History and Art
San Benedetto del Tronto has about 50,000 inhabitants and is the leading tourist resort in the Marche region in terms of number of visitors.
In Roman times, the most remote ancestors of the people of San Benedetto settled at the mouth of the Tronto River: those belonging to the Castrum Truentinum. The origins of the oldest urban connective tissue, initially linked to the 12th century, would seem even earlier given the discovery, under the pavement of the upper village, of burials and artifacts from the Roman period. Of paramount importance for development in antiquity was being the main Roman transit port for such a precious commodity as salt, of which the ancient “via Salaria” that arrives here is testimony, and later a point of departure for pilgrims bound for the Holy Land and a landing place for returning Crusader knights.
Certainly, it was between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that the city’s current layout was outlined, based on fishing, tourism and trade, thanks to the construction of the Adriatic railway.
The construction of the famous “Riviera delle Palme” waterfront, still dotted with Art Nouveau villas, dates back to 1932.
Equipped with a marina, a fishing port and one of the most important wholesale fish markets in Italy, San Benedetto has always been closely linked to the sea and the tradition of seafaring. One of the many evidences of this connection is the maze of alleys and warehouses that tell its destination. There is Via dei Calafati (where there were the boat repairmen), Via del Pescivendolo, Via dei Spagaroli who were those who packed ropes and fishing nets. Among the lanes of the old incasato you can admire and visit the Gualtieri Tower (the Torrione), dating back to the 12th-13th centuries, with its very unique hexagonal plan reminiscent of a ship’s hull, still beats the alarm clock in the morning for going out to sea. It is 16.60 meters high and offers a wide visual horizon over the city. Two bells are placed here: the largest is from 1853 and weighs an impressive 6400 pounds.
The city’s strong connection to the sea inevitably passes through the lighthouse, the harbor, and the fish market: places where it is possible to witness the landing of fishing boats, the sale of fish, and the traditional and ancient art of hand-crafting nets. Strolling among the 7,000 exotic trees, theme gardens and along the pier you can admire Ugo Nespolo’s “Work, work, work, I prefer the sound of the sea” celebration of tourism, Aldo Sergiacomi’s “Monument to the Fisherman,” Mario Lupo’s “Jonathan” Livingstone “Seagull” Monument, visit The “Museum of the Sea,” with its collection of fish from all over the world, and the “Museum of Amphorae,” which houses Greek and Roman amphorae collected from fishing nets in all corners of the Mediterranean, and the MAM, Museum of Art on the Sea, one of the most important permanent open-air museums that stretches more than a kilometer with 135 sculptures and 10 murals stretched all along the South Pier and is enriched with new works every year.
Constantly awarded the Blue Flag, the sea of San Benedetto is framed by a very long beach of fine golden sand, all the more reason to visit it, not forgetting to taste the delicacies of the local cuisine, among which the famous “Brodetto alla sambenedettese” stands out, which is distinguished from others by the addition of peppers and vinegar.
Places of special interest in St. Benedict:
- The Gualtieri tower (the Torrione) “heart” of the old village center.
- The Guelph tower is what remains of a fortress consisting of two large towers, seven turrets with seventy battlements.
- Piacentini Palace that was the home of our dear and beloved dialect poet Bice Piacentini.
- The Pieve di San Benedetto Martire, erected between 1775 and 1778, stands on the ancient tomb of the City’s patron saint and is in the neoclassical style
- The Jonathan Seagull Monument, created by artist Mario Lupo in 1986
- The Fisherman’s Monument, which reproduces the fishermen’s estate during storms
- The Waterfront Theme Gardens
- The Sistine Museums of the Picenum
- The Sea Museum
Main events in St. Benedict:
The town is constantly enlivened by cultural, musical and sporting events: for more information you can visit the official institutional page. Among others, we highlight The Antique and the Palms 2017-June 23 to 26 and August 18 to 21, 2017-a unique opportunity to search and find antiques such as furniture, silver, jewelry, sculptures, and paintings from eras between the 1600s and 1900s.