Almost a vessel of stone and brick on the waves of the Marche hills
What it is and where it is
Seen from above, the shape of the ancient city wall calls to mind a majestic vessel (from which it perhaps derives its name). "Climb aboard" through Porta Nova, a fine 17th-century gateway at the top of an uphill street: impossible to resist the lure of passing through it and browsing through the alleyways, where characteristic red-brick buildings stand. Without a fortress, the only defense of this castle was once the impregnable walls (excellently preserved) that now seem to protect the town from modernity. Don't pass up a walk on the wall walkway in the early morning hours, when the quiet is still absolute, to contemplate the undulating surrounding countryside, all the way to the horizon. On the clearest days, the panorama stretches from San Marino to Conero and from Catria to the Adriatic.
Why it's special
These are the treasures of Barchi to be discovered: Porta Nova, the Palazzo della Rovere, the Civic Palace with its cusped Tower, equipped with a working clock with a single hand, the Church of SS. Resurrection, consecrated in 1606, and the "Museum of pitchers, pitchers and the Banda Grossi," which preserves memories of the art of the pitchers (the terracotta pitchers were used to collect water) and also of the exploits of the brigands of the Banda Grossi in the years of the Unification of Italy.
On the third Sunday in May, the castle opens its doors to the St. Ubaldo Fair, a market of handicrafts and food and wine stands. For the more sporty, on the first weekend of May, the ColleMar-athon, the Marathon of Values, departs from Barchi; crossing two valleys and 5 municipalities, it is considered among the ten most beautiful marathons in Italy. Every last Saturday in June, on the other hand, the Interregional Night Running Race (Km 1.5-3.5-12) of non-competitive amateur nature is kicked off. Finally, on the first weekend in August, Corso Umberto is festively set: a 250-meter table where you can enjoy typical local specialties. The event is known as La tavlata sul castell.
A bit of history
As you see it today, Barchi is the only remaining intact example of the Bolognese architect Filippo Terzi, who designed the entire urban layout in the 500s before serving the royal houses of Spain and Portugal. The Palazzo Comunale, the Tower, Porta Nova, Palazzo della Rovere and Chiesa e Palazzo dei Duchi are also his work.
A legend hovers over Barchi : it tells of a beheaded ghost who, filled with rage, still wanders the surrounding countryside. This would be Asdrubale, who was killed at the hands of the Romans during the Battle of the Metauro that was contested in these very parts.
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