Passions & Places

Villa Murri

Villa Murri - Porto Sant'Elpidio  

Villa Murri was planned by Ireneo Aleandri in the first decades of 1800. It was Sinibaldi family holiday home. It was a rich family from Sant'Elpidio a Mare and its property amounted to 509 ha of land in 1558. A lot of members of the family have survived history. There were literary men among them and also religious people: five bishops, five Malta Knight and even Saint Rosalia, protector of Palermo.


The villa was then sold to Count Alessandro Maggiori (1880) and then was owned by Cornelia Sonetti, widow of Tullio Murri in 1936. The latter was Augusto Murri’s son. Augusto was a famous doctor of the positivist school that was born in Fermo in 1841. After graduating in Camerino, he became one of the most famous members of the clinic studies renovation. The movement was at its outmost in those years and produced effects in Histology, Microbiology, experimental physiotherapy. He taught at and then directed Bologna University. He earned himself the title of "supreme among the medical clinicians" thanks to his didactic method. He published several research papers and studies that are still recognized as fundamentals of medicine and pathology. Giovanni Pascoli wrote of him “he reached the high gable ends of Arts and Science”.

Augusto Murri's family became popular among common people probably not much for the fame and scientific contribution but for a crime news that “interested the entire Italian public opinion and became the most talked about judicial issue of Giolittian Italy". On 2nd September 1902 the count Franceso Bonmartini, that had got married to Linda Murri the daughter of the famous doctor, was killed in Bologna by her brother Tullio. Tullio Murri was pardoned by the king Vittorio Emanuele together with his sister Linda that had commissioned the murder. He then got married to Cornelia Sonetti, the last private owner of the Villa that was then purchased by Porto Sant’Elpidio Council in 1953.

The place was restored and was occupied by several activities. Nowadays the Villa hosts the offices of the Social Services, Culture and Public Education, Public Library, "City and Culture project" Foundation and Informagiovani. 

The park is not large. It is famous though for several plants and some examples of Holm Oax (Quercus ilex) and Laurel (Lurus nobilis) that grow spontaneous in the Elpidio area. It is interesting to note the presence of some examples of Canary Palm Trees (Phoenix canariensis) and a large bush of Cicas (Cycas revoluta), from South Japan that was brought to Italy in the Eighteenth century.


In summer time Villa Murri is the background for Cinema in the open air and for some shows of the International Festival of Youth Theatre.

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