On the 11 June, 40 comune woke up and found they were no longer living in Ascoli Piceno. They had been shifterd to the new province of Fermo.
Tor the record the 40 are: Altidona, Amandola, Belmonte Piceno, Campofilone, Falerone, Francavilla d'Ete, Grottazzolina, Lapedona, Magliano di Tenna, Massa Fermana, Monsampietro Morico, Montappone, Montefalcone Appennino, Montefortino, Monte Giberto, Montegiorgio, Montegranaro, Monteleone di Fermo, Montelparo, Monte Rinaldo, Monterubbiano, Monte San Pietrangeli, Monte Urano, Monte Vidon Combatte, Monte Vidon Corrado, Montottone, Moresco, Ortezzano, Pedaso, Petritoli, Ponzano di Fermo, Porto San Giorgio, Porto Sant'Elpidio, Rapagnano, Sant'Elpidio a Mare, Santa Vittoria in Matenano, Servigliano, Smerillo, Torre San Patrizio and FERMO.
Fermo is the provincial capital of an area called 'Il Fermano'. It is located a stone's throw away or 5km from Porto San Giorgio on the coast, with the rest of the territory heading inland towards the borders of Umbria and the Monte Sibillini.
Within 50km the land rises from sea level to 2478m at Mount Vettore. This zone is spectacular and off all the main tourist routes. For a combination of history, religious art, medieval festivals and breathtaking countryside it deserves to be visited.
A flick through the glossy promotional material reveals some interesting facts. Firstly, Fermo was one of the highlights of the Grand Tour for idle dreamers. The beauty of the city and its location inspired poet Giacomo Leopardi, and the Palzzo dei Priori is stunning.
Next door is the Public Libary containing a huge wooden globe, the 'Globo Terrcueo' by Amanzio Maroncelli in 1722. It's taller than most men and housed in the Sala del Mappamondo.
Beneath the historical center are 30 interconnecting cisterns built by the Romans to store water while the city's Duomo or cathedral sits rather unusually in its own gardens right in the center of town. Dating from 1227 the front is made from Istrian stone.
The nearby church also houses the chasuble of Thomas Beckett, the famous troublesome priest. We would also welcome an email from anyone who knows what a 'chasuble' is.
"The chasuble is the large outer garment which a priest wears at Mass. Only a priest (or bishop) wears one". Dave, UK.
From Fermo and the surrounding towns, look out for: Copper work from Force and Comunanza (the trade goes way back to the coming of the Farfensi in Marche);
- antique furniture from Amandola;
- straw hats and bags from Montappone, Massa Fermana and Monte Vidon Corrado;
- brocche ceramic jugs from Montottone;
- shoes from Porto Sant'Elpidio, Monte Sanpietrangeli and Monte Urano