Fermo, Marche, Italia

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The Marca Fermana

The Marca Fermana in 1803

Marca Fermana is the historical name of a geographic and cultural homogeneous area in the region Marche (central Italy), which mostly corresponds to the Province of Fermo today. The administrative entity of Marca Fermana dates back to the tenth century and it is considered the original nucleus of Marche region. The ancient origins, the charm and variety of the landscape (sea, hills and mountains), the preservation of the customs and crafts and the cultural heritage make the area a unique and beautiful place for tourists.

History and culture

The territory of the Marca Fermana was originally inhabited by the Picenes, of which there are few remains. The first historical evidence of the city of Fermo dates back to the VIII-IX century BC, and it has proto-Etruscan origin. The creation of the administrative entity “Marca Fermana,” subject to the jurisdiction of Fermo, is evidenced by a document of Ottone II, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, dating back to 983 AD.

The area of the Marca Fermana gained the Roman citizenship thanks to its participation in some wars in support of Rome. The link with Rome, the passage and the invasion of various foreign peoples and, last but not least, the strong presence of the Church, influenced the architectural styles of the city, the local customs and traditions and the dialect, used a lot nowadays.

For these reasons the whole area of ​​the Marca has a great cultural, artistic and architectural heritage. There are lots of palaces and churches, well preserved and rich in paintings, sculptures and ancient texts of great value. The shape of the area, however, modified the development of the towns, the customs and traditions, and originated several different local dialects.

Fermo, the territory and the population

Marca Fermana covers approximately 800 km2, (with a population of approximately 175,000 inhabitants) and grows mainly on the east-west, from the Adriatic Sea to the Sibillini mountains, shared with the province of Ascoli Piceno. It is bordered on the north, towards the Province of Macerata, from the river Tenna, by the river Ete Morto and the last stretch of the river Chienti, and on the south, towards the Province of Ascoli Piceno, mostly from the river Aso.

Fermo, capital of the province (about 37,000 inhabitants), is the ideal starting point to explore the hinterland. The city, rich in history and culture, is also an important agricultural, industrial and commercial centre. Situated on the top of a hill overlooking the sea, Fermo has got a historic area, the higher of medieval origins, and a new one. We can remark the importance of the Cathedral (Duomo), dedicated to the Assumption in heaven, near the Diocesan Museum, the magnificent Piazza del Popolo, and Palazzo dei Priori, now seat of the Pinacoteca Civica and location of permanent and temporary exhibitions. Of great historical interest are the Roman cisterns, built to hold the water for the supply of the town at the time of the empire. Remarkable is also the Aquila Theatre, one of the largest and most important of the Marche, Corso Cefalonia and Corso Cavour, which include the most beautiful and prestigious buildings in the city.

Customs and traditions have taken shape over many centuries of history that characterize the Marca. The division of the population in towns of feudal law is still visible through the handicraft production, the specific food and wine, the differentiation of the dialects and folk beliefs that survive in various festivals and historical reconstructions of the towns.


The local economy relies mainly on tourism (with a dense network of hospitality in hotel, bed and breakfast, pizzerias, restaurants, taverns and services), handcraft and industry (mainly footwear and hats) and on agriculture, with a high prevalence, in all sectors, of small and medium enterprises.

The quality of life is undoubtedly good: the strong presence of vegetation, the widespread presence of typical wine and food of a high quality, the absence of mega-industrial centers and the lack of crime in the area, make the area of Marca Fermana a great place to enjoy and a valuable travel destination for tourists.

The hinterland of Fermo is dotted with farmhouses where you can taste many typical products of the Marche declined according to the canons of the place and of gastronomic delights, a paradise for gourmets but also walkers and lovers of hiking, biking and horse riding.

Weather and road conditions

The climate is typically the warm temperate Mediterranean one, generally mild but also highly variable depending on the altitude. The average temperature in January, the coldest month, is +5.2 ° C, and in August, the warmest month, is 23.5 ° C. The average annual rainfall exceeds 1,100 mm, and is usually distributed in a span of 98 days, reaching the relative minimum in summer, the peak in autumn and a secondary maximum during the spring. Moving inland and towards the mountains the average temperatures go down with big day-night ranges in all the seasons.

The main artery to and from the Marca Fermana, is the A14, which runs in the north-south direction, with the three tollbooths of Porto Sant ‘Elpidio, Porto San Giorgio and Pedaso. The structure of the hilly territory did not allow the construction of major roads, but at the same time has enabled the creation of a dense network of minor road routes for the capillary connection between the towns. Going around the territory of Marca Fermana usually requires little more than a hour in the east-west direction and about half an hour from north to south. Quite often, in late spring, the swimmers on the beach can view the snow-covered mountains, accessible by car or public transport in just over a hour.