Passions & Places

Religious Festivities

Eventi Religiosi 

People that inhabit Le Marche are very keen on their religious tradition. The area belonged for centuries to the Papal States and nowadays religious events are celebrated every year, in every season..

The beginning of the year is the time for the ritual of Pasquella. On Epiphany people stroll thorough the villages singing and playing traditional instruments. It is a good omen for health and prosperity. Sant’Antonio, the saint protector of animals is celebrated on the 17th January. Celebrations are held on this occasions on the main squares of the villages.

Carnival is everywhere considered a pagan celebration. Easter time is instead lived with increased religiosity and  participation. The steps of the last days of Jesus Christ are retraced in celebrations such as the century old procession of Cagli, Cammino de’la Morte del Giusto that consist in a sort of pilgrimage from Villa Musone to Loreto, la Via Dolorosa in Saltara, Cristo Morto in Grottamare (celebration held every three years), Bara della Notte in Porto Recanati, Via Crucis in Monsampaolo del Tronto and Turba di Cantiano (ancient and moving revocation of Christ’s Calvary). These are just some of the many revocations that take place during the Holy Week in Le Marche. 

Corpus Domini processions are maybe the most picturesque celebrations of all. A lot of squares, in Cupramontana, in Castelraimondo, in Fermigliano and in San Ginesio for instance, are decorated with beautiful flower compositions (infiorate) before the procession begins. The ‘infiorata’ in Ortezzano takes place the 10th of June to confirm year after year the vow to the ‘Madonna del Soccorso.


Local religious ceremonies don’t lose the solemnity and splendour of bigger celebrations. The first Sunday of September a procession is organized in Montefortino in occasion of the “Festa del Santissimo Crocifisso’. People walk as far as a sanctuary built where there was a statue of Holy Mary in 1000 AD. There a deaf young shepherd that used to bring flowers to the statue is said to have gained back her voice. Women that attend the procession are wont to bring flower baskets on their heads.

Many are the celebration on Patron Saints Days. The event that maybe attracts more believers is the celebration held in occasion of the recurrence of the anniversary of the Translation of the Holy House of Nazareth (10th December 1294) to Loreto. The same house where Virgin Mary had the Annunciation from the Archangel. 

Christmas time is also rich of religious events. A lot of villages throughout le Marche set up picturesque cribs. Urbino hosts a large collection of Natività from all over the world. The cribs are on show throughout the town. Presepi Viventi (crib’s characters are impersonated by people and not statues) are every year more copious: Novafeltria, Potenza Picena, Piobbico, Precicchie, Massignano and Pollenza and in a lot of other villages. This is how the Birth of Chirst is celebrated throughout Le Marche, in a triumph of spirituality.

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