Curiosities about Sistus V
Have you ever heard the saying “better a dead man in the house than an inhabitant of the Marche region outside the door“?
The saying, particularly known in the regions of Central Italy, refers precisely to the papacy of Sistus V. The Pope chose his own fellow citizens from the Marche region tax collectors. Theirs was the task of knocking on every door of the Papal State for the tax collection.
“Water on the ropes”!
Among the most famous deeds of Pope Sistus V, there is the “Transport” of the imposing Egyptian obelisk in S. Pietro Square in Rome. During the raising of the obelisk, the Pope ordered absolute silence, on pain of death. At the most delicate moment, the ropes were about to give way and a reckless sailor from Liguria shouted “Water on the ropes!“. Therefore, the workers immediately wet the ropes, averting the tragedy. At the end of the procedure, the bells rang in celebration and the Pope pardoned the sailor.
The most glorious thought
In 1587, a Notice from Rome reported that Pope Sistus V intended to transport the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem to the new Cathedral of his “beloved homeland”, Montalto. The enterprise was of unimaginable proportions, so much so that Sistus V himself desisted from carrying out the project. It is certain that, if the Holy Sepulchre had really been transported to Montalto, the entire subsequent historical path of the small village would have been very different. A frescoed scroll in the crypt recalls the Sistine intention.
Sistus V and love for the land
In 1555, Felice Peretti, not yet ordained bishop, bought a property with adjoining land near the current Contrada Cimirano, in which he cultivated the precious grapes of the Piceno hills. To honour this memory, the Cantina Sociale Valdaso, as part of the events for the fifth centenary of the birth of Sistus V, dedicated a fine Rosso Piceno Superiore to him, as a gesture from Montalto, the Piceno and the Marche region.
The Sisto V cocktail
The citizenry of Montalto still shows a deep love towards their most illustrious fellow citizen, so much so that they created a cocktail that bears his name, the Sisto V! Ice, Aperol, Gin and grapefruit juice are expertly mixed to obtain a drink that has to be consumed in the Montalto bars, custodians of the recipe.
Baglioni dedicated a song to Sistus V
The personality of Sistus V has indisputably left an indelible mark in history, but his “tough” character has made him a controversial figure too. Even the Roman singer-songwriter Claudio Baglioni dedicated a song to him entitled “Sisto V” from his 1975 album “Sabato pomeriggio”.