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Turismo.pesarourbino.it
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)

Mercatello sul Metauro

Stands in the upper Metauro Valley, 79.2 km from the sea, on the road which climbs through the Apennine mountains to the Bocca Trabaria Pass (1044m), linking the Marche with Tuscany.
The history of this typical hill village goes back as far as the first settlement in Etruscan times. During the Roman period it stood between the territories of Tifernum Mataurense (S.Angelo in Vado) and Tifernum Tiberinum (Città di Castello). It was later subjected to the various upheavals of the Barbarian invasions. The church of San Pietro d'Ico, which was donated by Pepin the Short to the Roman Church, stood here. Later the area of the town became a small market place (from which it takes the name Mercatello) for the supply of fir wood trunks from the Massa Trabaria district. It wasn't until the 13th Century, when (on the suggestion of Pope Gregory IX) the inhabitants of seven surrounding villages moved down into the valley, that the present town was built. In 1437, following the marriage of Gentile Brancaleoni and Federico da Montefeltro, Mercatello finally left the control of the Massa Trabaria territory to become part of the future Duchy of Urbino. Today Mercatello, with its wealth of fine buildings, offers several interesting places to visit. These include the ancient Collegiate Church (formerly the parish church of San Pietro), with its adjoining Museum of Church decorations and vestments and also the church of San Francesco, with its adjoining Art Gallery which contains fine paintings from the 13th and 14th centuries. Other churches include Santa Chiara, Santa Croce and Santa Maria del Metauro, as well as the Cappuccine monastery. Among the towns civic buildings are Palazzo Gasparini with its elegant rooftop loggia, the Ducal Palace, known as the 'Palazzaccio' and the picturesque three arched Romanesque bridge which crosses the River Metauro.
Of no lesser interest for the visitor to Mercatello and its district is the perfect state in which the town's principal buildings have been preserved, the wealth of ordinary houses and surrounding farmhouses and the smaller villages nearby, such as the borgo of Castello della Pieve, which make travelling in this area particularly interesting.

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