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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)


A town with a wealth of interesting buildings, which stands on a wide promontory in the Upper Cesano Valley at its confluence with the River Cinisco and 49.7 km away from Fano.
This area has been inhabited since prehistoric times and bears the traces of later inhabitants, including the Romans. The present town was founded in the first half of the 13th Century. It was built in order to bring work and encourage trade between the inhabitants of the various surrounding castles. This was achieved in only a few decades, by which time the town was flourishing with craftsmen's workshops and as an important business and trading centre. The Malatesta and Montefeltro rulers fought over it until it finally became part of the Duchy of Urbino. During this period, Duke Federico commissioned Francesco di Giorgio Martini to build a heavily fortified castle here. It was subsequently demolished and now only a few ruins remain, next to the 16th Century palace where the poet Girolamo Graziani (1604-1675) was born and died. Only after the historic devolution of the Duchy of Urbino to the Papal State in 1631 did Pergola see its greatest period of economic expansion. This was helped by Pope Benedict XIV who gave Pergola the title of city and appointed the ecclesiastical laureate as Bishop General. This represented the first step towards the creation of the joint Diocese of Pergola and Cagli (1819). On the 8th September 1860 the people of Pergola rose up against the authority of the Papal State. This was the first act of insurrection in the Marche which enabled the Piedmontese troops to enter the region, to defeat the Papal army and to annex the Marche as part of the Kingdom of Italy. Pergola, for the visitor, offers a wealth of monuments and works of art, beginning with the earliest buildings. These include the Gothic church of San Giacomo (13th Century), which was later internally modified, together with the former Augustinian convent which now houses a museum centre, and also the church of San Francesco (which was also later modified), with its fine 14th Century Gothic doorway. The Duomo, or Cathedral church, formerly the Church of the Augustinian monks, has a late Baroque interior and a 19th Century facade. Other Baroque interiors include the church of Santa Maria Assunta, La Chiesa dei Re Magi, Sant'Andrea and the 18th Century Chiesa delle Tinte (Dyers' Church) built in the form of a Greek Cross with its elegant octagonal dome. Other lesser churches include Sant'Orsola, San Marco, San Rocco (with its fine coffered ceiling), San Vitale, San Biagio, Santa Maria di Piazza and, outside the town, Santa Maria dell'Olmo, the church of the Cappuccine monks, Sant'Antonio da Padova and the Oratorio dell'Ascensione at Palazzolo. Many of these churches house important paintings, including several by the Pergola artist Gianfrancesco Ferri (1701-1775). Among the civic buildings are the Palazzo Comunale (town hall) which was built to a design by Gianfrancesco Buonamici of Rimini from 1750. Other noteworthy buildings are the original Palazzo Ducale (now the offices of the Banca delle Marche), Palazzo Malatesta, (later Palazzo Ginevri-Latoni which now houses the Banca di Credito Cooperativo) and the 18th Century Teatro Angelo Dal Foco, recently restored after years of neglect. Other fine private palazzi are those of the Counts Mattei-Baldini and of the Badalucchi, Guazzugli-Gabrielli, Caverni, Giannini (now Buschi), Ruffini and Cini (now Giannini) families.
The name of Pergola has appeared many times recently in the national press over its dispute with Ancona as to where to exhibit the famous "Bronzi dorati", or Gilded Bronzes. This magnificent group of equestrian statues dating back to the Roman period were found at the village of Cartoceto, in the Pergola district, in 1946. Various theories have been put forward as to the identification of the four figures, two men on horseback and two women (a commemorative monument of Emperor Tiberius, members of the Domizi Enobarbu family, etc.) as well as the period from which they date, their origin (Forum Sempronii, Suasa etc.) and the reason why they were broken up into fragments (damnatio memoriae, theft or the spoils of war). After a long and difficult process of reconstruction and restoration, carried out by the Florence 'Centro di Restauro' using the latest techniques and materials, the Bronzes are now on display at the new Museo dei Bronzi dorati e della città di Pergola.

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