ASSOCIAZIONE "AMICI DI PITINO"

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07-05-06

 

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 BRIEF HISTORY

 CASTLE OF PITINO 

The Castle of Pitino is located at 10.5 Km far from the city of San Severino Marche (Marche region, Italy), on the  top of the hill, at 602 metres above the sea level. 

Because of its strategic position, there is evidence that fortification began before 1000 a.C., according to available documents. Moreover, prehistorical remains discovered in Pitino (tips of spears, arrows, and javelin), however, demonstrate that human communities were settled since the Paleolithic age. Other archeological excavation have shown relics of the Bronze age, but it is believed that the most important civilization settled in Pitino between VIII and Altri and VI cent. b.C. was that of the Picenum

Studies have demonstrated that Pitino was one of the most important Picenum settlement of the inland area of Macerata province. The relevance of this sort of civilization is well documented by excellent quality and very diverse funebrial mementos found at the Monte Penna Necropolis, in Pitino. From tombs, bronze, earthenware, swords made of bronze, Corinthum helmets shaped and originated from Etruscum and Middle East, gold and silver goods, demonstrating the existence of a whealthy and refined society.

Important treasures has been found, such as the famous "Ostrich Egg", gilded with gold (these materials are preserved and shown at the Archeological Museum of Marches, Ancona city, and Archeological Museum "G.Moretti", San Severino Marche citye delle Marche, ad Ancona, e nel Museo Archeologico G. Moretti di  San Severino Marche). 

Consequently to the supremacy of the Romans and the defeat of the Picenum, the population living in Pitino had to leave their village located in the top of the hill, and had Romans pushed them to move in a more easiy place to control them, that is the ancient Septempeda, a place in the plane corresponding to the actual city of San Severino Marche. 

Pitino Castle, of which ruins we may still admire at the present, was built in the middle age. According to local tradition, it is said that it was built because of the will of Marco Petilio, a noble living in Septempeda, after barbarian invasion. During the Middle age Pitino Castle was sought after by nearby municipalities such as San Severino, Montecchio (Treia), Camerino, Tolentino and Cingoli. Having control over Pitino had the meaning of keeping under control all over the baisin of Potenza river, which was an important route connecting the Adriatic sea with the Umbria region.

Several battles had occurred during the XII and XIII cent. and for this reason, Pitino Castle was put under siege, conquered, destroyed and soon after rebuilt. Only at the end of XIII cent., after several attempts, the Castle was finally conquered by Municipality of San Severino. During this age, the Castle was surrounded by a 400 metres defensive wall (vertical height 8 metres), made of rocks, interrupted by 12 metres high observation towers, every 40 metres each other. Nowadays only ruins of 4 observation towers are left, of which that located South-East corresponds to the main gate. However, it is supposed that there should have been other gates in other places of the defensive wall. Nowadays Western and Southern wall sectors do not exist anymore. It is said that they were disassembled and rocks were taken to build rural building in the neighborhood in more recent time. In the Northern sector of the wall, fences are visible, meaning that the wall was adapted after the introduction of rifles and firearms. However, the remaining part of the defensive wall can be considered to maintain the original structure. 

The highest point of the hill is the location for the main tower, also made from rocks, with square plant with side of 5.75 metres, high about 23 metres, and wall of 1.75 metres of thickness. The tower is supposed to be built at the beginning of XIII cent., when the Castle was rebuilt. It is almost sure merlons and parapet were put on top of the tower, facilitating the view over large distances and the transmittion of visual signals to other castles located nearby. The tower had a great strategic importance, because from the top it was possible to keep control over any mouvement occurring along the hill and the surrounding valleys.

  Nearby the tower it was built a small church dedicated to Saint Antoine. Surely it is an adaptation of an ancient building for soldiers, or a military facility.

 In addition, within the are enclosed by the defensive wall, were originally were settled houses and military facilities, nowadays just ruins of a more recent village are remaing, such as the house of the parish, and the parish church. The first parish church dates year 1292, when abbot Saint Lorenzo in Doliolo, to whom the territory was under control, ordered to build the main church of the Castle, and established the parish.

Over the ruins of the ancient church, more recently, on the XVIII cent. a new church (at the present still visble) was built.

 The church and the tower have been partially repaired, the most significant signals of the intention of public institutions to preserve such important heritage, after many centuries of decay, since the Castle has lost its strategic importance.

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Ultimo aggiornamento:  07-05-06