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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)

Orciano di Pesaro

Spread along a ridge in the hills between the Metauro and the Cesano Valleys, some 30 km away from Fano, the present-day town comprises the original walled village, with its two soaring bell towers, and its long borgo of more recent buildings.
Orciano dates back to early times. According to legend, it was built upon an ancient temple to Janus. Certainly, it already existed in the 7th Century, when it belonged to the Exarchate of Ravenna. After a varied history, it came under the rule of the Malatesta family for the first time in 1306, and once again in 1343, when it was sacked by Galeotto Malatesta and his troops in revenge for the rebellion which all of the inland towns, headed by Orciano, had fought against Fano. Later, together with the vicariate of Mondavio, it became part of the territory of the Duchy of Urbino. In 1550, Duke Guidubaldo II Della Rovere gave it in fief to Count Antonio Landriani and subsequently to Count Prospero Bonarelli, until it was taken away from him in 1574. Entering its fortified walls through the austere entrance gate, topped by the high, domed Torre Civica, we reach the church of Santa Maria Nuova, one of the Marche's most beautiful Renaissance buildings, with its monumental stone doorway, which is said to have been designed by Raphael. The church and the magnificent bell tower above it were rebuilt in 1492 by Baccio Pontelli. Outside, in the borgo, are the church of San Silvestro and the former church of Santa Caterina, which is being converted into a hall for cultural activities.
The ancient fortified village of Montebello stands some distance away in the Orciano district. Here stands the grand, but badly neglected, Palazzo Roveresco, where Lavinia Della Rovere, daughter of Duke Guidubaldo II and Vittoria Farnese, and widow of Alfonso d'Avalos Marquis of Vasto, closed herself off in voluntary reclusion from 1609 to 1632.

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