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Osimo (anc. Vetus Auximum) is a town and comune of the Marche, Italymarker, in the province of Ancona, 15 km south of that town by rail. It is situated on a hill near the Adriatic Seamarker.

Silk-spinning and the raising of cocoons are carried on.


Vetus Auximum was founded by the same Greek colonists of Ancona; later it was conteded between the Gauls and the Piceni, until conquered by the Romans, who used it as a fortress for their northern Picenum settlement starting from 174 BC. The walls were made of large rectangular stones which are still there in some part. It was a colony until 157 BC. The family of Pompey were its protectors and resisted Caesar in 49 BC. It is considered to have been important during imperial times due to inscriptions and monuments in its town square.

In the 6th century it was besieged twice in the course of the Gothic War, by Belisarius and Totila; the Byzantine historian Procopius said it was the leading town of Picenum.

Later it was a Papal possession, but in 1100 it was a free commune. It was returned to the Popes by Cardinal Gil de Albornoz, while in 1399-1430 it was a fief of the Malatesta family, who built here a rocca ("castle", now disappeared). Subsequently it was again part of the Papal Statesmarker until the unification of Italy in 1861.

Main sights

Osimo retains a portion of its ancient town wall (2nd century BCE).

The restored Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral (8th-12th centuries) has a portal with sculptures of the 13th century, an old crypt, a fine bronze font of the 16th century and a series of portraits of all the bishops of the old diocese of Osimo. The baptistery is from the early 17th centuryhas a notable baptismal font.

The town hall contains a number of statues found on the site of the ancient forum. The second oldest church in Osimo is that of San Giuseppe da Copertino (St. Joseph of Cupertino) , built in the 13th century

Under the town is a large series of tunnels with esoteric bas-reliefs.

The new castle (1489), of which parts remain today, was built by Baccio Pontelli.

Twin towns

See also


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