Matelica is located in the centre of the High Esino Valley, surrounded to the East by the Mount San Vicino and to the West by The Marche Apennines chain of mountains. The ancient name of the city was Matilica. Most of the life of Matelica revolves around the central Piazza Enrico Mattei (the founder and first president of ENI - National Hydrocarbons Agency), where its elegant 16th Century fountain stands, having an octagonal shape. In white stone, it dates back to l587, and it was designed by the same architect of the Holy House of Loreto, Lattanzio Ventura from Urbino. From the central basin emerge four statues of sea divinities, on the panels are papal coat of arms of Sixtus V and of some Cardinals. Around it there are some of the town's chief attractions: Palazzo del Governo , Palazzo Ottoni and the town hall. The local theatre was designed by Giuseppe Piermarini, the architect who built the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The first news of the building of the Government Palace date back to 1271 by the architect Benincasa da Firenze, suppported by Bruno da Fabriano. The palace, which is next to the Civic Tower, was remodeled several times and this damaged it from the point of view of the stylistic harmony. Along the streets and alleys there are several palaces and Churches that preserve important works of art; among them, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Church of San Francesco, rich in fifteenth century works of art, and the Municipal Theatre, by Giuseppe Piermarini, the architect who built the Scala Theatre in Milan. Palazzo Piersanti hosts the eponymous museum that takes its name from the collections of Venanzio Filippo Piersanti, donated in 1901 to the Cathedral. Among the notable works preserved, are paintings by Bellini, Antonio da Fabriano, Francesco di Gentile da Fabriano, Salvator Rosa, Carlo Maratta, fine silver objects, rare and quality furniture. Not to be missed is the Archaeological Museum, housed within Finaguerra Palace, located near the church of San Francesco. The Piceno civilization is particularly represented , with rich objects of the 8th -7th centuries BC. Of exceptional interest, even because of its rarity, is the spherical sundial marble watch, with inscriptions in greek, known as “Globo di Matelica” (Globe of Matelica), dated between the first and second century A.D. The most important event taking place in Matelica between July and August is the International Folklore Festival.
Matelica joins both the National Association of Wine Cities and the National Association Honey Cities. Its pride is Verdicchio di Matelica, a white wine produced in the area and one of the Marche’s top quality white wines. Its special attention and care in producing this wine, along with such successful cultural and touristic ventures as the Summer School and the Cigar Festival, made Matelica earn the prestigious Spiga Verde (Green Spike) award.
The Local Products
The local cuisine is simple, but with strong flavors reflecting the geographical features of the region. The Gastronomy, deeply tied to the products of the territory, but capable of great refinements, offers appetizers like "crescia" with "sfrigoli" or “crostini” with chicken liver or lamb pluck, and the first dishes such as vincisgrassi, with a fascinating and ancient history, “tagliatelle della trebbiatura”(threshing noodles), “cappelletti” in broth and “gnocchi” (potato dumplings) with gosling. Among the second dishes, in addition to the Marche beef from Fabriano and Marchigiana breed , which also deserves to be mentioned, we find the typical products of the farmyard: chickens and rabbits in “potacchio” (cooking in white with addition of garlic, rosemary and white wine) or the variation in “porchetta”, with the addition of wild fennel.
Matelica is also the " Honey City", a product that fits perfectly with cheese. The best local honeys are collected in the Upper Esino Valley between hills and fields where the flora is rich with wildflowers and the pollution is almost absent. The “millefiori”(wildflowers), chestnut and acacia honey , come up beside the oak honeydew which is its typical product obtained from the sap leaking from the plants due to the action of pests, with a bitter, but very appreciated, taste.
Artisan cured meat shop
The amount and variety of cured meats depend directly on the history of the agricultural reality of this area. The one that was once called "la pista", the phase of preparation of the cured meat, is continued today by the numerous artisan cured-meat shops. You can not miss the opportunity to taste the "ciauscolo"(soft spreadable salami), called the prince of cured meats, smoked on the fireplace which makes it particularly soft. Delicious products are also the larded cured meats, "coppa", pork loin and liver sausage.
Cheese production has always been much appreciated over the time. Sheep farming traditionally made up of head of "Vissana" and "Sopravissana" cattle has created a pecorino cheese and ricotta production . The first, made exclusively from sheep's milk, can be eaten fresh (in this case the shape is cylindrical and with white dough) or aged (yellow dough and yellowish and scaly texture).
The historic center, the monuments and the museums of the town are partially accessible. For information please write to Toll-free Number Marche Tourism (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact the phone numbers listed below.