I must admit that Isabelle and her husband Erik sometimes suprise me with the places they’ve been visiting over the 21 years they’ve been in our region. For example, they went to a former World War I and II prisoners camp in Servigliano, about which we will explain more in another article, that I had never heard of before!
The camp itself is worth a post on its own, and that’s why today we talk about the municipality of Servigliano, which turned out to be such a surprising place for Isabelle and Erik! They expected the usual medieval castle fortress on a hill, but found a special town in rectangular shape in the valley… There was probably an unusual explanation behind it!
First of all, it’s very uncommon to visit a village in Le Marche without it having at least one or two steep roads! Here in Servigliano everything seems flat, however pleasant! There are lots of greenery and squares: surely some top place to visit in the summer. The churches were unfortunately closed, so they couldn’t see inside.
Everywhere they noticed old city plans with historical explanations on the walls.
Just outside the Porta Clementina they discovered the former monastery of the Order of the Minori Osservanti (a strict Friars Minor order) next to the church of Santa Maria del Piano. The remains of a Roman villa were found here during excavations. The name Servigliano therefore refers to the Roman Publio Servillio Rullo who settled in the area. After the unification, the monastery changed from a school to a hospital to a barracks for the carabinieri.
Around year 1000, 16 families settled on the hill and thus founded the De Castello di San Marco sul Monte, the later castle village of Servigliano. But over the centuries the unfavorable location became all too obvious: repeated landslides destroyed the houses of which the worst happened in 1758.
Pope Clement XIV (Le Marche region belonged to the Papal States at the time) granted permission in 1771 to continue 4 km further to search for and to build a new congregation. So it happened.
To thank the Pope, the inhabitants named the new settlement Castel Clementino. The architect planned a walled rectangular city with 3 gates; the Porta Clementina in the north, the Porta Pia in the south and the Porta Santo Spirito in the east.
In addition to the houses, a town hall and the Collegiata San Marco church were built.
In 1866, after the unification of Italy, the old name Servigliano was used again.
The beautiful sundial contains a beautiful text by Pope John XXIII:
Today, a large part of the approximately 2,300 inhabitants also live outside the city walls. Servigliano also belongs to the I Borghi più belli d’Italia. There are beautiful aerial shots on their website.
We thought it was worth a trip, especially if you can sit on one of the terraces to experience everyday life! In any case, put it on your to visit list when you come to le Marche.
Are you there in August? Do not miss the medieval festival of Torneo Cavalaresco di Castel Clementino, a memento of 1450 when the abbot Farfa gave the municipality the valley where the current municipality is located.
Moreover, you should certainly not forget the ex-station, because it now houses a center of the Memoria or Remembrance of the prison camp that served the 2 world wars … But that is for the next time.