Marche, land not only of saints, artists and poets, but also of Popes,
scientists and sportsmen: in every century and in every field, the
people of Le Marche have made themselves known and remembered both in
Italy and all over the world. A land of saints such as Maria Goretti
who was born in Corinaldo in 1890, who came from a humble family forced
to emigrate to Agro pontino. It was in Nettuno (a town near Rome) that
Maria, just 12 years old, was raped and killed by a young boy. Her
sacrifice was recognised by the Church who in 1950 made her a saint.
Even today the birth house of Saint Maria Goretti is a place of
pilgrimage for many.
obvious to mention the great Raffaello born in Urbino in 1483 and
celebrated everywhere as a painter of exceptional sensitivity capable of
influencing new Italian art courses of the Renaissance, then it’s also
necessary to recall Mario Giacomelli, the photographer from
Senigallia, who was born in 1925 and disappeared in 2000. He’s counted
amongst the greatest contemporary photographers: his images which often
portray the enchanting landscapes of Le Marche which are recognised all
over the world.
Le Marche has been a source of inspiration for many a great composer
such as Giovan Battista Pegolesi, born in Jesi in 1710 and who
brought comic operas to the theatre; Gioacchino Rossini (born in
Pesaro in 1792) whose operas are recognised, listened to and performed
all over the world; Gaspare Spontini, born in Maiolati in 1774
and died in 1851 in the same town and the tenor Beniamino Gigli,
born in Recanati in 1890 who commanded the stands of the most
prestigious theatres in the world.
in Recanati in 1798, there was also the great poet Giacomo Leopardi
whose verses everywhere are famously recalled often angoli and scorci
still recognisable from his town of birth. As a poet, whilst perhaps not
so famous as Leopardi, but endowed with profound patriotism was Luigi
Mercantini who, born in Ripatransone in 1821 sang the deeds of the
Risorgimento and composed the hymn of Garibaldi.
was also a lady from Le Marche who revolutionised the children’s
education system, pedagogics specialist Maria Montessori, who was
born in Chiaravalle in 1870. She supported how children should be
protagonist of growth. Another woman known all over the world but
originally from Ancona, is the actress Virna Lisi who worked with
the best directors and alongside brilliant actors such as Alain Delon
and Jack Lemmon. A world less glamorous however was that of the
background of Enrico Mattei born in Acqualagna in 1906 and the
founder of the economic and finance of ENI. He died in 1962 in a plane
crash in mysterious circumstances.
international sport claims numerous sons from Le Marche: from Senigallia
at the beginning of the 20th century was the talented
footballer Renato Cesarini, famous for scoring in the last few
minutes of the game (which is where the Italian saying “in zona
Cesaroni” comes from). Le Marche is also home to some of the best
fencers in the world: The Jesi School of fencing has for decades,
produced a number of exceptional champions such as Olympic contenders Valentina
Vezzali and Giovanna Trillini.
Tavullia comes Valentino Rossi, motorcycling champion who has now
won all the circuits in the world. Everywhere in his hometown, you’ll
find reference to the young citizen who brought a pleasantness and
frankness to the world, qualities typical of his homeland.
And finally a hero, a true hero of our time: Carlo
Urbani. Born in Castelplanio, he dedicated his entire life to
research into infectious diseases. President of Doctors Without
Frontiers, it was Carlo Urbani who discovered and isolated the terrible
SARS virus and subsequently raised the alarm to the OMS warning of the
spread of the disease. Unfortunately it was a disease he contracted
himself and which resulted in his death in 2003. He was only 46 years
old. He lived with a profound altruism: a love for others, for those
weaker than himself, with the idea of solidarity, a quality which we
like to think can always be found in Le Marche, a land in which to grow