Churches and squares
In this itinerary you will visit
Discover the curiosities, the history, and the characteristics of this guided tour
Palazzo del Duca e Fontana delle Anatre
Palazzo del Duca si affaccia proprio di fronte alla Rocca Roveresca. Voluto da Guidubaldo II della Rovere a metà del Cinquecento su progetto di Gerolamo Genga, fu ampliato nei decenni immediatamente successivi dal figlio ed erede Francesco Maria II, ultimo rappresentante della dinastia, che alterò la simmetria della facciata, facendo sì che il portale d’ingresso risulti allora collocato sulla sinistra. Il palazzo non fu ideato per ospitare il duca stabilmente, ma bensì come dimora di rappresentanza per la corte e per i suoi ospiti illustri, che dalle finestre potevano ammirare le parate militari che si svolgevano nella piazza.
Il Foro Annonario è un'armoniosa struttura neoclassica in laterizio, piazza accogliente disegnata per ampliare gli spazi commerciali all’interno dell’antica cinta muraria. Di forma circolare, ospita il quotidiano e pittoresco mercato di frutta e verdura e, sotto il porticato formato da un complesso di 24 colonne con capitelli in stile dorico, numerose botteghe di enogastronomia locale.
Piazza Roma è il cuore del governo cittadino, una vera e propria agorà. Il seicentesco Palazzo del Governo che si affaccia sulla piazza venne fatto costruire su ordinanza di Francesco Maria II Della Rovere nel 1609. Il progetto dell'architetto urbinate Muzio Oddi è portato a termine nel 1644.
Chiesa della Croce
A poca distanza dal Palazzo Comunale e da Corso II Giugno, una vera e autentica scoperta, forse perché inattesa, è la Chiesa della Croce. A una sobria facciata tardo-rinascimentale, si contrappone un interno ricco e sfarzoso, in puro stile barocco, impreziosito dalla “Sepoltura di Cristo” di Federico Barocci.
The itinerary starts from Piazza del Duca, where the power of Della Rovere - Senigallia’s ruling family - is still very visible, with the most important palaces and monuments: Rocca Roveresca, Palazzetto Baviera and Palazzo del Duca. The square was designed for military uses, such as parades or exercises. For this reason no religious buildings are found in the square and the fountain, known as Fontana delle Anatre, is situated on the side, and not in the centre of the square. So, both the Palace and the square was a clear sign of Della Rovere's power.
Fontana delle Anatre – which literally means “Fountain of Ducks” and is also called “Oche” (Geese) by Senigallia’s inhabitants – is situated in lateral position in the square in front of Palazzetto Baviera. It was built in 1599 upon order of Francesco Maria II who wanted to represent the area called "Saline” (salt marshes). In fact, the four ducks seem to float on water, as a memory of the land reclamation works started by Giovanni Della Rovere.
In the heart of the historical centre, Piazza del Duca is a lively point of city life. It is full of families and children during the day and a place for aperitifs and drinks at sunset, overlooking the Rocca.
The journey continues towards a very special square that has traditionally been a place for trade activities and a fruit and vegetable market, known by the local people as "piazza delle erbe”. We are talking about Foro Annonario, which was designed by Senigallia’s architect Pietro Ghinelli in 1834. It’s a harmonious circular square surrounded by a total of 24 columns with Doric capitals and the old fish market in the centre. It’s a monument dedicated to daily life, with an open air market every day, and small shops around the colonnade, full of voices and people chatting in the local dialect. When the sun goes down, the square livens up with a large number of restaurants and wine bars situated under the porticos. Foro Annonario is also a natural stage for cultural events and shows. Moreover, it’s a cultural centre with Biblioteca Antonelliana (Public Library) and Archivio Comunale (Municipal Archive) hosted in the beautifully refurbished attic space.
From Foro Annonario you can reach Piazza Roma through Senigallia's former Jewish ghetto, currently known as Piazza Simoncelli. In 1634 the synagogue was moved to via dei Commercianti 20, where it still is. Piazza Roma is the heart of the city government with the town hall, known as Palazzo comunale, built upon order from Francesco Maria II. Worth of notice is fontana del Nettuno, (Neptune’s fountain) popularly known as "monco in piazza” (no-arm man in the square), a statue of uncertain origin that is probably the result of many important ages in the history of the city: Romans, Della Rovere family and Papal States.
At a short distance from piazza Roma you will discover a real treasure, a jewel that is considered as the most beautiful church of Senigallia: chiesa della Croce (Church of the Cross). The sober late-Renaissance façade is misleading because it’s inside that the wonder is revealed in full. The spectacular effect is created by the coffered ceiling with a triumph of bronze and gold. This small, yet extraordinary church contains several artworks, including "Sepoltura di Cristo" by Federico Barocci (1592).
Just take a walk along the most characteristics streets of the historical centre to reach the solemn, elegant Piazza Garibaldi. The square has been recently restored and is now animated with the presence of people both during the day and in the evening, creating an urban place of great spectacular beauty. The important buildings all around the perimeter are enhanced by the new organisation of the square, offering a charming view to visitors and passers-by. The cathedral (Duomo) and the Archbishop’s Palace (Palazzo Vescovile) overlook the piazza. The Latin cross interior space is divided into three naves with six Corinthian pillars and is surmounted by an elegant dome rich in beautiful artworks.