Treia and Conrad of Antioch

The town of Montecchio, as Treia was called in the Middle Ages, has always been a real pain in the neck for the whole Swabian dynasty.

In 1239 Frederick II sent his son Enzo to the Marches with a very powerful army that was able to bring back under the imperial wing many Marches communes. After taking Macerata, Enzo sought to conquer Montecchio, but the high and steep town walls pushed him to diplomacy, with promises of money and generous privileges which, however, the people of Montecchio refused.

A siege was his last resort. It lasted for two long and exhausting months and was completely useless for Enzo, who was fighting a well-organised community, partly due to his Podesta Federico Testa di Arezzo's military training.

In 1263 the campaign was entrusted to Conrad I of Antioch, who Manfred appointed vicar while he was reconquering the Marca after his father Frederick II's death.

Conrad of Antioch, son of Frederick of Antioch, one of the Swabian emperor's illegitimate sons, knew Montecchio's power well and for this reason he had a large army sent as reinforcements.

During the assault, Conrad is taken prisoner and locked in a cell. Manfred sent a new army to help him, led by Galvano Lancia, who is also Conrad's father-in-law.

Galvano is the author of a fierce raid that also involves the prestigious Rambona abbey in Pollenza but there was nothing he could do against Montecchio. The ineffectiveness of weapons makes Galvano go down another road, that is bribing Montecchio's Podesta Baglioni, who, for a price, lets Conrad escape from prison.

Popular imagination ran wild about this escape, so much so that they say that Podesta Baglioni's young daughter had fallen madly in love with this valiant knight and helped him escape Montecchio's dungeons.

The records of the long trial against the treasonous Podesta Baglioni are now kept in the Accademia Georgica of Treia’s precious archives. This commune had to suffer Conrad and Galvano's vicious revenge made of raids and violence. One of the town entrance gates' name is still Vallesacco (meaning "Gate of the Plundered Valley") in memory of the bloodiest episodes of that battle.

Such brutality, however, amounted to nothing and the Swabian army had to surrender Montecchio, which remained under the Pope's dominion.

In 1264 Giordano Lancia d'Agliano, Manfredi's cousin, protagonist of the victory of Siena pro-Imperialists against the Florentine supporters of the Pope at Montaperti in 1260, tried to occupy Montecchio but he was defeated as well. However, he managed to capture the papal governor of the Marca, Bishop Manfredo dei Roberti.

Important. Treia's historical centre, monuments and museums are almost fully accessible. For further information, please write to Marche Region's Tourism freephone number ( or consult Treia's town hall at +39-0733.218705 - +39-0733.218711.

A journey through Treia’s history and art

The Roman Trea stood where is now the monumental Santissimo Crocifisso sanctuary, which was the first parish church in the area. The 1900s reconstruction has kept the Roman-Medieval structure unchanged and precious Roman mosaics are kept in it, while many other finds are on display in the main Town Archaeological Museum housed in St. Francis' convent.

The town centre is medieval and has access gates along a spindle-shaped perimeter wall with unique scenic views.

The Onglavina or St. Mark's Tower is the only remnant of the ancient keep nestled on a steep rocky spur. Conrad of Antioch's siege is painted on the curtain of the Municipal Theatre, opened in 1821 and included in the Marches Historical Theatres.

Piazza della Repubblica is suggestive, with its central fountain facing the Town Hall with a beautiful 16th and 17th century porch that houses the Art Gallery and Sala degli Stemmi ("Coats of arms room"), with paintings by Roman and Venetian school artists, and the beautiful Valadier Accademia Georgica palace that, since the eighteenth century, was one of the first and most active Italian agricultural research centres. The Academy also houses a splendid archive of medieval documents including bulls and parchments and a very rich library, which makes it one of the most important cultural institutes in the Marche region.

The same square also houses a small temple with Pius VI's half-bust in the middle of a panoramic parapet designed by Andrea Vici that opens onto a breath-taking landscape stretching as far as the sea. This elegant balcony is the top of a mighty wall erected for the game of bracciale, which tradition is still perpetuated in Treia. Its greatest representative was Carlo Didimi, captured by Giacomo Leopardi in the song "A un vincitore nel pallone" (To a winner in the ball). The new Museo del Gioco del pallone con bracciale (Bracciale Museum) is dedicated to Didimi as well.

Treia's Cathedral is dedicated to the Santissima Annunziata and is a large, majestic and bright nineteenth century building designed by Andrea Vici which houses the Entombment by Vincenzo Pagani.

Also worth mentioning is the Dolores Prato Research Centre dedicated to the refined writer, emblem of anti-fascist female culture. She wrote "Giù la piazza non c'è nessuno" (There's no one down at the square), an autobiographical novel about her childhood in Treia.

The IME - The Marches Food and Wine Institute recommends:

The calcione - typical product

A traditional savoury Easter dessert. It is a rolled-out puff pastry disc filled with a mixture of flour, eggs, pecorino cheese, sugar and oil. With its peculiar sweet and sour taste, it is a unique product in the Marches food tradition. It can be enjoyed fried or baked. Every year, Treia celebrates it in a very famous festival that takes place in late spring. Besides, the calcione has often made a good show of itself in some of the most renowned national and international tourism, food and wine fairs, often paired with Verdicchio di Matelica (link).

One of the peculiarities of this product is indeed that it can be paired with different types of wines.

Cingoli’s Cavallucci PAT - Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale (Traditional Agri-food Products)

It is a traditional dessert during winter holidays in Marches’ inland. A poor but very filling Marche traditional dessert, made with a special sweet shortcrust pastry composed of flour, extra virgin olive oil, wine and sugar, lemon peel, cinnamon. The filling includes walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, grape syrup (and this ingredient gives it a unique taste), cinnamon, candied fruit, sugar and breadcrumbs, cocoa powder and coffee. Rolled up and shaped like a horseshoe, they are then covered with Alchermes and their red colour makes them perfect for holidays at home with friends.

Ciauscolo PGI

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.


Comune di Treia

Proloco di Treia

Musei di Treia

Accademia Georgica

Marche Tourism: Treia