Grottazzolina | Accommodation details
Half way between the Adriatic Sea and the Sibillini Mountains on the top of a slight hill of just 227 meters over the sea level, we find Grottazzolina with an ever increasing population (3.355 inhabitants), thanks to its varied and flourishing craftsmen and to its expanding industries. A town therefore already projected towards the future but with an important and very ancient history worthy of mention. The first human settlements in the territory in fact go back to the 8th century BC, as the archeological excavations carried out between 1948 and 1953 are proof of.
Towards the middle of the X century the castle was constructed by the Farfensi monks: the first inhabited nucleus of the town named by them as Montebello: shortly after this passed under the dominium of the Canons of the Fermo Cathedral, who changed the name into Grotta dei Canonici (Cripta Canonicorum). In 1208 Ottone IV, granted the ‘Marca’ of Ancona to Azzo D’Este. Upon his death in 1217, the possession of the ‘Marca’ was reconfirmed by Pope Onorio III to the son Azzo VII (or Azzolino) who re-baptized the castle with the name of GROTTA AZZOLINA which remains to the present day. From the XIV century Grottazzolina found itself under the dominion of the town of Fermo, minded until the decline of the XII century by an autonomous and popular Government under the Pontificial State. The castle of Grottazzolina was continuously occupied and looted during the years and only after 1465 was it brought to order again on behalf of the Senate of Fermo. Grottazzolina was fortified by the Signore of Fermo Oliverotto Uffreducci, who instituted a foundry of cannons; it was elected an autonomous municipality in 1537 when Pier Luigi Farnese, by order of Pope Paolo III, occupied the town of Fermo changing it and removing all of its rights. Ten years of tranquility and laboriousness went by and the town went back to being under the jurisdiction of Fermo, again following the order of the Pope. From 1600 Grottazzolina was governed, as were the other 47 Castles of the town of Fermo, by means of Podestà and Vicars.
After the battle of Castelfidardo it became part of the Reign of Italy and from December 1860, when Vittorio Emanuele II removed the province from Fermo unifying it with that of Ascoli Piceno, Grottazzolina became an autonomous Municipality. Its liveliness even politically brought about that in the first citizen’s seat you could find characters of the caliber of the del baritone Francesco Graziani (towards the end of the last century) Vincenzo Monaldi (in the Sixties) world famous professor and first health minister of the Italian Republic. This is the historical path of our town. The present day is characterized by an important development of craftsmanship and of small medium companies. A land that therefore is capable of conciliating the crafts of long ago with the modern, productive techniques. Grottazzolina is more than anything a town to be visited, to be discovered and rediscovered with its human, historical and cultural resources.
Monuments and Churches
- The Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) in Roman Style with medieval tones has an interesting battlemented tower fruit of the work of a local cooperative rebuilt in the first years after the war.
- The Church del SS. Sacramento and Rosario (1768) with a classical style façade internally is home to frescoes, paintings on canvas and sculptures. It has been the Parish Church since the after the II° war. It is of a considerable structure, the major monument of Grottazzolina. Worthy of notice is the internal decoration due to Fontana (second part of XIX century).
- The Church of S. Giovanni Battista (1684), in Piazza Umberto I, rebuilt on a pre-existing Romanic church, it looks onto the largest square of the town.
- The Azzolino Castle, symbol of the town’s pride and witness to historical liveliness of ancient origins, rises up in the center of the urban settlement. The small square is dedicated to the memory of Osvaldo Licini.
Museums / Art Galleries
(Permanent photographic exhibition) Generazioni di Piceni: “I Piceni in immagini” (Generations of the Piceni: “Images of the Piceni”
Palazzo Benedetti, Via Benedetti, 1
Other attractions worth visiting
The Ermete Novelli Theatre was built in Art Nouveau style with over 200 seats, every year it hosts an important season of Prose with companies of national importance.