What it is and where it is
The Rocca Borgesca is animposing military fortress, built in the Marche town of Camerino in the early Renaissance. Its special feature is that it is not, like classic fortresses, elevated above the rest of the historic center or detached from the city, but rather is an integral part of it.
Why it is special
What makes this fortress special is its composite nature. Let me explain: when you look at it from below, its grandeur immediately leaps to the eye , suggested by the tall and very thick walls that give the idea of absolute indestructibility. However, if you reach the upper part of the fortress, across Via Cesare Battisti and Piazzale della Vittoria, you will find yourself facing a pleasant green park, where children play and adults rest. And any semblance of austerity dissolves in a flash. Look out from the belvedere named after Maria Grazia Capulli, and feast your eyes on the superb spectacle offered by the sinuous hills and, further in the distance, the Sibillini Mountains.
Not to be missed
On the evening of May 17, on the eve of the feast of the Patron Saint, processions of the various Terzieri invade the streets of the historic center in sumptuous period costumes. In the afternoon of the Sunday following the feast of the Patron Saint, the sumptuous Palio procession , consisting of 300 figures including ladies, knights, armigers, musicians and flag-wavers, winds its way through the main streets of the city. The re-enactment is preceded and/or followed by at least 8 days (always in May) of events and initiatives by the Terzieri, including the opening of typical taverns, exhibitions of handicrafts, folklore shows and the performance of marching bands.
A bit of history
The Rocca Borgesca (or Rocca dei Borgia) was built in 1503 by the builder Ludovico Clodio at the behest of Cesare Borgia. It was originally divided from the city by an overhang crossed by a bold drawbridge, an overhang later filled in at the behest of Pope Clement X, Bishop of Camerino, during the seventeenth century. During the German occupation of World War II, the Rocca was used as a Nazi base.
It is said that Cesare Borgia had the fortress built not to defend the town from outside threats, but to keep the inhabitants, who were still tied to the previous dynasty, the da Varano family, at bay: in fact, it would seem that its cannons were aimed inward.
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