The main attraction of the Vallesina territory is its series of historic villages with encircling walls full of culture and museums that extends across the hillsides; these are known as the “Castles of Jesi
”: Belvedere Ostrense, Castelbellino, Castelplanio, Cupramontana, Majolati Spontini, Mergo, Monsano, Montecarotto, Monte Roberto, Morro D’Alba, Poggio San Marcello, Rosora, San Marcello, San Paolo di Jesi, Santa Maria Nuova, Serra de’ Conti, Serra San Quirico and Staffolo.
Jesi is the main centre in the Vallesina valley which extends along the middle section of the Esino river, from Serra San Quirico to the mouth at Rocca Priora (Municipality of Falconara Marittima). Dominated by the mass of Mount S. Vicino, the valley is enclosed by hills that slope gently down towards the sea with towns dotted along their tops. The city of Jesi, which was the birthplace of the Federico II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily, and the composer Giambattista Pergolesi, can boast one of the best-preserved city walls in the Marche, with gates, square, polygonal and cylindrical towers and curtain walls crowned with corbels. In Piazza Federico II stands the Cathedral of San Settimio. The Palazzo della Signoria, designed in elegant Renaissance form by Francesco di Giorgio Martini is home to the Planettiana Library and the Municipal historical archives. The Pergolesi theatre, built between 1791 and 1796 looks out onto Piazza della Repubblica. In via XV Settembre, the 18th century Palazzo Pianetti is home to the Civic Art gallery, which contains important works by Lorenzo Lotto and the magnificent Rococo stucco gallery.
This area is famous for its fine wine ‘Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi’, made from one of Italy’s finest native grape varieties.
Verdicchio is one of the Marche’s most famous and most historic DOC wines; Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Riserva also has the DOCG appellation. Among the most popular red wines is the Lacrima di Morro D’Alba DOC, produced in the municipality of Morro D’Alba.
And vine-covered hillsides are precisely what greet visitors starting off on their journey in this area. From Jesi various excursions can be embarked upon to discover the local area, away from the areas with a high concentration of tourism. This is a territory that you can discover at your own pace from charming villages to ancient churches and abbeys, from small museums to wineries.