Historica Park > Places

THE TOWER OF SAINT CATERVO
Foto del Torrione di San Catervo
This round tower is placed at the entry of old city; it has got battlements on top and is in the ideal position for defending the city. During the first day of the battle it was used as headquarters by the Austrian army . Nowadays the tower is the seat of Tolentino 815 Association.

THE FORMER CHURCH OF CISTERNA

Foto della Chiesa della Cisterna

The inscription in front of the church, which was dictated by prof. Giacomo Zazzaretta, reminds us that an Italian (a colonel of the Austrian army) was executed on that site because he was guilty of damaging munitions with the purpose of sparing the lives of other Italians. The inscription says: "In May 1815, when the dream of Italian independence seemed lost together with Murat's fortune, an Italian was executed here because he was guilty of damaging the army munitions so that human lives could be spared. A century after Italy was united, Tolentino reminds us of the place where merciful hands buried the unknown Italian who hid under an Austrian uniform a heart that was loyal to his mother country".

THE OSSUARY OF CANTAGALLO
Foto dell'Ossario di Cantagallo
Some merciful citizens of Pollenza gathered the mortal remains of the soldiers who had died during the battle in an ossuary on the hill of Cantagallo; later on, an imposing church - devoted to the virgin Mary - was built next to this grave. On the church fašade you can read the most important passage from the Proclamation of Rimini: "Italians, the time has come when the noble destiny of Italy must be accomplished; providence calls you to become an independent nation".

THE OSSUARY OF SALCITO
Foto dell'Ossario di Salcito
This ossuary, too, was built with the purpose of properly burying the human remains that were found on the battlefield. It shows both the strength of the battle and the christian piety of the people living in this region. In 1997 the faculty of Natural Science of Camerino University, under the guidance of prof. Franco Ugo Rollo, made a research on the human remains found in the ossuary. The results of this research were illustrated during a convention. The ossuary, which Scipione Benadduci strongly wanted, contains a marble plaque with an inscription by Mario Rivosecchi: "Ye people who walk through these fields - bend your heads and beg for peace - of the men who - in May 1815 - sacrificed their youth - to the greatness of Italy - which can freely breathe - after a century's martyrdom and glory. In May 1923 - Scipione Benadduci wanted to consecrate the fallen soldiers' bones and save them from the ravages of time - in the name of God". The ossuary of Salcito is situated not far from Benadduci house, which became both a Hospital and the Headquarters of the Austrian army on the second day of the battle. Benadduci house offers a complete view of the battlefield.

RANCIA CASTLE
Foto del Castello della Rancia
When you travel along 77 national road or along the freeway, all of sudden you can see the majestic Rancia castle rising on your right. The castle was the centre of several battles through the centuries (1377, 1406, 1432, 1815); it was also a resting place for important visitors coming to Tolentino (St. Charles Borromeus, Joan of Austria, Christine of Sweden, pope Sistus V). Since 1973 the castle has belonged to the commune of Tolentino. When you enter the castle, you can visit the city Archaeological Museum, together with the exhibition "Memories" about the Resistance Movement; you can also understand the historical relevance of the castle in our region. Several written works tell us the castle is a hiding-place for treasures to be found along the underground tunnels that were used as an escape during sieges. People claim a reservoir near the castle contains the bodies of 400 soldiers who died in the battle of 1815. At the beginning, the castle was used as a "grancia" (from the French word grance meaning haystack, storehouse), which explains the origin of its name. Later on, it was turned into a fortress and it was the centre of important historical events. Nowadays, it is used as a farm and can give lodgings to several families.

THE OSSUARY OF ROTONDO
Foto dell'Ossario del Rotondo
It is situated not far from Rancia castle, in the place where the remains of many soldiers were either burnt or buried and where prince Bandini had cypress trees planted. An inscription says: "The bones of the dead which are spread all over these fields remind Italians that it is impossible to reach greatness if the blood of the dead does not burn like a flame in the heart of the living".

CASONE

The hills of Cantagallo are situated along the road that links Tolentino to Pollenza; they were the site of violent cavalry and infantry combats; they were also the place where Murat lost his battle because of an error in strategy. It was on these hills, made of wet, tilled land, that general D'Aquino gave the unforgivable command to form the squares and so gave the enemy army the time to organize a defence and to counterattack with infantry and artillery fire. The big house called Casone can be seen between the hills of Cantagallo and Rancia castle; it was originally a patrician tower-house with a beautiful two floored porch. In the XVI century, the building became the summer residence of the Parisani family; nowadays, it is a private house. The Casone was the site of the cruellest infantry combat in the battle. It was important from the point of view of strategy because it was situated at the centre of the battlefield.

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