The name Massignano derives from Massinius, local lord whose rustic villa stood, in Roman times, in the area of today’s Parco delle Rimembranze. In the same place was later erected a church dedicated to San Gervasio, donated to the Farfensi monks by the Ottoni dynasty in 967.
The old castle of curtis Sancti Gervasii was gradually moved to the height of the present village from the end of the twelfth century for strategic and defensive reasons, in the period of the fortification. It dates back to 1208, in the evidence relating to a dispute between Fermo and the nearby Montefiore dell’Aso, the first appearance of the name Masign(i)ano.
In 1412 the church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio, now moved to the gates of today’s historic center (where today stands Santa Maria della Misericordia, built in 1842 from the ruins of the previous), obtained the dignity of priory by the bishop of Fermo, “strarcandosi” so from Cupra Marittima. Subsequently San Giacomo Maggiore, built at the end of ‘700 in the current square thanks to a generous bequest, became the Prior apartment.
Between the town and the Adriatic coast, in the late medieval period, there were the important castles of Forcella and Boccabianca, as well as a landing place for boats and a anti-sbar fortified tower (Masignana tower) in the coastal area. The entire area, as well as exposed to Saracen raids, was for centuries disputed between Fermo and Ripatransone (then Ascoli Piceno).
In different areas of the town have been found not only remains of Roman times (including villas, aqueducts, coins, marbles, daughters for the manufacture of bricks) and medieval (especially churches, now disappeared), but also finds of the Piceno civilization (tombs, utensils) and prehistoric.
In modern and contemporary times we must remember the Risorgimento hero Nicola Laurantoni, who died in 1849 in an attempt to defend the Roman Republic, and the nazi-fascist massacre in contrada Montecantino that saw the killing in retaliation of twelve innocent people on June 18, 1944.
Massignano is still known for the art of working terracotta: until the last century there were in fact many workshops that dotted the village and its surroundings. Today the precious witness is a small museum under the civic tower, in Piazza Garibaldi.
From the town as from several points of the surrounding countryside open to the eyes glimpses of wonderful beauty: the hills dotted with small villages stretch out like a rolling carpet between the blue of the Adriatic Sea and the Sibillini mountains, also known as “blue mountains”.
Inserisci qui sotto una chiave di ricerca, una parola, un evento, un’attività o più semplicemente una curiosità.
Enter below a search keyword, a word, an event, an activity, or simply a curiosity.