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An article from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, now in the public domain.
Any color photos are mine, © William P. Thayer.

Vol. IV

Cagli, a town and (with Pergola) an episcopal see​a of the Marches,º Italy, in the province of Pesaro and Urbino, 18 m. S of the latter town by rail,​b and 830 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (1901) of town, 4628; commune, 12,533. The church of S. Domenico contains a good fresco (Madonna and saints) by Giovanni Santi, the father of Raphael. The citadel of the 15th century, constructed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini of Siena, is on the SE of the modern town. Cagli occupies the site of an ancient vicus (village) on the Via Flaminia, which seems to have borne the name Cale, 24 m. N of Helvillum (mod. Sigillo) and 18 m. SW of Forum Sempronii (mod. Fossombrone). Below the town to the north is a single-arched bridge of the road, the arch having the span of 38¾ ft. (See G. Mochi, Storia di Cagli, Cagli, 1878.) About 5 m. to the NNW of Cagli and 2½ m. W of the Via Flaminia at the mod. Acqualagnac is the site of an ancient town; the place is now called piano di Valeria, and is scattered with ruins. Inscriptions show that this was a Roman municipium, perhaps Pitinum Mergens (Corp. Inscr. Lat. XI [Berlin, 1901] p876). Three miles north of Acqualagna the Via Flaminia, which is still in use as the modern high-road, traverses the Furlo Pass, a tunnel about 40 yds. long, excavated by Vespasian in A.D. 77, as an inscription at the north end records. There is another tunnel at a lower level, which belongs to an earlier date; this seems to have been in use till the construction of the Roman road, which at first ran round the rock on the outside, until Vespasian cut the tunnel. In repairing the modern road just outside the south entrance to the tunnel, a stratum of carbonized corn,º beans, &c., and a quantity of burnt wood, stones, tiles, pottery, &c., was found under and above the modern road, for a distance of some 500 yds. This débris must have belonged to the castle of Petra Pertusa, burned by the Lombards in 570 or 571 on their way to Rome. The castle itself is mentioned by Procopius (Bell. Goth. II.11, III.6, IV.2834). Here also was found the inscription of A.D. 295, relating to the measures taken to suppress brigandage in these parts. (See Apennines.)

See A. Vernarecci in Notizie degli Scavi, 1886, 411 (cf. ibid. 227); Corp. Inscr. Lat. (Berlin, 1901), Nos. 6106, 6107.

[T. As.]

Thayer's Notes:

a Since the 1911 article, the dioceses of the Marche have been consolidated. Today (2003) Cagli is part of the diocese of Fano, officially the diocese of Fano, Fossombrone, Cagli and Pergola.

b Not any more; as of my writing (2003) there has not been any rail line here for many years. According to the 2000 census, the comune of Cagli was home to 9130 inhabitants: the area thus depopulated considerably during the 20c.

c The rest of the article is not really about Cagli, dealing rather with the Via Flaminia thru the Apennines in the Marche, and, due no doubt to the space exigencies of the Encyclopedia, rather summarily at that. If you are interested in this Roman road as it crosses this part of Italy, you're in luck though, since I've walked it from Umbria thru Cagli and all the way to the Adriatic coast: for a well-illustrated account of it, then, see my diary, August 7‑13, 2000.

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Page updated: 13 Feb 21