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Moresco (FM)

Distance: 35,1 km – about 47 min

Moresco is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Fermo in the Italian region Marche, located about 60 kilometres (37 mi) southeast of Ancona and about 30 kilometres (19 mi) northeast of Ascoli Piceno in the valley named Valdaso. As of 2011, it had a population of 606 and an area of 6.3 square kilometres (2.4 sq mi). Moresco borders the following municipalities: Lapedona, Montefiore dell’Aso, Monterubbiano.

Moresco means literary “Moorish”. According to legend, at the time of their raids along the Adriatic coast, a group of Moors went further into the interior in order to build a fortress in the heart of Christianity. Others, on the contrary, maintain that the Castrum Morisci was built near the sea to drive back the assaults of the Saracens. Most probably the place name comes either from a noble family named Mori, or from the word in dialect morrecine, which refers to the heap of stones on which the castle rests.


The outline on the horizon that immediately identifies Moresco is that of its 12th-century heptagonal tower, standing 25 metres (82 ft) high: why it was built with such an unusual number of seven sides is not at all clear – perhaps merely to distinguish it from the other watch towers in the defence system of Fermo. From the top of the tower on a clear day our gaze wanders from Mount Conero to the Gran Sasso mountain and onwards over to the coast of Albania.
The large 16th-century bell still chimes every day in alternate succession with the bell on the Clock tower built to guard and defend the old entrance to the castle. After walking under the Clock tower, we come to the church of St. Sofia, whose original use has since changed: known as lu teatrì, it became a small theatre after its desecration. According to tradition it was built to commemorate a young lady, Sofia Amati, who had been raped and killed. Others believe that the mother of Saint Sofia was born in the castle. The church holds an interesting fresco by the school of Carlo Crivrelli (1430–95).
Also worth a visit outside the town walls is the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Salute and the Church of St. Maria dell’Olmo, in particular, which was enlarged in 1521 to include an ancient Gothic shrine, which divides it into two parts with two different altars. Vincenzo Pagani was asked to embellish the altars, which he did by painting the fresco of the Crucifixion and the altar-piece of the Madonna kept in the Council Room.

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