The Roman vestiges of the Fiastra Valley

Urbisaglia and Fiastra Abbey

The Fiastra river quickly descends from Macerata to the Chienti valley, returning then the Fiastra and Fiastrella valleys until Piano di Pieca. The river finally descends one more time to the Tennàcola valley and after overtaking the modest high grounds, the river ends in Amàndola, within the Tenna valley. Even though the territory around the river has a limited extension, it has multiple points o f interest; starting off with the Fiastra Abbey - located in the Fiastra Abbey Natural Reserve and renowned for its cistercian structure and its XV-XVI century’s frescos - until the conspicuous Urbisaglia’s roman remains.
Remarkable cistercian building typical of the transition period from the roman to the gothic, the Fiastra Abbey was founded in 1142, when Guarnerio II, duke of Spoleto and marquis of the March of Ancona, gifted the Cistencian Monks of Milan’s Chiaravalle Abbey with a wide territory in the proximity of the Fiastra river. The Church of S. Maria Annunziata is a monumental building in severe cistercian shapes, within which the renovations valued the fresco decoration’s remains conducted in the presbytery by the commendatory cardinals. Next to the church there is the monastry, built like a big square following the cistercian schemes and holding a great clay-brick cloister built in the end of XV century. The structure is characterized by low polygonal pillars on base, lowered arches and trussed roofing. Of remarkable workmanship is also the XIX centrury Giustianiani Bandini Building and its annexed english garden plenty of centuries-old plants: at the moment the building hosts an important convention center and is the Giustiniani Bandini Foundation’s seat.
City of the V Regio Augustea (Picenum) Urbs Salvia was located on the crossing of two important streets, the one that connected Fermo to San Severino Marche and Macerata to Ascoli Piceno. During the republican era it was municipium, while under Augustus became colonia. Urbisaglia’s Archelogical Park extends itself for about 40 hectares and the itinerary tour allows to fully get the structure of a typical roman city. In the highest point is located the aqueduct’s tank, two parallel galleries providing water to the underlying city. Lower down there is the Theatre: built in clay-brick at the beginning of the I century, is one of the biggest in Italy and the only one to include significant traces of painted plasterwork.
On the bottom of the hill rises up the majestic sacred area, built from a minor temple and from a great Temple with crypt-colonnade. The latter is an underground hallway where you can admire fine frescos with iconographies bound to the augustan propaganda and beautiful frames with animal scenes spaced out by lunar masks. Outside the majestic surrounding walls, dated XVI century, is located the Amphitheatre commissioned by Flavio Silva Nonio Basso in the end of I century. In the proximity of the amphitheatre rise up two impressive funeral monuments.

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