Passions & Places

Parco Colle Celeste

Il Parco Colle Celeste

The Park is located a short distance from the Town Centre in the East side of Maiolati Spontini. The place was anciently known as ‘Colle Bellavista’. Camaldolesi Monks from the Cupramontana caves monastery, had noticed the beautiful position of the place and decided to start building a new monastery from 1600 to 1700.

 Colle Celeste Park has been named after Gaspare Spontini’s wife, Celeste Erard. The musician in fact bought it expressly for her and so wrote of her passion for the place::

“My wife, that is so respectful of everyone, would be delighted if there were… lots of plants on all the Colle….she would avoid seeing even a small area not covered in plants, trees, citrus fruit trees, and flowers. Do your best, Mr Gardeners, this is her utmost desire.”. 

Gaspare Spontini bought the place in 1842 and all the works, superintended by the Architecht Ciriaco Santini and guided by Mrs Celeste Erard, started in 1846. 

Nowadays the entrance to the Park is through a gate that leads onto a tree lined avenue. It passes through a wood sided by a balcony that offers a wonderful view from the Esino River Valley to the Adriatic Sea.

The original project had in store the building of a Greek like temple with colonnade. 

After Spontini died, his wife more than once expressed the desire of having the temple built so to use it as her husband’s tomb. In 1858 though she was inspired by a monument seen in Plombiéres. 

She then replaced the temple-to-be with a statue of the Virgin Mary made in Lione. 

The image of Holy Mary was meant to protect all the surrounding villages and especially Maiolati. The statue is 2,15 m high. It was unveiled on 19th September 1858. Celeste took part in the celebration. 

The occasion was accompanied by several events whose programme was even published by the Town Council, church festivals, a concert on the Belvedere. Fire works and the flight of 300 balloons delighted the spectators. The park is a rare example of English style public park.

The plans of the temple are kept in Spontini Museum. There are also sketches of the location of trees, flowers, bushes there where Celeste wanted them.

Nowadays the park is often chosen as background for events, concerts, plays and ballets.


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Comune di Maiolati Spontini


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