Spread across the slopes of a hillside, this ancient fortified town consists of terraced streets and steep alleyways, flanked by buildings arranged at different levels and surrounded by an escarpment wall. In front of it stands the long piazza of the borgo.
The town was already a settlement in Roman times, as is shown by a document of 49 BC found in the ancient parish church, but Cartoceto did not achieve any strategic importance until the early Middle Ages when, in 1351, a castle was built within the fortifications. This remained in use until 1572 when it was destroyed by an earthquake. At first it was ruled by the Malatesta family and then by the city of Fano, which stands 13 km away, under whose authority it remained until the 18th Century. In addition to the ancient parish church of Santi Pietro e Paolo, rebuilt in the 17th Century and now the cemetery church, other buildings of interest include the fine 18th Century Augustinian church and convent of Santa Maria del Soccorso, on the hillside just outside the town, and also, just above the town (where the castle once stood) the 19th Century Collegiate Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia, which houses a venerated 14th Century painting of ‘The Madonna with Child and Angels’. At the entrance of the fortified town we see the ancient building, decorated with corbels and topped by an interesting clock and bell tower, which was once the Town Hall. Towards the east, on the other hand, just beneath the town wall, is the Teatro del Trionfo with a delightful 19th Century auditorium laid out with three tiers of boxes.
Cartoceto is traditionally known for its olive oil production. Four olive presses operate in the town and the surrounding area, producing extra-virgin olive oil of excellent quality which has also been awarded the “D.O.P.” mark (denomination with a protect origin). Another speciality of the area is a cheese known as ‘formaggio di fossa’.

Project categories: Itinerary, Itinerary

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