The origin of its name comes from the historical events of the nearby abbey of St. Benedetto dei Frondigliosi, mentioned in documents of 1199. The former name Castel de Plano depends on the buiding of a castle on a flat surface. Castelplanio was fortified because it was considered a military bulwark and an obstacle to the attacks of enemies. IN fact, in the first half of the 15th century the people in the castle could withstand the attacks by Francesco Sforza, who eventually conquered the castle in 1433. Ten years later Nicolò Piccinino was asked by the Pope to chase away Sforza’s army. The castle surrendered and it was completely destroyed. The people who survived paid in order to have the castle rebuilt. They built two rows of castle walls, with towers, little moats, a drawbridge and only an entrance gate.
Castelplanio was reborn and until the 19th century it was tenaciously linked to Jesi, as one of its 16 castles.
Worth visiting is the Town Museum Fossa Mancini, which is housed in the Town Hall and was the private residence of the Earl Fossa Mancini, and the Church of St. Sebastian, which was built in 1878 on a project by architect Mattia Capponi (1720- 1803). Inside there’s a 16th century polychcrome terra cotta of the bust of St. Sebastian attributed to Mattia della Robbia; a 16th century nice canvas representing the Crucifixion by Claudio Ridolfi and a gold wooden statue of St. Joseph. In the church there was a polyptych by Lorenzo Lotto , whose surviving panels are at present at the State Museums in Berlin.
In Castelplanio a good white-wine DOC is produced and the municipality belongs to the Italian association of wine cities and to the Olive Oil Towns Association.
Those fond of bike and walking can enjoy the Black Crab Route (Sentiero del Granchio Nero), named after the crab which lives in a ditch. It goes from the bottom of the valley ( hamlet Macine) to Castelplanio. The difference in height is 200 meters and it’s 5 kilometres long.
One of the oldest festivals organized in the Esino valley in the last week of July is the “Crescia sul Panaro” festival. It’s based on traditional Marche cuisine popular food: the polenta ( cornmeal mush). It was rolled out with a rolling pin and cooked on a overheated metallic plate with a handle (the panaro). That’s how you get the crescia which is combined with vegetables and sausages. Side- events take place such as exhibitions, antiques’ markets, shows, inns and Verdicchio wine, of course.
In the hamlet Piagge, in the church dedicated to Madonna del Carmin, every year, on the Sunday following July 16th, the Holy Mary is celebrated. It’s also called the day of the consumed people because it was celebrated at the end of very hard agricultural work.
In Castelplanio hot- air balloons are built, painted and launched. So in mid- June this contest, together with the throwing of cheese wheels and its historical re-enactment in the night- time in costumes, is organized in order to revive this old tradition.