Wonder  }  Architecture

Martinian Fortifications of Mondolfo

War and Peace among the rolling hills of the Marches

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Where is


61037 Mondolfo PU, Italia (116m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

Two circles of walls, at times distinct, at times joined, outline an irregular, "almond-shaped" quadrilateral. It is the legacy of the castle that in time became the village of Mondolfo, and today as then represents the adaptations of defensive structures to the changing needs of the art of warfare in the last decade of the 15th century. Porta Nuova and the Bastion of Sant'Anna are two of the protagonists of this splendid war machine designed by Francesco Martini. The beauty and grandeur of the structure are such that Mondolfo is now a member of the Association of Walled Cities of Europe.

Why it is special

What the fortifications tell is a story of architecture, ingenuity, innovation and reaction to new firearms. It is both the history of Mondolfo and the history of humanity, of progress. To the dominant position on the Adriatic, Francesco Martini, a skilled architect, added scarped walls, low to the horizon, with redondone, filled with ramparts, punctuated by patrol walkways and more, and made them suitable to resist the first firearms. Today it remains as a monument to the new Renaissance art of war, but also a source of peace for those who decide to lose their gaze in the vast horizon offered by the Belvedere.

Not to be missed

Those who are peckish are sure to come across the Dolcetti di Sant'Anna. You may not perceive it at first glance, but what you take in your hands and taste is a little piece of Mondolfo tradition, born in the Monastery of St. Anne. The nuns were famous for making tasty cookies in the curious silhouette of "aquatic and terrestrial" animals. There is no doubt about it, you cannot leave Mondolfo without tasting these sweets that, although the nuns are no longer there, are still made by local bakeries with a secret recipe handed down from generation to generation.

A bit of history

It is the spring of 1517 when the army of Lorenzo II De' Medici - known as Lorenzino - shows up under Mondolfo's walls, intent on claiming his lordship over this Adriatic fortress. The Mondolfese did not open their gates to the Magnifico's nephew but rather engaged in battle and struck between head and neck with an arquebus shot, Lorenzino himself. Severely wounded he is taken to Ancona, where he survives surgery. And the Mondolfesi? Due to a betrayal in the pacts, they have no choice: they must resign themselves and temporarily surrender the settlement.


Mondolfo's municipal banner stops time by tinging itself with the two colors that have dazzled those who have been observing the landscape from the belvedere for centuries: gold, of the blond harvests in the June sun, and blue, of the fishy Adriatic, which bathes the municipal territory in Marotta. But alongside those who wish to immortalize this timeless history, there are those who prefer to mark it undaunted: it is the great pontifical hour machine, a true jewel for computing time that the Mondolfo Civic Museums guard.

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Destinazione Mondolfo Marotta

The castle of Mondolfo, the ancient settlement enclosed by the 15th-century double curtain wall resulting from the military genius of the Sienese architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini, is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.


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