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Sant’Elpidio a Mare, Façades of the Luigi Cicconi Theatre and the Town Hall

On a hill washed by the rivers Chienti and Tenna stands Sant’Elpidio a Mare which conserves two fine examples of neoclassical architecture, both designed by the genius of the San Severino-born architect Ireneo Aleandri. In a period in which “unity and simplicity were the two true sources of beauty”, the exaltation of aesthetic rationality translated into praise of balance, the celebration of a rational stylistic linearity and a categorical rejection of bizarre baroque fancy. Aleandri knew how to make wise use of the classical repertory and managed to design works which communicate majesty despite the cultured moderation of which he became a supreme interpreter. As well as the Sferisterio in Macerata which expresses grandiosity while still being free of useless ornaments, the architect from San Severino Marche designed the theatre named after Luigi Cicconi and the Town Hall of Sant’Elpidio a Mare. Along Corso Baccio we come to the first building, built between 1870 and 1872 and dedicated to an excellent tragic poet and intellectual of the Risorgimento. Of the original design only the façade remains, because the interior was completely rebuilt after demolition in 1952. The theatre, which has a single storey, presents a brick façade divided into two levels by a simple string course. Whilst the lower level is broken up by a series of doors with rounded arches, the one above is distinguished mainly by the central part which displays the name of the theatre and is broken up by four pilasters with composite capitals surmounted by a sober tripartite architrave.

The upper edge is also decorated with toothed moulding which recalls to mind celebrated examples of classical architecture. In Piazza Matteotti, together with fine monuments such as the outstanding Collegiate Church of Saint Elpidius, the Jerusalem Tower and the Lateran Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy, stands the Town Hall. Built around the end of the 14th century, it was restored in the first half of the 16th century following plans by the Lombard architect and painter Pellegrino Tibaldi, known also as Pellegrino Pellegrini. The building underwent another significant restoration in 1862, planned by the architect Ireneo Aleandri. The building, which houses in the council room two polyptychs by Vittore Crivelli, has a neoclassical façade in rose-coloured brick broken up by smooth mouldings of Istrian stone. The central body, which is divided into three levels, features a portico with three vaulted rounded arches alternated with pilasters with Doric capitals. The second level repeats the pattern below it, while the third level, which is lower, bears the symbol of the Municipality in the centre.