PRO LOCO MONTELUPONE


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MONTELUPONE


Montelupone, like a typical Medieval “castle” is encircled by ancient walls.

It is situated on a hill from which it overlooks one of the most breathtaking panoramas of the Marches: from the Appennines to the Riviera del Conero, panorama which offers a wide range of colours, the deep blue of the sea, the bright green of fertile fields and valleys and a mild climate which makes life here really ideal.

The historical city centre and the urban parks are a heaven of peace.

Montelupone, whose agricultural economy has progressively transformed and integrated with small industrial activities and handicrafts, is nowadays one of the most important industrial estate in the moulding sector and transformation of plastics, in the silver working and prize articles.


HISTORY


The origins of Montelupone mingle between history and legend. Some scholars state that the first settler was a friend of Ercole Libico who, after wandering at sea because of a storm, landed at the mouth of the Potenza river, thus originating the town of Montelupone.

Some others scholars assert that Montelupone originated from the Roman family “Lippia”, whose descendants, “Lippo and Lupo” settled in this area to build their villas: “Mons Lupia” as you can read in one of Cicero’s epistles or in Panfilo’s poem “Piceno” where he states that the name derives from some colonies coming from Greece. Over the centuries, the original name has changed into Montis Luponis and Montelupone.

The archaeological find of a necropolis in 1926, confirmed that life already existed in the VI century B. C., at the time of the Picena civilization. Some more recent studies have found out that, besides some Roman homes scattered on the present municipal territory, at Cervara of Montelupone rose the Castle of Posoli with the temple of Apollo and several religious buildings. Still today it is possible to see a funerary stele which marks the border between the territories of Montelupone, Macerata and Morrovalle.

Documents dating back to the year 1000, give evidence of some estates in the area belonging to the abbey of Sant’Apollinare in Classe (Ravenna). An important Roman road connected Castrum Posoli to the Roman towns in these territories: Auximum, Potentia, Firmum.

By the hill of St. Nicolò, there was the feud (ministerium) of Bibiano, whose function was confirmed by the longobard kings.

About the year 907 originated the Benedictine Abbey of San Firmano, nearly the river Potenza, which for some times, owned, feudally, also the town of Montelupone.

The monastery of San Firmano exercised control over a vast holding which extended to the existing town of Civitanova Marche. It underwent the changes of time, the fights between the Guelph and the Ghibelline factions and remained active and vital until the XVth century.

The oldest document which bears the name of the borough authority of Montelupone, dates to 1150, and in 1202 Montelupone even entered into peace talks of Polverigi and sided with Fermo, against Ancona and Recanati.

In 1252 the town was conquered by Percivalle Doria, the vicar of king Manfredi and from 1294 Tebaldo Mainetti and Chiavelli came in succession.


In 1353 Fra Moriale conquered and settled in Montelupone. He was ah the head of his band of mercenaries and, helped by the German Luzzo di Lanzo, plundered and robbed the neighbouring towns of the Marches.

In 1363 it was Pierfrancesco of Brancaleone’s turn, feudal lord of Casteldurante (Urbania). In 1407 under the dominion of the Malatesta of Rimini, a lot of fortifications were erected, and it is still possible to admire the seat of the bombards in the guard towers of the civic walls.

Francesco Sforza conquered Montelupone in 1433.

In 1798, when Napoleon abolished the monastic orders and confiscated a lot of works of art because the treatise of Tolentino, Montelupone had the honour to give hospitality to the family of Monaldo Leopardi on the run from Recanati and Giacomo Leopardi was born in that very year.

After the congress of Vienna in Montelupone constituted one of the first hotbeds of the secret society of the Carbonari. The “Palazzo Emiliani” welcomed the citizens of the Marches and Romagna in order to “prepare with brave thoughts and bold enterprises the first revolutionary uprising for the Italian Risorgimento” (1816 – 1817).

In 1860 the troops of the French general Lamoriciere and De Pimodan marching from Rome in order to halt the advance of the Piemontese troops led by General Cialdini, stopped at Montelupone on the 7th of September 1860 “before moving off towards the complete defeat the annexation of the Marches to the Kingdom of Sardinia.

During the second world war, Montelupone was occupied by the Germans troops.


PLACES OF INTEREST


Benedectine Abbey of San Firmano (IX – XIII centuries): a church of Romanesque origin with a nave and two aisles and semicircular apse.

The crypt, which has five unequal naves and columns of Roman origin, contains the mortal remains of the Saint. The high – relief in the lunette of the portal was obtained from a Roman marble statue. The interior is dominated by an austere staircase which leads to the presbytery under which there is the crypt. Worth noting is the portal with the Byzantine bas – relief in the lunette.

The interior contains a beautiful painting by Carlo Maratta, and a fresco portraying the Virgin Mary enthroned with San Firmano and Sebastiano attributed to Giacomo di Nicola of Recanati (1460). Inside the crypt there is the polychromatic terracotta statue of the Saint by Ambrogio Della Robbia.


Medieval Porta Ulpiana (sec. XII – XVI): of Roman origin, during the Middle Ages it was a fortified door with a carriage opening. It was restored in 1500 and it is also called Porta S. Michele. To its left extends the football area for the ancient game of “pallone al bracciale”, very popular in the years 1880 – 1950.


Medieval Porta S. Stefano (sec. XIX): completely rebuilt in 1804 with bricks, railing and spire on the pre – existent door. It is also called Porta Marina or Delle Grazie or Fontanella.


Medieval Porta del Cassero (XIV – XVI c.): it is the highest; it was rebuilt in 1500, with overhanging geometric decorations on the supporting columns. In the Middle Ages it was a fortified door. It is also called Porta Castello.


Medieval Porta del Trebbio (XV – XVI c.): original building situated on the crossroads of an old road junction towards the Benedectine Monastery of San Firmano.


The Roccellino: sighting tower overlooking the valley of Potenza, it is what remains of the ancient Cassero.


Palazzetto del Podestà or dei Priori (XII – XIII c.): rectangular building with a porch and “bifore” (mullioned windows with two lights). Noteworthy frescoes of the XV century are visible in the main hall where it is now housed the town picture gallery, containing paintings of the XVI – XVII centuries, among which a noteworthy “S. Francesco” belonging to the Marches painting school and an “enthroned Madonna” with 15 mysteries. Other paintings of great interest are “The Madonna della Misericordia” by the Dutch Ernest Van Schaick; the ecstasy of San Giuseppe da Copertino by Benedetto Bianchini.


The impressive seat of the palazzo dei Priori contains frescoes of the first half of 1500 and several religious objects, two original “savonarola”, some paintings by Pellini, Peruzzi, Bernacchini.


Torre civica. Incorporated into the Palazzetto del Podestà, with Ghibelline battlements, it shows the oldest town coat of arms and the bronze main bell.


Palazzo Comunale (XIV – XVIII c.): work of the architect Ireneo Aleandri (the same architect of the Arena Sferisterio of Macerata) designed according to the eighteenth – century style, it was originally built without the open gallery and it shares the vestibule with the town theatre. The charming underground passages of the Palazzo Comunale contain tools and instruments of the old artisan craftworks of the neighbouring territories.


Teatro storico “Nicola degli Angeli” (XIX c.): a stately building in Neopalladian style and with a horseshoe plan, it was designed by the architects Ireneo Aleandri and Sabbatini from Recanati decorated by the artist Domenico Ferri.


Church of San Francesco: it is situated on the highest part of the town with the adjacent convent of the Franciscan Friars and its cloister. The present day tower stems from a later restoration date. The original gothic style (1251) has been transformed into a baroque one in 1747. It contains four plasters statues by the artist Rusca da Lugano, “the four evangelists on the pinnacles of the temple” by the painter Podesti, and the organ of Nachini, Callido’s master.


Church of Santa Chiara (XII – XVIII c.): it is an old church with the adjacent convent of reclusion of the Clarisse nuns. In 1944 it was bombed by the German troops on their retreat. Worth noting is the chair in wood and plated in pure gold by Matteucci and Rossini (1775), the great “pale” of the altars, one of which is an interesting copy of the “Annunciazione” by Federico Barocci; an old wooden statue portraying the Madonna and Child. The organ is the work of Giulietti and the four inlaid doors, by Cristofaro Cesari, are really beautiful.


Church of Collegiata (XVIII c.): it was completely restored in Neoclassic style on the spot of an old church and became Collegiata in 1748; it contains valuable works of art, among which two great “pale” of altar by Antonio da Faenza (Antonio di Domenico Liberi, or di Mazzone called Domenichini, 1456 – 1534), a pupil of Lorenzo Lotto, Luca Signorelli, Gerolamo Genga: “Madonna and Child and the Saint Peter and Paul” (1516) and “Madonna del latte” (1525); the chapels of our Lady of Sorrows and the Fallen Soldiers by Cesare Peruzzi; the apsidal vault and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus decorated by Vincenzo Monti. The organ is the work of Fedeli da Camerino, 1735.


Memorial stone to the fallen soldiers, by Vittorio Morelli: it is situated in a wonderful garden with the adjacent Parco Franchi, which boasts centuries – old trees.


Worth noting in the municipal territory are country churches, religious edicules, ancient villas, chimneys of old brickworks, clay houses, well springs; of particular historical interest is the little church of S. Vincenzo a Montenovo (XIX c.), full of frescoes and the Torrione, an old medieval fortified mill situated nearly the river Potenza and used also to control the river navigation.



OENOGASTRONOMY


  • “Lo salato”:


starter of several kinds of charcuterie

  • “Gnocchi con la papera”:


kind of dumplings made of potato, flour and eggs

  • “Cucciole”:


fried smails flavoured with wild fennel

  • “Vincisgrassi”:


layers of boiled eggpasta, seasoned with meat sauce, béchamel sauche, chicken liver

  • “Frascarelli”:


boiled rice and flour seasoned with meat sauce

  • “Coniglio in porchetta”:


roast rabbit flavoured with wild fennel

  • “Oca arrosto”:


roast goose, a typical dish of harvest time

  • “Carciofo monteluponese”:


artichokes, wine, vegetables and fruit

  • “Scroccafusi”:


fried sweets, typical of Carnival time

  • “Pupi di lievito”:


grape – must baked sweets

  • “Vino cotto”:


old and sweet wine

  • “Miele”:


honey

  • “Olio extravergine d’oliva”:


extra – virgin olive oil

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