Montalto delle Marche
Montalto delle Marche originated in the hilly area that extends from the Adriatic coast to the Sibillini Mountains, at a distance of about 30 kilometres between sea and the mountains. The municipal area covers an area of 34.11 square kilometres.
The Town is made up of an Old Town, still graced with ancient buildings and monuments and characterised by the ancient ‘incasato’, and of the hamlets of Porchia, Patrignone e Valdaso.
Montalto was the homeland of intellectuals, prestigious ecclesiastical figures and important artists. Among others, Pope Sistus V (the “Tough Pope”) and Giuseppe Sacconi (architect and construction manager of the Vittoriano in Rome).
The territory of Porchiahas been inhabited since ancient times, as evidenced by the presence of both Picene and Roman necropolises. The origin of the name is derived from the term “Porcla“, literally ‘land raised between two furrows’.The actual origin, however, dates back to the 4th century, during the barbarian invasions.
Porchia was a medieval Castrum under the influence of the Farfa abbots. In 1291 the Ascoli pope Niccolò IV gave the castle the first form of autonomy, admitting it to the election of the podestà. Soon Porchia became part of the castles of Ascoli, as a northeastern bulwark of the city. Ascoli in turn offered military aid to it (1319-1321).
The hamlet still bears evidence of this status, with its participation at the Quintana* of Ascoli Piceno. In 1586, Sistus V elevated his city (Montalto) to a bishopric and the first bishop of Montalto was Paolo Emilio Giovannini, a native of the castle of Porchia. The brickmakers of Porchia supplied the bricks for the construction of the new cathedral.In 1866, with a royal decree, the municipality of Porchia ceased to exist and was definitively merged with Montalto delle Marche.
Located on a cliff, it is called “the little Urbino” not only because of the numerous ascents and descents but also because of its Renaissance soul of its architecture. The origin of the name refers to the Latin term Paternus (paternal). There are numerous archaeological remains dating back to the ancient Rome.
Formerly a medieval municipality, the castle was a typical fortified structure and belonged to the powerful Lords of Monte Passillo, who subsequently ceded it to the Farfa abbots. Finally,it was cededto the city of Ascoli in 1249, with which it is still linked by participating in the annual Knights’ tournament of Quintana*.
The mysterious inscription on the Porta del Borgo, which shows that it was constructed in 1262 under the reign of Manfredi, son of Frederick II, is particularly significant for the history of Patrignone. The hamlet preserves the historical structure, suggestively set in the hilly landscape, with residual gates of a defensive wall and buildings of the XV-XVII centuries.
Patrignone’s most significant era was in the XV and XVI centuries, when monuments and works of art were created. This period saw the birth of the illustrious Bonfini family, who distinguished themselves in the arts as painters, talented wood carvers and internationally-renowned scholars such as the humanist Antonio Bonfini, expert and author of the Hungarian history.
Patrignone was an autonomous municipality until the unification of Italy. In 1866, it officially became part of Montalto delle Marche.
*the Quintana is a historical re-enactment of medieval origin with an equestrian joust held in Ascoli Piceno.
The Aso valley is known as the “garden of the Marche region”. Along the Aso River and with the panoramic background of the Sibillini Mounts, hills, vineyards, orchards and woods make this valley enchanting in all seasons. It is an excellence locality for climate, traditions and quality of life. The orchards and vegetable fields are typical of the Valdaso.
The fervent city life of Montalto is born of the dedication and commitment of its citizens.The numerous initiatives undertaken required great energy and organization. Below are the active protagonists in the city’s culture, each with their own specific skills but all contributing to the common goal of the growth and enhancement of our territory.
ASSOCIATIONS OF ART, MUSIC AND TRADITIONS
The legacy left by our glorious predecessors, the love for beauty and artistic expression in all its forms have always characterized the soul of our town. Today this creativity translates, on the one hand, into an innovative tension aimed at experimentation and on the other, in the safeguarding and protection of local traditions. In fact, there are two choirs in Montaltodelle Marche, both of which have a high profile:
- “La Cordata”: a male choir that, since 1987 has dedicated itself to the study of mountain, alpine and popular song, aiming to improve itssound while maintaining the simple way of singing typical of the tradition. Over the years, this reality has distinguished itself in the professionalism, results and awards achieved. The Choir has participated in importantchoral festivals and national concerts (the concert held in the Aula Magna of the G. Verdi Conservatory in Turin is of particular importance). La Cordata has also featured in international festivals, such as that of Wolfsber in Austria and Budapest. In 1992, it received the ARCOM (Regional Associations of Marche Choirs) award as a young choir distinguishedfor its continuous commitment and constant musical growth. Since 1988, it has organized the annual “Festival of the Apennines“, during which Montalto hosts, in the magnificent setting of its Cathedral, the best Italian choirs, such as the prestigious “Coro dei Crodaioli”, the “SAT” of Trento and the “CET” of Milan. Since its foundation, the artistic direction has been entrusted to the Montaltese Maestro Patrizio Paci, author of popular melodies performed by famous choirs from Trentino Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Emilia Romagna.
- “Sancta Maria InViminatu”: mixed choir born at the end of the 1980s with the aim of animating the Eucharistic celebrations in the parish of Sancta Maria In Viminatu. In 1995, the director Marco Fazi decided to reorganise the choir by increasing it and introducing the study of popular polyphonic songs.The choir aims to improve continuously its soundwithout having to alter the simple way of singing typical of the popular-inspired song, breaking with the static format typical of these formations, by incorporating a natural and innovative flow in the body, in vibrations and in joy of choral singing. The choir has already participated in various festivals at the local-regional level andsince 2007it has organized a popular festival called “Voices from the Hills” during the Easter. The choir is currently composed of a heterogeneous but very compact group, with a popular-inspired repertoire that includes both Italian and foreign compositions.It officially made his debut in 2004 as a guest of the “La Cordata” Choir of Montalto delle Marche, with which it has collaborated since 2005 in the realization of the Christmas Festival “Capanna Sanda”. The choir has been able to forge relationships with other nearby exponentsof popular song, and also with more distant ones. It boasts, among its achievements, the participation in the “INTERNATIONAL CHORAL COMPETITION“, held in 2007 at the Novelli Theatre in Rimini, in which it won a special prize, especially awarded by the jury.
- The Town Band “Banda Città di Montalto”: was established in 1846. Several maestri and many musicians or simple enthusiasts have been trained here. Over time, it has been able to evolve and innovate, enriching the classical band repertoire with contemporary pieces, introducing, for special events, unusual instruments for a band, such as the piano. The band also keeps the ancient local traditions, such as that of performing the “Pasquella” alive: if you visit Montalto during the Christmas period, you could hear it playing in the streets of the town.
ASSOCIATIONSOF TOURISTIC AND CULTURAL PROMOTION
- CULTURAL ASSOCIATION “CITTÀ DI SISTO V”
- MONTALTESE YOUTH ASSOCIATION “MY CLAN”
- ASSOCIATION “STREGHE E FOLLETTI”
- PRO LOCO MONTALTO “TERRA SISTINA”
- PRO LOCO VALDASO “ASS. LAGO 97”
- PRO LOCO PORCHIA
- ASSOCIATION “MARCHE DIEM”
- TENNIS CLUB “IL SALICE”
- FOOTBALL CLUB MONTALTO 1979
- S.D. ATLETICO PORCHIA
- AMATEUR SPORTS ASSOCIATION TSN
- S.D. LMT LUGUGNANO MOTOCROSS TEAM
- AVIS: municipal section of the Italian blood volunteers association
- ASSOCIATION OF THE BLUE CROSS VOLUNTEERS OF MONTALTO MARCHE: municipal section