Grottammare is a medieval village located in the Marche region in the province of Ascoli Piceno. The fortified walls of the village date back to the sixteenth century erected to cope with the disputes of the adjacent communities and the various pirate attacks. The expansion towards the coast began in the eighteenth century on the intervention of Pope Pius VI with an urban structure similar to that of the Romans ie an intersection of two main axes (the cardo north-south and decumanus east-west) with the main square of the city in the hole and other settlements located on parallel streets.
There are many sites of historical interest in Grottammare:
The Church of San Martino, built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Cupra (deities of the ancient Umbrian and Piceno), one of the oldest monasteries in the province of Ascoli Piceno, founded by Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Farla between the eighth and the ninth century with a crucifix on tables of the seventeenth century, a fragment of the foot of a giant statue walled up the entrance and as fonts, two stones of medieval carved in bas-relief.
The Church of St. Augustine of 1517 with a single nave with a gable roof, an apse and a bell tower with battlements cut off, preserving the mural of Our Lady of Mercy, a fresco by Italian painter Vincenzo Pagani as well as tables of school Crivelli of XV-XVI century. At the top of the main entrance there are the remains of some of the sixteenth century majolica bowls arranged in a cross.
The Church of Santa Maria ai Monti of 1600, now known by the epithet “Oasis di Grottammare”, originally a convent, lies on top of the hill. The monastery was built on the will of the Friar Nicola Da Monteprandone who worked to preserve the image of the Madonna painted on the wall of the ancient shrine built against the plague. Later, because of a fire, most of the fresco was burned with the exception of the Madonna and Child currently located in the apse above the high altar.
The seventeenth-century Church of Saint Lucia built by Pope Sixtus V with the laying of the foundation stone on 17/04/1590. The brick façade is surmounted by a belfry divided by pilasters and enriched by decorative elements in travertine. The elegant portal is surmounted by a pediment arched with coat of arms of Peretti’s family and the one of Pope Sixtus V depicting a lion holding in its paws a branch of pear and a star with three mountains. The interior of the church is a square with a Greek cross inscribed, composed of rich altars, paintings and a precious organ of 1752 by Francesco Fedeli Rocchetta of Camerino.
The eighteenth-century Church of San Giovanni Battista is located on the main square of the Old Incasato, Piazza Peretti, which also stands on the right side the Arancio Theatre dating from the late eighteenth century that houses in its facade a statue of Pope Sixtus V by Stefano Interlenghi. The church also houses the Sistino Museum with inside the Goblet of Sixtus V and the medal with the effigy of the Pope’s sister Camilla Peretti as well as two paintings by the Italian painter Vittore Crivelli representing “San Sebastiano” and “San Rocco”.
Torrione Museum dedicated to the sculptor Pericle Fazzini with its exhibition halls hosting the fascinating scenery of the Tower of the Battle of the sixteenth century. The artist’s linked to the territory through his works such as the Boy with the seagulls, the Metamorphoses, Portrait of Mario Rivosecchi and the Via Crucis visible inside the church of Sant’Agostino.
There are many events that take place throughout the year as the music festival in mid-August with the event of great pianists from all over the world, around the first days of August takes place “Cabaret My Love” on race elimination of young comedians, in January, “Grottammare of the Year” award given to the inhabitant that most stood out in any sector both nationally and internationally.
Food of Grottammare
The traditional cuisine of the medieval village is fish cooked in many different ways but leaving unchanged its typical taste like “olive di pesce al brodetto” or even meat dishes such as the “timballo” or lasagna with meat sauce, the typical olive meat, fried cremini or Christmas cake “frustingo or frestinghe” with dried fruit, almonds, nuts, mulled wine flavored with the addition of cocoa, coffee, rum, orange and lemon zest, candied fruit and various spices.