A trip to Jesi, a city in the middle of the History

25 January 2019turismomarche

Jesi is a city halfway between the mountains and the sea. A place you should not miss and you should know it. Why should you visit it? Let’s find out together and retrace its History.

According to tradition, it was founded by Esio, the king of the Pelasgians, who gave to Jesi the symbol of a rampant lion. The foundation of Jesi is due to the Umbrians, and the conquest of the city by the Etruscans who extended their rule to the Adriatic Sea.

In the fourth century, the river Esino became the southern border of the natural domain of the Gauls, which transformed Jesi in the last stronghold of defence against the Piceni.

Jesi was transformed into a colonial cilium Romano rum with the battle of Sentino in 295 B.C. with which Rome finally defeated the Italic peoples. The municipium of Aesis was created in this way; it is characterized by an urban structure corresponding to the model of the Castrum, an intact model, although it currently appears blended with the signs of the monuments of the later medieval city.

With the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire, Jesi was included in the twelfth province of the byzantine Pentapoli of the mediterranean. In 756, together with other cities, it was under the jurisdiction of the church and the temporal power of the Popes got started. In 800 with the coronation as Emperor of Charlemagne, Jesi, though belonging to the Church, was under the imperial jurisdiction and became part of the new county of Marca.
In 999 the Emperor Ottone III gave back eight counties to the Church, including Jesi. From this period the feudal structure of the city took its shape.

Around 1130 Jesi became a free Municipality with its own autonomous government, the Podestà, the Consuls and the School of Arts and Crafts. The preparation of the Statutes took place at the same time of the construction of the palaces of the Podestà, the Town hall and the Cathedral dedicated to St. Septimius. During the XII century and the next one, the walls were fortified on the track of those of Roman times.

An episode that happened in these years was fundamental. In fact, the city has also had the honour of giving birth to the emperor Federico II in 1194. During a trip to Palermo, as a legend told us, the Empress Constance had to stop the journey in the beautiful city of the Marche and gave birth to his son in the current main square of the city.

For the occasion, in the square known as piazza Federico II was erected a canopy and Federico was born in front of the authorities and citizens. In the August of 1239 when he was an adult, the emperor sent a letter to the jesini in which he expressed his love and sense of protection toward his native city, giving it the title of “royal City“.
The lucky policies of Jesi were tied for years to the ones of Federico II and his sons Enzo and Manfredi with the obtaining of “imperial privileges” followed by the inevitable “ecclesiastical excommunications”.

The crisis of municipal Institutions and the subsequent advent of powerful families like those of the Malatesta, Braccio da Montone, Francesco Sforza opened the age of the Lords.

In 1447 Francesco Sforza gave Jesi to the Church by selling it to the Pope. The end of the period and the recomposition of the structure of the municipal started a great economic recovery, demographic and social housing
of the city. Starting from the second half of the Fifteenth century, the architecture of the city profoundly changed with the construction of new churches and palaces, and the progressive urban expansion out of the old walls.

The strengthening of the defensive system made by the florentine Baccio Pontelli and the construction on the project of the Palazzo della Signoria are dating from this period. Palazzo della Signoria is one of the most beautiful palaces of the Marca created by the artist Francesco di Giorgio Martini from Siena.

Next to the economic and social housing revival, there was the cultural one: Lorenzo Lotto from Venice painted for some of the city’s Churches some masterpieces of art and spirituality; Federico de’ Conti from Verona printed in Jesi, 1472, one of the earliest editions of the Divine Comedy. Ciccolino of Lucagnolo, a refined engraver and teacher of Benvenuto Cellini, developed and perfected the art of the goldsmith.

Towards the end of the 500 the local oligarchy, established in the class of landowners, retaliated against all the political and administrative power that held until the second half of the 700.

In 1797 Napoleonic troops put an end to the monopoly of the aristocratic and to the domain on the Countryside.
Two of the most significant historical references in the eighteenth century: the transformation of architectural and urban planning of the city and the birth of Giambattista Pergolesi and Gaspare Spontini, two great personalities for the music that became known throughout Europe.

In 1808, with the annexation of the Marche to the Kingdom of Napoleon, Jesi became one of the capitals of district of the Department of the Metauro. After the restoration of 1815, there was a laic and bourgeois idea of the
State.

In the early decades of the 800, a gradual process of industrialisation began in Jesi, with the birth of the first manufactories in the silk. The events of the Risorgimento leading to the unification of Italy involved several of the characters jesini including the Marquis Antonio Colocci. He was elected in 1849 as the representative of the Province of Ancona to the Constituent Assembly of the Roman Republic, and then, after the Unification, he was a deputy and the Senator of the Kingdom.

On September 15, 1860 the Bersaglieri entered in Jesi while five days later, in the nearby Castelfidardo, the defeat of the papal army by the troops of Piedmont sanctioned the final union of the town to the Kingdom of Italy.

Jesi is now defined by UNESCO as “an exemplar City” for the preservation of artistic treasures and architecture. It is surrounded by wonderful vineyards that give life to Verdicchio and its Gallery hosts five works of Lorenzo Lotto. Jesi can be considered as a perfect combination of art, history and culture that makes it an unmissable and unique stop.

Beatrice Perroni

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