Portici Ercolani and Rione Porto
In this itinerary you will visit
Discover the curiosities, the history, and the characteristics of this guided tour
I Portici Ercolani sono uno degli elementi urbanistici che più caratterizzano la città. Ricordano nel nome il monsignore Giuseppe Ercolani (1677-1759) che li ha progettati alla metà del Settecento per volontà di Papa Benedetto XIV, al secolo Prospero Lambertini, con lo scopo di ospitare annualmente la celeberrima Fiera Franca in continua espansione.
Tappa fissa per chi visita Senigallia, via Carducci è un vero e proprio salotto del centro storico che regala atmosfere bohémien. Cuore dell’antico rione Porto, recentemente valorizzata, è un fresco luogo di passeggio durante la giornata e imperdibile tappa per una piacevole serata tra amici nei numerosi bar, ristoranti e bistrot.
The hundred twenty-six arches of Istrian stone of Portici Ercolani, which were built in the typical papal style during the 18th century, replaced the walls of the old fortress that were no longer needed and became the symbol of the new market town. The porticos and the extension of the city during the 18th century are a sign of the great splendor of Senigallia and the work is for sure one of the most characterizing features of the city. They are named after Monsignor Giuseppe Ercolani (1677-1759) , who designed them in the mid of the 18th century upon order of Pope Benedict XIV, in the world Prospero Lambertini, as the celebration venue for the famous Fiera Franca (Trade Fair). Today Portici Ercolani are still dedicated to trade activities: every year they fill up with colours and stalls for St. Agustin’s fair (from Aug. 28 to 30) and every Thursday of the year for the weekly open air market. This is nothing compared to the golden age of Magdalene’s Trade Fair, where the flow of merchants was so high that Portici was hardly able to receive them all. This is the reason why they started to use a sort of “tent”, consisting in a coarse piece of fabric stretched out at the height of the first floor of the buildings in many streets of the city and between the arches and the wooden barracks in front of them, forming a single large gallery where to exhibit the goods.
We suggest you to take a walk under the silent arcades of Portici Ercolani starting from Vecchia Filanda (Old Spinning Mill) in Piazza Garibaldi towards Rione Porto (Harbour District) where the most diverse goods used to be exhibited: from stockfish to sardines, from raw leather to spices, including coffee and dried fruit. And while strolling along Portici, try to imagine the “tents” that reached the Misa river bank and maybe you will "hear" voices and different languages resound between the arches, amongst Burano lace, Bologna velvet and French brocade and “see” the magnificence of gold, pearls and gems worked by Florentine goldsmiths, together with watches and clocks from Geneva.
While crossing Ponte Garibaldi over the Misa river, stop for a second and have a look at the fascinating perspective of via Carducci and porta Lambertina on the background, before entering Rione Porto. In 1746 the city extension project supported by Pope Lambertini connected the old town to Rione Porto through "the cut", a street starting from Corso 2 giugno that continues along "Strada Granda" (via Carducci) up to the Rovere walls where Porta Lambertina is now situated. The gate, made of Istrian stone and designed by monsignor Giuseppe Ercolani together with architect Alessandro Rossi, was solemnly consecrated on January 3rd 1751 when the first extension works were completed.
After the restoration works via Carducci has become a very special place. With its shops, bars, restaurants, wine bars and ice cream parlours, this part of town has a special Bohemian atmosphere, which is best appreciated when sitting at a table out in the street, with a glass of good wine in your hands, tasting the local food delicacies.