Marche - Places to visit - Pesaro
The town faces the Adriatic coast, at the exit of the River Foglia valley.
Of ancient origin, it entered the Roman sphere of influence in 184 BC. with the name of Pisaurum and became an important trading centre during the Imperial period.
It was then invaded by Goths, Byzantines, Lombards and Franks, who gave it to the Church in 774 together with the other Penthapolis towns.
During the Middle Ages it was the scene of struggles between Emperors and Popes, though ruled in fact by various overlords: Malatesta, Sforza, Borgia, Della Rovere, Medici and again Della Rovere (12th-14th-15th-16th centuries) until annexed to the Papal Dominions in 1631.
Pesaro then shared the vicissitudes of the Papal States until it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1860. Its urban structure developed within successive circles of walls and has now spread widely along the coast and on the inland hills.
The monuments include: the Palazzo Ducale (15th century), Costanza Fortress (14th century), St. Francis Church (14th century), St. Augustine Church (15th century); in the surrounding area (4 km) the Imperial Villa-Castle (15th-16th century, with a beautiful park).
The economy of the town is based on a flourishing trade in cereals, vegetables and cattle from the interior, and on lively industries in the metallurgical and engineering (motorbikes), furniture, shipyard, housing construction and food manufacturing sectors.
There is considerable tourism particularly along the coast. Traditional crafts are majolica and pottery making.
Events: International Exhibition of New Cinema, Rossini Opera Festival (August-September), National Festival of Drama; Furniture Exhibition (May).
Famous People: Gioacchino Rossini (composer, 1792-1868), Terenzio Mamiani (scholar, 1799-1885), Antonio Cecchi (explorer, 1849-1896), Simone Contarini (artist, 1612-1648).
Cultural Institutions: Library and Oliveriani Museum (archeology), Rossini Museum, Academy of Music, Municipal Museums (Paintings and Pottery Museum), Rossini Theatre, House of Rossini.
In the Province: Fano (seaside resort, Arch of Augustus, the Malatesta Castle), Gradara (13th-15th century fortress), Pergola (interesting environment).