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Pollenza (Macerata province)

A town of the southern Marche: 43°16N 13°21E.   Altitude: 344 m   Population (2003): 5900
A distant view of a small city stretched out on the top of a ridge rising above fertile farmland. It is a view of Pollenza, in the Marche (central Italy).

The ridge of Pollenza seen from the road to Macerata.

Pollenza and Treia (7 km NW) are twin towns each on their hill on opposite sides of the Potenza river and the highway to the provincial capital of Macerata, 10 km to the ENE. The S side of Pollenza over­looks a more important but parallel river, the Chienti. Pollenza is 11 km NNW of Urbisaglia and 11 km NE of Tolentino.

The town dates to the Middle Ages and was known as Montemilone until 1862, when it took an Italianized form of the name Pollentia, felt to be its Roman ancestor.

About Pollentia: (a) You should not confuse the place with Pollentia in Liguria, now Pollenzo in the comune of Bra, a place made much more famous by a 5c battle in which Alaric was badly defeated by Stilicho; if you fell on this page looking for that, see Bury's History of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I, p161, where footnotes include the principal sources. (b) No Roman town of Pollentia has been found in this part of Italy, despite being more or less attested in ancient authors (Strabo, V.4 as Πνευεντία; Pliny, N. H. III.13). From a close examination of those sources, there is reason to believe (interesting detailed webpage on the topic now vanished as the Web continues to shrink) that it may have been an earlier name for Urbs Salvia, the town whose ruins lie at the foot of the hill of modern Urbisaglia.

At any rate, Pollenza is a pleasant little brick-built town with several churches, of which the most interesting, from the outside at least, must surely be SS. Francesco e Antonio di Padova, with a startling but attractive façade of 1932. The best of Pollenza's churches, however, is not in the town itself but within the territory of the comune or township nearly 4 km away: S. Maria di Rambona, Romanesque on earlier foundations, with a crypt, good frescoes, and Roman lapidary remains.

And speaking of Roman stone, the visitor will happen on a small Roman altar in the middle of the piazza Ricci: it mentions not Pollentia, but Urbs Salvia. . . .

A proper website will eventually appear here, since I've been to Pollenza, if briefly. In the meanwhile, you should find it useful to read the Mar. 26, 2004 entry of my diary, which also has 2 more photos of the town; and just conceivably the brief sections in the entries for Mar. 25 and May 24 of the same year. For further (and much better) information, see the websites linked in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page.

July 2004, as a first step toward that proper website:

[image ALT: A closeup of a brief, somewhat worn inscription on stone. It is a Roman inscription in Pollenza, Marche (central Italy).]

[ 7/23/04: 1 page, 2 photos ]

Frequent visitors to my site ought to know by now that if a place has five interesting churches and some beautiful scenery, I'll probably show you a Roman inscription first. Sure enough: although in Pollenza there's some excuse for it, since the people of the town are proud enough of it to keep the inscription in the center of a little piazza.


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 Pollenza, possibly only partial. I've been to both Casette Verdini and Pollenza Scalo; these links provide some slight information:

Casette Verdini Pollenza Scalo

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Page updated: 11 Jun 14