After Metauro: Sant’Angelo in Vado and Mercatello | Culture, ATLAS

There are days when you come back from hiking around the day, really full and satisfied. In the Marche, this feeling is often repeated, so much is the cultural abundance that connotes it. Wherever you go, you have to say, you fall on your feet.

Today we follow Metauro, a river that becomes such a few kilometers from the border with Umbria. Its name reminds us of the epic battle between the Romans and the Carthaginians in 207 BC, with the former’s victory and the assassination of Hasdrubal. It seems that the collision took place near the mouth, on the Adriatic: we are moving instead towards the current, in the hinterland. When we leave Urbania with its perfect perspectives, we travel along the SS 73-bis in an area of ​​beautiful churches and villages. Hills, vineyards, cultivated fields. Oak, beech, poplar. Castles, rural chapels, churches and monasteries, where the life and works of St. Francesco et al. Clear. The landscape offers a rare harmony between nature and human work, which miraculously escaped the havoc that is too often found in other areas of Italy, the intersection of state roads and strategic connecting roads. The gentle walk reconciles the senses and calms the mind: it is really easy to understand why crowds of wealthy foreigners choose to buy a house and spend as much time here as possible.

Floor mosaic of Domus del Mito, Sant’Angelo in Vado (photo by Valeria Canavesi)

Sant’Angelo in Vado welcomes you with the tranquil sobriety of the atmosphere of the past. The city overlooks the river, and if it were not for the cars parked (alas) in every street in the center, you could also be under the illusion of being in a different era. The Renaissance palaces, the many (very many!) Churches, the cathedral, the Campanòn they reproduce architecture and proposals from the Middle Ages and the following centuries. The 8 A flick of the fingers and voila, suddenly we are in the 1st century, a Tifernum Mataurense. The temporal turn takes place in the archeological area between the rooms of the Domus del Mito, a Roman noble house with mosaic floors of unique sophistication. Between mythological representations, geometric compositions, rich representations of plants and animals jars the comparison with modern buildings much. One really wonders what happened to us so ugly!

Roman bridge, Mercatello sul Metauro (photo by Valeria Canavesi)

The enchantment returns to Mercatello sul Metauro. The village is quite close around the Roman bridge, the collegiate church and the building of the historic Monte di Pietà, now the seat of pro loco. You walk through the streets in the center and no longer chase the river, but the memory of Ottaviano degli Ubaldini della Carda: Count of Mercatello, patron and philosopher, likely brother of Federico da Montefeltro and citizen of the Duchy of Urbino. A character of primary size, doomed over the centuries to an inexplicable damnatio memoriae. His official biography is reduced to nothing more than a Martian bas-relief preserved in the Ducal Palace in Urbino portrays him in the same proportions and eye to eye with the famous leader: thanks to the special character of this representation, new studies have begun that rewrite the entire history of the Renaissance. In Mercatello there are some traces: in the Ubaldini Palace, whose construction dates back to 1474 (the year in which Pope Sixtus IV invested Ubaldini with the title Coming Mercatelli), and in Hercules’ frescoes in Palazzo Stefani, perhaps commissioned as a tribute to the Count himself. The Queen’s Trial, however, is in the San Francesco Museum, which houses a valuable fifteenth-century crucifix by Giovanni da Rimini: here they are, they are two medals of the same size, portraying Octavian and Frederick face to face, confirming it straight. meaning and significance of the two characters.

Meanwhile, time, like the Metauro, flows passively. And we, full and satisfied, look forward to soon knowing these still mysterious sides of our history.

Thanks to the guides from pro loco in Sant’Angelo in Vado and Mercatello sul Metauro.

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