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« Indietro

LORETO

Loreto is no doubts one of the most ancient and important sanctuaries of the Catholic pilgrimages.  


The city has a bit more of 12000 inhabitants and is on a hill at few kilometers from the coast and it was built all around the Holy House.  

According to some Catholic legends the house of Mary, the one where she lives and where she was announced to be pregnant of Jesus, was transported by angels to avoid it fall in the hands of the Moors at Nazareth. These angels stopped on their way at Tersatto, near Fiume, in Croatia and then they arrived on this hill full of laurel bushes, from which the name Loreto. Since the transport of the Holy House happened with a fly by the angels, today the Black Madonna of Loreto is appointed as the protector of all the aviators.  

The historians and archeologists that studied the Holy House came to the conclusion that the house was actually made in Palestine both because of the materials used and for the tecniques of building which are specific of that area. Some documents found along the research explain that the transport occurred thanks to two brothers of the noble family De Angelis from Palermo. The house was actually first transported at Tersatto and then brought where now is the Basilica. This occurred in 1294.     

There are news of a village at Loreto since 1315. The flow of pilgrims which was coming to this place and which were bringing genrous gifts was attracting also gang of criminals that were trying to steel the treasure. For this reason in the XIV century a four-sided strong hold was built around the Holy House. The works to build the Basilica started in 1468. Then following an assault by Selim I, head of Turkish army, in 1518, there has been a great push for the completion of the works so three architects and 400 workers have been employed in this project. 

In the XVIII century a new threat was endangering the Holy House and this was Napoleon during his Italian Campaign. While the treasure had been already transported to Castel St Angelo in Rome on the orders of the pope to save it from Napoleone, the emperor still brought made it to collect 94 kilos of gold and 17 hundreds kilos of silver. 

The square of the Madonna is an architectural show in itself. The Basilica construction started 1468 and was completed only in the XVIII century on the projects of the best architects of that time: Baccio Pontelli, Bramante, Andrea Sansovino, Giuliano da Sangallo e Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane. The tower was designed by Vanvitelli

The Basilica has Renaissance- Gothic style with a latin cross structure. The Holy House has a very rich covering in marble designed by Bramante, the architect of St Peter in Rome and built by Sansovino.

The Annunciation chapel was decorated with frescos by Federico Zuccari, the sacristy of Saint Mark contains fresco of Melozzo from Forlė while the one of Saint John includes frescos from Luca Signorelli. The ceiling and the treasure pavilion were frescoed by Pomarancio

The North and East of the Square are closed by the Palazzo Apostolico. 

On the square a bronze monumento of Pope Sixtus V by Antonio Calcagni and Tiburio Vergelli created between 1587 and 1589. 

The City Hall Palace has a Civic Tower built in the XVII century by Giovanni Branca. 

The Italian Military Aviation is very much connected to Loreto and here they have a Military Aviation School of training for petty officers and the school of foreign languages for aviators. The Historical Museum of Aviation can be visited in Loreto where it is possible to admire hundreds of different Aviation uniforms, some of which are unique pieces.   

In September there is the celebration of the Nativity of the Madonna and the city is a big festival. In this occasion there are special little markets of local artisans and gastronomic stands. You can also assist to the famous Corsa del Drappo, a historical commemoration in traditional costumes and a very special horse racing. There are also shows of flag-wavers, street artists and the traditional fire works.  

Every week the thousands of believers who arrive at the Basilica for a visit or to attend the Mess, are a show in itself.  

If you look from the big Square in front of the Piazza della Madonna you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the sea and Monte Conero on the background.  

Whether you arrive at Loreto for religious, artistic or cultural reasons, this city deserves to be visited in a solemn admiration and is a further very good reason to rent a holiday apartment in this place full of history and culture which is the region Marche.