San Benedetto del Tronto is a city and comune in the province of Ascoli Piceno, Marche, Italy. It lies on the coast of the Adriatic Sea and is an active fishing port and one of the main seaside resorts on the central Adriatic coast. Located at the mouth of the river Albula, its territory extends to the river Tronto in the south.
However saying San Benedetto del Tronto does not simply mean saying sea, port and fishing. San Benedetto, is in actual fact a modern city enclosing its “core of history” in an urban dimension within everybody’s reach; above all it is the city of palm trees with more than 8000 specimen situated in public areas and decorating private gardens. It is exactly in this territory, thanks to the mild climate, where the coast is protected by numerous hills arranged in a semicircle, that tropical fauna flourishes.
The historical heart of San Benedetto del Tronto is a combination of:
“Paese Alto”, a smail built-up area on a hill, that was once close to the sea;
“Quartiere Marina”, today undoubtedly the real city centre;
The ancient complex of the Port of Ascoli.
The city centre presents quite a linear urban structure, as the layout of the village has been kept on the whole, despite the fact that many houses and buildings have been completely restored and modernized. The number of “low” houses in typical maritime style, characterizing the old settlement of fishermen, can really be counted on the palm of a hand (resulting in a contrast between the small low houses and those pretending to reach up the sky, despite keeping the outer dimensions rather modest).
One of the legends has it that the origin of the town
of S.Benedetto del Tronto is deeply connected to the finding of the mortal
remains of a soldier from a Roman garrison named Benedetto who had refused to
abjure his Christian faith and who, for this reason, was executed and thrown
into the sea. The legend goes on telling that his corpse was found the following
morning by a peasant and it was laid into a catacomb. Some huts were built all
around the place and later on those first houses gave origin to the village of
Few documents, concerning the Holy Martyr Benedetto, arrived up to our days. According to the oral tradition, the Roman soldier lived in Cupramarittima (little Roman village 4 miles north of San Benedetto) at the time of Emperor Diocletian. A description of the life and the martyrdom of Benedetto was written by the parish priest Polidori around the first half of the eighteenth century:
“Benedetto from Cupra was very young when, convinced of the truth of the Gospel doctrine, embraced the Christian faith”.
Grifo was the governor of that city and, during the Christian persecution, he ordered to put Benedetto in a dark prison. Since the youngman belonged to a family of noble blood, the same governor wanted to dissuade him from the Christian faith. Benedetto refused all offers, he chose to die for Christ and was martyred on October 13th, 304, on the deck of Menocchia creek.
His body was thrown into the tumultuous river underneath which dragged it to the nearby Adriatic Sea. The marine stream drove the corpse 4 miles south of Cupra and laid it on the beach where today the City of San Benedetto del Tronto stands. A farmer found the body of the martyr and brought him by means of a cart onto the opposite little hill where he digged a tomb under the shadow of trees, away from prying eyes .
Soon after the Edict of Constantine in 313, some believers built a chapel around the tomb. Since then, St. Benedetto has always been venerated and invoked, for headaches, not only by locals but also by those living the surrounding area. It was later built a small church with the apse facing east and the entrance oriented to west. According to the early Christian tradition it is the east where the sun rises and the rising
sun is one of the figures of rising Christ. Historians argue, however, that some archaeological findings testify to the Roman origins, linked to the ancient city of Alba Picena on the right bank of Albula creek.
Porto d’Ascoli, whose territory was acquired in the thirties by the Municipality of Monteprandone, keeps until nowadays the remains of the ancient maritime garrison of the city of Ascoli, clearly represented by an old “Guelph” tower of the fourteenth centurv and by a seventeenth century military station functioning as port customs and controlling the old borders between the Papal State and the Kingdom of Naples.
There are lots of cultural, social and sports clubs together with a large number of museums in the city.
The Riviera delle Palme beach has annually been awarded a Blue Flag since 1998. The Blue Flag is a certification awarded to beaches and marinas by the Foundation for Environmental Education which qualify with its environmental standards.
Places of interest in San Benedetto
THE GUALTIERI TOWER (TORRE DEI GUALTIERI) Symbol of the town and landmark for the people, the Gualtieri Tower is more commonly known as “torrione” (keep).
THE GUELFA TOWER (TORRE GUELFA) Fortified building with quadrangular plant, it was built in the XVI Century.
Antiquarium Truentinum Its mission is to highlight the many archeological discoveries made mainly in the region, but also in the rest of Italy
The MAM (Museo d’Arte sul Mare) A fabulous open-air museum! 140 sculptures and paintings as well as dozens of frescoes spread over more than a kilometer along the coast and, for one of them, in the sea itself.
The “Basilica of Santa Maria della Marina” is a splendid cathedral whose construction has been spread over more than a century.
“Il Tempietto de Santa Lucia” dating back to 1776 is a real treasure for the inhabitants of San Bendetto del Tronto and travelers never remain insensitive to its immense charm.
Jonathan Livingston the goeland sculpture made by Mario Lupo in 1986.