Fermo is a city of ancient origin, with a history dating back to Roman times. Fermo was one of the most important Roman colonies as early as 264 B.C. with the name Firmum Picenum in Latin.
It has a fascinating historic centre with narrow streets, picturesque squares and important monuments.
Be enchanted by its silhouette that you will begin to glimpse coming from the sea, from Porto San Giorgio. Fermo is in fact perched on the Sabulo hill and its panoramic view is truly unmistakable.
Fermo has countless aspects to discover, food and wine, culture, landscape. It is a city that will leave you speechless and to which you will certainly want to return.
This itinerary takes you to discover Fermo in half a day. But before you start: make a reservation for dinner at the Locanda del Palio.
ARRIVING AT FERMO
Arrive in Fermo around 4 p.m., perhaps after spending the morning and lunch at the seaside in nearby Porto San Giorgio. This way you will spend the cooler hours in the capital city, whose alleys and heights are often characterised by air currents that will cheer you through the summer heat.
Park in the Piazza Dante area and admire the apse of the Church of San Francesco. From here on, leave your car and continue on foot throughout the day.
Start your discovery of Fermo from the San Francesco gate that gives access to Via Roma, designed by Giovan Battista Carducci in the early 19th century as part of the urbanistic changes that envisaged a more triumphant entrance into the city, also due to the growing need for ‘gentler’ and less steep climbs. Admire its perfect straightness, reminiscent of the similar and better known Via Del Corso in Rome, or the Rettifilo in Naples. Observe the clock tower, known in Fermo as ‘la torretta’.
UP TOWARDS “LA STRADA NUOVA”
Continue along Via XX Settembre, and skirt the medieval walls and towers rising to your left. To the right, you let your gaze wander towards the Sibillini Mountains and Mount Vettore.
You are walking on the race track where the Palio dell’Assunta is run on 15 August. The horses start shortly after the turret, which you have just seen, and race to the square, competing for the ‘palio’.
Arrive at the sharp bend and stop to admire the view before continuing on. Continue along Viale Vittorio Veneto, but first look at the tunnel on your right. There the little train (first steam, then electric) that connected Fermo to the town of Amandola once passed through. The little train arrived in the piazza and, unable to make the sharp bend for obvious reasons, the tunnel was built to allow it a wider radius.
In front of the Hotel Astoria, observe the remains of the Roman walls. Shortly afterwards you will come to Largo Temistocle Calzecchi Onesti, named after the physicist who came from these lands.
LET’S ENTER THE SQUARE
Go through the narrow tunnel and plunge into Fermo’s main square: Piazza del Popolo.
Continue to the opposite side, observing the arcades. In front of you on the left is the Romolo Spezioli municipal library, on the right the Palazzo dei Priori, seat of the ancient municipality.
Now under the Palazzo dei Priori retrieve the information needed to organise guided tours of the Roman Cisterns and the Sala del Mappamondo. Both can be done within the afternoon. If you can, do not hesitate to visit the Teatro dell’Aquila.
While waiting for the guided tour, don’t miss the ice cream at the historic La Veneta ice cream parlour.
LEGS UP TOWARDS “IL GIRFALCO”
Once the guided tours are over, don’t stop. Continue along Viale Mazzini to the Girfalco Park: the highest point of the city.
In the park is the famous Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, seat of the archbishop of Fermo. Take a close look at its Istrian stone façade (Fermo had close ties with the Venetian republic) and note its symmetries, which are ‘strange’ to say the least.
Don’t miss the panorama, at every turn. To the north: with Mount Urano, Monte Granaro, Sant’Elpidio a Mare, and the villages of the shoemaking area on the horizon.
Eastwards: where you will see Porto San Giorgio, but also Capodarco, Lido di Fermo.
Southwards: with the Sibillini mountain chain, Monterubbiano, Grottazzolina.
Descend the Girfalco from the opposite point from which you ascended, i.e. Via della Rocca. Get lost in the alleys and reach Piazzale Azzolino where dinner awaits you. But first, take another look at the view from the terrace of the piazzale.
Sit down to dinner and let host Carlo guide you through the typical fermano menu without missing our typical dishes!