Jesi is a town which is situated in Ancona Province, Italy, in the region known as le Marche or, in English, the Marches. Although only a small town, it is rich in tradition and history, with music, food and wine all being celebrated locally.
The town is well-known for its fortifications and walls, which date back to the 14th century heyday of the town, and follow the lines of the old Roman walls. The architect Baccio Pontelli played a key role in redeveloping these walls for Jesi, which still boast some impressive gates and towers, during the 15th century.
An interesting place to begin any exploration of the history of Jesi is at the Piazza Federico II, where local legend states that the Emperor of Swabia, Frederick II, was born. This is also the oldest square in Jesi, and is where the Roman forum once stood. A market is still held to this day on this site in Jesi, maintaining the sense of ancient tradition in this part of Italy.
Cathedral and Churches
Although the current cathedral was not completed properly until the 19th century, there has been a cathedral on the current site since the 13th century. It is highly likely that there were religious buildings on the site before this point though, and a pagan temple was located on the site in Roman times. Other churches also offer insights into the history of the town and Italy. The 13th century church of San Nicolò, for example, has a Romanesque apse as well as a Gothic portal.
Jesi has enjoyed a long association with the arts, and there are some superb paintings on show in this part of Italy. The Philharmonic Orchestra of the Marche is based here, while the Municipal Museum of Art can be found in Piannetti Palace. The work by famous Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto provides many of the gallery’s highlights.
Jesi is a town with such a depth of history and tradition it can be difficult to know where to start. Perhaps the best way of really finding out about this part of Italy is to visit it; any history enthusiast will find it a great adventure.
Picture copyright: prescott09 – Fotolia