This medieval village is a good example of the region's small-scale gems that are always worth a visit, preferably around lunchtime for some cucina tipica in one the excellent local restaurants.
Turn off in the modern village on the main road to climb up to the old centro storico or historic centre. The first thing you'll notice as the village comes into view are the copertelle, or covered walkways, built above the 12th century walls. Their origin is probably medieval and they made the town nearly impregnable. You can stroll through them taking in the splendid views of the valley below.
The upper part of the town is like a fortress within a fortress, the town as it is today dates from about 1300 and is positioned on the hillside like an imposing tower from which you can control all the surrounding area.
Your discovery tour continues. Search out the church of Santa Lucia, one of the region's prettiest high baroque churches and is fantastically decorated. In amongst the gilt and the cherubs are remarkably fine paintings by Guido Reni, Pasqualino Rossi, and the Cavaliere D'Arpino. When you've finished take a coffee in the small opera-set piazza with a pretty fountain and a flag-draped town hall.
The first news of the church of Saint Lucia date back to 1276. In 1289 the Silvestrini monks were installed as the order. During the years it was completely destroyed and then was rebuilt in 1650. The church of Saint Lucia is in Baroque style, elegant and impressive: full of paintings, stucco, decorations, gilding.
The Domo situated in the upper part of the town was an ancient castle, surrounded by walls with two doors and narrow streets, is characterised by a regular square and a ‘800 church called the Madonna del Rosario. The visit is also important due to the presence of the 1473 San Paterniano church, with its outstanding renaissance door and some wonderful interior paintings.
Established by the Romans as a stronghold at the Gola della Rossa (Red Gorge) entrance, Serra San Quirico is the typical example of the deep bound between history, art and nature characterising the Marche region: a stone town rising on a rock resembling a boat, with a perfectly preserved historical centre.
Serra San Quirico has been across the centuries both a barrier and at the same time a place of shelters for pilgrims and wayfarers that passed through the dangerous Red Gorge full of outlaws. It crossed the centuries without any particular transformations of the original plan. Next to the city centre built on a rock, you have a lower modern part, seat of industrial companies immersed in the natural environment. For its position between the Frasassi Caves and the Gola della Rossa, Serra San Quirico is the ideal starting point for those who love excursions in the mountains, and offers several challenging walks.
The Rotorscio medieval castle is located on a panoramic hilltop above the township of Castellaro and was the property of the Rovellone family counts during the Middle-Age, was conquered by the Albornoz cardinal in theXIVth century. Today is a part of the council and offers a fantastic view on the territory.
In Serra San Quirico you will find the Historical Map Museum (or Cartoteca Antica Delle Marche) with a wonderful collection of antique maps (both hand drawn and printed) of
ancient Marche and the Ancona province dating from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Included are the collection of the Duchy of Urbino and the major cities of the Marches,
and a faithful copy of a globe by Vincenzo Coronelli made in the seventeenth century.
In the collection of about one hundred and fifty maps are prints (copperplate engravings and etchings, watercolors); documents that since the sixteenth century onwards have depicted the evolution of the territory and the cities of Marche within the Papal States.
You can see maps of the old provinces, the "Marche Anconitana and Fermana" and the "Duchy of Urbino", then donated to the Pope last Duke in 1631. Also maps by - Abraham Ortelius - Philip Galle - the Marche Anconetana which dates from 1593. Originally the Marche Region followed the six Papal Legations that preceded the current administrative districts: Ancona merged with Pesaro and Urbino; Fermo with Ascoli Piceno, the latter, as of 2009, again divided into two distinct provinces.
The faithful reproduction of a beautiful globe by Father Vincenzo Coronelli (Venice, 1658-1718) decorates the third room of Cartoteca, dedicated to the pieces of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including the three sheets of the first map of the territory of the Papal Mass made at the time of a geographical expedition through the region run by the Jesuit fathers Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich e Cristopher Maire.
Your holiday in Marche starts here...
Find your holiday accommodation - perfect for the whole family - at Cantinone Bed and Breakfast and Holiday Apartments. Cantinone is an eco-friendly B & B - we offer luxury at a budget price and are committed to green practices like recycling, using local and organic food, and renewable energy.
Follow the Verdicchio Wine Tour through Serra San Quirico on the Marche Voyager Site
Serra san Quirico has always been considered important for its position on the road connecting Rome to the Esino valley. The red gorge was infested with bandits and thieves and the town represented a shelter for the pilgrims. That is probably the reason of the famous hospitality of its citizens.
How to get to Serra San Quirico from the Cantinone
Getting there by car, take the road outside the Cantinone down the valley in the direction of the Superstrada. Pass under the motorway and cross the river Esino. Turn left at the traffic lights and follow this road for 4 - 5 kilometres. You will arrive at the area called Serra San Quirico Stazione (Station). Turn up the hill at the sign indicating 'Centro' or Centre. As you approach the town you will see a car park on the right hand side which is convenient for visiting the historic centre.
Your guide to Cupramontana
Marche Hilltop Towns - Guide to Download
Guide to Marche - Poster format