Petritoli is a medieval village perched on a hilltop 358 metres above sea level in the Fermo province of Le Marche in central Italy between the Adriatic Sea and the Appenine mountain chain. The village is 16km away from the coast and the delightful seaside resort of Pedaso. It is 35 minutes away from the Sibillini mountains.
Petritoli was founded by the Farfense monks around the year 1000 with the name of Castel Rodolfo, maybe from the name of a feudal monk.
The village follows the typical pattern of this region with the main square, Piazza Rocca, at the top housing the 40 metre high clock tower (1831) and the oldest properties (the original monastic centre), and the rest of the yellow brick village winding down below against the rock face.
The countryside surrounding Petritoli is typical of central Italy. Rolling hills stretching for miles, fold into each other occasionally interupted by the pale yellow cliffs, finally to be framed by the blue of the sky or the Adriatic Sea to the east, and the dark forms of the Sibillini mountains, snow capped during the winter months, to the west. Distant hilltop villages and towns are highlighted by the sunshine and their yellow bricks, lit up, contrast sharply with the greens and browns of the countryside that falls below them.
Teatro dell’Iride (1875) has recently been renovated and now holds regular concerts, plays and other performances. Of the numerous churches, the two most interesting are the 14th-15th century Chiesa di San Prospero and the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Martiri with its unusual 17th century frescoes set out in 15 octagonal scenes, and rare organ, work of the renowned Callido.
The main festival in Petritoli is the Festa Della Cove, held the weekend of the second sunday of July. It is a truly magnificent record of the history and traditions of the village and a testimony to the hard work put in by the local residents.
“Festa delle cove” a feast of thanksgiving, according to the farmers’ traditions, for the wheat harvest, for three days there are parades of “canestrelle”, the sound of accordions and musical ditties. This is the world of the sharecropping, the world of the “vergari”, of their industrious farmhouses.