It is situated in the heart of the National Park of the Sibillini Mountains, in a wide valley surrounded by a crown of mountains, and is characterized by an extraordinary natural environment and an elegant Medieval urban plan. Modern-day Visso is still protected by walls and fortified gates and is rich in medieval houses and Renaissance stone buildings. The valleys around the town show traces of human presence from prehistoric time, and Visso has always had a very important role in commercial trade and social exchanges since ancient times thanks to its strategic position on the road leading to Camerino, Foligno and finally Rome. Visso houses the headquarters of the National Park of the Sibillini Mounatins, founded in 1993 in order to protect the environment and to promote a sustainable socio-economic development. It covers about 70,000 hectars of territory on the provinces of Macerata, Fermo, Ascoli Piceno and Perugia. The Sibillini Mountains are characterized by steep slopes, deep gorges and wide karsic plateaus. The highest peak is Monte Vettore (2476 m above sea level).
The visitPiazza Martiri Vissani is surrounded by beautiful 15th and 16th century buildings. The 13th century Chiesa Collegiata of Santa Maria has an elegant bell tower and the main entrance presents two stone lions at its sides and small columns and a lunette with an Annunciazione attributed to Paolo da Visso (1441). The church interior presents a two-nave baptistry chapel that was the old parish church, and a few frescoes (14th and 15th centuries) in the apse and along the walls. Next to the Collegiate church there is the remarkable façade of the former church of Sant'Agostino dating back to the 14th century. Opposite this church there is the porticoed Palazzo dei Governatori (14th century) and the Palazzo dei Priori which is now the Town Hall. Walking along the streets of the historical centre it is possible to discover some very picturesque spots such as the ancient Porta Ussita, the church of Immacolata Concezione (16th century) and the castle of San Giovanni. Crossing the bridge over the Ussita brook, you find the church of San Francesco (16th century) with its magnificent portal and rose window. The former church of Sant'Agostino houses the Civic and Diocesan Museum. It collects various sacred works of art dating back to the 12th-18th centuries such as paintings, sculptures, fresco fragments, pieces of furniture, a 14th century Crucifix and the statue of the Madonna di Macereto (15th century). The Museum also houses 27 autographic manuscripts by famous Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi, including 6 idylls and 5 sonnets, some letters written between 1825 and 1831, and a note on Petrarch’s rhymes. The idylls are: “L'infinito”, “La sera del giorno festivo”, “Alla luna” also known as “La ricordanza”, “Il sogno”, “Lo spavento notturno”, “La vita solitaria”.This museum with these manuscripts is a fundamental step in the discovery of Leopardi poetry. On the road towards Camerino, it is possible to visit the Sanctuary of Macereto on a plateau at an elevation of about 1000 m. It was built in Bramante’s style and it was erected in 1528-38 around a smaller church that had been erected to commemorate a miraculous episode: a wooden statue of the Madonna and Child was being transported by some mules but, when they reached the plateau, they halted and refused to go any further. Inside the Sanctuary there are a few works by Simone de Magistris from Caldarola. Under the wide dome, the 14th century church houses a reproduction of the statue of the Madonna di Macereto (which is now housed in the Diocesan Museum).
Do not missThe Visitors’ Centre of the National Park of the Sibillini Mountains offers tourists important information on excursions and events to discover the area’s natural and artistic treasures.
Comune di Visso - Palazzo dei Priori
+39 0737 95421
Largo G. B. Gaola Antinori, 1