Fermo, in the centre
With its Renaissance urban layout, which has remained virtually intact, a visit to this authentic treasure of the Marche region begins from the main Piazza del Popolo, in a series of itineraries studded with churches, noble palaces, courtyards and artistic portals.
Then, when visitors decide to visit the city’s major attractions and its history, the richness of the offer multiplies further.
The Art Gallery, which is filled with late Gothic paintings, is famous for The Adoration of the Shepherds by Rubens. Romolo Spezioli Civic Library, one of the best-known in Italy for its ancient book heritage, has its heart in the 17th-century Globe Room, the city’s pride and joy and a national treasure.
An absolute must for anyone passing through Fermo, even if only for a few hours, is a visit to the Roman Cisterns, a complex water system from the Augustan era and one of the largest, which can be accessed via a fascinating descent into the underground.
Fermo also offers much in the way of museums: annexed to the splendid Cathedral, with its Gothic façade, the Diocesan Museum preserves among its priceless pieces, Thomas Becket’s chasuble, the Oratory of St Monica, with a cycle of late-Gothic frescoes that is one of the most prestigious in the Marche, Silvio Zavatti Polar Museum, which is unique in Italy, and Tommaso Salvadori Museum of Natural Sciences, the two Science Museums, housed in 17th-century Palazzo Paccaroni in Corso Cavour. A little further on, the Church of St Philip Neri, the second Oratorian foundation in the Marche region dating from 17th century that has, thanks to recent restoration, become an auditorium and exhibition hall, a venue for numerous conferences and exhibitions.
Rewarded by the surprise only a visit inside can provide, special attention should be paid to 18th-century Aquila Municipal Theatre, one of the most beautiful and largest in the Marche region. The important structure, which boasts historical backdrops by Alessandro Sanquirico and a central fresco by Luigi Cochetti, is not only one of the city’s most popular cultural assets, but also hosts important performance seasons. The prestigious 19th-century Villa Vitali, built on a design by architect Gaetano Manfredi, houses the renovated open-air theatre, which marks a significant part of the summer theatre season.