massif longitudinally.
Not far away is the Gorge dell’Infernaccio, where memories of ancient necromantic rites still linger and suggestive example of the erosion of the river Tenna on the limestone of the area. In all this sector, together with beautiful high trunk beech woods, vegetate some rare species such as the edelweiss and gentian and you can also meet the wolf, the goshawk and the golden eagle. The municipalities of Amandola, Arquata del Tronto, Montegallo, Montefortino and Montemonaco belong to this side.
The Fiorito side
It includes the northernmost area of the park with the Ragnolo meadows where, during the summer, beautiful orchids, lilies and other interesting species such as the Orsini fritillary, the narcissus or the alpine star can be observed.
In the Fiastrone valley, an impressive gorge dug by the waters, is the Grotta dei Frati, an ancient and evocative hermitage of the Clareni monks, of the year one thousand.
Going up the river, upstream from Lake Fiastra, where the peaks of the surrounding mountains are mirrored, you can reach the charming Acquasanta valley with its splendid waterfalls and the bear’s cave, a toponym that bears witness to the past presence of this especially also on the Sibillini. The municipalities of Acquacanina, Bolognola, Cessapalombo, Fiastra, Fiordimonte and San Ginesio belong to this side.
THE HISTORY BETWEEN PICENO AND THE FERMANA BRAND
The geographical Piceno is one of the most interesting landscapes of central Italy that extends from the Adriatic to the Apennines. Controversial instead is the origin of the Picenes: the Latin writers, like Pliny the Elder, tend to come from the Sabina, while the cultural characters reveal strong oriental influences typical of Illyria.
The greatest development of the Piceno people dates back to the 8th century BC; a warrior population but open to commercial exchanges, it prefers for the settlement of high ground and sites set against the reliefs. The main activity is agriculture as evidenced by the precious grapes and the tasty oils of this land. The prominence assumed by the inhabitants of Ascoli in the interior of the valley, and of Fermo, on the coastal hill, is important in the delineation of the territorial structure. Vast areas, these, which play a decisive role of centrality, guidance and coordination. With the submission to Rome, in 269-268 BC, the Piceno takes on some of the characteristics of the lands conquered by the Romans: Fermo becomes a colony in Ascoli, an allied city.
As testified by Pliny the Elder (Naturalis Historia, III, 13), with the regionalization of Augustus, the Picenum is the V regio and extends from the Marchiano Esino to the Abruzzese Saline; presents a developed road network that finds its main hub in Sandria and Lauretana.
The upheavals following the barbarian invasions and the climatic changes push, in the Middle Ages, the population to abandon the countryside and the settlements downstream and move on the hills, certainly more suitable to control the borders and healthier than the valley in the process of swamping .
In the meantime, at the end of the 9th century, the Farfensi family moved their main headquarters to the Piceno area and, in particular, to the Colle Matenano. They constitute a sort of “state” in the feudal context, able to control a very large area.
From the 10th to the 12th century, historical writings refer to the Marca Fermana with territory from the Musone to the Pescara, while starting from the year one thousand the State of the Church began to consolidate. There are, however, situations of decentralization and autonomy with respect to the Rector of the Brand (this acts as a papal vicar) as evidenced by the “Giudicatura”, “Fluminibus Salini, Tennae and Tennaculae usque ad partes Regni”, which will then turn into the “Presidiato of the Abbey of Farfa “with headquarters in S. Vittoria in Mantenano and that until the sixteenth century will perform general administrative tasks, especially in the field of justice.
The XIV century represents for the Marche a period of political-administrative upheaval due to which the municipal autonomies undergo the constant pressure of new strong powers affirmed in the local area.
The intervention on the subject of the Spanish Cardinal Egidio d’Albornoz is realized with the promulgation of the “Costitutiones” in Fano in 1357 with which the reorganization of the territory is carried out which will be maintained until the VIII century.
Under the papacy of Sixtus V, 1585-1590, the Montalto presidency was established, which somehow revitalized the old and now decayed Presidio Farfense and with the aim of implementing a wide decentralization of administrative and judicial functions.
The Pope’s objectives are manifold: in addition to giving prestige to Montalto, his family’s native country and where he spends his youth, he aims to control an area infested by brigandage and characterized by isolation and that until the advent of the troops Napoleon remains administratively, on a provincial scale, divided as follows: the “Stato Fermano” to the north and along a good part of the coast, the “Ascoli State” to the south, and the “Montalto Presidiato” to the center.
It is following the French occupation that the administrative structure is completely innovated and meets in a single entity, the Department of the Throne with the capital Fermo, the “governments” of Ascoli Piceno and Fermo, the “state” of Camerino and the “Presidio di Montalto”.
The return of papal authority leads, even for a few years, to the autonomy of Camerino while Ascoli and Fermo are connected to an ephemeral provincial division that is based in Macerata.
Under the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, the department of Tronto was temporarily rebuilt but definitively disappears with the Congress of Vienna, after which all the Marches returned under the control of the Papal States.
The southern Marche Pontiffs are divided into two “delegations” Ascoli and Fermo that with the Unification of Italy count respectively 45 and 47 municipalities.
The application of the Rattazzi Law on the “rearrangement of the Provincial and Municipal Administration” and the subsequent decree N.4495 of 18860 leads from six to four the provinces of the Marches with the unification of Camerino in Macerata and Fermo in Ascoli.
The latter choice arises from the need to enhance the administrative and control capacity of Ascoli in the territory, including not only the Fermano but also the Abruzzo area of the Teramo. This has never happened and the resulting result is that of a provincial capital which is partly peripheral and decentralized.
In order to have a functional rebalancing and to partially quell the discontent of the citizens, a sub-prefecture was established which was operative until 1927.
Also in the territory of the new province there is the “cut” of the municipal units, and if on the one hand there is a tendency to give greater efficiency to the municipalities, on the other to reduce their number.
The two world wars involve the Picene people but do not substantially change the territorial boundaries of about 2090 square kilometers.
The constant climatic improvement favors the halfdrile approaching that reaches its peak between the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. At the same time the main modern road infrastructures are realized and a process of industrialization starts, at first slow, and then more and more rapidly starting from the second half of the twentieth century. It is recent history the law 11 June 2004 with which the Province of Fermo was again established, whose elective bodies will begin to be concretely operational only in 2009.