San Severino Marche, a town you might never visit.. AND IT WOULD BE SUCH A BAD LUCK!
I have rarely seen a more charming medieval place than San Severino. Honestly, I had no idea.. I just wanted to go eat in this very good (and very cheap) locanda on the outskirts of the town.. Antico Oliveto is called I think (I’ll give you more info if you need it). But hey, there is not just food, right? Especially when the restaurant is all filled and you have to explore the town to deserve the food.
Now, the lower part of town is very nice, with the egg-shaped main square and the impressive buildings.. this place must have been quite powerful in the past. I read San Severino was always fighting with Camerino, the first being “ghibellino” and the latter a stronghold of the Vatican. However, I have to say, despite the great view in Camerino, San Severino is by far more beautiful. Instead of being a dark, religious mountain town like Camerino, San Severino is more bright, square. If Camerino reminded me of the 1500’s or the Inquisition (maybe because there is a quite important provincial prison there.. in a former church), San Severino is more like the 1200’s, the beginning of the end of Medieval time, the time of the first Universities, but also of crusades (amazing fresco on the theme in San Severino).
One of the few important events in San Severino today is the Biennale of Umorismo, dedicated to satirical vignettes and drawings. But seriously, if you make it to San Severino don’t just stick in the lower part of the town but do make sure to walk up to the tower and visit the amazingly beautiful Castello al Monte. It’s basically a whole village hidden from the view, intact walls all around and a small vibrant community living in it. Quite impressive really. Once you made it on the top, where the monastery and the tower are, you have to go down to the village and then I’d suggest follow the walls to the right, until you find an entrance arch. Make a few more steps and be careful.. you will pass by a little door leading to a court. There you will see a portal that seems to come out of The name of the rose by Umberto Eco.. it’s so freakingly intense really.
If you add to this the fact that there’s virtually no tourism around here.. well, it makes it all the better. Imagine visiting a 13th century crypt with frescoes so modern and engaging to take out your breadth.. then try the acoustic by singing or even simply speaking. Priceless. And trust me, these are just a few of the experiences I’ve had in San Severino a couple of weeks ago. A place I would recommend anybody thinks that Italy is just about Tuscany, Sicily, Milan, Rome and Naples. The little, unknown San Severino Marche kicks ass!