THE VASSAL CASTLES OF ASCOLI PICENO
The historical parade is rich thanks to the presence of nine groups which represent the vassal Castles of the city of Ascoli Piceno
The historical parade is rich thanks to the presence of nine groups which represent the vassal castles of the city of Ascoli. During the Middle Age those castles, under the authority of the city, brought some silk drapes for being offered to the cathedral. If a castle wasn’t present, it could be considered as a rebel. Nowadays, castles are eleven: Arquata, Patrignone, Monsampolo del Tronto, Porchia (Luco Castle), Ripaberarda (under the city of Castignano), Castorano, Folignano, Montemonaco, Roccafluvione, Venarotta and Monte San Pietrangeli.
ACQUASANTA TERME CASTLE
Acquasanta Terme is located in the upper Tronto river valley, nestled between the Sibillini to the north and the Laga Mountains to the south, surrounded by multi-century chestnut woods, oak trees, beech trees and white fir trees.
As the name suggests, Acquasanta has sulfur springs around which spa facilities come up with free natural hot water tanks. Thermal waters have been known since ancient times for their healing properties. In the Gonfalone is represented a modern Sannitian shield, accompanied on top of the eight-piece walled and crowned crown, and in the tip of two laurel twigs and oak tied with a blue bow tied with the inscription “ACQUA SANCTA”. The coat of arms of the ancient castles, including that of Luco, are represented.
ARQUATA DEL TRONTO CASTLE
Of the origin of Arquata del Tronto there are no certain news, some scholars identify it with the ancient Surpicanum, placed between the two “Statio” of the Peutingerian Table, Ad Martis and Ad Aquas.
The first mention of Arquata dates back to the XI century. In 1255 he spontaneously gave Ascoli in exchange for wide autonomy. At present, in addition to the capital, the municipality has 12 districts, and in its territory there are two National Parks, that of the Sibillini Mountains to the north and that of the Gran Sasso Monti della Laga to the south. This characteristic is an expression of the uniqueness of this land, made of unprecedented environmental values and historical-cultural testimonies, spread in the evocative countries of the commune. Numerous artistic and historical testimonies can be admired: the medieval fortress, where the legend wants to have been inhabited by Giovanna D’Angiò of Naples, and the church of the Annunziata with a polychrome wood crucifix of the 13th century.
Located on the hills surrounding the Valletta del Tronto and originally inhabited by Piceno populations, Castorano was subjected to the Romans between 296 and 297 BC, becoming one of the station’s on the Sale route, which presumably arrived to Portum Truentum ‘Current Porto d’Ascoli.
In 1283 the story of Castorano closely coincides with that of the Ascolano state: as a second-degree castle is in fact governed by a vicar and must pay the sum of 58 Ducati as a guarantee of defense each year. Throughout the ‘400s and’ 500s he remains involved in the secular war against Fermo and his allies of Oflida and Acquaviva. This historical phase, however tormented, appears to be the most important story of Castorano, which then boasts a large territory, a hospital a prison, and was also the crossroads of obligation for anyone wishing to reach the neighboring kingdom of Naples.
Folignano is a common place on a hill, on the right side of the lower Valle del Tronto, at the foot of the Mountain of Flowers. We find in the territory the presence of two fortifications: the Folignano Castle and the Rock of Morro.
Formed by ancient historical nuclei, Folignano was one of the outposts that constituted the defense system of the city of Ascoli Piceno, a frequent theater of bloody battles, especially with the Rock of Morro (Arx Murri), until 1830. The boundary between the Pontifical Brand and the Abruzzo of the Swabians and the Angevins, the Viceroys of Naples and the Bourbons is for this reason placed in a position of great strategic importance. The town of Ascoli elected every six months a vicar who would have the government of the territory and of the Castle.
Free Joint founded at the end of the twelfth century, Patrignon had been allied alliance with Ascoli with whom he also had relations with management. The Castle of Patrignone has for centuries been a stronghold of the city.
The country maintains virtually intact the medieval urban layout. Very interesting is the church of Santa Maria di Viminato, the Gothic Romanesque portal and the numerous works of art contained therein. An important inscription of 1257, contained in the stone wall on the Gothic door of the village Umberto I, also mentions the rule of King Manfredi. Of the ancient castle walls, only the bases of two turrets on the east side of the town are to be admired. The “wash”, the “old source”, the octagonal church of “Our Lady of Thorns”, are just some of the other great works to be admired in this small country.
Porchia is a former Italian town in the province of Ascoli Piceno, currently a hamlet of 400 inhabitants of Montalto delle Marche.
The territory of Porchia has been inhabited since antiquity, bearing witness to the presence of necropolis both picen and roman. The foundation itself dates back to the 4th century, during the barbarian invasions. The village is named Porcia. The Porchie castle rises at the time of the Saracen raids, around the 9th century. In 1291 the pope listened to Niccolò IV attributing to the castle the first form of autonomy, admitting him to the election of the podestà. From then on, Porchia becomes part of the castles of Ascoli, as the north-east bulwark of the city. Ascoli offers military assistance to the castle (1319-1321). Of this status, the hamlet is still traced, with the participation of his representation at Quintana of Ascoli Piceno.
Ripaberarda is a former Italian town in the province of Ascoli Piceno, today a fraction of 850 inhabitants of Castignano. Head over the main stream over the valley of the Chifente torrent.
The Castle of Ripaberarda, located at the foot of Black Mountain (now the Ascension), was a stronghold of the Ascoli state border and governed under the dominant city, both in the Temporal and in the Spiritual, and while having its own statute Municipal and four public representatives was governed by a nominee ascolana. The particular strategic position of the castle accentuated the warrior spirit of the inhabitants and, the defensive shape of the fort, was alert to any good enemies because it was hardly to be attacked.
Roccafluvione is a town of 2.135 inhabitants in the province of Ascoli Piceno in the Marche region. It is common scattered based in the hamlet of Marsia and is part of the Montana Tronto Community.
It is possible to know the territory of Roccafluvione, in its peculiarities, facing the paths of naturalistic and architectural historical interest that wind through its fractions. On the upper bed of the Fluvione stream, along the Casacagnano road, you can see the natural bridge formed by the union of two rocks, and therefore called the native, which today is the symbol of the Roccafluvione Commune and is represented in its coat of arms. Fluvione (which takes its name from the Latin “fluvius”, watercourse). Is born from Monte Vettore and winds for 13 km within the territory of Roccafluvione. Since ancient times it has been an important resource for the economy of the territory. The presence of hydraulic mills, some of them running until a few years ago, others restored or being restored, is the main testimony.
Montemonaco, a small town in the heart of the Sibillini Mountains National Park, offers a wonderful view from the mountains to the Adriatic Sea.
It possesses all the peculiarities of the mountain center: a natural environment untouched with oak, chestnut and beech forests, a territory rich in mushrooms, truffles and browns, light water structures with more than 1000 beds, offering possibilities for a stay, sport and rest. In this area, rich in flora and fauna, the fantastic cult and the thrill of medieval legends dominate the legendary cave of the Appennine Sibilla, from which it is named the mountain chain that is the background of the country. The Appennine Sibyl is a prophet whose mysterious figure has exerted a great charm, especially among curious travelers of various ages, who, on several occasions, have been pushing numerous in search of the cave where Sibilla himself lived. The commune is the preferred destination for hikers who can choose from routes of varying difficulty, to walk, bike or horseback.
Enjoy and live the medieval atmosphere of the Quintana!
Visit Ascoli and enjoy the extraordinary horse races in July and August.
Accessible and sustainable tourism: welcome and advanced comunication for the tourist
Project made with the contribution of Mibact, according to D.M. Decembre 13th, 2010
With the patronage of: