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diStory About Fermo

About Fermo

The vocation of Fermo, with its history as a city of learning and its tradition as a centre of cultural exchange on the Adriatic, has always been to offer a welcome and hospitality. The instruments that the City has on hand to continue to fulfil this mission are many and have been consolidated and refined over time. First of all, culture. Fermo, in fact, has preserved an unspoiled renaissance urban fabric, which can be appreciated, starting from the main Piazza del Popolo – among the most beautiful in Le Marche – through a series of itineraries dotted with churches, noble palaces, courtyards and artistic portals.

Roman Cisterns

Fermo preserves beneath its streets a complex plumbing system, part of which are the Roman Cisterns (the largest ever built by the Romans in terms of their surface area), from the age of Augustus, a visit to which is essential for anyone who visits the City even if only for a few hours.

diStory - Fermo - Roman Cisterns

The Cathedral

The range of museums in the city is enriched with the Diocesan Museum, adjacent to the splendid Cathedral with its Gothic facade, which preserves, among other exceptional exhibits, the chasuble of Thomas Becket; the Picene Archaeological Section, documenting fully through bronze artefacts of a unique type one of the great pre-Roman Italic cultures; and the Oratory of Saint Monica, with a cycle of late Gothic frescoes which are among the most highly regarded in Le Marche.

diStory - Fermo - The Cathedral

Scientific Museums

Down Viale Trento are the Scientific Museums housed in the nineteenth-century Villa Vitali, immersed in the greenery of the town park, including the only Polar Museum in Italy, named after the polar explorer Silvio Zavatti; the "TommasoSalvadori" Ornithological Museum, which preserves 19th-century ornithological collections; a room housing the meteorite which fell in Fermo in 1996, considered by the National Research Council one of the most scientifically interesting ever found; the oval studio with a collection of old cameras; and finally the pipe museum.

diStory - Fermo - Scientific Museums

Teatro dell’Aquila

A real star in the cultural firmament of Fermo is the 18th-century city theatre “dell'Aquila”, one of the largest and most beautiful in Le Marche: a prestigious building, enriched with the historical backdrops of Sanquirico and with the central fresco painted by Cochetti. The facility, as well as being one of the most highly regarded cultural assets of the City, is the setting for important seasons of shows, from opera, to classical music, to plays, in accordance with a centuries-long tradition which has seen its stage walked by some of the greatest names in international music and theatre.

diStory - Fermo - Teatro dell’Aquila

Civic Gallery 17th Century Room

A large part of the 17th century artistic heritage of the town comes from the Congregation of Saint Philip Neri, which was founded in Fermo in 1591, thanks to one of the followers of Philip Neri. The disciple was invited by the bishop of the city Felice Peretti (future Pope Sixtus V) who asked him to begin a new spiritual experience similar to the one of the Roman oratory. So at the beginning of 1591 the Holy Spirit Church (known as Saint Philip Neri Church and now under restoration) and the house-convent (today the site of the Court of Fermo, on the left of the church) were built in Corso Cavour. In the 1950s, because of its structural problems, the works exhibited in the church, after becoming Municipal property in 1861, were moved to the Palazzo dei Priori.

The high altar of the church housed the impressive altarpiece of The Pentecost (in this room on the left of the entrance), with God the Father Blessing on the top. The painting was made by Giovanni Lanfranco between 1625 and 1631, while the artist was staying in Rome. The work displays obvious references to Michelangelo, for the anatomical definition of the figures, and to the realistic style of the period, underlined by the chiaroscuro of Saints Peter and Paul in the foreground. Finally, the white complexion of the Virgin recall us the classical style.

The famous Adoration of the Shepherds (at the bottom of the room), carried out by P. P. Rubens, was commissioned for the Chapel of the Nativity on the right of the high altar of the church. At first the attribution of the work was uncertain, its precise authorship was determined thanks to the discovery of the contract drawn up in 1608 between the painter and the client. It was commissioned to Rubens, who was meanwhile working on painting the altarpiece for the Filippini’s Church in Rome, through the mediation of the local Flaminio Ricci. Ricci was the rector of the Roman congregation and an important character in the foundation of the congregation in Fermo.

The painting, made when Rubens was in Rome, shows the great influence of Italian artists on his work: Caravaggio for the realistic representation of the figures and for the “light and shade” effects; Correggio for the articulate definition of the angels, announcing the happy event.

Pomarancio, who made several works for the “Filippini “order, also executed a Portray of Saint Philip, currently kept atDiocesan Museum. This room preserves only a partial copy of the canvas. The original was donated to the congregation by RomoloSpezioli, the personal doctor of Queen Christine of Sweden and donator of the important corpus of volumes kept in the Globe Room.

You may also admire The Supper at Emmaus by Eberhard Keil, known as Monsù Bernardo, a Danish painter and pupil of Rembrandt, who greatly influenced the genre painting of the time.

diStory - Fermo - Civic Gallery 17th Century Room

Globe Room

It was originally called Sala delle Commedie (Room of Comedies) as it was used as a theatre until 1688, when it became the seat of the Municipal Library. The room is entirely covered with wood according to architect AdamoSacripante’s plans. He designed the imposing two-tier bookcase in walnut, provided with an access balcony and railings, and the fir-wood lacunar.

The Cardinal DecioAzzolino Junior (1623-1689) decided to turn the room into a library in order to house the book patrimony of the town, donated by noble people and to make it available to his fellows-citizens. At the beginning of the 18thcentury the library inherited another important bequest: the prestigious collection of RomoloSpezioli, who was born in Fermo and became the personal doctor of Queen Maria Cristina, when she moved to Rome, after abdicating the Sweden crown. The book patrimony left by RomoloSpezioli consists of about 12,500 books, dealing mainly with medicine, botanic, geometry, arithmetic, architecture, philosophy and theology. Anyway, it is only a part of the entire old collection of the Municipal Library, which counts among the ten biggest libraries in Italy, and is the biggest of the region Marche. It boasts about 300,000 documents, among them the old section presents: 127 illuminated codices, 11 choir books, 3,000 manuscripts, 681 incunabula, some of them dating back to 1470, and 15,000 books printed in the 16th century . Furthermore, you may admire an interesting graphic collection with 6,500 engravings and 4,500 drawings, among them also the works by Fortunato Duranti from Montefortino (1787-1863).

The Globe Room owes its name to the big globe designed by Abbot Silvestro Moroncelli from Fabriano in 1713. It has a wooden internal structure, with an iron axis, and an external facing covered by a particular type of paper (carta reale), coming from Fabriano (a town in the Marches, famous all over Italy and abroad for its paper-factory). Moroncelli wrote and drew by hand the globe which is 185 cm in diameter and 568 cm in circumference. In 1986 the restoration has revealed a detailed description of the geographical knowledge of that period and the rich decorations representing sea-monsters, mythological divinities and sailing vessels.

diStory - Fermo - Globe Room

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