Corinaldo-Historical Itinerary

A stroll in and around the Village to discover the city walls and all its defence structures, the medieval history of Corinaldo and finally the castles and fortifications present in the Marche area.

1)Torre dello sperone

Symbol of the city walls of Corinaldo, it is a powerful pentagonal tower around 18 metres tall, the tallest in the entire complex. It was built to defend the bridge house which was located in the spot where the Church of Suffrage stands now. Inside, it features a shrine dedicated to the victims of war. On the walls to the east of the tower, an opening created in the early 1900s to facilitate the access of the first motor vehicles to the historical town centre, is visible.

2)Porta San Giovanni

This is an imposing structure composed of an entrance archway in the centre and buildings that hosted the home of the Bargello (captain of the people) and his guard corps. Many of its original defence elements are preserved there unaltered, including the “bianchetta”, a small door to the left of the archway that gave access to the centre at night or in the periods of siege. The runners of the beams that were part of the drawbridge, the door hinges and the holes where the beams were inserted to bar the door are still visible. On the wall to the left of the entranceway, in a niche cut into a mouth of fire there is an image of the Virgin in 18th century paper maché, which is particularly venerated by the population. In the opening towards the centre, past the ogival archway, it is possible to see a slit where an iron shutter ran, an extreme defence mechanism used to fend off attackers. Turning towards the well of the bargello, we reach the terrace over the archway, where it is possible to admire panoramas of both the centre and the countryside. Here too there are many elements typical of the military architecture of the 14th and 15th centuries, such as archers, arquebuses, brackets, machicolations and crenelations. Following the bend on the left of the archway of the slayer, we reach the tower that bears the same name.

3)Torre dello scorticatore

This tower was specifically designed to defend Porta S. Giovanni and especially Porta S. Maria del Mercat, as a location from where low shots could be fired. From the top we can see the sphaeristerium below, or the playing field used for hand football, popular in Corinaldo from the 19th century until the years before the Second World War. Descending the steep road, we find ourselves on a walkway, from which we can admire the city walls of Corinaldo in all their glory, which reach a height of 15 metres in this point. Ahead, we reach the lowest part of the walls, dominated by the mass of Porta S. Maria del Mercato.

4)Porta Santa Maria del Mercato

A defence structure composed of two parts, built in two subsequent periods: a 14th century archway with an ogival form, providing access to the steps in Via Piaggia, with epigraphs bearing the year of construction and a polygonal rampart with another entranceway, perpendicular to the previous one, added in 1400. On this second gate, we can see several remains of the drawbridge. The rampart built to defend the most ancient gate presents an internal courtyard designed to defend the village from any attackers that may have succeeded in bypassing the first archway. At the top of the archway, on the exterior, there is a niche containing an image of St. Anna, patron saint of Corinaldo. When the sieges subsided, the archway built in 1400 was improved aesthetically and used as the foundations of a gaming house for the nobles of Corinaldo. Returning up towards the left of the great stairway in the bend we come across the Midday Tower or the Torre del Mangano.

5)Torre del Mangano

It is named after the street which bears the same name and the mangle, an ancient tool used to wring fabrics, positioned here until 1940. Proceeding up along the road, we reach the Torre del Calcinaro.

6)Torre del Calcinaro

Originally the tower had a pentagonal layout and was endowed with a thick ridge dangerously jutting out over the road below, and it was therefore demolished and rebuilt at the end of the 1800s, in its current form, so bringing it into line with the nearby Torre della Rotonda and Porta Nuova. Proceeding upwards, we reach the Torre della Rotonda.

7)Torre della Rotonda

The Torre della Rotonda, with its semi-circular plan, is part of the extension added during the Renaissance. Work began in 1484 and ended in 1490. Looking south from its terrace, we can see where the two perimeter walls join. From a grille in the centre of the terrace a domed shooting room is visible. Ahead, again towards the bend, we enter a road characterised by a series of small bridges which reach the walls: Via dei Landroni.

8 The Entrance Passageways

This is a colonnaded corridor formed by the raising of the 18th century stately buildings located along Via del Corso. The route is extremely striking and brings us to the third entranceway to the historical town centre, Porta Nova.

9)Porta Nova

In chronological order, this is the last entrance to Corinaldo Castle to be built, dating back to the Renaissance period. The great tower contains a domed shooting room; it is possible to climb up over the tower using the set of steps positioned to the left of the main opening. The entrance archway was significantly extended in the early 20th century to allow the first public transport vehicles access to the centre. Exiting from Porta Nova, on the right we access the last section of the wall, located in Viale dietro le Monache, a striking wide road where various towers can be seen incorporated in the 18th century buildings above, which still feature mouths of fire and traces of crenelations. The wall comes full circle in Piazza della Fontana, beneath the former convent of the Benedictine Nuns.

Historical Re-enactment of the Dispute of the Well of Polenta

From Porta di Santa Maria del Mercato, we reach the majestic stairs in Via Piaggia, at the centre of which we find the Well of Polenta, the backdrop for the historical costume re-enactment of the 16th century event, now in its 36th edition, the oldest event of its kind in the province of Ancona. The celebrations of 1517 which followed the failure of the Duke of Urbino to besiege the city are evoked with art shows, archery contests and the Palio of the various districts. The event is also the occasion on which the tale of The Well of Polenta is re-told, together with that of the fig wood cannon. The festival is held every year for four days, in the third weekend in July. The costumes can be viewed all year round in the Costume Gallery and Museum of Popular Tradition.

Places to visit nearby

1 Gradara – Medieval capital

2 Mondavio – A masterpiece of military architecture

3 The Castles of Arcevia Nine castles, plunging the visitor into the Medieval

4 Senigallia – The Rocca Roveresca, a fortification between the city and the sea

5 Fabriano – Museum of Paper and Filigree

6 Archeological Park of the Roman City of Suasa – The ancient roots of our territory