|• THE MARCHE TRAVEL GUIDE|
|- A first overview|
|- City of art and culture|
|- Rural tourism and touring|
|- The Marche and the sea|
|- Wine and Food in the Marche|
|- Marche - uncontaminated nature|
|- Marche - Sport and leisure|
|- Thermal Baths and Wellness|
|- Romantic Marche|
|- The Artisan Marche|
|- The Marche region in blue|
|- Marche Fortresses and castles|
|- MARCHE for young people|
|- Marche for families|
|- The Marche and wellness|
|- The Green Marches|
|- The Archaeological Marche|
|- Medieval festivals / historical reenactments in the Marche|
A region so rich in history as The Marche could not be without the evidence of past civilizations that denote the antiquity of this region and have great importance. Archaeology is indeed relevant in the panorama of The Marche’s cultural landscape.
Starting from the prehistory of The Marche, there has been some evidence of this period preserved mainly in the Museo Speleopaleontologico ed Archeologico [Speleological and Archaeological Museum] in Genga (AN), also famous for the stunning Frasassi Caves. In the exhibition space, housed in the old monastery of the Abbazia di San Vittore [Abbey of Saint Victor], there are areas of palaeontology, geology, archaeology and speleology. The most important is the ichthyosaur that lived in the Late Jurassic, the so-called “Ichthyosaurus of Genga,” found near Camponocecchio in 1976 during the construction of a tunnel along the S.S. 76; it is the largest animal that lived in the marine environment which dominated the current area of the Umbria-Marche region during the late Jurassic Period, about 150 million years ago. The rich archaeological section also houses the precious urns from the necropolis of Pianello di Genga, prehistoric, Piceno, and Gallic finds and a skull, the oldest human artefact found in Le Marche. Other fossils, paleontological material, stratigraphic sections and the skeleton of a brown bear, meticulously reconstructed, complete the visit.
The geo-paleontological section of the Museo Civico “Brancaleoni” in Piobbico (PU) and its corresponding library, are rich in prehistoric remains. The collections of Jurassic fossils from Monte Nerone, dating back a hundred and eighty million years, are presented and framed in their chronostratigraphic succession. The speleological section consists of three rooms: in particular, in the last room a specimen of Ursus spelaeus (cave bear) was reconstructed; a huge animal whose weight could reach 9 to 10 quintals. The museum highlights from the geological point of view the area of Monte Nerone, featuring the geo-paleontological section both as a study of terrain observations, and as a starting point of curiosity to visit the area and the rocks that make up the survey. The Museo Civico Brancaleoni annually sponsors the “Domenico Rinaldini” paleontological school for amateurs and secondary school students.
Also in the Province of Pesaro, the Museo Geo Territoriale of Cantiano (PU), which is part of the Complesso di Sant’Agostino [Complex of Saint Augustine], shows a didactic presentation and examples of the birth and development stages of planet Earth, beginning the visit with the stratigraphic sequence of the Umbrian-Marche area, and it is closely linked to the Museo Archeologico e della Via Flaminia “Giulio Cesare Corsi” [“Giulio Cesare Corsi” Archaeological and Via Flaminia]. This exhibition space for the archaeology enthusiast presents finds recovered by him and is divided into four sections: prehistoric, protohistoric, Roman and medieval.
In the Fermano area, in Montefalcone Appennino (FM), the Museo dei Fossili e di Storia Naturale [Museum of Fossils and of Natural History] is located in some parts of Palazzo Felici and is divided into several sections. In particular, in the section on local fossils, there are about twelve hundred seventy pieces on display, which testify to the characteristics of marine environments during the later Pliocene Era. The exhibition of fossils, from around the world, is interesting for the presence of particular pieces, such as parts of the skeleton of a cave bear from the Pyrenees, mammoth tusks from the North Sea, fish fossils and a dinosaur egg from China.
In the province of Ascoli Piceno, in the Musei della Cartiera Papale [Museums of the Papal Paper Mill], the important naturalistic and technical-scientific collections are kept, some including fossil-mineral, geology and palaeontology collections. In particular, the collection of Antonio Orsini, a pharmacist and scholar who collected tens of thousands of fossils, many of which are sea shells, terrestrial and freshwater. This museum constitutes a scientific heritage of great interest for the natural sciences in the region.
Also in the province of Macerata, in the capital, the Museo di Storia Naturale [Museum of Natural History], divided into various sections, has a rich section dedicated to palaeontology: among the numerous fossils from the Macerata area, fossilized flora finds and a large amount of invertebrates should be noted.
Browsing through the various eras, in The Marche, there are interesting necropolises, embellished by impressive and rich sets of burial tombs, dating back to the Piceno Era and identified, in particular, in Pesarese at Novilara, in Anconetano at Numana and Fabriano, in Maceratese at Matelica and Pitino and Fermano at Belmonte Piceno.
In the different provinces of the territory, seven archaeological parks have been established that value the Roman era of these important towns and garrisons: Forum Sempronii, in San Martino del Piano (Fossombrone) in the province of Pesaro and Urbino, Sentinum south of Sassoferrato and Suasa Senonum in Castelleone di Suasa in the province of Ancona, Septempeda in San Severino Marche and Urbs Salvia in Urbisaglia in the province of Macerata, Falerius Picenus in Piane, two kilometres from present Falerone in the province of Fermo, Cupra Marittima to the north of the town of Cupra Marittima in the province of Ascoli Piceno. Alongside these major archaeological parks there are also museums that jealously protect the relics of distant civilizations and different ages.
The Marche Region has made a video with miniclips dedicated to the Greek presence in Le Marche, archaeological parks, the Roman roads Flaminia and Salaria, the Bronzes of Cartoceto and the Arch of Trajan visible from the door of the museums: http://musei.cultura.marche.it.
Ancona - after being home to an appropriation of the Bronze Age and then an important Piceno centre, around 390 BC - received a colony of exiles from Syracuse, coexisting with the Piceni, began a thriving emporium turned to trade with the East. These historical events are witnessed by the many finds kept in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche [National Archaeological Museum of The Marche], or MANM, in Ancona, a synthesis of historical and archaeological knowledge of the The Marche region, from the earliest prehistoric times to the beginning of Romanization, exclusively documented by finds from excavations. Regarding the Piceno Civilization, in particular, the exhibition spaces retain the richest and most prestigious existing collection. The Museum was established in 1860 as the Archaeological Cabinet of the Regional Commission of Monuments and, thereafter, remained inextricably linked to the activities of the Superintendant for Archaeological Heritage of The Marche. In 1906 it became a National Museum by Royal Charter, based at the former Convent of the Scalzi, where the new wing of the museum now stands. The regional capital is also famous for a monument of great historical importance: the Arch of Trajan, which certainly represents one of the most valuable monumental witnesses to Roman The Marche. Very elegant, it was erected by the senate and people of Rome in 100-116 AD by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus Syrian in Turkish marble (quarried on the island of Marmara) in honour of the emperor who had been expanding, at his own expense, the city’s port, improving the docks and fortifications.
Nearby Numana, ancient Piceno port, maintained important relations with the Greek civilization and boasts an important state museum, also known for princely funereal objects from the Piceno Era: the Antiquarium Statale di Numana [State Antiquarium of Numana], housed in a building owned by the municipal administration, that was established and opened in 1974. Currently under renovation, a preliminary sampling of materials from the tomb of Picena Princess Sirolo (late sixth century BC) is shown: the circular monumental tomb had very rich objects, whose materials are still being recovered, with two wagons of different types (a chariot and a horse-drawn carriage) recovered and restored.
Between the fourth and third centuries BC The Marche-central to the Esino river was occupied by Celtic tribes of Senone Gauls; the major settlements of these people – who left splendid pieces of jewellery, displayed in the National Archaeological Museum of The Marche in Ancona – were recorded in Arcevia, Senigallia, Osimo and Filottrano.
Right in Arcevia is the Museo Archeologico Statale [State Archaeological Museum], founded in 1996 thanks to the joint efforts of the Archaeological Superintendant for The Marche and the municipal administration. The museum is located in restored and modernized premises, adjacent to the Cloister of San Francesco. The structure has the function of a museum district, with an explanatory-didactic apparatus which also makes use of audiovisual media and multimedia, bringing together material from the municipal area relevant to different ages and cultural facies, from prehistory until the beginning of the Roman period. There is a sampling of material from the Palaeolithic sites of Ponte di Pietra and Nidastore, the Eneolithic fortified village of Conelle, from settlement of Cava Giacometti, from the late Neolithic to the arrival of the Bronze Age, from the late Bronze age settlement of Monte Guardia. Highlights include bronzes and ceramics imported by the Etruscans from the Gallic necropolis of Montefortino, where precious jewellery, statues and votive sets from tombs and internments were found.
In the area of Ancona, do not miss the Parco Archeologico di Sentinum [Sentinum Archaeological Park] in Sassoferrato (AN), with the currently visible remains of the Roman town of Sentinum, which constitute only a small portion of ancient urban extension. Here it is possible to visit an impressive public building for thermal use, from the late Republican period, a building used as a foundry and the remains of a large suburban complex from the Imperial era dating back to the first century AD.
Connected to the park and just as interesting is the Museo Archeologico Sentinate [Sentinate Archaeological Museum] in Sassoferrato (AN) in a renovated setting within the structure of the fourteenth century Palazzo dei Priori, which is located to offer the visitor a very beautiful setting with a reconstructed model of the Battle of Sentinum.
The Parco Archeologico Città Romana di Suasa [Roman City of Suasa Archaeological Park] in Castelleone di Suasa (AN) is famous; there you can visit the Forum mall with shops and workshops, two burial grounds, the amphitheatre built in the late first century BC, private dwellings and especially the rich patrician Domus dei Coiedii, with prestigious settings of magnificent mosaics with mythological, floral and geometric scenes. This site is of particular relevance, in fact, the Roman municipium of Suasa stood along the diverticulum of the Via Flaminia leading from Vicus Cales (Cagli) in Sena Gallica (Senigallia) and was an important centre of the Valle del Cesano.
This park also has a valuable Museo Civico Archeologico "A. Casagrande" a Castelleone di Suasa (AN) [“A. Casagrande” Archaeological Museum] in Castelleone di Suasa (AN) located in the centre of the country. This permanent exhibition is located in the splendid setting of the sixteenth century Palazzo della Rovere. The visit is divided into five sections, and presents the results of the excavations that have occurred from 1987 until now in the urban area of Suasa, with particular regard to the materials from the area housing the large domus dei Coiedii.
The prestigious medieval city of Jesi (AN) houses the Museo Archeologico e del territorio [Museum of Archaeology and of the Land] at the new complex of San Floriano, located in an old building from the eighteenth century, the former Church of San Floriano. The new museum collection, regarding the district of the middle of the Esino valley, is located in the heart of the city's historical centre, where the forum of ancient Roman colony of Aesis opened. The archaeological finds, mostly of the state, are conveniently divided into three sections of the museum: prehistory, protohistory and the Roman era. In Osimo (AN), however, is the Museo Civico (Sezione archeologica) e Lapidario Comunale [City Museum (Archaeological section) and Municipal Lapidarium], with objects directly associated with the eponymous Roman municipality. In this space, some artefacts of great scientific interest are displayed, from private collections, loaned to the Museum, like biting horses with stylized figures of horses, an Etruscan invoice (9th century B.C.), or the boat-shaped fibula ending in a human protome (7th century B.C.). The Lapidarium connected to the museum, includes inscriptions, headless statues, reliefs and architectural friezes, and funerary steles dating from different eras.
Even Senigallia (AN) offers an interesting archaeological environment with the Area archeologica e Museo “La Fenice” [“La Fenice” Archaeological Area and Museum]. During the foundation works of the New Theatre "La Fenice", in 1989, there were important Roman finds, then the object of systematic excavations.The museum, which parallels the Roman structures discovered in recent excavations, tells the story of the ancient town of Senigallia and the region descends into the reality of an urban excavation and fits construction, in a non-constructed space, but obtained in the negative, with a subtraction of land from the living fabric of the city.
Many Roman traces have been found through history, after the battle of Sentinum, fought in 295 B.C. between Gauls and Samnites against the Romans and Piceno, in the area in between Camerino and Sassoferrato – the ancient Sentinum – the Romans occupied the Gallic territory and they wanted to highlight the cultural specificity, calling it ager gallicus. Over the next two centuries, they penetrated the rest of the region and built the consular road Flaminia linking Rome with Fano, and the Via Salaria, already a Piceno road, which from Porto d’Ascoli secured Adriatic Sea salt for the Romans.
Records of Roman colonies and municipalities are still visible in the grid of some cities like Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia, Jesi and Ascoli Piceno for their conformation and their urban grid.
The journey through ancient The Marche continues with the province of Pesaro-Urbino, a particularly rich area; in fact, the Parco Archeologico di Forum Sempronii [Forum Semprionii Archaeological Park] is found in Fossombrone (PU), which contains the remains of the Roman city called Forum Sempronii. Founded in the second century BC, the area became a municipium in the mid-first century B.C. and was for many decades the most important centre of the mid-Metauro valley, until it was abandoned in the barbaric period. The remains of private and public buildings and a bath complex are still visible. This park is connected to the Museo Civico Archeologico Augusto Vernarecci [Augusto Vernarecci Civic Archaeological Museum], where they found artefacts unearthed during the excavations. This exhibition was created in 1901 by the Fossombrone scholar, which it is called today. Since its origin it was characterized by a prevalence of archaeological materials collected by Vernarecci himself from the same area of Forum Sempronii, the Roman city that gave rise to the present Fossombrone.
Also in this area, of particular interest is the equestrian group found in Cartoceto di Pergola and bronze sculpture attributed to Lysippus found in the waters off Fano and currently on display at the Getty Museum in Malibu, California. The Museo dei Bronzi Dorati [Museum of Gilded Bronzes] in Pergola (PU) is fascinating, including an art-historical section and an archaeological section, which displays the Gilded Bronzes from Cartoceto di Pergola, the only group of gilded bronze in the world come of age Roman times to the present day and discovered accidentally in 1946 in the village that gave its name.
Also in the north of The Marche, you can visit the Museo del Lapidario di Urbino [Lapidary Museum of Urbino], on the ground floor of the Palazzo Ducale. This space contains a rich collection of inscriptions consisting of two parts: the former involves the collection ordered by R. Fabretti (1619-1700) with inscriptions from Rome (urns decorated in relief, figures and plates and recorded a collection of brick stamps), the latter, collected by Cardinal G. F. Stoppani, preserves and statuary epigraphic material (including marble bases, sepulchral inscriptions, statues and reliefs).
In Fano (PU), however, there is the Museo Civico e Pinacoteca del Palazzo Malatestiano [Museum and Art Gallery of Palazzo Malatesta] established in 1898 and set up in the northeast wing of the Malatesta Palace, built by Pandolfo III between 1413 and 1421. The museum documents the prehistoric settlement of the territory of Fano and the civilizations of the colony and the Roman city. The Arch of Augustus in Fano (PU) is also famous, the Roman gate to the city where the ancient Via Flaminia, at the city walls, became part of the city’s decumanus maximus, in this way, marking its beginning. It has always been a symbol of the city.
In Acqualagna (PU), there is the Antiquarium Pitinum Mergens, a municipal museum opened in 2002, housed in the old town hall of the city, in a building dating probably from the sixteenth century. The uniqueness of this museum is that it offers visitors the opportunity to know in detail the structure, functions and materials typical of a Roman farm between the Republican period and the first century of the empire.
It also stresses the fundamental role played by the Via Flaminia in the military conquest and Romanization of the area. In fact, right in Acqualagna a tunnel rises 38.3 metres, which the ancients called petra pertusa or forulus, hence the name Furlo tunnel. This was excavated in its narrowest point by Vespasian in 77 AD to allow the crossing of the Apennines from the Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic.
Roman remains are also found in Cagli (PU), in the Museo Archeologico e della via Flaminia [Museum of Archaeology and of the Via Flaminia] recently inaugurated, is located on the premises on the ground floor of the Palazzo Comunale di Cagli, and specially restored. In the collection, there are materials that have been kept for some time by the Municipality: amphorae from the 2nd century A.D., a female head, a mosaic, bricks and marble capital from the 4th century A.D., all of which relate to the Roman resort of Cale. Not far from the museum, the Ponte Mallio is located, whose name comes from a false inscription quoted where the character M. Allius was cited. The structure, built in the early republican era, presents itself as one of Rome’s most impressive works of those existing along the Via Flaminia.
Always connected to the Roman ruins in the area is to visit in Cantiano, the Ponte Grosso, one of the best preserved and most significant bridges of the Via Flaminia, a massive structure with two arches.
Also in the same province, in Casteldelci (PU), there is the Casa-museo [House-museum], which takes its name from the country. Housed in a historic home located in the centre of Casteldelci, the Museum houses a collection of objects and finds of various types, ranging from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. The museum has been rebuilt in a suggestive way the central part of the Roman necropolis of Pescaia, as it appeared when discovered, with the ustrinum – the place where they burned the bodies of the dead for cremation – and the graves of tiles 3 and 5, which floated downstream in a landslide in January 1997. The House-Museum is also home to Library of the writers of Montefeltro, which houses the most precious manuscripts of the Municipal Archives.
Even Macerata Feltria (PU) has numerous archaeological finds in the Museo Civico Paleontologico [City Paleontological Museum], established in 1995, located in the Palazzo del Podesta (12th century) and the Torre Civica. The museum houses, in addition to an extensive archaeological collection, a large paleontological collection, donated by Arnaldo and Gino Rinaldi.
In the provincial capital, in Pesaro, is the famous Museo Archeologico Oliveriano [Oliveriano Archaeological Museum], which takes its name from the Annibale degli Abbati Olivieri Giordani (1708 - 1789), a scholar and careful collector of antiquities from Pesaro, who gave the city, together with a considerable library, a significant amount of archaeological and numismatic material, and part of his income to continue to support the museum and library.
The Museo Archeologico “Tifernum Mataurense” [“Tifernum Mataurense” Archaeological Museum] in Sant'Angelo in Vado (PU) is a collection of ancient Roman inscriptions, and everyday objects donated by private citizens. In an area adjacent to the city, the Roman town of Tifernum Mataurense is located, documented by a large group of Roman inscriptions.
In San Lorenzo in Campo (PU) the Museo Archeologico del Territorio [Territorial Archaeological Museum] stands, in brand new exhibition area reopened in December 2007, dedicated to the history of the of the Cesano valley, its geomorphologic evolution, human settlement from prehistoric to Roman times, until the early Middle Ages and the rise of the Abbey. The exhibition is simple and easy to walk-through and at the same time rigorous in terms of content, which is suitable for an audience of non-specialist adults and students and knows how to communicate to all the cultural value of the collections and the territory.
In the rich area of Pesaro, it is also worth mentioning the Centro di Documentazione Archeologica a Novilara [Centre for Archaeological Documentation in Novilara], opened in 1997 by the city of Pesaro and the local district, in collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendent of The Marche and the University of Bologna Department of Archaeology. The Centre was designed and built with a view to being a diffuse museum, presenting itself as a pole of attraction and solicitation of local Novilara knowledge in its archaeological, historical, architectural, environmental and natural aspects.
Moving to the south of the region, in San Severino Marche (MC), it is worth visiting the Parco Archeologico di Settempeda [Archaeological Park of Settempeda], corresponding to the Roman city, on the left side of the Potenza river, situated a short distance from the current town and destroyed during the barbarian invasions. Thanks to the excavations a large bathhouse is visible, consisting of a series of rooms arranged around a central courtyard and an artisan complex with kilns for the production of ceramics. Connected to the park and named after the renowned scholar Giuseppe Moretti is the Archaeological Museum in San Severino Marche (MC): the exhibition includes a prehistoric section, which contains stone tools and pottery from the Pascucci collection, and a Piceno section, where tombs are exhibited from the Necropolis of Pitino.
Also in the same area, in Urbisaglia (MC), there is the Parco Archeologico di Urbs Salvia [Archaeological Park of Urbs Salvia], which includes the area of the Roman colony of Urbs Salvia, which developed in the Augustan era according to a unified development plan. The major monumental buildings and architectonic works built in this phase are still legible: you can visit the Roman cistern, the auditorium of the theatre (1st century A.D.), The stage building and proscenium, decorated with Pompeian style paintings, the paved terraces, the Augustan temple of the Salus Augusta with valuable frescoes are still visible. During the summer, theatre seasons are hosted in the province of Macerata at the Roman Amphitheatre (1st century A.D.) of ancient “Urbs Salvia”, currently Urbisaglia, where there are both ancient comedies of Plautus and Greek tragedies.
Also in this area, you can visit the Museo Archeologico Statale di Urbisaglia [State Archaeological Museum of Urbisaglia], opened in 1996, offers a rich display of materials from excavations in the Roman town of Urbs Salvia, a program aimed to explore the themes of the Romanization of the site. On the ground floor, a virtual representation of the city provides a practical approach with the grandiose monuments that can be visited in the Archaeological Park; a whole room is devoted to the Augustan Temple of the Salus Augusta, whereas another one has a rare marble omphalos on view. Upstairs are the portraits found in cryptoporticus, the frescoes on the walls, the statues from the theatre and monumental inscriptions from the amphitheatre that provide a tangible demonstration of the wealth of the city in the early Imperial era. On display are numismatic and epigraphic collections and a vast sampling of common ceramics. Of special importance are two small fragments of the Consular and Triumphal Fasti, among the few engraved on stone known outside Rome.
In the province of Macerata, the Museo Archeologico Statale [State Archaeological Museum] of Cingoli (MC): open to the public since 1994 and enlarged in 1997, the museum was created around a core group exhibition that presented the results of the excavations of Moscosi Plan (Piano di Fonte Marcosa) and had an almost continuous attendance from the Middle Bronze Age until the Roman era.
The exhibition now occupies part of the sixteenth century Palazzo Raffaelli, and is organized in chronological order: Palaeolithic, Neolithic-Eneolithic-Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and one is dedicated to the establishment of Piano di Fonte Marcosa.
There are also many archaeological museums in the province of Macerata, including the Archaeological Museum in Camerino (MC), located in the convent of San Domenico. The collection of archaeological material includes various architectural fragments and inscriptions, including one from 210 A.D. dedicated to Septimius Severus, and a polychrome mosaic floor from the second century A.D. In a few cases, there are collections of ceramics, bronzes and coins of different ages and backgrounds. In Matelica (MC), the Archaeological Museum is housed in Palazzo Finaguerra, a historical building once belonging to the homonymous Matelica family, located near the monumental complex of San Francesco. The museum consists of archaeological finds from Matelica and found the area, mainly during recent excavations.
In Muccia, a small town in the Macerata countryside, there is the Museo Archeologico “Muccia: antico crocevia dell’Appennino” [“Muccia: ancient crossroads of the Apennines” Archaeological Museum]. From a joint initiative between the Archaeological Superintendant of The Marche, “La Sapienza” University in Rome and the University of Pisa, in the years 2001-2003 archaeological investigation has taken place in Maddalena di Muccia with the purpose to enter data from the first excavations, conducted by Delia Lollini in the 1960s, in a broader context of research aimed at understanding the dynamics of the inhabited area. The desire to make the results of investigations public has led to display, inside the former church of Santa Maria Maddalena, of a permanent exhibition which displays, in addition to the recovered material, the phases of excavation and major findings.
The Mostra Archeologica Permanente “Divi & Dei” [Permanent Archaeological Exhibition “The Divine & the Gods”], displayed in Porto Recanati (MC) that exhibits white marble statues from the archaeology of the Roman city of Potentia and represents a first step towards a permanent exhibition of this city.
The passion for archaeology in The Marche is also demonstrated with the Laboratorio di restauro archeologico e paleontologico [Laboratory of Archaeological and paleontological restoration] in Serravalle di Chienti (MC). Under an agreement between the University of Camerino, the municipality of Serravalle and the Superintendent for Archaeological Heritage of The Marche, with the goal of researching and promoting the archaeological and paleontological heritage of the municipality of Serravalle, the Laboratory has made permanent restoration of exhibition of the archaeological and paleontological heritage in many localities in the area.
Very well known, in Tolentino (MC) is the Museo Archeologico dell’Abbazia di Santa Maria di Chiaravalle di Fiastra [Archaeological Museum of the Abbey of Santa Maria of Chiaravalle di Fiastra], collecting inscriptions, portraits, statues and fragments of amphorae belonging to different periods. In the same city, the Museo Civico Archeologico “A. Gentiloni Silverj” [“A. Gentiloni Silverj” Museum of Archaeology] stands, as well: the archaeological collection consists of the collection left to the Town of Tolentino by Count Aristide Gentiloni Silverj, including a large number of finds of exceptional importance and quality.
Always of high historical and artistic importance is the Archaeological Museum of Treia (MC), housed at the Convent of San Francesco, devoted primarily to material from the Roman town of Trea, largely found during excavations directed towards the end of the eighteenth century by Fortunato Benigni from Treia. Inside many fragments of sculpture, architectural elements and inscriptions which document various historical and cultural contexts are preserved, from the Piceno to the Roman era, not to mention the close link the city with the East and in particular Egypt, also became evident by finds at the Santuario del SS. Crocifisso [Shrine of the Holy Crucifix].
In the province of Fermo, it is possible to visit the Parco Archeologico di Falerius Picenus [Archaeological Park of Falerius Picenus] in Falerone (FM), formed mainly from the urban area of the ancient city from which it takes its name. You can also visit a monumental building of inestimable historical and artistic value that stands isolated in the middle: this is one of the best preserved Roman theatres in The Marche, in which you can still see the first and second order of the steps and the proscenium with circular and rectangular niches. Both sites are inserted into an archaeological park with the related Museo Archeologico Antiquarium “P. Bonvicini” [“P. Bonvicini” Museum of Archaeology and Antiquarium]. (For further information: www.amatmarche.net).
According to Festo, the Piceno were so named because the Sabines who migrated to Ausculum, today Ascoli, had as a symbol a woodpecker, picus, a bird sacred to Mars, perched along the way on their banner: this would have given the name of Piceni or Picentes.
The discovery of numerous cemeteries scattered between the Foglia river in the north and south of Pescara in Abruzzo, has revealed the existence, between the eighth and first centuries BC, of a cultural facies which was given the name of the Piceno civilization, the protagonist of the historical events of Central Italy until the final conquest of the territories by the Romans. The Archaeological Park is right in these areas, in Cupramarittima (AP), which preserves relics from the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic. Its history in the Piceno period is particularly important in relation to the shrine dedicated to the goddess Cupra: rich necropoli dating from the sixth century B.C. document an extremely articulate reality, at the time of settlement. The Archaeological Museum of the Territory of Cupra Marittima (AP) shows the archaeological materials from the area, recovered through excavations conducted by the Superintendent for Archaeological Heritage of The Marche and investigates surface activities conducted by local Archeoclub.
In the provincial capital, Ascoli Piceno, you can visit the rich Museo statale Archeologico di Ascoli Piceno [State Archaeological Museum], housed in the Palazzo Panichi, presenting an overview of the findings of the territory of Ascoli, incorporating both the rich collection of Ascoli, created in 1865 on the basis of the eighteenth-century donation of the Bishop Mazzoni, and finds from recent excavations. The criterion of exposure is for reliable archaeological complexes, so as to reflect the uniqueness of southern Piceno. The museum is currently divided into three sections: Prehistory (from the Palaeolithic to the entire Bronze Age), Protohistory, centred on the early Piceno history to Romanization and the Roman section, currently organized in a lapidarium, some rooms in the area and an area dedicated to open excavations in the museum itself. Of particular interest among the Piceno materials are those coming from the necropolis of Salino and Monteprandone; for the Roman times, the polychrome mosaic with two-faced herm from the Palace of Justice and the portrait of Trajan. Ascoli Piceno still retains rich Roman remains, including the bridge from the 1st century A.D., Porta Solestà in Ascoli Piceno, built by the Romans to defend their city expanding north and Porta Gemina, also known as Porta Binata and is one of the most important old structures in the city.
In the Piceno territories, remember the Museo Archeologico Comunale [Municipal Archaeological Museum] in Carassai (AP), whose original nucleus dates back to the 1950s and 1960s and is the work of Monsignor L. Zega, who collected materials that sporadically surfaced (mostly pottery fragments, coins, bricks) from accidental discoveries. In the 1980s, the small collection was enriched with other archaeological materials that surfaces. The museum now has about 400 artefacts, more than half of which are Roman, with the presence of a small number of pre-protohistoric and pre-Roman materials.
In Cossignano (AP), the Antiquarium Comunale “N. Pansoni” [“N. Pansoni” Municipal Antiquarium] is based. The core of the collection dates back to the 1920s and comes from the private collection of Niccola Pansoni, made up of finds from archaeological excavations conducted in the district of Fiorano maybe in 1924. Later, the collection was enhanced with findings from other small donations and erratic materials or surface finds. At present the Cossignano Antiquarium contains about 500 archaeological finds – most of which date back to the Piceno civilization – with the presence of pre-protohistoric and Roman materials.
In Offida (AP), the Museo Archeologico “Guglielmo Allevi” [“Guglielmo Allevi” Archaeological Museum], located in the Palazzo Pagnanelli, is home to the large archaeological collection of the Marchese Guglielmo Allevi (Offida 1834-1896). The collection includes artefacts dating back to different periods: from the Palaeolithic age to the Lombard era. The Piceno section is significant: it presents, organized by type, a number of ceramic and metal artefacts from tombs.
In the province of Ascoli Piceno is the Museo Civico Archeologico “C. Cellini” [“C. Cellini” Archaeological Museum] in Ripatransone (AP) dating back to 1877 when the Reverend Caesar Cellini (1832-1903) donated his extensive collection of archaeological finds to the city, the other is the Museo delle Anfore “G. Perotti” [“G. Perotti” Amphorae Museum] in San Benedetto Del Tronto (AP), reopened in 2003 at the new location, a mixed reality, which was formed since the 1980s.
In the province of Fermo are the three main archaeological museums with a local character: the Archaeological Museum in Falerone (FM), which maintains a collection formed in 1777, expanded in later centuries with artefacts unearthed from the site of the ancient Falerio Picenus (today the village of Piane di Falerone); the Museo Archeologico sezione picena “Fermo: dai Villanoviani ai Piceni” [Archaeological Museum Piceno section “Still: from Villanovans to Piceni”] in Fermo, whose foundation dates from the late nineteenth century and originates from the merger of three major collections from the city, a small collection donated by the architect Fermano G.B. Carducci, a third collection – a real archaeological collection – formed by the De Minicis brothers and only partially purchased by the city of Fermo, and finally, the Archaeological Museum of Monterubbiano (FM) founded in 1905, holds just a little less than a thousand exhibits (including those inside the deposit) – consisting mainly of funereal artefacts from the Piceno Civilization and Roman era – from the municipal area.
The Marche region, so rich in archaeological sites, has thus a network of museums related to these and other venues of a city that protect and promote the archeology of the region. It is important to remember that, both at the regional level and by the individual provinces have been available for years, thanks to new technologies and network systems, the information to help visitors in finding useful tips for visits to museums and archaeological areas.
Among these, an example is the province of Pesaro and Urbino, which has created a system that aims to enhance all archaeological museums of interest so as to act in a coordinated manner by strengthening the individual reality (www.archeoprovincia.it). From the circuit’s web pages it is possible to draw a lot of information on the archaeological heritage, ranging from the paths of interest to the organizational structure of the Superintendent. Educational projects, events and training courses for those who intend to specialize in the field are shown, unfortunately these last chapters have not been updated and the “news” reported on the site dates back to 2002. Interesting, however, is the opportunity to participate in online forums and subscribe to the newsletter. The pages are very practical regarding the museums: the browser may indeed choose to see the generic page with opening hours and some notes on the works or dissect the topic by reading the in-depth knowledge page of data and rich artistic history.
Recently entered in the network are the state archaeological museums in The Marche (www.archeomarche.it), the pages dedicated to the Museo Nazionale Archeologico delle Marche [National Archaeological Museum of Le Marche], Antiquarium di Numana [Numana Antiquarium], the Museo Archeologico di Ascoli Piceno [Archaeological Museum of Ascoli Piceno], of Cingoli, Arcevia and Urbisaglia are to be pointed out. The site also includes the parks and archaeological sites and indicates conferences, exhibitions and events. In addition to nationally recognized exhibition spaces, also with regard to archaeology, The Marche is widely regarded as a diffuse museum. Throughout the region, there are indeed many municipal museums that preserve the memory of the past and are deeply related to the origins of the area, bringing a comprehensive overview of the ancient rulers. You can find information on all local museums and listed with a brief history, a part of the region’s website is dedicated to archaeology:
Archaeological parks in The Marche
Parco Archeologico di Sentinum
Telephone: +39 0732-9561 – +39 338 8086415
Parco Archeologico Città Romana di Suasa
Contrada Pian Volpello - Castelleone di Suasa (AN)
Telephone: +39 071 966524
Parco Archeologico di Septempeda
San Severino Marche (MC)
Telephone: +39 0733 638414 – +39 0733 638095
Parco Archeologico di Falerio Picenus
Telephone: +39 333 5816389
Parco Archeologico di Cupra Maritima
Cupra Marittima (AP)
Telephone: +39 0735 778622
State archaeological museums in The Marche
Museo dei Bronzi Dorati
Telephone: +39 0721 734090
Museo Civico Archeologico "A. Vernarecci"
Telephone: +39 0721 714650
Museo del Lapidario di Urbino
Telephone: +39 0722 2760
Museo Civico Brancaleoni
Telephone: +39 0722 986225
Sito internet: www.provincia.ps.it/comune.piobbico
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Ancona
Telephone: +39 071 202602
Antiquarium Statale di Numana
Telephone: +39 071 9331162
Museo Archeologico Statale di Arcevia
Telephone: +39 0731 9622
Museo Archeologico Statale di Cingoli
Telephone: +39 0733 603399
Museo Archeologico Statale di Urbisaglia
Telephone. +39 0733 50107
Museo di Storia Naturale
Telephone: +39 0733 256385
Museo dei Fossili e di Storia Naturale
Montefalcone Appennino (FM)
Telephone: +39 0734 79136
Museo statale Archeologico di Ascoli Piceno
Ascoli Piceno (AP)
Telephone. +39 0736 253562
Musei della Cartiera Papale
Ascoli Piceno (AP)
Telephone: +39 0736 252594
Other archaeological museums in The Marche
Antiquarium Pitinum Mergens
Telephone: +39 0721 79671
Museo Archeologico e della via Flaminia
Telephone: +39 0721 780731
Museo Archeologico e della Via Flaminia "G. C. Corsi"
Telephone: +39 0721 789934
Casa-museo di Casteldelci
Telephone: +39 0541 915423
Museo Civico e Pinacoteca del Palazzo Malatestiano
Telephone: +39 0721 834098
Museo Civico Paleontologico
Macerata Feltria (PU)
Tel. 0722.73231 – 74244
Museo Archeologico Oliveriano
Telephone: +39 0721 33344
Centro di Documentazione Archeologica
Telephone: +39 0721 286114
Museo Archeologico del Territorio
San Lorenzo in Campo (PU)
Telephone: +39 0721 76825 – 966524
Museo Archeologico "Tifernum Mataurense"
Sant’Angelo in Vado (PU)
Telephone: +39 0722 828536
Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche
Telephone: +39 071 202602
Museo Civico Archeologico "A. Casagrande"
Castelleone di Suasa (AN)
Telephone: +39 071 966524
Museo Speleopaleontologico ed Archeologico
Telephone: +39 0732 90241
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Museo Archeologico di Jesi e del territorio
Telephone: +39 0731 58419
Museo Civico (Sezione archeologica) e Lapidario Comunale
Telephone: +39 071 714694
Museo Archeologico Sentinate
Telephone: +39 0732 956231
Area archeologica e Museo “La Fenice”
Telephone: +39 071 6629348
Telephone: +39 0733 905529
Museo Civico Archeologico
Telephone: +39 0737 634711
Museo Civico Archeologico
Telephone. +39 0737 787244
Museo Archeologico “Muccia: antico crocevia dell’Appennino”
Telephone: +39 0737.646135
Mostra Archeologica Permanente "Divi & Dei”
Porto Recanati (MC)
Telephone: +39 071 7591862
Museo Archeologico "G. Moretti"
San Severino Marche (MC)
Telephone: +39 0733.6411
Laboratorio di restauro archeologico e paleontologico
Serravalle Di Chienti (MC)
Telephone: +39 0737 53121
Museo Archeologico dell’Abbazia di Santa Maria di Chiaravalle di Fiastra
Telephone: +39 0733 202122
Museo Civico Archeologico "A. Gentiloni Silverj"
Telephone: +39 0733 973349
Museo Civico Archeologico
Telephone: +39 0733.218711
Museo Archeologico Comunale
Telephone: +39 0734 919002
Antiquarium Comunale “N. Pansoni”
Telephone. +39 0735 98130
Museo Archeologico del Territorio
Cupra Marittima (AP)
Telephone: +39 0735.778561
Museo Archeologico “G. Allevi”
Telephone: +39 0736.88871
Museo Civico Archeologico "C. Cellini"
Telephone: +39 0735 99329
Museo delle Anfore “G. Perotti”
San Benedetto Del Tronto (AP)
Telephone: +39 0735 592177
Museo Civico Archeologico
Telephone: +39 0734 710115
Museo Archeologico Sezione picena “Fermo: dai Villanoviani ai Piceni”
Telephone: +39 0734.284327
Museo Civico Archeologico
Polo Culturale San Francesco
Telephone: +39 0734 59877
Via Gentile da Fabriano, 9 - 60125 Ancona, Italy
Tel. +39 071 8062316- 8062410 Fax +39 071 8062318
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