a fallen rose which is transported by the winds and abandons its petals
onto unknown pavements, real architectural jewels witness Luigi
Vanvitelli’s presence on the Marches’ territory. The son of a
Dutch painter, he was above all one of the main architects of the 18th
century, and was greatly influenced by ancient and Renaissance arts. He
was a pupil of Filippo Juvara and started his career working at St
Peter’s, in the Vatican, before going to the Marches to work as a
Pontifical designer for Pope Clement XII.
An admirable example of Vanvitelli’s style in the Marches is certainly
the impressive Lazaretto of Maritime Health (the so-called Mole
of Vanvitelli), which was built between 1733 and 1738 in the harbour
area of Ancona. The Mole is characterized by urbanistic innovations
and extends for nearly 20,000 square meters; it was created to respond to
the urgent needs of the town to re-organize its maritime activities. The
Lazaretto was used as a customhouse, as a military outpost and as an
isolated shelter for merchants who could have spread dangerous epidemics
among the inhabitants. The Mole had been designed as a fortress-island,
and could host up to 2,000 people, dozens of thousands of cubic meters of
goods were stored there and its water supply was constantly assured by a
water collection system. After building the Lazaretto, Luigi Vanvitelli
continued to work in Ancona. In 1735 he had already erected the classical Clementine’s
Arch, and then widened the church of Jesus, built during the 17th
century and characterized by a peculiar curvilinear façade. Vanvitelli
also collaborated in completing the Cathedral of St Ciriaco, for
which he designed a solemn altar for the chapel of the Holy Mary.
1740 he worked in Pesaro where he designed the church of Santa
Maria Magdalena, whose concave façade presents elegant chromatic
contrasts ranging from the brown of brickwork to the clear stones from
Istria. During the same period he renovated an ancient Malatesta fortress
in Candelara, to obtain a villa for the Almerici family (now known
as Villa Berloni). While in Fano, he probably designed the
impressive Montevecchio Palace.
In Urbino the architect restored the 14th-century church
of Saint Dominic, and designed the elegant interiors of the Albani
Palace, while he lived in Urbania, he built a small church near
the Dukes’ hunting residence.
1744 Vanvitelli went to Macerata, where he embellished the central
part of the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Mercy, obtaining a charming
atmosphere. He probably also designed the Torri and Marefoschi Palaces,
and worked in Recanati to complete the façade of the church of St
Vito. The latter has an austere structure, embellished by the chromatic
differences of brickworks.
of Bourbon, the King of Naples, asked Luigi Vanvitelli to build the royal
palace in Caserta. Before leaving the Marches, however, Vanvitelli
designed the bell tower of the Sanctuary of Loreto, and
built a part of the Apostolic Palace located near the Basilica.
other architects then followed his example and embellished the Marches’
territory with elegant and prestigious buildings. A Vanvitelli school
was created, whose works (like the fresh petals abandoned on the pavement)
still make the Marches’ towns even more beautiful.
Liberation Ventures Ltd.