Passions & Places

Fortresses and Castles

Fortresses & Castles 


Francesco di Giorgio Martini (born in Siena in 1439 and working as far as 1502) has been one of the artists that has contributed to the artistic treasure Italy owns. 

He designed fortified cities such as Rocca di San Leo, or the castle of Mondavio (a war machine) and the elegant fortress in Jesi.

One of the people that followed in his footsteps was Baccio Pontelli (Florence1450-1495). 

He followed in fact the teachings he had received from Martini when planning the castle of Acquaviva Picena, when restoring the castle of Offida. In the building of Rocca Roveresca in Senigallia the influence of Luciano Laurana is really strong. 

The Fortress in Senigallia is in fact characterized by the elegant style Laurana had used in several fortified cities, Rocca Costanza in Pesaro, for example. 

Other contributions were made by Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane, that shaped the Malatestiana Fortress in Ascoli Piceno and to the articulated Cittadella di Ancona. 

Also Andrea Beltrami from Como that managed to turn a Benedictine monastery into the picturesque Castello della Rancia in Tolentino.

The most characteristic and appreciated military fortress of Le Marche Renaissance is the Palace-fortress of Urbino

The city is itself one of the most beautiful places in the world. 

The fortress in Urbino was the outcome of the collaboration of several architects: Martini, Pontelli, Laurana, Leon Battista Alberti and the young Donato Bramante. 

He owns to Laurana much as he was admitted to the most important courts in Italy thanks to his teachings.

A lot of masterpieces in the military construction have not been attributed to any architect as yet: 

Rocca di Gradara

Castello di Frontone
(that has a characteristic ship shape), 


Urbisaglia Fortress

There are a lot of other examples of such an architecture to have once flourished. 

Evidence can in fact be detected from the many ruins of castles. 

They were sometimes destroyed by the lords that occupied them to avoid enemies conquering it. 

This was the destiny for Cagli and Fossombrone fortresses (both planned by Martini).

Last but not least, the fortified hamlets of Piticchio, Moresco, Castel di Luco, Loretello,  Genga, among the others. 

They are miniatures of the military architecture that still preserve a magic atmosphere. 

They stand as evidence of the good work made when building them. They have in fact survived attacks and the effects of centuries.

2007 Liberation Ventures Ltd.

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