History and archeology in Osimo

Say yes to 2500 years of history in a breath.

The hill where Osimo rises was contested by many population: from Piceni to Greco Siculi, from Galli Senoni to Romani. Thanks to his strategical position, it became an important roman colony, the ancient Auximum, controlling the transit streets between hinterland and sea. It kept his hegemony during the medieval age and, only when it divide itself in Guelfi and Ghibelini, it pass under control of Signorie Malatesta of Rimini, then of Francesco Sforza. It became a free district, after the tyranny of Boccolino Da Guzzone and then it fell under the Papal States. Submitted by Napoleon’s French in 700’s, in 800’s it played a fundamental role in preparing events that brought to the battle of the near Castelfidardo to the conquest of Italy’s unity. After the two world wars, the city became famous for the Osimo’s treaty, signed secretly on 10 november 1975 in Villa Leopardi Dittajuti’s arms room, to definite the borders between Italy and Jugoslavia.

Lapidarium

Open from Monday to Saturday 8:00-14:00. Free entry.

Entering inside the hall of Town Hall, you will have an important meeting with the history. Here there are 12 Roman statues, all without head, that they could tell us the vicissitudes of the whole city.

The name of “headless” given to Osimo citizen came from those sculptures. By the many hypothesis that are told about their decapitation, the most interesting wants that to cut the heads as a slash’s act was Milan general Giangiacomo Trivulzio that for the pope in 1487 banished Boccolino Da Guzzone’s tyrant from the city, because he tried pretending independence from Papal States. But we can’t exclude the fact that the heads were fallen down during others military sequences, like Greco-Gotica war. Inside the lapidarium there are various evidences of medieval and roman age, mostly steles and architectonic decorations. Between these, we can see the relief figuring a procession of magistrates with a soldier, a stelewith the picture of God of Attis and a sepulchral stone with a curios picture.

The fragment that reports the most ancient inscription found with the name of Pompeo Magno (52 a.c.) is the most important evidence of the collection, the famous triumvir that in Auximum, the old name of Osimo, started his political and military career.

The relics of the loggia: the wall structures, the skeletons and the Roman statue (Plotina?)

“During the paving of the municipal loggia, whose restyling began in spring 2016, many important relics came to light. Those finds, concerning buildings and sites belonging to different centuries, testify further the rich town history, from the Picenis’ settlement to the nineteenth century, including the Roman period, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque.

Various wall structures were identified during the excavations, in particular those of the “Santa Maria della Piazza” church, a building dating back to the seventeenth century, probably erected on a precedent construction. There were found some skeletons too, probably people whose death occurred because of a sudden plague. Among those remains, the ones of a young woman buried with her child are quite moving.

The most important discovery was the lower part of a female roman statue, made of precious Greek marble, whose drapery and transparencies attest the work’s extreme high quality. This relic is comparable to another one, found in Tunisia, plausibly portraying Plotina, Trajan’s wife.

The specimen refers to Greek models of late fourth century BC, linked to the modesty iconography, a common one to represent members of the imperial family or persons belonging to a high rank.

Year after year Osimo goes on offering precious sources of inspiration to traveler. There is no need to get into a time machine. Just look out under the porch… you will be able to see its three thousand years long wonderful story.

Archaeological Museum

Open Friday and Saturday 17:30-19:30;

Sunday 10:00-12:30, 17:30-19:30.

In the others days only booked visits. Telephone number 071 7231773

Inside the awesome 18th century building of Palazzo Campana, the archeological museum collects testimonies of Piceni, Galli and Roman from all the territory of Osimo.

You will find particularly interesting the Monte Torto’s evidences and the precious tomb patrimony of Montecerno necropolis. Among the exposed objects the roman funerary stele of two spouses and the “Head of Old” of the first century B.C. will surprise you. The Head that was founded, doesn’t seem to belong to no one of the statues in the City Hall.

The Ancient Sources

Climbing down the stone stairs from the mononym street we arrive in a place where the silence is interrupt only by the water noise. Surrounded by green mosses and small ferns, you will see the ancient Fonte Magna, a Roman nymphaeum dating from the first century B.C. called in this way because of its size and the most important source of the area. It’s told that Pompeo Magno’s horses had drunk there during a short stop in the city for recruiting soldiers to employ against Cesar during the civil wars.

This fountain results to be one of the rare ancient monuments of Le Marche mentioned in written testimonies like the De Bello Gothico of Procopio di Cesarea, where it’s described in details and underlined its strategical importance in the conquest of the city occupied by Ostrogoth of Vitige. The fountain was semicircular and it is thought that at the beginning was protected by a vaulted decorated cover, to permit the access to the water in case of siege too. Fonte Magna is not the only source in the territory. It counts 20 centenaries springs near the water that nowadays flow naturally from the hill. They were needed not only for hydric refueling for the citizen and suburban areas, but also as wash houses, because in many cases are still recognized the stone terraces for washing clothes or roofing for protecting washerwomen from sun and rain.

Every fountain has a own story and one of those is become the protagonist of legends that belong to the folklore, like the treasure Fonte or Fonte della Giana. In each case they represent a recent past, to rediscover and to keep alive in the memory.

Roman Wall

The most extensive section and best conserved of roman wall in Marche is situated in Osimo, in Fonte Magna street.

About the 2 km of city walls, that long time ago ran along the roman perimeter, nowadays we can find only 200 m of wall. It is incredible thinking how these sandstone blocks continue to resist from 174 B.C., when the censors Q. Fulvio Flacco and A. Postumio Albino made the defensive walls together with Tabernae in the zone of ancient Foro, current Piazza Boccolino.

Defined and aligned with the l’Opus Quadratum technique, these blocks still surprise us for their mole and it’s normally to ask how they success in putting together until 10 m!!

Doors of the city

Romans have left an important prove in Osimo city. If we had chance to fly over the hill, we would see how the urban conglomerate had taken during the time the form of a “left foot”, that it pushes out with the point towards the sea. Watching the principal streets it will appear evident the orthogonal map of the ancient roman Castro, with the Cardo and the Decumano (actual Corso Mazzini) in which tips are situated the doors of the city.

porta musone

Musone’s Door: roman door at the south of the ancient city walls, in which the Nuceria street enters in the city, that continues to Ancona. The guardian house behind the defense wall is very important. It was called in mediaeval age “Porta Caldarara” for the presence of Calderai, who worked in that zone. Situated in the Borgo Guarnieri, we can find a Madonna’s picture, who had in her arms Jesus.

portas.giacomo

Saint Giacomo’s Door: called also Porta Borgo, it was the roman door situated in the north of the city walls, where the way to Ancona went out. It was built the actual door between 1487 and 1488. Today the arch of 5 century is still visible with the inscription “Vetus Auximum” on the wedges.

portavaccaro01

Vaccaro’s Door: it is the door situated at the East of the city, called also “Three Arches’s Door” from 1937, when it was extended with the two side minor arches. The emblem on the principal arch is the citizen one. Climbing on the door we can see a beautiful view of the countries that ends to Adriatic sea, towards Monte Conero and Castelfidardo.

Rustic Villa In Montetorto

Actually the area is not usable because of works of restoration. Next opening.

Getting away from the center of Osimo, it’s worth going to the hill of Casenuove, a locality of Osimo, because here just before Montetorto it was discovered an important machinery of oil and wine’s production, dated between the end of the first century B.C. and the 4/5 century A.C. Probably a time ago it was part of a roman rustic villa: a site of interest because of its uniqueness in Italy.

In a hundreds meter’s area, nowadays into a pleasant expanse of olive tree groves and vineyards, we can perfectly recognized the areas of the big wine’s and oil’s presses and the cellars used for the conservation of oil and wine, the “pars fructuaria” of the ancient villa. Sadly, during the excavation’s worksthe “pars urbana” hasn’t been founded and that’s why that it’s hypothesize it was a sort of factory, an agrarian consortium where it could be possible to bring to work the olives and the grapes of the near zones of Musone river and of the intersection between the most important commercial streets, like Flaminia.

During the 5 century it was realized a handcrafted working center of ceramic ad of the metal near to the productive machinery. About this fact, we can consider the various jars and the tools founded. Today the most important reperts are preserved in the Archeological Museum of the city.

Gallery of Figurino Storico

Only guided visits, number 347-4109169. Free offer entry.

Could we learn history in a great way? Sure! A very curious place is waiting for you in Osimo far few meters from touristic office, on the background of the roman walls: it’s the Civic gallery of Figurino Storico, a unusual museum, unique in Marche.

The visitor will find a thematic temporal itinerary, staged with suggestive reproduction of ancient population as Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, trothing back the Renaissance, Modern age, Napoleonic age, Risorgimento to the World Wars.

Even if you aren’t passionate, let you conquer by this engaging history book in 3D with the company of mythical soldiers!