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Leopardi Grand Tour

 

Giacomo Leopardi’s Marche

 
Following the huge success of Mario Martone’s biopic film on Leopardi “Il Giovane Favoloso”, viewed by over 1 million people and which took more than 5 million Euros at the box office, we offer you a tour of Leopardi’s most captivating locations in the Marche. From the district of Recanati where he was born to the museums containing fragments of the historic and literary life of one of the Marche Region’s most illustrious and well-known figures throughout the world.

An itinerary of the Marche locations featured in the film “Il Giovane favoloso”, Recanati Locations:

Leopardi’s home, historic places, private villas, external historic centres, landscapes and gardens, the church, the 16th century square in front of the dwelling now known as ‘Piazza del Sabato del Villaggio’ (also overlooked by the house where Leopardi encountered Teresa Fattorini, the girl who died at a young age and was immortalised by him in “To Silvia”). The house in which Giacomo Leopardi was born, and its immense library containing over 20,000 books, built and kept constantly updated by Monaldo Leopardi, are the places where the action takes place in the part of the film set in Recanati. The house can still be visited and maintains intact the wonderful library in which Giacomo and his siblings grew up (for information, opening times and tickets go to the website www.giacomoleopardi.it).

The square in front of the building, as seen in a photo of the period, is delimited to the north by the Church of Santa Maria di Montemorello, built in the 16th century on the orders and at the expense of Pierniccolò Leopardi; this is where the poet’s birth record is kept. The Church of Montemorello looks out onto the Piazza del Sabato del Villaggio, right in front of Leopardi’s home, in the film only its façade appears in a few scenes. On the eastern side of the Piazza stands “Silvia’s home”, a long building that was partly given over to stables and partly inhabited by the family of Teresa Fattorini who, after dying at a very young age, was immortalised by Giacomo in his poem “To Silvia”. On the west side once stood the house where “the old lady sat spinning”. Still today “A gang of little boys shout in the tiny square, leaping here and there, making a happy din”, as in the verses of the poem ‘Il Sabato del Villaggio’ from which the square takes its name. Both a hideaway and a prison for Giacomo, Mount Tabor is often seen in the film.

This Recanati hill that looks out towards the south provides a beautiful panorama towards the Sibillini mountains. Better known as the “Hill of Infinity” it was the inspiration for one of Leopardi’s most famous poems, “The Infinite”. The Hill of Infinity, where Leopardi finished his daily walks starting from the courtyard of his dwelling and passing through the gardens of the Convent of Santo Stefano, built in the 15th century on land owned by the Leopardi family and today the headquarters of the World Poetry Centre. The scene of the recital of the Infinite in the film is memorable.

Palazzo Venieri, one of Recanati’s most ancient and interesting buildings, offering a breathtaking panorama, with its cloisters acts as the backdrop to a short scene of the film. The building was constructed on the orders of Cardinal Venieri to a design by Giuliano da Majano who also supervised the construction works. Located in the highest point of the centre of Recanati, the palace was conceived as a hybrid construction between a residence and an urban castle.

Leopardi’s haunts in Recanati include: the Church of Sant'Agostino. This was built in the 14th century and conserves elegant terracotta decorations on the portal, while the interior was refurbished in the 16th century based on the designs of Bibiena. From the internal cloister the tower can be seen that featured in Leopardi’s poem "The lonely sparrow". Somewhat decentralised, stands the 13th century Borgo Tower, cited in ‘Memories’ for the sound of its bell striking on the hour, that reached him on the wind. Continuing along the ancient ‘Strada Magna’ (Corso Persiani at this point) we come to a crossroads. Taking a right turn (via I luglio) we walk down towards the Sforza wall at the foot of which there is a tiny garden and what remains of the area which during the times of the poet was used as a football ground, as the nameplate for the street reminds us. It only takes a little imagination to see, in the children playing on the swings or slides, that ‘fortunate youth’ who in Giacomo’s poem “To a victor in the games” the poet compares to the heroes of Greek and Roman classical history.
 
 
 

Leopardi Grand Tour

Duration: 2 days
Adheres to: Art and Culture  
Recommended for: Trekking - Family - Wellness - Culture - Business - Meeting
 

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