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Fermo (ancient: Firmum Picenum) is a town and comune of the Marche, Italymarker, in the Province of Fermo.

Fermo is located on a hill, the Sabulo (319 m of altitude) with a fine view, on a branch from Porto San Giorgiomarker on the Adriaticmarker coast railway.


The great antiquity of the city is attested by the remains of its cyclopean walls. The ancient Firmum Picenum was founded as a Latin colony, consisting of 6000 men, in 264 BC, after the conquest of the Picentes, as the local headquarters of the Roman power, to which it remained faithful. It was originally governed by five quaestors. It was made a colony with full rights after the battle of Philippi, the legio IV being settled there. It lay at the junction of roads to Pausulae, Urbs Salviamarker and Asculum, being connected with the coast road by a short branch road from Castellum Firmanummarker (Porto S. Giorgio).

With the Pentapolis it passed in the eighth century under the authority of the Holy See and underwent thenceforth the vicissitudes of the March of Ancona. In the 10th century it became the capital of the Marchia Firmana. Under the predecessors of Honorius III (1216-27) the bishops of city became prince-bishops, first with the secular rights of counts -, and later as princes of Fermo.

In 1199 it became a free city, and remained independent until 1550, when it was annexed to the Papal Statesmarker.

In the contest between the Hohenstaufen and the papacy, Fermo was several times besieged and captured; in 1176 by Archbishop Christian of Mainz, in 1192 by Emperor Henry Vl, in 1208 by Marcuald, Duke of Ravenna, in 1241 by Emperor Frederick II, in 1245 by Manfred of Sicily. After this it was governed by different lords, who ruled as more or less legitimate vassals of the Holy See, e.g. the Monteverdi, Giovanni Visconti and Francesco Sforza (banished 1446), Oliverotto Euffreducci (murdered in 1503 by Cesare Borgia), who was succeeded by his son Ludovico, killed at the battle of Montegiorgiomarker in 1520, when Fermo became again directly subjected to the Holy See.

Fermo is now the capital city of the new province of Fermo, effective from 2009.

Main sights

Fermo's attractions include:
  • The Cathedral, reconstructed in 1227 by Giorgio da Como, has fine Mediaeval facade and campanile, as well as the side portal. The rose-window over the main door dates from 1348. In the porch are several good tombs, including one of 1366 by Tura da Imola, and also the modern monument of Giuseppe Colucci, a famous writer on the antiquities of Picenum. The interior has been modernized. The building is now surrounded by a garden, with a splendid view.
  • The Roman theatre; scanty traces of an amphitheatre also exist. Remains of the city wall, of rectangular blocks of hard limestone, may be seen just outside the Porta S. Francesco; whether the walling under the Casa Porti belongs to them is doubtful. The medieval battlemented walls superposed on it are picturesque.
  • The church of San Francesco has a good tower and choir in brickwork of 1240, the rest having been restored in the 17th century.
  • Under the Dominican order monastery is a very large Roman reservoir in two storeys, belonging to the imperial period, divided into many chambers, at least 24 on each level, each 9 by 6 m., for filtration.
  • The Palazzo Comunale, restored in 1446, with a statue of Pope Sixtus V in front of it. The Biblioteca Comunale contains a collection of inscriptions and antiquities.

The near municipality of Porto San Giorgio has a fine castle of 1269, blocking the valley that leads to Fermo.


Camera, Cantagallo, Capodarco, Cartiera di Tenna, Campiglione, Ete Palazzina, Faleriense, Gabbiano, Girola, Lido di Fermo, Madonnetta d'Ete, Marina Palmense, Moie, Molini Tenna, Montesecco, Parete, Pompeiana, Ponte Ete Vivo, Sacri Cuori, Salette, Salvano, San Biagio, San Lorenzo, San Marco, San Michele, San Tommaso, Santa Caterina, Torre di Palme, Villa San Claudio

Twin towns

Notable people

  • Fermo is the birth place of poet Annibale Caro (June 6, 1507 - November 17, 1566).
  • Operatic baritone Francesco Graziani (April 26, 1828 - June 30, 1901) was born in Fermo and also died there in 1901.
  • Master violin maker Andreas Postacchini (searching for BD/DD but best works are late 1700s-mid1800's)

See also

Sources and references

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