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Located 700 meters above sea level, it stands on a hilltop with the light blue backdrop of the Sibillini Mountains and enjoys a wide view that stretches as far as Monte Conero dropping down into the Adriatic Sea. Also known as "the balcony of the Sibillini Mountains", it faces a complexity of rolling hills, fields and landscapes typical of the Marche Region.
In the Middle Ages the architectural structure was formed that still dominates the city’s landscape with its turreted walls and eight gates including; Porta Picena, Porta Ascarana, Porta Offuna, numerous churches and the Pilgrim Hospital which represents a good example of Gothic Roman art.
The first news of the oppidum Esculanum which was transformed into the Castle of San Ginesio dated back to the late tenth century. The life of the Castle of San Ginesio began almost by chance and the village stretched randomly across the highest part of the hill. The period of reconstruction was around 1050. At that time, San Ginesio already had at least two churches, the oldest being St. Michael and St. Peter. In the church of St. Peter, which in 1281 became St. Francis, events took place that brought the Community together.The defence, acquisition of land, increase of the arts, commerce and configuration of the social order were the prime concern of the active future of the Castle. In addition to these requirements there was an urgent need for a place of worship representing the entire Christian community that would give life to this new venture. The Pieve Collegiata was the choral expression of this pride. The great monumental system of the Collegiate Church speaks clearly of the ambitions of this municipality. This monument became a "status symbol" of the community on the pattern of structures merging with the aesthetic ambitions of the most vital periods in its history. The first urban demand for a settlement grew spontaneously and without order occurred in 1250 when the magistrate of San Ginesio addressed the Rector of Marca. He was then asked to send his vicar to provide what was required for the embellishment of the Castle.In September of that same year the Rector ordered the territory roads be opened and walls provided, which adorn the square.The landscaping of the locality continued briskly without neglecting the buildings of public use, nor the structural improvements that were contributing to the growth of economic activity mainly to the manufacturing of textile and leather, or to improve the quality of life of the municipality.With this framework in mind the “domushospitales” was erected along the inside of the village walls. With the continuing concern for the construction or redevelopment of castle walls that occupied the community up to the threshold of the sixteenth century, the infrastructure for wells, reservoirs, mills etc. was carried out and carefully provided for. At the end of the 15th century the road was paved from St. Augustine gate that lead to the main square. In 1421 it had been raised, glowing and beautiful, in its single unique Gothic style and given the title of the Collegiate. The same Piazza is made mainly of "brick". Around that time the Palace Defensorale was graced with lodges and the Church of S. Francesco mattonata was equipped with a large well outside.This great civil industriousness is a cultural liveliness from absolute respect, which leaves a big footprint in the theatrical, pictorial, musical and literary traditions.The passing schools of painters who decorated the various holy places of San Ginesio were responsible for the precious wisdom and establishment of local crafts, sometimes to become real artists, as in the case of the painters Ginesini; Stefano Folchetti, Mercury Rusiolo and Domenico Malpiedi.Perhaps the classical tradition that had authorized the on-site training of magistrates and lower officials since the 13th century fed generations of great intellectuals, doctors, lawyers and senior officials of the State. The result can be found in the ultimate expression of the jurist Alberico Gentili, founding father of the science of modern international law.Under the physical protection of the Holy eponymous, San Ginesio prepared for a long sleep. The excitement and creativity eased out or better still lay dormant in the reassuring embrace of the efficient administration of the Papal States. With traditional activities this resulted in San Ginesio emerging from being a daily trade with a poor account. The geographical location was a detractor and made it the impregnable fortress at the time of the Goths, the Lombard’s, the commons and the Lords. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century it was a quiet conservation of industrious and intellectual tradition, which built and restored churches and convents. Schools were also established for religion and laity. Warlike contention and trade disputes prepared men for possible conflict. For two centuries, San Ginesio lived more in memory of the past than in the plan of the future. Rescue arrived in the Napoleonic period. Carbonari uprisings for the war of independence took place, especially in the aftermath with the formation of the Italian Kingdom. The ecclesiastical deletions made by the new state gave a renewed impetus to civil construction. After centuries we feel the need to shake off the dust of years and re-occupy the centrality in local history, stifled for too long in webs of bonaria papal bureaucracy.
At the end of the nineteenth century San Ginesio was passionately involved with the renovation of the ancient Defensorale Palace building, the current Teatro Comunale, widening the path that comes up from the village square forcing the buildings along side to be moved back. In the midst of the Belle Époque, San Ginesio was ready to welcome the triumphant procession of authorities from all over to converge and inaugurate the erected statue of jurist Alberico Gentili in the main square. Renowned as the most illustrious son of all-time, San Ginesio held the tercentenary of his death in September 1908. The village was repopulated by famous personalities, or otherwise influential officials in the ranks of the Central Administration of the State. From new apathy and its cultural events, theatrical and art pages of local and national newspapers were filled with the twentieth century life of San Ginesio, which permeated almost an ancient scrim of laity. Solidarity was expressed for erecting the statue from the International Committee by the presence of artists who contributed to the drawing of the Gentili monument in San Ginesio. Also a host of well known characters connected in various ways helped bring out potential qualities and craft skills that were kept at the highest level. Natural talents like those of William Painter and sculptor Nino Ciarlantini Patrizi were solicited, directing them towards the road of art.The consciousness of belonging to an aristocratic past motivated appreciable local history enthusiasts, among them was Giganteggiò. Until a few years ago he was the great spirit of Phoebus Allevi: refined literature historian and exponent of the culture that almost naturally and effortlessly goes beyond the majestic ring of towering castle walls that held captive San Ginesio. The suppression of and then the scattering of religious institutions ennobled and enriched the cultural heritage of San Ginesio. Future generations would suffer a serious loss in the long term for the transmission of culture and also for the importance of local civic life. Many traditions that related to both religious and peasant rituals were dispersed.Today San Ginesio lives another moment of great vitality. Most of the monuments have been restored. Citizens groups have subsidiary functions with respect to the need for infrastructures and services that were transferred in major centres. Other associations keep alive the most exciting historical moments of the village.With the absence of government offices and services, San Ginesio compensates by enhancing features that have been characteristic throughout its history, namely the natural beauty of the location and wealth of the cultural object.
The architectural detail along with ornate palaces, have earned San Ginesio the title of one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. With present cultural and recreational resources and economic strength of the surrounding territory,combined with the past’s legacy, San Ginesio is firmly implanted in the promise of an attractive future.