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Palazzo dei Priori Museum Complex

The Museum Complex of Palazzo dei Priori, dating back to 1296, houses Fermo Civic Art Gallery. It includes the Globe Room.

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Built at the end of the fourteenth century from the union of two previous buildings (the palace of Rinaldo di Giorgio and the church of San Martino), from 1396 it was the seat of the Collegio dei Priori. The current facade is due to a rearrangement at the end of the 1500s when the statue of Pope Sixtus V by Accursio Baldi was placed in the center of the double staircase. Today it is the seat of the museum center of the city. Inside, the Globe Room, the first room of the public library, commissioned in 1688 by Cardinal Decio Azzolino the Younger and the Portraits Room, the ancient seat of the city theater. The Palace also houses, among the reception rooms, the Council Room called “dell’Aquila” and the Mayor Room.

Palazzo dei Priori: structure

The building, restored during the first half of the fifteenth century and completed in 1525, presents a double staircase in the middle that leads to an entrance portico with a bronze statue of Sisto V (Fermo’s bishop from 1571 to 1577), a work realized by the Tuscan Accursio Baldi, known as il Sansovino, in 1588.

The entire building has a characteristic opening with the shape of a fan, the façade is underlined in the corners by an ashlar coating and it is divided by string course frames. A stone cornice windowsill, held by shelves, is located between the two upper floors.

In the atrium on the first floor a relief representing pope Boniface IX’s coat of arms with the inscription: BONIFACIO VIII / TOMACELLO NEAPOLITANO /PONTI(fex) OPT(imo) MAX(imo) / BENEFACTORI S(enatus) P(opolus) Q(uae) F(irmanus) is walled in, it refers to the privilege of a University given by the pope to Fermo.

The Representation Rooms

From the atrium of Palazzo dei Priori you can reach the Representation Rooms on the first floor.

The Portraits Room is the largest of the building, along the walls thirty portraits are hanged, nine of them represent Fermo’s cardinals: Girolamo Azzolino, Decio Azzolino senior, Decio Azzolino junior, Tommaso Bernetti, Carlo Pelagallo, Domenico Spinucci, Urbano Paracciani, Cesare Brancadoro and Gabriele Ferretti. Twenty portraits of famous men complete the painting collection; these were given by Cardinal Alessandro de Medici to Cardinal Domenico Pinelli.

Jackets and liveries of ushers, trumpet players and pages, used since the XVII century are preserved in the Costumes Room. In the Mayor Room’s anteroom, called Coats of arms Room, stands out in the middle of the ceiling the city coat of arms. The legend FIRMUM FIRMA FIDES ROMANORUM COLONIA is a motto probably born in the Renaissance that is used still today around the coats of arms of the forty-eight Municipalities of the area.

The Mayor Room is used for official ceremonies and weddings, it is elegantly furnished with well-made armchairs, console and wall mirror and it preserves the city Banner.

In the Yellow Room precious furniture given to the Municipality is preserved and some figurines of fine porcelain are exhibited in a showcase (end of the XVIII century), realized by Ginori Manufactory.

The Council Room is called also dell’Aquila due to the presence of ornaments with this motif. The perspectival paintings decorating the ceiling were realized by Pio Panfili (1762) that celebrated through these allusive architectures, symbologies and images the Academies that at the time were rising in town.

The Civic Art Gallery

Established in 1890 in some rooms of the Civic Library, the Fermo Civic Art Gallery was set up in its current location in 1981. It houses, among other things, an important collection of paintings from Marche and Veneto schools, together with stone artefacts, costumes, coats of arms, porcelains, furnishings and valuable objects.

Among the most significant works are those of Andrea da Bologna, Francescuccio di Cecco Ghissi, Jacobello del Fiore (Stories of St. Lucia), Vittore Crivelli (Crucifixion), Vincenzo Pagani, Giuliano Presutti and Giovanni Lanfranco (Pentecost).

Of particular interest is a Flemish tapestry made to a design by Justus van Gent and the painting by Peter Paul Rubens depicting The Adoration of the Shepherds, commissioned to the painter in 1608 by the Oratorian Fathers for their church.

The Globe Room

The precious Globe Room, commissioned by Fermo cardinal Decio Azzolino, is included in the visit to the art gallery. It was built in 1688 by the architect Adamo Sacripante and it preserves the oldest part of the library.

The Hall, fully furnished with walnut wood shelves, houses part of the ancient fund of the Municipal Library donated mainly by Fermo citizen Romolo Spezioli, personal physician of Queen Christina of Sweden. The imposing globe, created by the geographer Silvestro Amanzio Maroncelli in 1713, dominates the environment.

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