Belforte del Chienti is a town of about 1900 inhabitants. Its name probably derives from its nice position on a hill halfway between the mountains and the sea. From its 347 meters the ancient village, characterized by narrow and steep alleys, overlooks the northern side of Chienti river. From the finds discovered in the municipal territory of Belforte it can be said that the area was already inhabited during the roman era. Before the castrum foundation, in the territory there was the Travenano Court, property of the Santa Maria in Farfa abbey. This abbey had several properties in the March and its centre of local power situated in Santa Vittoria in Matenano. The very first confirmations about the Belforte castle can be found in the Libro Rosso (lit. Red Book) in Camerino Municipality; in those documents it is affirmed how the consul Riccomanno Vicomandi got ruled by Camerino on the 10th of October 1207. The castle had, for Camerino, an important defensive role against Tolentino and, for this reason, Belforte along the centuries went or under one town domain or under another’s. Afterwards the town went under the domain of Papal States until the Unification of Italy, when it took the current name Belforte del Chienti. Today Belforte del Chienti still preserves good part of its walls of the 14th century, recently restored, and it develops also down-river with 19th century villages of Santa Maria and San Giovanni and with other communities, all enriched by very interesting places.
The visitBelforte del Chienti has lots of treasures to discover. They all are open to the public and, therefore, you can visit them.
1. Chiesa di S. Eustachio (Saint.Eustace church) – Piazza Umberto I ( Humbert I square) The main core of the church dates back to the 13th century but its current structure derives from further restorations after the terrible earthquake in 1741. Moreover, it is not its external shape to make it worthy to visit, but the treasures that it has inside: a wooden 16th century statue of S. Sebastiano ( Saint Sebastian), two 16th century paintings (one of which signed and dated by Durante Nobili from Caldarola, Lorenzo Lotto’s apprentice), a Santa Lucia from the painter Domenico Malpiedi (first half of the 17th century). We also have to mention the polyptych by Giovannni Boccati
2. The Polyptych by Giovanni Boccati This polyptcyh was made in 1468 by Giovanni Boccati, a painter from Camerino, and represents one of the best example of renaissance art from Marche region. The work is surrounded by an elaborated and refined golden wooden frame and it immediately affect for its dimensions: 4,83 meters of length and 3,25 meters of breadth (it is the biggest polyptych in Europe). The work is composed of twelve panels; eighteen mirrors and five medallions. To the thirty-five illustrated tables we need to add two lateral scrolls with inscriptions where there are the names of the costumers and the year of implementation. The figure of Saint Eustace stands in the polyptych: the saint appears in one of the central tables and his story is represented in the altar-step. After the recent restoration, the polyptych was put in its original position behind the altar.
3. MIDAC- Museo Internazionale Dinamico di Arte Contemporanea (International Dynamic Museum of Contemporary Arts) The museum that has a collection composed of works of artists from all over the world, is situated in the ex San Sebastiano Church of the 15th century. It is open every day from 5,30 p.m. to 7,30 p.m., on Monday it is closed. Free entrance. www.midac-terradellarte.org – if you want to visit it in other hours call: +39 333 3495472.
4. Bonfranceschi Palace It is situated in the core of the old town and it used to be a noble palace, but today is destined to be an accomodation as an old residence and it can be visited every day. Free entrance. www.palazzobonfranceschi.it - +39 0733 906405
5. You can visit by appointment only:
Chiesa di S. Giovanni
Chiesa S. Maria d´Antegiano
Chiesa S. Maria di Villa Pianiglioli
Chiesa S. Maria e Monastero Silvestrino (currently S. Pietro Apostolo)
Chiesa S. Salvatore
Farm Holidays and Typical Porducts.
Do not missThe Polyptych by Giovanni Boccati inside the Chiesa di Sant’Eustachio in Piazza Umberto I
Pro Belforte – Ente Turistico
+39 0733 951007
Piazza Umberto I, 10