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Sant’Elpidio a Mare

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Sant'Elpidio a Mare (FM)Historical Notes
In the heart of the Marche, a few kilometers from the Adriatic coast, Sant’Elpidio a Mare rises up as one of the main centers for cultural traditions and economic life.

The origins start with the barbaric destruction of the Roman town of Cluana, at the mouth of the Chienti River, from where the powerful Benedictine Abbey of Santa Croce, which makes a great impact on the history and on the economy of the territory, will develop from high medieval times right up to the XIII century AD.

During the next centuries the inhabited settlements will also extend towards the nearby hills: one of these new centers will actually be the Castle of Sant’Elpidio, heart of the present day town which still presents itself with well preserved town walls, a town hall, a tower and the three town gate entrances.

Around the middle of the XIII century Sant’Elpidio a Mare became autonomous removing itself from the under control of Fermo and obtaining the privilege of being allowed to build a port. However the conflicting relationship with the nearby Fermo found its bloody epilogue in 1377, when the Fermani managed to enter the town by surprise and set fire to it.

Another significant episode for the town’s history came about a few centuries later: more precisely in 1789 when Sant’Elpidio a Mare, still faithful to the Pontifical State, had to arm itself to resist the Napoleonic troupes of general Rusca which inflicted grave injuries and damage.

At present besides the Capoluogo (Chief town), the districts of Casette d’Ete, Mostrapiedi, Cascinare, Castellano, Luce and Cretarola are also included in the territory of the municipality. Sant’Elpidio a Mare is one of the most active and better known centers of the Fermano – Maceratese Footwear District.

Monuments, Churches and Museums

The “Cav. Vincenzo Andolfi” Footwear Museum: Sant’Elpidio a Mare is one of the most renowned centers of the Marche Region also for its dedication to shoe manufacturing and to the high quality of the products made by the many numerous artisan and industrial communities that represent the Italian Style throughout the world.
The determination to evaluate the enormous production heritage, and therefore cherish and look after a fundamental part of its history and of its traditions, has found the righteous reward with the creation of the “Cav. Vincenzo Andolfi” Footwear Museum, set out in such a way to be able to illustrate the transformations that “footwear” has undergone throughout the centuries.
Besides the ethnographic section “Footwear from all times and all places” and the section on the “marchigiana footwear industry” dedicated to the new productions and creative experiments, the Museum also hosts a section dedicated to Famous People, where shoes that belonged to important religious personalities like Papa Giovanni XXIII, Papa Leone XIII, Papa Giovanni Paolo II can be found. Furthermore, not only the shoes of many Sport champions and of Nobel Prize winners like Sir Derek Walcott and Dario Fo, but the footwear of a multitude of Singers and well know Stars from the Entertainment world are on show here.

The Civic “Vittore Crivelli” Art Gallery: is hosted in the same building as the Footwear Museum, which is an ancient convent of the Philippine Order restored in the second half of the XVIII century by the famous roman architect Giuseppe Valadier. Within the collection of ancient art the following have to be pointed out: the polyptech composed of 18 panels dedicated to the “Incoronation of the Virgin with Saints” and the triptych with the “Visitation”, both works of art by Vittore Crivelli (XV century), a canvas painting representing the “Assumption” del Tizianello (XVI century). The “Contemporary Section” hosts a rich collection of works by prestigious authors of world fame among which to be noted are Bruscaglia, Cagli, Capozucca, Ciarrocchi, Licata, Piccardoni, Athos and and Pietro Sanchini, Trubbiani.
In the “Silver Room” valuable objects of XVII, XVIII and XIX century goldsmith craftsmanship are on show, among which a valuable silver reliquary-bust of San Filippo Neri of XVIII century roman craftsmanship certainly stands out.

Church of San Filippo Neri (XVIII century), on Corso Baccio: the foundation of the convent and of the church goes back to 1735. The church however reveals its original medieval structure onto which it was obviously constructed: a sole location with external polygonal apse, adapted without having to modify the weight bearing structures already inserted into lots heavily built. The austere façade is in brick with two overlapping orders and in the portal the date 1789 has been engraved, which probably refers to the end of the works. Internally it has important works of art by Nicola Monti and Alessandro Ricci. The organ, signed by the Veneto maestro Gaetano Callido and marked in his catalogue by number 319, goes back to 1794 and is inserted into the counter-prospect of the church.

Teatro Luigi Cicconi: only the elegant façade remains of the original 1870 project by the architect Ireneo Aleandri.

Church of San Francesco, in Piazzale Brancadoro: it is one of the most ancient religious buildings of the town. The still visible traces of the ancient pilasters, single-holes, and ‘architelli’, present on the side towards Corso Baccio and the remains of the ancient roof support, make us guess that originally the church was lower the support of the cabin-like ‘falda’ cover, only just higher than the remains of the ‘architelli’.

Church of Sant’Agostino Nuovo on Corso Baccio: the ancient Augustinian convent (S. Agostino the elder), erected on the location where nowadays there are still the remains of the church of the “Madonna dei Lumi”, was rebuilt inside the town, incorporating and transforming the original church of Sant’Antonio Abate (XIV century), reconsecrated to Sant’Agostino (new). The church, restored in 1762, has on the façade a renaissance, 1505 portal with splendid candelabras; internally it preserves solemn altars decorated with gilded stuccos and a wooden choir stalls from the XVIII century.

Basilica Lateranense of Maria Santissima della Misericordia, in Piazza Matteotti: paintings of Andrea Boscoli, Andrea Lilli, two splendid engraved and gilded wooden choir-stall, in which are placed, on the right side the precious organ of the great Veneto maestro Pietro Nacchini of 1757 and, on the left side, the one by the scholar and successorof the Veneto organ school, Gaetano Callido of 1782;

Perinsigne Collegiata (XIII century), in Piazza Matteotti: the principle church of the town encloses important and rare works of art like the IV century AD roman sarcofagus in pario marble representing in high relief a scene of a lion hunt; the “Crucifixion” by Palma il Giovane (XVI century), the “Madonna del Carmine” of Pomarancio (XVII century), the painting on canvasof the “Assunta and Patron Saints” by Nicola Monti (end of XVIII century), the baroque wooden altar of the Annunciation by Angelo Scoccianti (1702), the wooden Crucifix of Tuscan school of the XVI century, a renaissance shaped baptism font and the precious organ rebuilt by the Veneto maestro Gaetano Callido nel 1765.

Tower Gerosolimitana or of the Order of Malta, Piazza Matteotti: goes back to the ‘200 has a structure which makes it unique in Italy. Although clearly built in a strategic position, its characteristics do not make it a tower of defensive purposes, so much so that that the hypotheses on its use are still many. The tower, which during medieval times represented the highest testimony of the presence of the ‘Gerosolimitani’ Order, assumes a strong mystic-religious connotation; in modern times it has become the symbol of the ‘civitas’, the element in which to reflect the values shared by the municipality.

Madonna dei Lumi (XIV century), Via Prati: the ancient church, seat of the first Augustinian convent founded in Sant’Elpidio during the first twenty years of the ‘200, it was destroyed during the 1377 looting perpetrated by the tyrant Rinaldo da Monteverde. Of the original church, all that remains are the perimeter base and the base of the bell tower demolished in 1700, the façade where the timpani is missing, and a small chapel with the arc in pietra d’Istria in which the Sacred Thorn of the Crown of Christ had been preserved. Following the looting of the town it was taken to Fermo, to the Church of Sant’Agostino, where it is still venerated nowadays.

Basilica Imperiale di Santa Croce al Chienti (IX century) – Loc. Casette d’Ete: the imposingness of the structure, which can still be admired nowadays immersed in the green countryside of Casette d’Ete, is what remains of the Abbey (IX century) that, up to the XIII century, was one of the most important and powerful Benedictine monastery settlements in the March Region.

Museums / Art Galleries
Pinacoteca Civica “Vittore Crivelli”
Corso Baccio, 35
Tel/Fax: 0734 – 859279
Website/Email: www.santelpidioamare.it – culturaeturismo@santelpidioamare.it

“Cav. Vincenzo Andolfi” Footwear Museum
Corso Baccio, 35
Tel/Fax: 0734 – 859279
Website /Email: www.santelpidioamare.it – culturaeturismo@santelpidioamare.it