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The quaint town of Fermo is known for its remarkable views of the surrounding Marche region and landscape, as well as the remains of Cyclopean walls that can be found within its boundaries. Fermo is 319 meters high and sits atop the Sabulo hill, allowing those in the town to enjoy dazzling views of all they survey below. Originally founded in 264 BC as a Latin colony known as Firmum Picenum and eventually became a headquarters for the Roman Empire in the area, governed by five quaestors. Although the town today is small, the natural beauty of the surrounding area and the discoveries waiting to be uncovered within the town make a visit to Fermo well worth the trip.
Getting to Fermo
Fermo is well connected to most major towns and cities in the region by an extensive bus network. The state buses that operate in the region have plenty of buses that depart from the main stations around Fermo every few hours. These buses are not as comfortable as trains but they are widely used since train stations are not located in all the smaller towns and villages. Tickets are not very expensive and the buses are quite punctual. Another option is to drive down to the town, which is relatively easy and made more pleasant because of the rolling hills and beautiful scenery.
Moving Around in Fermo
Spread over a small area of 124 square kilometers, Fermo is easily navigated on foot. The small number of tourist draws in the town are located in relatively close proximity so walking is the fastest and easiest way to get around. While the town may be small that does not mean it is not without its charms and architectural delights. To the contrary, in fact, as Fermo’s city center boasts several ancient buildings and wonderful architecture to admire. If you would prefer to explore on a bicycle they can be rented at several shops in the town.
If you have a car it may not help you to navigate Fermo’s city center, but it will certainly make it easier to visit the other towns and villages in the area. Another option for getting around is the town’s public transport system. Although Fermo’s buses are generally only used by locals anyone can buy a ticket at one of the local tobacco shops.
Sightseeing in Fermo
The town’s most important monument is the Duomo of Fermo, which was almost entirely reconstructed in 1227 by Giorgio da Como. The façade of the cathedral is a very fine example of medieval architecture with the campanile and side portal reflecting the same style. Over the main door is a rose window that dates back to 1348 and there are also several tombs in the porch, including one by Tura from 1366. Inside the cathedral is a monument to Giuseppe Colucci, a famous writer from the region. The interior has been changed over time and is actually quite modern in nature. Today the cathedral is surrounded by a beautiful garden that provides great views of the surrounding landscapes.
The ruins in the town remind visitors just what kind of lengthy history Fermo has. There are still traces of a Roman amphitheater and the city walls that were built centuries ago--made of rectangular blocks of hard limestone--just outside Porta San Francesco. You can also see the remarkable remains of the battlement walls erected in the medieval era.
San Francesco Church is known its beautiful tower and brickwork choir, both of which date back to 1240. The rest of the church was modified and restored around the 17th century. For more history visit the Palazzo Comunale, an ancient palace that now holds the Biblioteca Comunale, which is quite well known because of its large collection of antique volumes and inscriptions. Built in 1446 the palazzo boasts a large statue of Pope Sixtus V, which was erected during restoration work that took place centuries back.
Stay and AccommodationWhile not a very large town Fermo does have an adequate number of accommodation options for visitors to choose from. There are many decent hotels in the town where visitors will find good clean rooms at decent prices and also a few bed and breakfasts, great for those looking to stay in the center of town on a budget. There are also country homes and villas in Fermo that can be rented for a few weeks. The best places to stay in Fermo are hotel Astoria, Casale Moretti, Hotel Casina delle Rose, New Regina Mundi and Bed and Breakfast A Palazzo.
In Fermo visitors will generally find small restaurants and pizzerias that serve traditional dishes. There are also many charming trattorias and osterias run by local families that serve homestyle Italian cooking very popular among the locals. Some of the best restaurants in the town are Osteria II Galeone, Rio Ete Sas Di Callarelli Vera and Locanda Del Palio Carlo Nicolai.
Shopping in Fermo
In Fermo there are plenty of small shops that sell handicraft items made by local artisans. In the old part of the town there are also a few good places where tourists can find authentic antique pieces and knickknacks that can be purchased as souvenirs. Many food stores in town sell good quality olive oil, sausages and a variety of cheeses.