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Porto Sant’Elpidio, Villa Murri and Villa Baruchello

Porto Sant’Elpidio is known mainly for its secluded beaches and the countryside immersed in a regenerative silence. Also enchanting is the more refined face of the town located between the estuaries of the rivers Chienti and Tenna. As  well as Villa Bernetti and Villa Trevisani which are private noble homes, Porto Sant’Elpidio proudly exhibits two other historical dwellings which stand out like diamonds in a rare jewel. In an area not very far from the Town Hall and the Clock Tower, stands Villa Murri which was built in the first decades of the 19th century by order of the Counts Sinibaldi. Around 1880 the house passed into the hands of the Counts Maggiori Guerrieri Bonafede of Fermo who made it their summer home, while from 1936 it was inhabited by the Murri family who decided finally to sell it to the town council. The brick villa immediately appears sober and elegant. Surrounded by oaks, maritime pines and Canary Island palms, the house has only rusticated corner pilasters, which recall the decoration running along the whole perimeter of the ground floor. In the park we can still see the signs of an Italian-style garden, in which the peculiar bay hedges must have converged in a composed and refined harmony towards the central fountain. Villa Baruchello or Fonteserpe, dating from the second half of the 18th century, stands elegantly in the Marina Picena quarter. It belonged up to the last years of the 19th century to the Bonafede family of Monte San Giusto and was purchased by the local Town Council in 1980. It currently houses a rich botanic garden which is not only protected for the variety of flowers present, but is open to the public every day so that everyone can enjoy the rich natural heritage maintained with rare devotion. At the end of a long drive, shaded by bushy holm oaks, the villa finally comes into sight and shows us the elegant severity of its two wings, joined by a gallery built over a columned loggia. On the basis of a number of written testimonies, the structure on the north side was mainly used as a farm store, while the south wing was the family home. At the back of the eighteenth-century residence is a square courtyard adorned with an elliptical fountain surrounded by four small lawns, which are enhanced by scenic ornamental plants such as palms and cycas which reflect the 19th-century love for the exotic. At the bottom of the garden, stairs guarded by two Carrara marble sphinxes lead to a small oriental-style oasis, decorated with dwarf palms and slim bamboos, which precedes a luxuriant park of holm oaks and magnolias. Both Villa Baruchello and Villa Murri periodically host exhibitions, workshops and cultural events, and every year become an evocative scenario for the itinerant International Festival of Children's Theatre, a cultural event which aims for healthy and intelligent growth of the young generation. 

  1. A very important event is held every year in Porto Sant’Elpidio, denoting keen attention to the needs of young people, who through culture manage to develop both ethical sensibility and solid civil and human awareness. In 1990 the Town Council in collaboration with Compagnia Teatri Comunicanti started the International Festival of Children's Theatre, which deals with subjects of great social interest using an immediate and intelligent language. The programmes presented every year in the event are full, varied and above all exciting, as there are numerous activities which involve the children personally. Acting alternates with clowning, live music, and puppet, animated dummy and marionette shows. As well as the festival which is held every year in July, Porto Sant’Elpidio always dedicates great attention to the young with exhibitions, competitions, creative workshops and stimulating theatre seasons for children and families.