Wicker baskets, leather goods and olive oil: Mogliano is a true handicrafts centre, as also written on the road sign that welcome those ones arriving in this town of Le Marche region, in the province of Macerata.
Halfway between the Sibillini Mountains and the Adriatic coast, this ancient village rises on a hill at 313 metres above sea level and it’s surrounded by a characteristic hill landscape with vast olive groves, vineyards and sunflower fields. You’ll be greeted by a warm atmosphere and welcoming people, in the peace and quiet of a small town that still remains untouched by city stress.
Let’s begin our visit among great buildings, churches and historical monuments…
Designed at the end of XVI century, this is definitely the major palace in Mogliano, now set of the Town Hall and once house of the rich aristocrat Forti family. The building has been entirely renovated and during your visit you could admire the basement, the rooms of the noble floor with their panelled ceiling and the top floor which houses the historical archives and the library. Halfway through the staircase don’t miss the small room inside the tower frescoed in Pompeian style which used to be the Forti study room.
Palazzo Forti –Via Roma, 54
every morning, Sunday included, from 9.00 to 12.30;
every afternoon, except Tuesday, from 17.00 to 19.00.
Bastions are all that remain of this building, yet it is the best place to enjoy the view during your walk within the old town walls.
There stands the church of Santa Maria del Suffragio (Saint Mary of Suffrage) built in 1698 and then expanded in the late XVIII century; it is currently deconsecrated.
From the fortress you can also admire the former Saint Michael hospital built in 1782 and the Autopalace, a complex in the Art Nouveau style which has been renovated and converted to exhibition space.
Art tour: churches in Mogliano
From the Fortress you will get to the church of San Nicolò of Bari (1748), now turned into an auditorium. Rebuilt twice, this little baroque jewel is home to beautiful paintings. From here you can move towards the parish church of San Gregorio Magno, that was once “extra moenia” (outside the city walls) as it was built beyond the castle moat. It has undergone several changes, the last one during the eighteenth century when it was “reversed”, in other words the presbytery was moved to the entrance side. Arriving in the square you’ll find on the left the parish church of Santa Maria, a result of the expansion over the centuries of the original oratory (1420), built by the local people of Mogliano to avert a terrible plague. Nearby stands the Monastery of San Giuseppe that is also worth a visit for the seclusion rooms; annexed to the monastery, the church of San Grisogono and Benedict is a rococo style building which has remained intact in its original structure. It’s decorated with painted doors and windows, coffered ceiling and a beautiful organ. Proceeding towards the suburbs you will come to the Shrine of Santissimo Crocifisso (Holy Cross), where the faithful revere an icon which is a fresco of the late 1400s depicting the crucified Christ rising from the tomb. For a complete knowledge of the artistic heritage of Mogliano you should add to your visit these two country churches: the Santissimo Crocifisso d’Ete and Santa Maria di Bagliano; the last one is very small but also really interesting at an artistic level.
Church of San Nicolò di Bari – Via Giuseppe Verdi
Church of San Gregorio Magno – Via Roma
Church of Santa Maria in Piazza – Piazza Garibaldi
Monastery of San Giuseppe – Via Regina Margherita, 8
Church of Santissimo Crocifisso d’Ete – Località Santa Croce
Museums and theatre
On the top floor of the old Forti Palace you find the Art Gallery and the Town Museum where you can admire findings belonging to the Roman and Piceno age. The church of Santa Maria di Piazza houses in its premises the Museum of the same name, opened in 1979. Here are collected sacred furnishings, statues and many objects belonging to this and other urban and rural churches of Mogliano. Recently opened, the museum Terre Artigiane (Artisan Lands) offers an interactive journey with several labs for the enhancement of local craft traditions and landscape of Mogliano and beautiful surrounding towns. On one side of the main square dominates the Apollo Theatre opened in 1844. The interior is characterized by a wooden horseshoe shape structure with 38 boxes divided between 3 orders.
Art Gallery and Town Museum, Palazzo Forti – Via Roma,54
Diocesan Museum of Santa Maria di Piazza – Vicolo Boninfanti, 6 ; open on request; free entrance
Museum Terre Artigiane – Via A. Adriani
Apollo Theatre – Piazza Garibaldi
Historical commemorations and events
There are two appointments you cannot miss related to folklore: the Good Friday commemoration and the Festival of Traditions. The first event has a religious nature and provides the historical representation of the Passion of the Christ thorugh the streets and squares of the town, from the Last Supper to the trial before Pontius Pilate, up to the Crucifixion finally followed by a religious procession. The second event is dedicated to the recovery of past habits and to environmental protection. It takes place in the river park Santa Croce during the last week of August, from Thursday to Sunday. Four days in which many ancient rural professions are brought back to life through the creation of handmade objects and exhibitions of old tractors, cars and vintage Vespa scooters. There will be food stands offering traditional local dishes and visitors could entertain themselves with various games, songs and dances. This event has also the noble objective to make today kids appreciate games played in the past, when imagination was used in the place of technology.
Outlets and craft shops
Not only shoes and bags that made Le Marche region renowned all over the world, but also wool knitwear, hats and beautiful wicker or rattan wood furniture, an art at which Mogliano excels.
And finally… everyone at the table!!
Traditions and ancient procedures also affect the food of this charming village. You can still savour the authentic high quality dishes, from meat to wine and oil…everything strictly zero food miles! Among all specialties, you should try the Ciauscolo – a cream salami, pecorino (cheese made from sheep’s milk) and sheep’s milk ricotta, fresh and dried pasta, sweet cooked wine and the traditional bruschetta (toasted bread) served with the olive oil of Piantone di Mogliano, a unique variant from the Macerata area. Not only for food, here olive oil is also used to make excellent organic cosmetics. A visit to one of the local wine cellars to try the Rosso Marche is not to be missed. Contact me if you want some advice for a tour!
To enjoy your stay in Le Marche and experience local habits and traditions of this territory, I suggest you these three villas, equipped with every comfort.
Are you ready to leave?Casa Sant Antonio – Mogliano Marche (MC)
Villa Palma – Mogliano Marche (MC)
Casale Vigneto – Mogliano Marche (MC)