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The Municipality

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Architectonical tour

The Town Square , formerly Lorenzo Valerio Square , today carries the name of Enrico Mattei, who was the founder and the first chairman of the National Hydrocarbon Corporation (ENI).

A pentagonal shaped white stone fountain lies in the middle of the square. It dates back to 1587 and Lattanzio Ventura from Urbino, who was also the architect of Loreto Cathedral, designed it. Four statues representing sea gods stand from the central fountain basin. Until the 20th century they were named: "Biutino, Maccagnanu, la Sirena and la Veloce " by the local people.

The panels of the fountain are decorated with the Pope SistoV and some bishops' coats of arms. In 1619 an inscription was carved in honour of Cardinal Caffarelli Borghese, who was the protector of the town. Documents testify the Government Palace was already under construction in 1271.

The building, which was planned by Benincasa from Florence and Bruno from Fabriano, is joined to the nearby Town Tower . The Palace was restored many times, so today it does not present a unity of style.

The Loggia, which was commissioned by Ascanio Ottoni in 1511 and planned by the two architects Costantino and Giovan Battista from Lugano, is situated to the right of the Palace.

The little depth and the absence of a vertical development make it a mere element of the urban furniture used as public wool market. Polygonal pillars decorated with ionic capitals support the seven windows, which are all the same width and make the "Loggia" a connection point between the Town Square and the Market Square .

The Ottoni Palace stands facing the Government Palace . As testifies an inscription carved in the memorial tablet located along the main stairs, Alessandro and Rancid Cottony commissioned the Palace in 1472.

The Palace's interior has a U shaped plan. Three of its sides open onto a courtyard with arcades, whereas a small balcony (Loggetta) closes the fourth side and leads to another edifice belonging to the Ottoni household. Today only the right wing of the Palace goes back to the original structure. Since 1521 the small balcony (Loggetta) has connected the Palace to an annexe for the domestic staff.

The members of the Ottoni family used the "Loggetta" to reach the Church of St Michele Arcangelo placed below the Palace and the gardens behind the church. In 1606 the municipality bought the building that is the present Town Hall from the Scotti family. In 1844 the architect Vincenzo Ghinelli planned the restoration work in order to prevent the demolition of the Palace.

He proposed the raising and the widening of the interior court, while the barracks was extended as far as Via San Filippo.
Afterwards, the engineer Robuschi adorned the facade with big iron keystones, thus from then on the Town Hall has became more important than the Ottoni Palace .

A memorial tablet carved in honour of Caio Arrio lies at the end of the main staircase. The Piermarini Theatre was built in 1805 on the initiative of four citizens (Capeci, Acquacotta, Buti and Cameli) who financed the building works.

The architect Giuseppe Piermarini, who had retired to Foligno after a successful career at the court of His Majesty the Emperor of Lombardy, designed the theatre. During his stay in the city of Milan , he also planned the Scala Theatre. Though the designs are autographs, the construction of the theatre cannot be ascribed to him. The entrance leading to the stalls is perfectly in line with the front entrance that opened on to Via Civitella, which was the major street of Matelica till 1860.

The crowning tympanum is triangular shaped and it has a purely demonstrative purpose. The front does not present the distinctive features of the theatre facades. In 1849 the architect Ghinelli supervised the restoration work, as after just 37 years the building showed structural faults.

Therefore, the proscenium and the stage were widened; all boxes were reconstructed and it was changed the place of 24 upper-tier boxes that were rebuilt and set back from the stage. In 1850 Giuseppe Recanatini was charged with the construction of six perspective wings and the painting of a big canvas representing the Town Square from the side facing the Church of Sufragio . In 1873 the engineer Petrini carried out a new restoration.

The repairs concerned the irregular hall and the stairs that were redrawn in circular segment shape.
Therefore, the balcony of the fourth order was reduced; the roof and the vault, which was the only work dating back to the period of Piermarini, were pulled down to erect higher retaining walls.

The painting section was modified and entrusted to the painter Buccolini from Camerino. The gilding is a work of Luigi Carbonari, whereas the backdrops must be attributed to Malagoti.

The opening celebration took place in 1812 with the staging of various plays, such as " Oh! Che originale" and " Il filosofo sedicente di Musca" by Mayer. Other examples of fine architecture are Campanelli House, Palazzo Romani, Palazzo Razzanti and Palazzo Monti-De Luca, which has a beautiful terrace closing the fourth side with out blocking the way through the court that is decorated with a 18th century windows adorned with flat moulding. Palazzo Pettinelli, whose date of construction is known thanks to an inscription carved in a tile, among its beauties presents an oval and sumptuous hall embellished with a coffered ceiling and grotesque restored in the 18th century. Another example of excellent architecture is Palazzo Finaguerra.

We can admire the elegant portal and the interior decorations made in a polished Pompeian style that adorn parts of the ceiling and some doors. Palazzo Acquacotta is a 17th century building. It has a beautiful front gate.

The entrance presents segmental arches and walls decorated with Doric columns. Palazzo Mattei, formerly Grassetti, opens onto Via UmbertoI that was the ancient "Corso" of Matelica. It presents an original facade dating from the 2nd half of the 17th century.

The windows, which are decorated with a flat moulding, are rectangular on the main floor, square on the first floor and oval on the mezzanine floor.

The palace does not have a court, but the ground floor consists of spaces covered by a cross-vaulted ceiling proving the merchant origin of the family that commissioned the building. A magnificent passageway, which bisects the main floor, was adorned by Giovanni Bonnanni and Mariano Scanel
lare, as an inscription carved in a window of the same passageway testifies. Palazzo Piersanti, today the residence of a museum, presents a complex plan centred around two courts, the one situated eastwards and the other placed northwards.

The original nucleus dates back to the 15th century as well as the balcony, the grand staircase, which looks out of proportion to the rest of the building, and the ancient main door situated to the right side of the present entrance.

The string-course cornice indicates a stagger of the floors and the next acquisition of the court's transversal wing. In the 15th century a new acquisition transformed the building into a sumptuous Renaissance palace.

Therefore, we can say Palazzo Piersanti is a juxtaposition of three buildings belonging to three different periods.