Workshops of ancient crafts | Itinerario
A land that even nowadays still maintains its own identity in the traditional activities, of the workmanship from ceramics to straw, which still remind us of the laboriousness of the ‘Fermano’ population. The artistic craftsmanship of the territory is based on work activities of ancient traditions, carried out with characteristic materials, which live harmoniously side by side with the most modern of technologies. There are more than 200 firms working in this small territory and in some of them it is possible to buy ceramics, hats of all sorts and for all ages, besides also scarves, bags and other products.
Going along the SP239, towards the SP48 in the direction of Montappone, we arrive at Massa Fermana, the start of our itinerary inside the Hat and Ancient Street Crafts Museum (Tel: 0734/760258), situated on the ground floor of the ancient castle. It is surely the best way to get to know the typical craftsmanship and the machinery used, before wandering about to make a few purchases. Going back towards Montappone we can enjoy ourselves inside the Exhibition of the Cappello Pazzo (= the Mad Hat) and the Hat Museum (Tel: 0734-760426). Amongst straw hats, top hats and cocked hats we can also see the last hat worn by Federico Fellini. We are now immersed in the walk of the five knots: five towns, now socially tied into each other within the Hat District which have interwoven their relationship around the tradition of the straw threads.
Monte Vidon Corrado is so near that it would be a pity not to go there. In this small ‘borgo’ Mysterious Amalasunte, Magic Numbers, Rebellious Angels and Yellow Moons remind us of the ingenious painter Osvaldo Licini.(Centro Studi Osvaldo Licini and House of the artist, Tel: 334/9276790). This is one of the locations in which the famous straw craftsmanship, which dates right back to the XVIII century, was and still is most highly concentrated.
Carrying on to Falerone, famous for its archeological park, we have the chance to review some of the cultural traditions: in fact each second Sunday in August, the Nzegna dance is organized, where they dance around the votive cartloads of wheat to give thanks for an abundant harvest.
We carry on along the SP239 to get to Servigliano wherewe can then admire its XVIII century plan of the elementary and rational urban layout. An interesting curiosity: the town is divided into “rioni” (districts) that on the third Sunday of every August challenge each other in the Torneo Cavalleresco (Knights’ Tournament).
Just a few km. away is Belmonte Piceno, a compulsory stop for those looking for rarities: the historic centre preserves in fact an ancient Paleochristian architecture: the Church of Santa Maria in Muris, a small structure of Benedictine origins with the typical watch-tower.
From Belmonte we move to the nearby Monsampietro Morico, noted for its traditional crochet and lace work; it is a small borgo of the ‘Fermano’ hinterland which rises up on a delightful hill on the edge of the Ete Vivo River.
Going just a short distance we go through the hamlet of Sant’Elpidio Morico before reaching Montottone, named “lu paese de li coccià” (= in dialect, the place of pots). Here ceramics are well at home amongst the traditions and the small laboratories of vase makers who exhibit handmade crockery, terracotta and majolica, one different from the other and soaked in such ‘imperfect’ beauty.
Just a few minutes down the road, and we’re at Monte Rinaldo, a frontier territory in the Middle Ages, whose roots go deep into the Roman era and which are still visible in the Tardo Repubblicano Sanctuary.
Our itinerary ends with a visit to Montelparo, where small sloping streets join up with steep steps. We get to the end with a visit to a particular curiosity: The Museum of the ancient street crafts (Tel: 0734-780141) which once again brings us to re-live the traditional activities and the antique fascination. If you are going back to Porto San Giorgio on your travels, we advise you to make a short detour to Marina Palmense where you will find shops which continue the tradition of glass and wrought iron.
We advise spending 3 days to enjoy this route satisfactorily.
Elenco Punti di Interesse associati all'itinerario
Comune: Tel: 0734.771100
P.zza G.Leopardi n.6
Tel 0734.771100 - Fax 0734.771291-0
Associazione Minerva (per informazioni turistiche e Musei): Tel. 0734 759670 - 333 5816389
Comune: tel. 0734/759348
Centro Studi Licini: 0734/759348-6; 334 9276790