Holidays in Senigallia: history, art and nature
As of 23rd July 2010 Senigallia is the first town in Italy to adopt the Qrcity system!
Take a photograph of any of the Qr codes dotted about the town and instantly get the history of that place on your mobile phone.
Here's what you can discover:
The history of Senigallia dates back to ancient times and the town owes its name to the population of Gauls that settled in this part of Italy; it was also the first ancient Roman colony on the Adriatic and was a base for trade and commerce. For centuries Senigallia enjoyed great fortune as well as periods of ruin until the rule of the Della Rovere and the Montefeltro families. This was to be the most important period in the history of Senigallia and - in line with plans for a functional city - the town's urban layout was redeveloped, embankments were built on the River Misa, the first green spaces were created and huge importance was given to the road networks. Over the centuries Senigallia's incredible artistic heritage continued to grow and its old town is full of remarkable monuments, piazzas, churches, museums and palaces.
Rocca Roveresca Fortress
The Rocca fortress exemplifies various different styles from different centuries. It is an impressive square fortress with four bastions from the 15th century. It was once used as a prison and is now the symbol of the town, welcoming those arriving from the sea and presenting the entire history of the old town that lies behind. The fort is open to the public and houses a museum exhibition on the history of the Della Rovere family, who were behind the original idea for the fortress. Cultural events are also held here throughout the year.
Il Foro Annonario
Local architect Pietro Ghinelli originally designed the circular, neoclassic Foro Annonario for market trading and it is composed of a portico and twenty-four Doric columns. Nowadays fruit, vegetable and fish markets are held here each day. The covered area has been magnificently restored and turned into bars, ice cream parlours, a public library and a municipal archive.
Il Palazzetto Baviera
This was built at the same time as the Rocca Roveresca and was the idea of Giovanni Giacomo Baviera. It is situated in Piazza del Duca, right next to the Rocca and has a series of stuccoes from 1590 that illustrate stories taken from important literary works. The most obvious ones are episodes from the History of Rome, Genesis, and Homer's Iliad.
The "Rotonda a Mare" Pier
The true symbol of the town, the "Rotonda a Mare" stands right opposite Hotel Palace. It was inaugurated on 18th July 1933 and quickly became the centre of the social scene and one of the best places for musical entertainment. Towards the end of the 1980s however things slowly started to decline and eventually the building was shut down. It was reopened again in summer 2006 with the aim of creating a public space which could showcase original ideas from contemporary culture. Hotel Palace is just a stone's throw from the Rotonda sul Mare, which means hotel guests can easily enjoy the pier's packed calendar of events and shows.
Portici Ercolani Arcade
Walking along the right bank of the River Misa we come across the Portici Ercolani arcade, a striking sequence of one hundred and twenty six arches built from Istrian stone. The arches are reminiscent of the trade fair that brought the town to life, with merchants from the east who had their warehouses here and brought goods from Greece and from other Mediterranean ports. Each year at the end of August the people of Senigallia celebrate their trading past with the festival of Sant Agostino.
The Fenice Theatre
Tourists from all over the world come to visit The Fenice Theatre, which is situated in the old town and easy to get to from Hotel Palace.
Inaugurated in 1996, this modern, versatile theatre was built in Senigallia on the ruins of a previous structure that collapsed in the earthquake in 1930. Cultural events are held here and, naturally, there is a jam-packed schedule of theatrical shows, including concerts, famous stand-up comics plus experimental prose.
An archaeological area was discovered underneath the modern theatre during restoration work with finds that date back to the Roman age. Visitors enter the area through an entrance in the gardens below the town walls where they can admire what remains of an urban landscape from 2,000 years ago. There are Roman roads with evident signs of cart tracks, little openings which are probably the remains of ancient workshops, a large domus and a fountain.
Palazzo Mastai – Museum of Pius IX
Pius IX, the longest reigning pope, was born in Senigallia and Palazzo Mastai houses a collection of his memoirs.
The palace was built at the end of the fifteenth century and is a striking building which has been well preserved over the years.
Piazza Roma – Neptune Fountain
Una graziosa piazza dove è possibile osservare il Palazzo del Governo in stile Seicentesco.
In this pretty piazza visitors can see the striking seventeenth century Palazzo del Governo.
The building was attributed to the architect Muzio Oddi who came from Urbino and who also built the delightful Neptune Fountain.
Some scholars consider it to be Roman, whereas others believe it comes from the Giambologna school.
Santa Maria Delle Grazie Church and Convent
The Santa Maria delle Grazie Church and Convent are situated on a hill just outside the old town.
They were built by the Della Rovere family, who decided to build the complex after making an offering to the Madonna.
The characteristic cloister is open to the public. Originally there were going to be two adjacent cloisters but this plan was abandoned and the cloister as we now know it was created instead.