|Senigallia's fascination and fame are
due to its sea and its blond and boundless beach: this is the reason why it is known as
the "velvet beach".
Senigallia is placed in Marche, a central italian reagion, along the east cost of the
Adriatic sea. It is located at the same distance between the cities of Pesaro, to the
North, and Ancona, to the South. Toward the montains, to the West, it is possible to reach
Urbino and Gubbio
Nowadays Senigallia owes its charm to an unpolluted sea-water and soft velvety beach that
extends over 10 km. The charm of the beach goes with that of the monuments and the works
of art situated in a very old historical centre that is very close to it: something which
is quite unusual but for only a very few seaside resorts of the Adriatic coast.
From the beach, it is possible to reach, by a short walk, through several
and very expedient ways, the historical centre over which towers the majestic Rocca
Roveresca (Della Rovere's Fortess).
The structure of the fortess, perfectly kept through time, goes back to 1480 and was built
up on the drowning of Baccio Pontelli. It is a classical example of the military
architecture of the Renaissance, with a square structure having four embattled towers on
each corner. Inside are the ruins of previous Roman fortification and people are allowed
to see the underground, communication trenches and decorations, which hold the permanent
Exibition of the historical town centres of the Marches.
Opposite the Rocca Roveresca, one can see
"Piazza del Duca" (square of the Duke) with the Lion's Fountain and the Palaceof
the Duke. On the right side of the square stands a splendid building the "Palazzetto
Baviera" which dates back to the XIVth century and was restored in the Renaissance
style: inside there is an elegant court and ample rooms rich in precious furniture,
paintings an very valuable stucco decotations by Brandani. You could round off your visit
to the square by dropping into the Museum of Information: a collection only recently put
together. It has many modern works of art, particullary in the field of graphics, but also
works by engravens and local contemporary artists.
From "Piazza del Duca" you may move on to the nearby squre ("Piazza del
Foro Annonario"): an imposing construction in neoclassic style surrounded by an
arcade of thirty Doric brickwork columns, twentyfour of which make up the exedras on both
sides and six the central part. Going on through your walk, on the left, along the river
Misa, one can admire the magnificent Portici Ercolani (Ercolani's Arcades) built up in the
second part of the XVIIth century with big blocks of white stone coming from Istria and
erected to house the Fair.
After the first arcade on the right, crossing the bridge over the river Misa, you can
admire the majestic Porta Lambertina (Lambertina Gate), built up in 1751 in honour of
Benedict XIV on the project by the architet Rossi and Cardinal Ercolani, after whom the
arcades were called.
On the left, in "Piazza Roma" (Roma square), just in the centre of the town,
stands the Town Hall, build up at the beginning of the XVIIth century.
In a barrel vault at the foot of the Town Hall is set "La Fontana del Nettuno"
(Neptune's Fountain) whose statue probably goes to the roman times. Inside, there are the
rooms where the Town-Council member meet, and where valuable portraits of the Dukes Della
Rovere by various artists are kept.
Immediately behind the Town Hall stands Palazzo Mastai (Mastai's Building), dating from
the end of the XVIth century. Pius IX, the Pope of the Italian "Risorgimento",
was born there. Inside this building there is a museum that shows the souvenirs of the
great Pontiff: objects of remarcable historical, artistic and religious value and a
picture gallery of sacred art as well as exibiting works of great importance among which
there is La Madonna del Rosario by Federico Barocci.
If you go back to Piazza Roma, you can have a glimpse, at the end of the stretch on the
left of via Fagnani, of the elegant fašade of the Chiesa della Croce built up at the
beginning of the XVIIth century with a rectangular inside and an inlaid lacunar ceiling.
On the high altar one can see a very beautiful painting by Barocci: Trasporto di Cristo al
Sepolcro (Jesus Christ's Transfer to the Sepulchre).
Very near there is the Cathedral, begun towards the middle of the XVIIIth century, with a
vast inside in the shape of a Latin cross and three aisles divided by pillars. The Churh
is adorned with prcious paintings by Barocci and Ramazzani and houses the statue of Pius
IX and the font where he was baptize. In the capitular rooms you can see the sarcophagus
of Saint Gaudenzio of the XIIth century.
Going on through your walk at about 3 km. from the urban centre, situated on the top of a
hill, from which it is possible to enjoy a very beautiful view, there is the Renaissance
Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie erected by order of the Duke Giovanni Della Rovere.
Inside, behind the high altar is kept the Madonna in Trono e Santi (Madonna on the Trone
and Saints) a famous painting by Perugino.
The adjoining convent has two beautiful cloisters attributed to Baccio Pontelli one of
which, the bigger, has an elegant well with the coat of arms of the Della Rovere.