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Treia (Macerata province)

A town of the southern Marche: 43°19N 13°19.   Altitude: 342 m   Population (2003): 9500

[image ALT: An urban scene. On the left a stone wall about 8 meters high, topped by a balustrade, with behind it parts of some formal square buildings; to the right, a tree; in the background a large steepled church with a construction crane towering over it. It is a view of Treia, in the Marche (central Italy).]

Above the city walls, the Piazza del Comune; the crane towers over the Duomo.

Treia and Pollenza (7 km SSE) are twin towns each on their hill on opposite sides of the Potenza river and the highway to the provincial capital of Macerata, 12 km to the ESE. Treia is 18 km NNE of Tolentino.

Treia is said to have been founded by the Sabine people in 380 B.C.: now there was indeed a small Roman town by that name, recorded as a municipium in 109 B.C. — but that town was in fact in the plain below the modern town and about 2 km to the west of it, at SS. Crocifisso: many Roman remains can be seen in the area, and two large Egyptian religious statues of the Roman period have been found there; long incorporated in the façade of that sanctuary of SS. Crocifisso, they've since been replaced by copies and the originals are kept in the town's museum: they are unique in the Marche.

At any rate, this Roman town appears to have been abandoned at the fall of the Western empire, and only in the 10th century was a new town founded on the top of the hill, named Montecchio. The town sided with the Pope in the temporal struggles of central Italy, and was besieged several times, most notably in 1239 by Enzo, a son of Frederick II and again in 1263 by Conrad of Antioch, who was captured at the nearby battle of Vallesacco, and held for several months in town in a small prison (now in use as a caffé). Montecchio eventually became part of the Papal States, and in 1790 Pope Pius VI rewarded it for its faithfulness by raising it to the official rank of "city", at the same time renaming it Treia.

The town now is a densely urban little place, lens-shaped to cover its hill, retaining its medieval walls and gates, and mostly built of brick. If like me you far prefer stone to brick, this might sound dull; in Treia's case it isn't: the brick is of a felicitous golden color, and not only the main monuments but even private houses use it in interesting decorative variations; though the individual churches, the classical-period Palazzo Comunale and the theater are all pleasant, they are outshined by the town as a whole, which, so to speak, is its own star.

A proper website will eventually appear here: as you can tell by now, Treia is one of the places I'm fond of, and I've spent some time there, if not enough. In the meanwhile, you should find it useful to read the Mar. 25 and May 2324, 2004 entries of my diary, which also have 3 more photos of the town and the sights near it. For further (and much better) information, see the websites linked in the navigation bar at the bottom of the page.

Frazioni

Most of the comuni in Italy include in their territories some smaller towns and hamlets, of a few hundred inhabitants if that, with a certain administrative identity of their own: as elsewhere in Italy, these are referred to as the frazioni of the comune (singular: frazione, literally a "fraction"). Here follows a list of the frazioni of Treia, possibly only partial. I've only been to Passo di Treia: the link sends you to my diary again:

Camporota • Chiesanuova di S. Vito • Passo di Treia • S. Maria in Selva


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Page updated: 21 Oct 04