T o u r i s t   G u i d e  o f  C a r t o c e t o


Pieve of the S. Peter and Paul
the towncentre the old country-houses
the Collegiata of
S. Maria della Misericordia
the Monastery of 
S. Maria del Soccorso



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I n t r o d u c t i o n

Coming from the Metauro valley, Cartoceto appears climbed on a hill, at 235 meters above the sea level, surrounded by olive trees and cultivated fields.
Its origins date back to Roman times. In fact there are some findings, among which a Roman inscription dated 79 B.C.  found near the ancient Pieve which would confirm the hypothesis according which Cartoceto was founded by a group of Carthaginians escaped from the Battle of Metauro during the second Punic war (218-201 B.C.). This episode would even explain the name Cartoceto. The second hypothesis would trace its origin back to the barbaric invasions (VI-VIII century) when the people living in the valley had to escape the devastations.

The few documents tell us that since XII century, Cartoceto was a fortified village surrounded by walls and was described as one of the defensive strongholds of Fano.
We know for sure that the castle and the walls were completely destroyed on the 13th July, 1572 by a violent earthquake.
Due to its peculiar orographic form Cartoceto has been the most important centre for the cultivation of the olive tree and consequently for the production of an excellent olive oil since the XII century. Other important products are wine and cheese.

In November, when the olives are picked up and pressed, Piazza Garibaldi becomes a market in which producers and olive-mill owners of the area show and sell their products. This is the most important exhibition concerning olive and oil of the whole area with local producers coming from both the valleys of Metauro and Foglia.



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t h e  t o w n c e n t r e  -  i t i n e r a r y  f o r  t h e  v i s i t


Palazzo del Popolo


The starting point to visit Cartoceto historical centre is the enchanting Piazza Garibaldi (Garibaldi Square), once called market square, on which dominates Palazzo del Popolo, dating XIV century, with its characteristic little bell tower.

Walking through the arch, which is immediately under the palace (once there was a drawbridge) we get inside the castle which still maintains the original fish bone planimetry with narrows streets and stairs along the slope of the hill. Immediately on the right we can see Palazzo Marcolini (XIX century) with its façade made of bricks and its beautiful portal: here the earl Marcolini from Fano lived. He was municipal head of Cartoceto until 1839.

Teatro del trionfo

Going along the narrow street we reach Piazzale Marconi, popularly called La Turchia, from which one can enjoy a wonderful view of the great olive tree valley dominated, on the top of a hill, by the ancient Pieve. In this little square we find the Teatro del Trionfo (Trionfo Theatre) built between 1725-30 in order to give Cartoceto a place where plays could be performed. It was originally an olive mill with an olive warehouse on its upper floor. The present theatre dates 1801. The inside with three series of boxes  contains an artistic curtain painted towards the middle of the XIX century by  Romolo Liverani – scenographer of Faenza and the scenary of Giulio Malvardi. The theatre is no longer used and is waiting to be restored.

If we continue our walk along the streets of the castle we will be able to admire enchanting corners and wonderful landscapes.


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t h e  C o l l e g i a t a  o f   S. M a r i a  d e l l a  M i s e r i c o r d i a


The present building was erected in 1835 on the project of two architects from Fano Cesare and Giuseppe Selvelli and it replaced the XV century church consacrated to the Virgin of the Rosary which stood in the market square. The Madonna con Bambino angeli e santi (Virgin with Child, angels and saints) painted by Bartolomeo Morganti in 1527 comes from this old church. The Collegiata contains works of Barocci and Ceccarini, the organ was made by Giovanni Pizzinardi in Murano.

Attached to the church is the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie. Built in 1886, it contains the venerated image of the Madonna con Bambino (Virgin with Child), a fresco of the late XIV century by an unknown author. It was originally in a shrine outside Cartoceto, but in 1886 due to certain miracolous events, the sanctuary was built and the fresco was moved there.


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M o n a s t e r y  o f  S a n t a  M a r i a   d e l  S o c c o r s o

The monastery is located immediately outside the historical centre, sorrounded by the green of Partemio mountain. It was founded by the Augustinian fathers in 1500. Only a part of the bell tower, a hall in the monastery and some of the walls of the church date back to that period. The present building was erected in 1782 on the project of the architect Francesco Maria Ciaraffoni, one of Vanvitelli’s pupils. The brick cross vaults  and the big round arches of the cloister are very suggestive. From the cloister the father have access to the monastery rooms. In the monastery there are several interesting paintings among which a Concezione (conception) dated XVI century painted by Bartolomeo Morganti and a Flagellazione (flagellation) attributed to Pompeo Morganti.

The church with its clear neoclassical shape has a central plan with a dome. The altars have been made in 1782 by Benedetto Rondoloni, a marble and stone-cutter of Sant’Ippolito.
Other important paintings are the XVIII century altar-pieces of Pietro Tedeschi from Pesaro.
In the attached chapel (at the right of the main altar) we find the painting of the Madonna del Soccorso by unknown author dating back to the first years of the XVI century.
A XVI century fresco of the Madonna del Latte can be admired along the corridor linking the cloister to the church.
A small community of Augustinian fathers live nowadays in the monastery among whom the sculptor-father Stefano Pigini whose works are displayed in different places in Cartoceto.



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P i e v e  o f  t h e  S a i n t s  P e t e r  a n d  P a u l

It is situated one kilometer far from Cartoceto centre, on the top of a hill and dominates the lower Metauro Valley.
The original building was probably erected in the paleochristian age on a pagan temple. A tablet on the façade wall of the church, dated 79 B.C., and whose original is in Urbino, remembers that: L. Razio and L.L. Polibio dedicated this portico on the 23rd of May under the consuls L. Mennio Pollione and Q. Allio Maximc.
It was the parish church of Cartoceto until 1573 when the new church was built in the village.
In the XVII century it was handed over to the Observant Grey-Friars who transformed the church  and built their monastery next to it.

The bell tower dates back to 1726. In 1826 the monastery was demolished in order to enlarge the contiguous cimitery. The suggestive portico with five arches supported by pillars introduces us inside the building which has neoclassical features. It contains five altar frontals in scagliola of the first decades of  XVIII century and, in the first altar on the right, an interesting fresco dated 1477 with a Crocifissione (crucifixion) under which, recent works of restoration, have brought to light an older fresco, probably of the XIV century, about the same theme.

The wooden choir, in briar olive wood with small twisted columns, is the work of the engraver Ottaviano Marchegiani of Fossombrone (XVIII century).




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t h e  O l d   c o u n t r y - h o u s e s

There are several country-houses in the country that sorrounds Cartoceto. Villa Salomone, not far from the Pieve, was built between the end of XVIII century and the beginning of XIX century.

In the piano nobile where the ceiling is covered with a painted canvas, there is an old piano which, according to the legend, was played by Liszt. Not far from Villa Salomone, just opposite the road, we find Villa Bellaria, with its beautiful two flight stairway and the wonderful stone portal. The entrance hall still has the original doors and in the enormous cellars, we can still see the ramp for the horses. Casa Montefiore or Villa Beatrice is located on the road linking the Pieve to Molinaccio – a little group of houses. It dates back towards the middle of XIX century and still keeps the attached chapel. Villa Corbelli has XVII century origins and it dominates the whole lower Metauro valley up to the sea. The small church of S.Anna is really interesting and it is  on the other side of the road: it has been recently restored and represents a marvellous example of rural architecture of XVII century.


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R i p a l t a

This little village is 2 kilometers far from Cartoceto and has very old origins. Since the XII century documents tell us that  there was a castle here. Nowadays there only some ruins left of the tower which was originally 15 meters high. Some interesting works of art are contained in the Chiesa dei Santi Biagio and Cesareo, built in 1960 replacing the old parish church which is almost in ruins among which a Madonna con Bambino e Santi (Virgin with Child and Saints)  by unknown author of the XVII century.

Other valuable works are: the poly-chrome wooden sculpture of a Virgin with Child dating back to the end of XIII century and the 14 valuable tempera paintings of XVII century representing the Mysteries of the Rosary. 


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L u c r e z i a

It stands along the Via Flaminia, five kilometers far from Cartoceto. It is the most populous centre in the municipal territory. It has developed mainly just after the second world war and is still growing both in population and industries. There are some interesting hypotheses about the place-name: the first says that due to a violent storm Lucrezia Borgia and Giovanni Sforza were obliged to stop in this place with their courtiers on their way back from the wedding they had celebrated in Rome on 12th June, 1493; the second, and probably the most probable, says that along Via Flaminia there was an inn owned by a woman called Lucrezia.

Villa Adanti has a certain historical interest. It has been built by the baritone David Squarcia between 1860 and 1875 as a holiday-house. It was then bought in 1903 by the Adanti family. It was the seat of the German Kommando during the Nazi occupation. For this reason,Villa Adanti was spared during their withdrawal, while most of the houses of the village were razed to the ground.


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