The Civic Art Gallery is on the second floor of Palazzo dei Priori, the most ancient palace of the city, built in 1296 over the ancient noble palace and the church of St. Martino and finally completed in 1525. Located in Piazza del Popolo, the heart of the town, Palazzo dei Priori presents a fan shape, given to it in the middle of the seventeenth cenuty. The central double staircase ends with a loggia where above it there is the statue of Sisto V Peretti, First bishop of Fermo. Originally the Gallery was established in 1890 in different rooms of the Municipal Library and the current location was born only in 1986.
Gallery's rooms, five to be exacts, preserve a lot of paintings, artifacts of stone, costumes, porcelains of inestimable value. In particular, the room of 1600 or Rubens' room hold the famous “The Adoration of the shepherds” of Peter Paul Rubens (1608), that the legend says it was sent, rolled up and put on the back of a donkey by the same Rubens.
From the gallery, it's possible to enter to the room of the world globe, deeply wanted by the Cardinal Decio Azzolino Junior, Decio Azzolino junior Cardinal, that preserves the original nucleos of the library donated by Romolo Spezioli, personal physician of the Queen Cristina of Sweden. The room is so named because of the presence of a large globe, work of the venetian map-maker Silvestro Amanzio Moroncelli dated 1713.
The Picena Archaeological Section is located on the first floor of Palazzo dei Priori. The archaeological section “From Villanoviani to Piceni”, is partitioned in three rooms and exposes important artifacts of the pre-roman culture of Fermo with a variety of items like belts, urns and nacklaces which provide a panorama on customs and tradition of it.
ROMAN PURIFYING CISTERNS
Roman Purifyng Cisterns of Fermo are one of the best testimonies of the Roman Age in Fermo. They are located under Piazza del Popolo and they are accessible through Via degli Aceti. The cisterns, probably wanted by Cesare Ottaviano Augusto, date back approximately to the first century B.C. and they are also named “Piscine Epuratorie”. The main use of the roman cisterns was to collect, store and distribute rainwater by means of a sophisticated plumbing.
They are formed by 30 rooms for a total of 2200 mq which make it one of the most important monumental complex of its kind in Europe. Over the centuries, after having a deposit use, they have been in part reused as plumbing. It's not easy to imagine the medieval city of Fermo as a box of hidden evocative roman remains, perfectly preserved.
THEATRE DELL' AQUILA
The Theatre dell' Aquila is considered one of the most important theatre of central Italy of the eighteenth century. Carried out on Cosimo Morelli's project since 1780 it replaces the wooden theatre destroyed in a fire and located in a room of Palazzo dei Priori. Opend to the public in 1790, the theatre has always been one of the main cultural attraction for the whole Region, thanks to important shows included in the Prose and Opera season.
It holds 1000 seats, distributed in 124 boxes arranged in 5 orders. The extraordinary ceiling, decorated with a tempera painting, depicts the Gods of Olympus with Jove, Juno, the three Graces and the Six Hours Darkness aiming to listen Apollo. It's also impossible not to be impressed with the golden chandelier. The curtain, depicting Harmonia delivering zither to the fermano genius is no less important. But the stage and a perfect acoustic make it unique.
CATHEDRAL OF ST. MARIA ASSUNTA
The Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta is one of the most important churches of Marche Region.
Located on the top of the hill, from which it's possible admire the city and a fantastic view up to the Adriatic sea and the surrounding hills, the Cathedral presents very deep roots which are still visible. It was built in an area of stratification of architectural remains dating from the Roman and Medieval period. In 1934-1935, during archaeological dig, some remains of walls of Imperial Age with bricks bearing of Antonino Pio Age and some elements of the Paleo- Christian basilica were discovered. The basilica was destroyed in 1776 by Cristiano of Magonza, diplomatic and German catholic archbishop, on orders from of Federico I Barbarossa. It was rebuilt in 1227 thanks to the work of Giorgio from Como. From reconstruction an amazing romanesque-gothic facede, a hall where there are frescoes of the fourteenth century, a funeral monument of Giovanni Visconti d'Oleggio and a tower bell are entirely visible.
oday the building is the result of a following action, wanted by Minnucci archbishop and realized by Cosimo Morelli. The new structure presents a neo-classical style. Within it, there are pieces of considerable interest such as a paleo-christan sarcophagus, a Byzantine icon and a mosaic with peacocks. Finally you can see the rose window and a rooster that is on the roof from 1423.
CASULAE OF ST. THOMAS BECKET
The Diocesan Museum holds the chasuble of St. Thomas Becket, murdered back in 1170. When he was officiating the holy rites in the Cathedral of Canterbury, he was crushed by four Enrico II Plantageneto King's thugs. The homicide, result of confrontation of temporale and spiritual power became the resistance's symbol of spiritual power against policy.
The matter of St. Thomas is connected to the city of Fermo thanks to the friendship between St. Thomas and Presbitero, the bishop of Fermo at the time of the omicide. St. Thomas'mother decided to give the chasuble to Presbitero, with the hope that it could be guarded with love and respect. The vestment, a blue silk tissue, embroidered in gold dates back to 1116 and it's an invaluable object. It's the most ancient arab embroidery known in the West.
TORRE DI PALME
Torre di Palme is a picturesque hamlet overlooking the sea , from where a fantastic view of the Adriatic Sea can be enjoyed. The village is a real jewel so the best way to appreciate it is walking around the narrow streets that characterise it.
The origins of Torre di Palme are very ancient and they date back to the picena ancient city of Palma, founded in VI century b.C. and subsequently passed under the roman control. The hamlet forms part of Fermo's castles' circle, divided for their geographic position in marine castles, middle castles and mountain castles. As all marine castles, Torre di Palme rises up on a hill and shows an ellipsoidal city grid surrounded by the walls.
In the Middle Ages it was a fortified protection of the Palma's ancient port with the aim of protect it from pirates' raids. Today it's possible to admire it thanks to a perfect preservation of the whole location, which underlines the stylist uniformity of medieval and renaissance buildings. Piave street, the main street of the hamlet, allows you to cross the historic centre and appreciate amazing glimpses and the main artistic testimonies.
It's impossibile not mention the Church of St. Augustine, where is preserved a work of Vincenzo Pagani, one of the most representative artist of the Renaissance period in Marche Region, and a polyptich of Vittore Crivelli, stolen in 1972 and recovered little more than one month after in very bad conditions. Another fundamental step is St. Maria's Church which date back to XII century where it's possible notice beautiful Byzantine frescoes. Finally we found St. John's Church, the Priorale Palace and Belevedere square that leaves you breathless.
BOSCO DEL CUGNOLO
The Bosco del Cugnolo is a rare example of Mediterranean Macchia of the Adriatic region and it can be traversed with a short, easy hike of about 2 kilometers.
This wooded area, surrounded by cultivated fields, takes its name from the countryside in which it is located, bordered by Fosso Cupo and Fosso Molinetto. The wood is laid down on a fossil dune, which dates back to Pleocene period, with an altitude ranging from 60 to 110 meters. From a Geological point of view, it is composed of marine sediments, in particular various types of sand. Although the evergreen forest (or “macchia primaria”) has undergone a reduction in size and environmental degradation, the integrity of the area allows it to be classified as a “relict” and included under the Region’s designation of Protected Flora Areas.
The park is characterized by a hot temperate climate in which there is scarce precipitation concentrated in the winter months, alternating with very dry summers. Tourists can admire a lot of evergreens, fruit trees and unusual varieties of vines and climbing plants that at several points make the forest intricate and impenetrable. Also the fauna is very varied. It's possible to see bees – eater, “rigogoli”, badgers and foxes.
Thanks to the history of the Grotta degli Amanti (Cave of Lovers), to walk through the wood will be very evocative.
GROTTA DEGLI AMANTI (LOVERS' CAVE)
he Cave of lovers, located in The Bosco del Cugnolo, is the theater of the tragedy of two lovers, Antonio e Laurina, which took place in 1911, during the colonial wars for the conquest of Lybia. Returning home for a brief leave from his miltary post, Antonio in love with Laurina, decided to desert and to pass his life with her.
They were awared of the dramatic situation, thus they decided to refuge in the cave, surviving for days on bread and sardines brought to them by local fishermen. The couple felt overcome by remorse and chose to die by jumping 70 meters from the overhanging cliff of the Fosso San Filippo. The flight was to fatal to both.