thriving and elegant centre is one of the most beguiling towns
in this stretch of the Marche and boasts a sophisticated old
centre and lively cultural life that should not be missed.
Its most striking feature greets you as you arrive - a belt of
massive 14thC walls (above), built on Roman foundations,
strengthened with buttresses and impregnable towers, and topped
by houses. The main streets of the walled historic centre run
along a narrow ridge and there is much to tempt you to explore.
Start in Piazza Federico II which lies at the north-eastern end
of the town where the Roman forum of Aesis once lay. Its name
recalls the birth here of the fabled Medieval Hohenstaufen
Emperor Frederick II in a tent on 26 December 1194. Frederick,
known as Stupor Mundi for his stirring deeds, endeared himself
even more to the city when he later called it his special city,
its very name seeming to recall that of Jesus.
The 18thC face of the Duomo, the robust caryatids on the palace
to the left of the church and the obelisk in the centre give the
square a decidedly Late Baroque tone.
A few steps down Via Pergolesi and you will be in Piazza Colocci
and in front of Jesi's most handsome building, Palazzo della
Signoria (below). This text-book Renaissance palace was built at
the end of the 15thC by Francesco di Giorgio Martini , the
Sienese genius best known for his military architecture. The
large rampant lion above the entrance is the symbol of the power
the city once held.
Inside note the three-tiered courtyard with brick piers on the
first level, marble on the second and wooden on the third.
Carry on along Via Pergolesi to Piazza della Repubblica; Jesi's
largest square is dominated by the town's 18thC theatre, Teatro
Pergolesi, home to a prestigous autumn opera season and named
after the composer Pergolesi who was born here in 1710.
From here the long main Corso Matteotti runs straight as an
arrow to end at an arch built in honour of Pope Clement XII in
1734. Stroll down the street in the early evening, seemingly
with half the town's population, for a most civilised
On parallel Via XV Settembre stands Jesi's most flamboyant
building, Palazzo Pianetti. Apart from its hundred windows, the
bland facade little prepares you for the over-the-top Rococo
flourishes inside. The most extravagant part is the sugar-candy
stucco work in the long galleria. The over-blown decoration
alone would merit a visit; the added bonus of the civic art
gallery (Pinacoteca Comunale) makes it obligatory as here is
kept a small group of some of Lorenzo Lotto's finest works - The
Judgement of Santa Lucia, a Visitation, an Annunciation and a
Back to the Top