LaDolce Vallata

Massignano, a beauty just steps from the sea

A pearl of tourism in the Marche yet to be discovered

Massignano is a small town of 1,684 inhabitants in the province of Ascoli Piceno, at 264 meters high on a hill overlooking the sandy beaches, yet to be discovered.

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Massignano whose name brings us back to Roman times and the possessions of a certain Massinius, stands on a hill between the river Aso and Valmenocchia, between Montefiore dell’Aso and the Adriatic coast.

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Museums

This secret pearl of Le Marche was, in the past, the village of the terracotta production. Known as the “Paese de li Cuccià” (Potters Village in local dialect), Massignano home the Terracotta Museum divided into two interesting sections for families: the “Domestic Use” and the “Whistles and Tobacco Pipes”.

The other Museum in Massignano is a Museum of Sacred Art, the Museo Parrocchiale San Giacomo realized thanks to a bequest of  the most illustrious historical figure: Callisto Monsignor Giuseppe Gentili, State Councillor of Joseph II (Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 1765), the apostolic nuncio (sort of Ambassador of the Pope) in Austria, agent in Rome of the Bishop of Mainz. A talented diplomat always around the world who never forgot the land of his parents to which he felt to belong. You can admire precious goldsmith’s works, various paintings, chalices, ciborium and other rare and prestigious objects. Among the objects worthy of note: a Piviale embroidered in polychrome silk realized from a blanket manufactured in Hungary, a silver monstrance made by Raffaele Antonelli in 1791, embossed and engraved with ornate in pinchbeck; a Penitential, Processional Cross in wood and mother of pearl of 1796, signed by Fra ‘Francesco Maria di Massignano.

In the Church of San Giacomo Maggiore are exposed the Bell from 1235 that, according to tradition, rang autonomously the night of the translation of the Holy House; the table of the Virgin Adoring the Child by Vittore Crivelli, significant in the history of art, for the particular depiction; a Miraculous crucifix in tunicle, “The Adoration of the Shepherds” by Ricci.

An outer section of the Museum is dedicated to the production of crib figures of folk pottery. The potters from Massignano the early twentieth century did not use molds that’s  why the crib figures in the museum are very expressive and with the faces of the locals. Unique and rare pieces that worth a visit of families with kids.

In the main square it stood a Augustinian convent, today remains the tower, then adapted as Civic Tower. The Tower preserves a fresco, ” Madonna and Saints “, dated to the second quarter of 1400 and attributed to a generical Le Marche School. It is a Madonna and Child, St. John the Baptist and St. Donato.

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Palaces

We suggest you to get lost in the cobbled alleys of Massignano in search of noble palaces:

  • Faviani Palace, in Via Cavour, with tiled portal of the XV century and remarkable inscription on
  • Palazzo Santini from XVIII century;
  • Palazzo Tassoni of the XV century
  • Palazzo Teodori, in the late XVIII century in neoclassical style.
  • Laurantoni Palace, birthplace of the patriot Nicola Laurantoni

Events

Among the events, organized every year in Massignano, we want to remember the “Christmas Concert”; The “Exhibition of Tobacco Pipe and Whistles” in June; “Pizza and Beer at Sea” the first week of July; the “Medieval Festival” the first Sunday in August; the famous “Festival of Frittelle” the 14 August; the “Threshing Festival and Fair of Villa Santi”, the last Sunday of August and the “Procession of the Madonna del Soccorso” on the second Sunday of September.

Shopping

Massignano is a town that offers a good food shopping experience despite the dimension of the town. You can find:

  • Malavolta biomalavolta is the right place where to buy organic vegetables and jams
  • La Casetta Bio lacasettabio is an organic farm that sells also online: hot chilli peppers, hot sauces and preserves, hot oil, extra virgin olive oil, olives in brine, pulses and cereals, flours, vegetables, pasta.
  • Salumificio Stipa salumificiostipa it is a small laboratory of charcuterie where is possible to buy ham seasoned 18 months, Lonza and Lonzino, salami, Ciauscolo, fresh sausage of meat or liver, “coppa di testa” (product with meat of the cooked pig head, hand-cut, spiced and enriched with green olives , almonds, walnuts and orange peel, preservative free).
  • I Sapori dei Monti isaporideimonti is an online shop of: Marinated Vegetables, Sauces, Oils and seasonings, Jams and jellies, canned fruit, Fruit juices, liqueur wines

Restaurants

Talking about food, it is not possible not to mention the great opportunity to taste the local cuisine with recipes of meat or fish or pizza in good Restaurants all of affordable price range.

  • Pizzeria Adriatica – Casa di Gino casadigino this restaurant located in a coutry house offers a large assortment of pizzas baked in a wood oven and dishes based on fish
  • Ristorante Hotel il Contadino hotelilcontadino is a restaurant open all year round with an offer of five first courses and main courses both meat and fish. Wine, water and coffee are included in the price.
  • Ristorante Country House La Sorgente countryhouselasorgente the restaurant welcomes you in a picturesque setting and charming, furnished with great care for detail and also the cuisine is one of the refined in the area.The restaurant is open every Friday and Saturday evening from 20:00 to 23:00 and Sunday lunch, from 12:00 to 14:00. During the week by reservation only (minimum 6 people)
  • Ristorante Hotel Rivamare rivamare the restaurant offers the typical Le Marche cuisine with specialties like sambenedettese Fish Soup (brodetto), grilled or fried fis, grilled meat or the typical fried Lamb; the famous “Ascolana olives”. Among the first courses the “maccheroncini of Campofilone” or the “Vincisgrassi”. Good selection of local wines.