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Provincia di Pesaro e Urbino
Sito in fase di aggiornamento a seguito del riordino delle Province (L. 56/14 e L.R. Marche 13/15)


An ancient town of Roman origin, standing midway up the Metauro Valley along the route of the ancient Flaminian Way and between the spurs of the Cesano hills and the steep northern face of the Colle dei Cappuccini. Fano and the coast are 25 km away.
It stands a little way above the river plain in which the Roman settlement of Forum Sempronii, was built. The town is thought to have been named either after the plebeian tribune Gaius Sempronius Gracchus or after the lex Sempronia which was passed in around 130 BC. Remains of the original town, which was destroyed during the Barbarian invasions, are slowly coming to light in the San Martino del Piano district, where an important archaeological area has been established. Present-day Fossombrone stretches from the hillside down to the plain at the point where the valley narrows. From a distance, we see the town's sloping roofs, interspersed with the bell towers of its principal churches and the upper storeys of the larger noble palaces. These are topped by the wide backdrop of the Montefeltro Corte Alta palace, with its airy loggia (15th-16th Century). Higher still, the view is dominated by the Fortress, built during the time of the Barbarian raids, and, on the summit of Colle di San Aldebrando, by the Malatesta-Montefeltro fortress with its vast keel-shaped bastion which overshadows the surrounding houses. This whole series of historic buildings provides evidence as to how Fossombrone, once it had passed the period of civil strife and rivalry of the Comune period (13th Century) which was directed against the expansionist policies of Fano, was first subject to the Pesaro branch of the Malatesta family, then became one of the major towns in the Duchy of Urbino, before becoming part of the Papal States (1631). These were the years which saw the construction of the Corte Alta, mentioned above. Today, it is the Civic Museum with a fine archaeological section and the Pinacoteca Comunale (the civic art gallery) which houses a magnificent group of paintings by the noted Fossombrone painter Gianfrancesco Guerrieri (1589-1657). Lower down, along the porticoed main street, or corso, are the Baroque church of San Filippo, the church of Sant' Agostino which was rebuilt in the 18th Century and, a little further along, the Cathedral, which was rebuilt in the late 18th century to a design by Cosimo Morelli. Among the town's palazzi are the Town Hall, built by Filippo Terzi (16th Century), the Bishop's Palace with its elegant rusticated facade (15th Century), Palazzo Seta-Cattabeni (16th Century), the Corte Rossa (16th Century), which was one of the ducal headquarters, and the Corte Bassa (16th Century), the residence of Cardinale Giuliano Della Rovere, brother of Duke Guidubaldo II. Still further down we find the Church of San Francesco, restored in the 18th Century, and the fine Biblioteca Civica Passionei, founded in 1784. The Casa Museo Quadreria, once owned by Notaio Giuseppe Cesarini and now the property of the local authority, houses a prestigious art collection in surroundings in which the visitor can experience the atmosphere of an early 20th Century middle-class household. Its many paintings include works by Anselmo Bucci, Achille Funi, Aldo Carpi, Giorgio Morandi, Arturo Tosi, Gino Severini, Walter Lazzaro, Sandro Gallucci, Nino Caffè and Emilio Antonioni as well as sculptures by Francesco Messina, Marino Marini and Angelo Biancini. Across the rebuilt single arch bridge, on the other side of the River Metauro, by the cemetery, stands the Church and Convent of the Annunziata. This dates back to 15th Century but was later modified. On top of the Colle dei Cappuccini (329 m), which looms above it, is the 16th Century Convento dei Cappuccini, which was one of the first monasteries built by the Cappuccine order. Among its founders was Ludovico Tenaglia of Fossombrone.
'La Pineta delle Cesane', a pine wood and nursery run by the State Forestry Corps, stands on a small upland plain (580m) to the left of the Metauro Valley, above the town's Fortress. The plantation was begun in 1916 by Austrian prisoners of war and has expanded over the years so that it now spreads for many kilometres in the direction of Urbino.

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