My walk in and around Senigallia dates back a couple of months ago, to one of the spring bridges. When the sky above our heads was rather uncertain, not to say threatening, and, above all, when we were still far from the oppressive heat of these weeks.
For some time now, the Marches have become one of my safe ports, where I can land for half a day with my usual load of questions, thoughts and good intentions.
One of the most frequent destinations of my impromptu weekend getaways. And this has happened more or less since I focused on a region of wonderful tones, able to give me what I need, whether it’s the sea, whether it’s the villages, whether it’s the hills. And as I have already said several times, if I didn’t love Bologna so much I could even think of moving.
Speaking of impromptu escapes: as it happened for other trips out of town, not even that morning, before getting into the car and leaving, I had paid so much attention to finding out what to see in Senigallia. I was only interested in moving around and looking for the sea. Not to dive in, but only for the sake of having it empty and immense in front of my eyes and breathe it walking alongside it, proceeding in small steps on the sand.
I was looking for a promenade in which to sink my feet and thoughts, to make local minds about the period full of question marks that I was living. I knew that, as always, the Marche region would give me an answer. I set in motion and the day began.
What to see in Senigallia and surroundings
THE BEACH OF SENIGALLIA VELVET
The reason why they call it a velvet beach is easy to guess. Get rid of your shoes and try to take a few steps barefoot on the soft sand. This, among other things, makes me think that when I come to these parts, in addition to looking for the sea, I look for the beach. In fact, maybe I look for the beach above all. A long golden expanse to be covered. Chatting and without any hurry. Or remaining silent, but always without haste.
What I didn’t remember about the beach of Senigallia was that I would come across one of the buildings that symbolized the Italian summers of all time: the Rotonda a mare (or on the sea, to quote Fred Bongusto who sang it). Yes, the famous Rotonda is located in Senigallia and for the city it is a true icon. It seems to be one of the symbols of culture, music and sociality of the entire Marche coast. I, personally, would have preferred to see it with the light of the sun (that day the sky, as I told you, was rather covered), the rays would certainly have given to its rounded shapes. In any case, the most famous Rotunda in Italy is by right one of the stages to be completed for those who want to know what to visit in Senigallia.
For me, the undisputed protagonist of the seafront and the beach of Senigallia remains her: Penelope. The statue donated by the artist Gianni Guerra to his city. The young woman who waits for the return of her Ulysses from the end of the eastern pier, giving her back to the sea. The symbol of love, of expectation, of all those who leave without knowing when they will return. And yes, today it is also a symbol of the much-loved-smelling locks.
THE ANNONARY FORUM OF SENIGALLIA
Leaving the Penelope pier and the beach behind and following the course of the Misa canal, you will come across another of the things to see in Senigallia, namely the Foro Annonario. A beautiful square, a hole in neoclassical style. A place dedicated to meeting and welcoming. The market square, embellished every day by the presence of the scents and flavors of local products. If I don’t have photos of the Forum, it’s because I preferred to observe rather than take pictures, letting myself be teased by everything that was on display on the stalls.
THE CENTRE OF SENIGALLIA
I didn’t really know what to expect from downtown Senigallia. I had no idea that this town, which in my mind was mainly connected to the theme of the sea and holidays, hid streets and squares so delightful that I wanted to miss them.
Leaving the Foro Annonario, the city centre can be reached through the elegant Portici Ercolani (Herculaneum arcades) that flank the canal. The porticoes plus the canal are the same as a first surprise.
I carry with me the memory of the centre of Senigallia with me those bright colours, so typical of the villages and other cities of the Marche, and of the details hidden in the secondary streets that, as always, make the difference. There are two beautiful squares that you can not miss: Piazza Roma, with the Government Palace, and the largest Piazza Garibaldi, where the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, the cathedral of the city, stands out. But beyond the main squares where the institutional buildings are located, the advice is to explore the center without a real destination, just for the sake of being surprised by the unexpected beauty ready to peep out at every corner of the street.
Senigallia and surroundings: the village of Corinaldo
I didn’t want my walk in and around Senigallia to end. I remember reading somewhere in Corinaldo as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. And so, after twenty kilometers, leaving the coast behind and gradually entering a countryside illuminated with gold, we arrived. And we discovered another stage to add without a doubt to the list of endless things to see in the Marche.
Corinaldo, the village of Santa Maria Goretti. I was unaware of her story and I almost preferred to continue to ignore her. Daughter of farmers forced to emigrate in the early twentieth century to seek their fortune elsewhere, at twelve she was killed by a friend of the family who had tried to rape her. After almost thirty years in prison, the murderer received the forgiveness of Maria’s family.
Sadness and deep injustice aside, even in the case of Corinaldo I will not tell you in detail what to see and what to do. The historical centre of the village is small and will be all around you. Once again, I can do no other than advise you to get lost in its narrow streets of red brick, the colorful doors and the looks of the many sly cats that you will meet on your way.
Start by walking along the walls of the village, and then explore the squares, churches and of course the Pozzo della Polenta which is located halfway up the long staircase of Via Piaggia.
If you love villages, as well as places that have remained still for a long time, you will also love Corinaldo.
Open your eyes well, walk at a slow pace, sharpen your intuition and follow him as if he were a guide. Let him lead you around, who will certainly be able to show you the most beautiful places.
And remember that you are in a wonderful region.