The old town centre of Corinaldo, positioned on one of the six hills spanned by the municipality, is one of the most beautiful historical villages to grace the Marche Region. It is very likely that its name derives from “Curia di Rinaldo”, the name with Lombard origins that was used to identify the first residential centre in the Early Middle Ages. Historically, the first mention of Corinaldo dates back to the year one thousand A.D., when settlements were transformed into fortified villages all over central Italy, in the “castling” process which had become necessary due to the wave of Saracen, Hungarian and Norman invasions. During the crisis of the feudal system, Corinaldo’s strategic location between the March of Ancona and Montefeltro caused it to be surrounded and disputed by opposing Guelph and Ghibelline factions warring for power. It was completely destroyed and then rebuilt from scratch with the city wall as it stands today: 912 metres of wall, almost all of which can be completely travelled, marked with gates, ramparts and defence towers. Still perfectly preserved, the walls make the historical town centre of Corinaldo a rare example of military architecture, a fortified city capable of resisting the sieges that were to follow in subsequent centuries. In 1517, Corinaldo rose to obtain the status of city, appointed by Pope Leo X who recognised the city’s merit in having resisted the siege of the Duke of Urbino for 23 days. The powerful city walls, known for being the most intact and fortified ones of their kind in the Marche region, embrace a historical town centre full of Baroque and neo-Classical monuments, including churches and stately homes that were built there from the 1600s, proof of an increasingly widespread wellbeing. These still contain precious works of art created in the Renaissance period: amongst the artists present in Corinaldo at the time, the most noteworthy were painter Claudio Ridolfi and organist Gaetano Callido. The backbone of the historic town centre is the Piaggia, the flight of one hundred steps which hosts the annual historical re-enactment of the Dispute of the Well of Polenta.
If, on one hand, each year Corinaldo attracts many fans of medieval history, on the other hand, it also has a deep spiritual calling which attracts pilgrims from all over the world. Famous as the birthplace of St. Maria Goretti, the Holy Child, Corinaldo is today a destination visited by pilgrims all year round. The faithful can visit the Saint’s birthplace – which still contains the original furniture of the period and in which a chapel has been created for prayer – and the Diocesan Sanctuary of St. Maria Goretti in the historic town centre. Here, there is a silver urn containing the bone of the Saint’s arm, the same arm with which the Martyr attempted to defend herself from her aggressor.
With its particular vocation for welcoming visitors, Corinaldo is a tourist destination full of treasures. It offers numerous opportunities for experiencing the sights and sounds of the area in itineraries on the trail of history and culture, religion and nature, not to mention fine food and wine.
Awards and titles
- Orange flag
- Most Beautiful Villages in Italy
- Green flag
- Village of the Year 2007
- European Destination of Excellence
- Targa Blu 2008
- “Terre di Frattula” Consortium
Corinaldo is a member of:
- “Città dell’olio” National Association
- Theatrical Activities Association of the Marche Region
- “Roman City of Suasa” Consortium