The Palazzo dei Priori houses not only the Archaeology Museum on the first floor but the Pinacoteca and the Sala de Mappamondo upstairs (the police station is housed in the ground floor).
The Pinacoteca has an impressive display. The minatures telling the life-story of Saint Lucy are exquisite but when we walked into one of the rooms there was one picture that was head and shoulders above the rest, and we thought that before we realised it was a Rubens; but for me the best was yet to come.
When the attendant unlocked the heavy dark doors I was not ready for the assault on my senses - tears pricked my eyes. The scent of aging manuscripts and books filled my nostrils and I looked around a room that was filled from floor to ceiling with books. To one side stood a large globe made in 1713 by the Abbot Amanzio Moroncelli from strips of paper.
I could quite happily have sat in the middle of the small roped area that we were confined to and inhaled the scent of centuries of writing for the remainder of the day.
The cisterns that had supplied Fermo's fountains and drinking water from nearby hill springs.
At the end of a dead-end alley a large metal door was unlocked and we descended under the town via a set of medieval stairs - all very cloak and dagger! The cisterns which are for all intents and purposes a practical construction are beautiful in their way. Thirty connecting chambers laid out in three rows the perspective along the central row is picturesque. The guide provided us with an excellent potted history of the cisterns - how the Romans had used them, how the monks re-discovered them and used them as for wine production and storage, and how in the late 19th century until 1980 the cisterns were used once again to supply the city's fountains (though not as effectively as the Romans had!)
You have to buy your ticket at the touris information office in Piazza del Popolo, Fermo and the tours are accompanied from there.
Tourist Office: (+39) 0734 228738
In a little town near Fermo you will find these two nice and quiet houses with five flats, recently gone through a gentle restoration. Panoramic view, 20 minutes to the Adriatic sea, one hour to the most beautiful part of the Apennines, the Monti Sibillini.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org