Torre di Palme
The City of Fermo
Despite its small dimensions, Torre di Palme is traditionally included amongst the most beautiful villages in Marche. The hill it sits upon, which is very close to the coast and inaccessible from three sides, originally played host to the fortified outpost of the Piceno city of Palma (from where the name comes: Turris Palmae, Torre di Palma), founded in the sixth century B.C. and subject to Roman Law from 268 B.C. onwards. Varrone, Strabone and, in particular, Pliny the Elder mention Palma as a maritime junction that was particularly active, as well as mentioning it for its famous Marano wine that was produced in Ager Palmensis (included in ancient maps between the Tesino and Chienti rivers). The commercial importance of Palma led the Romans to establish the Fermo colony, in order to maintain control over local traffic. Palma was subject to the control of Fermo until the Dark Ages, then in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries – reduced to rubble due to raids by pirates – the people of Palma sought shelter on the hill where you find the look out tower, already inhabited since the eleventh century by some monastic orders. By then it had become a small urban centre and by the 14th century, it had acquired a form of secular government.
In the 16th century, Torre di Palma was one of the favourite holiday spots for aristocratic families: they improved the private rooms and gardens, and the religious buildings were restored and embellished by artists of great worth, like Vittore Crivelli, the creator of a polyptych that is still now kept in the St. Augustine’s Church. At the end of the eighteenth century, the plain below Torre di Palme was the setting for the battle in which Napoleonic soldiers fought off the Bourbon troops. In the following century, with the progressive re-urbanisation of the coast, the small number of inhabitants was not enough to guarantee its autonomy, and at the end of the nineteenth century Torre di Palma officially became a fraction of Fermo.
The Medieval and Renaissance urban implant of Torre di Palme is splendidly preserved, and presents a panoramic view of the coast and a valley of rare beauty. There are numerous buildings of interest: The Saint Mary’s Church by the Sea (11th century), the Saint Augustine’s Church (13th century), St. John’s Church (10th century), the Palazzo dei Priori (12th century) and St. Rocco’s Church (16th century).
Don’t miss the naturalistic attractions, from the protected floristic area of Cugnòlo (where you will find the romantic Lovers’ Cave) to the hydroponic plant of Fonti di Palme, ideal for curing metabolic diseases. A small, fascinating village all year round, but above all very popular during the summer, when its piazzas come to life and the restaurants are full of tourists, thanks, in part, to the shuttle bus service available from Fermo.
Torre di Palme is also one of the ten districts of Fermo that participate in the Palio dell’Assunta and is one of four districts located outside the city. It represents the people of the sea, so much so, that during the historic commemorations, the representatives of the district parade with a boat upon their shoulders.
Special thanks to
Municipality of Fermo
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