Historical Park > Communes


Several tombs dating back to the VIII and to the IV century B.C. show how the Piceni lived on the site of present Tolentino, whence Roman “Tolentinum” developed during the Age of Augustus. There aren't enough archaeological remains to allow us a detailed knowledge of that period, but the fertile soil, the river Chienti, and the road connecting the lands of the Piceni with the valley of the Tiber all explain the continuous presence of human settlements, as well as the structure of the terrace where the first nucleus rose, in an easily defensible position. Tolentino was a bishop's seat until the VI century; like many other towns and villages, it was raided by the barbarians, then it remained a village until 1099. Between 1170 and 1190, according to historical documents, the town became a commune and remained as such for the three following centuries, which were characterized by several struggles with the nearby towns of San Severino and of Camerino. Between the end of the XIV century and the beginning of the XVIII, Tolentino belonged to the Da Varano and Sforza noble families, then to the Church until the Napoleonic period began. In 1797 a treaty was signed by Napoleon and by pope Pius VI; the latter had to accept the Emperor's hard financial and territorial conditions. In 1815, the battle between Joachim Murat and the Austrian army was fought in the outskirts of the town. Murat's defeat brought Tolentino back under the Pope's authority until Italy was unified in 1861. In the last decades of the XIX century the city industrial development started, to be occasionally stopped only during the war years. Tolentino was, then, closely linked to the events that took place in Italy, from WW I to the rise of Fascism, from WW II to the short, painful period of the Resistance, when the city paid a high price both in sacrifice and in human lives, for which it was awarded a Silver Medal. We remember among the most renowned men in Tolentino: Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, the humanist Francesco Filelfo, the captain of venture Nicolò Maurizi, and the musician Nicola Vaccai.


In the history annals of Titus Livius we can read that, in 584 a.C., during the consulate of Publius Claudius and Portius Licinius, two colonies called “Pollentia” and “Pesaro” were founded in the Marca Anconetana ; Plinius, who lived in a later period, claims that Pollentini weren't very far from Tolentinati. Because of the destruction of the archives we do not know the date when the village of Monte Milone was built; but it is commonly accepted that its origins date back to the remains of ancient Pollentia; that is also confirmed by the Statute of the Commune, which also says that the people of Monte Milone were once called Pollentini and that the name of Pollentia was changed into Monte Milone in honour of the French Milone, who restored it. In 1248 Monte Milone promoted a league with the nearby communes and took part in struggles for defence and for conquest. Monte Milone first supported the Ghibellines and, after 1300, the Guelphs. The Greek cross above the five hills in the communal coat-of-arms shows that Monte Milone also took part in the Crusades. The village then lost its autonomy and was submitted to the domination and to the vicariates of the Bonaccorsi, of the Lazzarini (XIV century), of the Varano and of the Malatesta (XV century); the village took part in various and harsh struggles; finally, it was damaged by a terrible fire that was lighted by Ciappellone, who executed Sforza's orders, in August 1443. In 1815 an important phase of the battle between Joachim Murat, king of Naples, and the Austrian army took place near Monte Milone. After the proclamation of the kingdom of Italy, Monte Milone was again called Pollenza with a royal decree dated 9th October 1862.


Macerata is a place of great interest from the point of view of history, of art, of environment and of landscape; it is rich in Renaissance and baroque architecture; it is also interesting for the admirable wholeness of its historical nucleus and for its beautiful views. Even if it is believed that Macerata was founded after Roman Helvia Recina was destroyed in 408 a.C., its origins must be rightly considered as dating back to the early Middle Ages. In fact, about the second half of the X century, the first news were heard of “Terra de Maceratinis” and of “Podium Sancti Juliani”, two villages which rejected the authority of the bishop of Fermo and, around 1138, decided to become a Commune. With the passing of years, the communal lands expanded remarkably, so that in 1290 a “Studium Legum” was founded, which can be considered as the beginning of the famous University; in 1320, Pope John XXII granted Macerata the Episcopal seat, raising it to the status of a city. While it was still under the Sforza family, in 1445 Macerata surrendered to the representatives of the Holy Seat who allowed it to become the seat of the Cardinal Legates, who were already ruling over must of the region. Throughout the XVI century, the city greatly developed from the point of view of housing and of economy: we can see traces of this development in several palaces built by noble families, in the Loggia dei Mercanti and in the Governor's Palace. In 1600, the status of Macerata considerably diminished, so that it was reduced from a Legate's seat to a simple Governor's seat. After the Pope's rule was temporarily restored, in 1808 Macerata became part of the kingdom of Italy until Joachim Murat conquered it in 1814, making it his headquarters in Palazzo Torri. Even if Murat was defeated in the battle of Tolentino in 1815, he had had time to disseminate his ideas of independence, which caused the first uprising of Italian Risorgimento in 1817. The Pope's rule was restored and Macerata remained under his domination until it was annexed to the kingdom of Sardinia after the battle of Castelfidardo. Macerata largely contributed to the struggles of Italian Risorgimento, bearing heavy losses of human lives. Garibaldi formed his famous "Legione maceratese", which took part in some of the most important battles of the "hero of the two worlds".



it was built as a pagus of the roman Urbs Salvia; its name derives from the fusion of the word "hill" with a roman name, probably Murius, which was used as an adjective and referred to the owner of the place. Thanks to its easily defensible position on top of a hill, in the Middle Ages it became a refuge for a part of the population of Urbs Salvia. For several centuries it was submitted to the authority of Tolentino, which controlled the election of its mayor (podestà) and of its council (priori). Part of the city castle walls date back to the Middle Ages (XIV and XV century); they are reinforced by bastions and by a tower defending St. Rocco gate, which is the last of the ancient town gates. Among the artistic testimonies of great relief we remember the parochial church of St. Donatus, which was rebuilt by architect Giuseppe Lucatelli from Tolentino in the first decades of the XIX century. During the battle of 1815 general Saillié, Joachim Murat's aide-de-camp, was captured in Colmurano. The church of St. Donato has got a central plan; it has got a reliquary door which was made with a little wooden standard representing the Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and St. John. The standard is attributed to Nobile di Lucca, who was the founder of the painting school called “Caldarolese”. Even if there are a few differences, the iconography repeats the one of Croce standard and that of the Colfano painting having the same subject. As it is remembered in a manuscript of 700, tradition claims that the stone kept in the reliquary of the Saint Cross broke in 1513, while two children where playing, showing the internal drawing. The remarkable church of St. Roch, which in the past offered shelter to pilgrims, is situated near St. Roch gate.

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