Caldarola owes its name to the latin term “CALIDARIUM” , which would mean the room with a “bath tub full of hot water” coming from thermal baths. Local tradition dates the town origins back to the 4th century A.D., when a group of Christian people, escaped to persecutions and reached the “colle del cuculo”-Colcù- (lit. cuckoo hill), would built a primitive urban center. Nevertheless, more likely, the town was born as a rural village, at the feet of a Longobardic or Byzantine defense tower, before the 9th-10th century.

At the end of the 12th century, Caldarola got involved in a fight between papacy and empire; Popes, in order to make sure Caldarola was loyal, gave it to the Stato of Camerino as a feud. Only at the beginning of 15th century, the town managed to obtain the independence sanctioned by the emancipation seal of Eugene IV (1434). In the same period, Blessed Francesco Piani was born in Caldarola in 1424: its main works, inspired by Francisca order, were the Compagnia di Santa Maria (Company of Holy Mary), the Ospedale (the Hospital) and the Monte di Pietà (Mount of Piety). He was a preacher and a peacemaker and died almost saintly in 1507; he was beatified by Pope Urban VII in 1634. The most prosperous period was in the middle of 16th century thanks to the noble Pallotta family who turned the town in a precious renaissance village. The direct subjection to the Church of Caldarola lasted until 1799, when the papal domain was deposed by the French revolution. When the “Napoleonic” parenthesis ended, the town came back to be part of the Papal States until 1861 when the Marche territory got annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.

The Pallotta Castle

From the top of the hill, it rises over Caldarola an evocative fairy overview. The castle was built during the second half of 9th century, it was radically changed during the end of 16th century when the Cardinal Evangelista Pallotta wanted it to turn into a majestic and harmonious renaissance building; the Cardinal would use it as his own holiday home. The ancient castle still has its original walls, the Guelph battlement, the patrol ways and the drawbridge, rooms and carriages, saddlery and weapons, works of art on canvas, sculptures, frescoes and old furniture. The tour around Caldarola can’t finish without admiring the remarkable De Magistris’ frescoes in Vestignano and Croce communities. But the wonders of this town can be seen also in Pievefavera community where there is an roman archeological area that has found out lete-Republican buildings, existing at least until the 1st century A.D. and belonging to the “pars rustica” of more extended villa. You can end your journey in Valcimarra where, among other things, there are impressive ruins of monastery of San Benedetto “saxi ladronis”: you can admire the stone façade and a space with barrel vaults and lancets.

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