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Montelparo

The municipality

Montelparo counts roughly 900 inhabitants. Its location is extraordinary and unique as it is right in between the Aso valley and the fertile countryside of the Marche.

The museums

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The monastery of St. Augustine today hosts the equipped deposit for the sacred art, the Centre of environmental interpreting of the Landscape of Ascoli Piceno and the hostel.

The Monastery of St. Augustine was built by the Augustinian fathers on 1686 and was committed by the Cavalier Onofri from San Ginesio. The annex church was built several years after the monastery and open to worship in 1730. The building was designed by the architect Lucio Bonomi of Ripatransone (1669-1739) and it presents a majestic façade with simple and classic lines, a Latin cross plant with seven altars, a raised presbytery and a semi-circular apse. Over the beautiful inner door that protects the entrance there is the choir with its exquisite pipe organ, made in 1855-56 by Odoardo Cioccolani.

The major altar, also called St. Augustine’s altar, was rebuilt in 1803 within the polychrome marble balustrade by Girolamo Giulietti. Behind the major altar there is an artistic choir carved in walnut wood that dates back to 1750. Between 1861 and 1862 the monastery and the church were bought by the municipality of Montelparo with the obligation of keeping the church open to the worshippers.

The church also hosts exquisite paintings such as The charity of St. Thomas of Villanova, that can be attributed to the roman painter Domenico Corvi (1721-1803), St. Augustine defeating the heretics and the paintings dedicated to the Madonna of Loreto and signed by Gilberto Todini (1701-1798), a painter from the Marche who was the pupil of the venetian painter Francesco Trevisani.

Equipped Deposit of Sacred Art

The Equipped Deposit of Sacred Art of Montelparo preserves many items, such as vestments, candelabra and crosses that belong to the Augustinian order, which has been present in Montelparo since 1259.

After having settled in the countryside, the Augustinian monks started to build inside the village around 1290. After the landslide and the earthquake in 1703, the monks rebuilt the monastery on a more solid terrain in another area of the village. Later on, the Church and the Monastery became property of the municipality. All goods were initially preserved inside the Municipal Tower of the Town Hall, then, on 18 July 1998, all goods were moved to a specific area of the monastery. The museum still represents today a testimony of the opulence and importance of the Augustinian order over the territory of Montelparo. Among the most meaningful items it is possible to admire an inlaid mother-of-pearl cross that dates back to the 18th Century, several copes from the 15th to the 18th Century and several antiphonaries from the 15th, 17th, 18th Century.

Centre of environmental interpreting of the Landscape of Ascoli Piceno

The cloister of the monastery hosts the Centre of environmental interpreting of the Landscape of Ascoli Piceno that lets the visitor enjoy the landscape that surrounds the structure in addition to direct taglines and scientific information. The representation of the skyline on the walls of the cloister completely sums up the geomorphic configuration of the territory and emphasizes all information concerning plants, environment, human activities and art through three keys, i.e. live landscape, represented landscape, perceived landscape.

Museum of the old itinerant jobs

The Museum of the old itinerant jobs, situated next to the church of St. Michael Archangel is located on three storeys. It displays a peculiar collection of bicycles, built from the 1920s to 1960s, that were used for different kind of jobs, such as the newsagents, the baker, the tailor and the medic. It is peculiar to remark that each bicycle has its own accessories, such as umbrellas, parasols and all tools related to a profession, such as the barber’s razor, or the tailor’s scissors. The ice cream seller bicycle is particularly interesting as it is still preserved with its original box that was filled with ice to keep the ice cream cold, or even more intriguing is the bicycle of the now obsolete well digger. The well digger bicycle was equipped with pulleys, buckets in addition to the cage for a bird that was used to check for the presence of carbon dioxide emissions. This museum dedicated to the old itinerant jobs used to be a private collection achieved thanks to the dedication of Lauro Lupi. It originally was an itinerant exhibition made with roughly thirty bicycles that today accounts over 50 items from the regions of Emilia Romagna and Marche.

Each bicycle is the surviving token of the hard life of the past, where intelligence and skill were put at the service of effort and hard work.

Events

In January, in correspondence with the festivity of St. Anthony, there is the well-known festival Baccalà in festa (Festival of the baccalà, which is a typical Italian dish made with dried and salted cod). The Baccalà in festa has been celebrated since the 18th Century. In fact, according to the tradition, after the 1703 earthquake that destroyed most of the village, the monks asked their fellow citizens for help. As a reward, the monks offered “lu coppu”, a dish with baccalà which was completely new to the inhabitants of Montelparo. Today the recipe did not change, as it is still made with baccalà with olive oil, garlic, parsley and black pepper. During the festival, the quantity of the prepared baccalà total up to 16 hundred kilograms.

In July there is the Festa Anni 70 (70’s Festival), when the whole village is brightened up with colours, eccentric decorations, 70’s outfits, folk bands, music and dances in addition to delicious food such as aperitifs, cakes, sandwiches, rotisserie and polenta, which is solidified cornmeal porridge.

Summer opening

June

Every Sunday and Tuesday, 02
Morning from 10:30AM to 12:30AM
Afternoon from 4PM to 6PM

July and August

Everyday (closed on Monday)
Morning from 10:30AM to 12:30AM
Afternoon from 4PM to 7PM

September

Every Sunday
Morning from 10:30AM to 12:30AM
Afternoon from 4PM to 6PM

 

Addresses

Museo Antichi Mestieri Ambulanti
Ex Monastero c/o Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo

Museo di Arte Sacra
Ex Convento Agostiniano – Largo Marconi, 6

63853 Montelparo
www.comune.montelparo.fm.it