San Severino Marche: the beginning of the da Mogliano dynasty and the birth of the Smeducci family
The political career of one of the most influential men of the 13th century began in San Severino Marche: Fildesmido da Mogliano who was appointed Podesta here in 1199 and immediately tried to seize the Castle of Pitino, the most sought-after outpost for the control of the valley.
In 1201, after various personal attempts to conquer the castle, Fildesmido made agreements with the neighbouring towns to snatch it from Montecchio (now Treia), which was threatened with occupation. Fildesmido, in agreement with San Severino, chose to solve the dispute by proposing the peace to Montecchio. The peace was sealed with a treaty signed in the Catignano plain, near Passo di Treia. With that agreement, Montecchio undertook to pull their garrison from Pitino.
When Fildesmido left the scene, the dispute over the castle resumed and passed into the hands of Tolentino until Frederick II gave it back to San Severino for the loyalty it had shown.
The Colleluce Castle, instead, another outpost for the control of the valley, ended up totally destroyed in 1240 by the Swabian troops.
San Severino was already supporting the Swabians with Barbarossa, then even more so with Frederick II and his son Manfred, who used the town as base and support for his violent assault that destroyed Camerino.
Loyalty to the empire has left permanent signs on the tall Civic Tower, which overlooks the city from Mount Nero, home to the bas-relief of the "imperial lion", symbol of the pro-imperialists. The same tower features another bas-relief with "the horse bite", probably belonging to some Podesta, but always interpreted by the townspeople as a Smeducci family symbol, that with this coat of arms did not promise an easy life to those who opposed them.
The Smeducci, born of the man-at-arms Nuccio, were pro-papal family, but they did not miss the opportunity to side with the imperial faction when the fight could grant them power. Their San Severino dynasty was alternately welcomed - they were also exiled - but over the following centuries it brought a remarkable economic and cultural growth, evidenced by brothers Lorenzo and Jacopo Salimbeni's works, among the best representatives of the Marches' International Gothic.
Important. The town's historical centre, monuments and museums are almost fully accessible. For further information, please write to the Marche Region Tourism freephone number (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact Pro Loco San Severino Marche Piazza Del Popolo, 43 - 62027 San Severino Marche Macerata Tel: +39-0733-638414 - e-mail: email@example.com or Culture and Tourism Office Piazza Del Popolo, 45 - 62027 San Severino Marche Tel. +39-0733-641309 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A journey through San Severino Marche’s history and art
The 2nd century B.C. remains of the Roman Septempeda can be seen along the national road, where there is a park with thermal baths, a domus and a burial ground. The medieval part is mostly concentrated on Mount Nero, where the Smeducci Tower rises 40 metres tall and the Palazzo dei Consoli (Consuls’ Palace) stands out with its ancient walls, still walkable. Facing the palace, we find the Old Cathedral, with a rich fourteenth-century portal, and the bishop's palace, which now houses the Town Archaeological Museum. In the lower part, we find the magnificent, elliptical Piazza del Popolo (224 metres long) surrounded by a scenic loggia. Overlooking the square, there are the Clock Tower, designed by Ireneo Aleandri in the nineteenth century, the Town Hall with the Town Gallery of Modern Art - "Filippo Bigioli" Collection, the Feronia Theatre and St. Joseph's Church.
The well-stocked P. Tacchi Venturi Town Art Gallery holds Pinturicchio's masterpiece Madonna of Peace, Lorenzo Salimbeni's Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine and works by Vittore Crivelli and Allegretto Nuzi. Churches built during the thirteenth century were numerous and prestigious, such as that of St. Dominic and St. Augustine, completely remodeled in the following centuries.
St. Catherine's Monastery was built by the Benedictines and then donated to the Cistercian nuns who still grow herbs and aloe which they use to make health products. The Santissimo Salvatore in Colpersito Sanctuary, with its adjoining convent, was founded in the year 1000 and hosted St. Francis who here converted Friar Pacifico, (Guglielmo da Lisciano, see Ascoli Piceno), an esteemed poet at Frederick II's court.
St. Eustace's caves, with the small church, located in a protected natural area, are well known.
San Severino's rich landscape is dotted with as many as 12 charming castles: there are seven on the north-western side of Mount San Vicino, including Elcito Castle, built on the rocks at over 800 metres above sea level and close to Canfaito plateau's centuries-old beech woods; then there are the Serralta castles, the most recent of which is Monte Acuto Fortress. From here, a flight of steps through the woods leads down to St. Sperandia's caves, bordering Cingoli, where the Saint from Gubbio retreated in penance. There are then Pitino Castle, still greatly fascinating, with its majestic structure, Carpignano Castle, with its mighty donjon and keep, and Colleluce Castle, which originally had a double wall.
The IME - The Marches Food and Wine Institute recommends:
Vernaccia di Serrapetrona Doc
Vernaccia di Serrapetrona is a unique wine, a pearl among the Marches' wines, as rare as it is ancient, with a vinous bouquet, hints of roses and wild strawberries, crisp froth and a full fruity flavour. The dry version has spicy hints. The sweet version hints at small fruits’ jam. They say that as early as the Middle Ages, a Polish soldier following mercenary troops was so fascinated by Borgianastri's wine, a small village near Serrapetrona, that he coined a phrase about the good fortune of these places that has survived in the local dialect.
I Terreni Di Sanseverino Doc
It is one of the youngest designations in the Marche region. It covers the entire San Severino Marche area, where four different types of this wine are produced. Be it red or raisin wine, it should be drunk fairly young.
• “Rosso” and “Rosso Superiore”: minimum 50% Vernaccia Nera grape variety;
• “Passito”, mostly Vernaccia Nera variety;
• “Moro”, minimum 60% Montepulciano variety.
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.