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Bill Thayer

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Matelica (Macerata province)

A town of the western Marche: 43°15N 13°00E.   Altitude: 354 m   Population (2003): 10,200

[image ALT: A partial view of a largish town spread out in a plain parallel to a high mountain range behind it, the snowy top of which is mostly obscured by clouds. The town itself is mostly three- and four-story brick buildings, with three square towers rising above the rest. It is a view of Matelica, a town of the northeastern Marche (central Italy).]

I've never been to Matelica, but it's amazing the pictures you can snap from a moving train, and this one was too good not to share.

Matélica is a small town in the mountains of the west central Marche, in the upper valley of the Esino, about 12 km SE of Fabriano, on the train line to Castelraimondo (7 km SE), San Severino (16 km ESE), Tolentino (27 km ESE), and the provincial capital Macerata (40 km ENE).

Founded by the ancient Umbrian people in pre‑Roman times, Matelica has seen and suffered all the usual invaders over the centuries: Romans, Lombards, Church and Empire, from which she appears to have emerged in the 17c with a fair amount of empty space and the money to rebuild. The center of town is marked by the Piazza Enrico Mattei, a large open square with a wealth of monuments: the 12c Palazzo Pretorio with its tower (much reworked mind you in that same 17c) looming over the Renaissance Palazzo degli Ottoni (1472) and its elegant colonnade (1521); and in the center of the piazza a handsome octagonal fountain of 1587. Among the town's old churches, S. Agostino and S. Francesco, each with Romanesque doors, and the 15c Church of the Maddalena.

Until I get closer to Matelica than the railroad tracks, though, I'll point out the obvious: for much fuller and better information, you should see the sites linked in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page — or go there yourself, as I hope to soon.


Like most of the comuni in Italy, Matelica includes in its territory 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"): a list of them follows, which I believe is complete. I haven't been to any of them yet, so any links will be offsite.

Balzani • Braccano • Castiglione • Cavalieri • Colferraio • Collepere • Colli • Mistriano • Pezze • Piane • Poggeto • S. Nicola • Terricoli • Valbona • Vinano

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Page updated: 22 Feb 22