Pieve Torina and the nearby Muccia share a very similar story, described by the slow union of small towns born around monk settlements under the Lombard diocese of Spoleto.
The most important was the Sanctuary of Sant'Angelo "de Prefolio" which was built on the ruins of an ancient pagan temple, ordered by Count Alberto di Prefoglio and his wife Gisla, of Lombard lineage.
They also owned the nearby castle of Prefoglio, of which two square towers and the church dedicated to Santa Maria are left.
In the thirteenth century another famous lord appeared: Raniero de' Baschi from Camerino, who had the favour of emperor Frederick II and was the owner of the Castello di Giove ("Castle of Jupiter"), which has now disappeared, but was one of the most important fortifications in the area.
It seems that Count Lamberto di Prefoglio was also devoted to the emperor, so much so that in 1241 the very Frederick II of Swabia gave him the power to create notaries and legalise illegitimate children on his possessions.
Lamberto negotiated with Count Baschi from Camerino for the ownership of a third castle, known as "di Massa". This castle joined the names into Massaprefoglio, which is now a hamlet of the town of Muccia.
The castle was then sold to Camerino in 1252 and the da Varano made it into a fortress, of which only a solemn round tower remains. It was a strategic fortress for the da Varano's border control policy because they could constantly monitor the way to Spoleto and the nearby Visso, one of the most dangerous and rebellious communes for the Camerino family. This fortress also served to protect the many grain mills and, according to the legend, many went there in search of the biblical "golden calf".
IMPORTANT - The town's historical centre, monuments and museums are partially accessible. For further information, please write to Marche Region's Tourism freephone number (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact Pieve Torina's town hall at +39-0737.518.022, e-mail: email@example.com
A journey through Pieve Torina’s history and art
The town centre is dominated by the parish church of Santa Maria, built around the 11th century, which contains a few frescoes by Cola di Pietro: a Last Supper, Saint George and the Princess and a Martirio di Santo Stefano ("St. Stephen's Martyrdom"). The parish church of Sant'Oreste had nine churches under its authority and was expanded and modified several times. It houses a 1583 Our Lady of the Rosary with St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena by Simone de Magistris, while the Entombment was attributed to Morale da Fermo.
The Museo della Nostra Terra (Museum of Our Land) includes 14 sections where typical farmers' environments and a few craftsmen's workshops have been reconstructed. Nearby, just outside of town, is the beautiful Mulino del Fiume ("River Mill"), which has preserved its original structure and its ancient machinery, still in full working order.
The white church dedicated to Santa Maria di Caspriano is almost an imitation of the perfect Macereto Sanctuary in Visso. It has an octagonal plan with a gabled roof that almost looks incomplete and far from the Bramante architecture that inspired it. Actually, it is a very old building that has been remodeled several times and then incorporated into a new 19th century palace, where the medieval castle tower is still clearly visible.
The Sant'Angelo in Prefoglio hermitage was originally a pagan temple. The Benedictines then built this new structure, which has preserved a spring of water that is believed to be healing.
Another sanctuary nestled in the mountains is dedicated to Santa Maria in Carpineto and houses a group of multi-coloured terracotta sculptures in memory of Our Lady who appeared to a young girl. This is the only confirmed work by Battista di Barnaba, a Marche sculptor who worked closely with Donatello.
The IME - The Marches Food and Wine Institute recommends:
Ciauscolo, also known as ciavuscolo or ciabuscolo, is certainly a "family jewel" of Marche region's pork butchery. It can be immediately told apart from other cured meats because it is a meat spread. For this reason, many compare it to an extraordinarily tasty pâté. Its scent is delicate, aromatic, typical, firm and spicy. Its origin is lost in the mists of time and goes back to the traditional farming practice of processing pork.
Monti Sibillini pecorino Ark of Taste
At over 2100 meters above sea level, local shepherds produce a special handmade pecorino cheese. Following an ancient recipe, they add spices and aromatic herbs to the rennet to increase its curdling power. This is the Monti Sibillini pecorino, one of the most ancient traditional Marche cheese. Made from freshly milked, raw milk and local herbs that give it its flavour and that typical and unique character of this land. Pecorino cheese was among the emperor Augustus’ favourite products.