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Mount St. Martin

A corner of the Middle Ages, on a rocky outcrop among the waves of the Blue Mountains


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Where is


Monte San Martino, Macerata, Marche, Italia (576m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

Monte San Martino is a medieval village of about 700 inhabitants, perched on a hill in the Sibillini Mountains, 600 meters above sea level, between the provinces of Fermo and Macerata.

Why it is special

Coming to visit Monte San Martino, one is thrown into the midst of the Middle Ages. The silence of the alleys tells ancient secrets that have remained trapped in the centuries-old stones of the buildings that loom on either side of the narrow streets. Stairways and terraces drop steeply from top to bottom in a continuous vertical layering of buildings made of exposed stones. If one casts one's gaze over the horizon from the viewpoint, one can see hills and mountains that, with their sinuous curves, seem to re-propose the high ridges of a stormy sea. Yet there is no storm in the soul: only peace from up here!

Not to be missed

The church of San Martino dominates the village from the highest point. It houses no less than four precious 15th-century polyptychs inside (three by Vittore Crivelli, including a Madonna with Children and Saints, painted with his brother Carlo, and one by Girolamo de Giovanni). The church can be reached from a circular road that starts from a parking lot in the lower part of the village and climbs up flanking the ancient city walls. Descending from the church of San Martino, one arrives at the central square where the Church of St. Augustine stands.

A bit of history

The origin of Monte San Martino probably dates back to the period of the first great expansions of Roman territory towards the Central Apennines. Certainly the passage of the Franks in the 10th century is attested, following which the village received its present name, in honor of Martin Bishop of Tours. The village, on the Guelph side, was granted various privileges by the Pope, including being able to be governed by noble families of the town. It became a free commune in 1240.


In these small villages, everyone knows and supports each other, especially in difficult times, as was the 2016 earthquake. One very special thing about this place is that-if you wish, at any time-someone can provide you with contacts to open the doors of the Church of San Martino, museums, and other places of interest, so that you can fully enjoy a religious or civil monument.

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Recommended by
Luigiandrea Luppino

On the crest of a wave a little higher than those around it stands a strong-looking stone village, like a ship accustomed to constant storms on the open sea and the roar of thunder.