Falerone is a town of about 3,500 inhabitants in the province of Fermo. The Roman centre of Falerio had been risen in the valley of Tenna, to the left of the river in a territorial district intensely frequented already in pre-Roman times. The city, in which many monuments were built from the age of Augustus, was a flourishing centre until the fourth century. A.D. The coat of arms depicting a medieval armor, recalls the domination of the country by the local feudal Saxon lords, heirs of a traditionally warlike people and voted for war, who created their right dominating on 30 castles of the middle-high valley of Tenna, making Falerone their capital.
The strong Franciscan presence in Falerone has been documented since the thirteenth century, whereas the monastic activities and the presence of monks and small abbeys of these lands, date back to Lombard age. A first convent of monks stood in Piagge district, near an ancient Lombard church called San Giovanni (now destroyed), not far from the place where even today, there is the age-old Church of San Paolino, also dating back to Lombard age. Moreover, the Churches of Santa Margherita and Santo Stefano were also abbeys, besides being places for worship: the former depended on the monks of San Pietro in Ferentillo, the latter was the main Parish Church of the ancient Diocese of Falerone (now disappeared along with the Parish Church). The first Franciscans settled in Falerone in the mid-thirteenth century and founded their monastery on the hill of the cemetery, building their church dedicated to the patron saint of the Country (hence the name of the place: San Fortunato's hill). Only in 1292 the Franciscans moved and set up inside the walls, at the Church of Santa Maria, renaming it Church of San Fortunato in 1352, although even today people from Falerone call it Church of S. Francesco. Of the same period is the building of the adjoining monastery. The Church on the hill remained there until it was demolished to erect the cemetery chapel; the name "San Fortunato" was transferred to the Church of San Francesco; it is still remembered as the Temple of San Fortunato known as of S. Francesco. In 1542, some monks belonging to the Clareni order left the convent of the Piaggie and founded a little Church on a hill near the Country, dedicating it to Our Lady of the Angels and also built an adjoining home (inside the church, the fresco above the high altar, by Vincenzo Pagani deserves to be mentioned).
Among the people linked to Falerone, we should remember Oliverotto Euffreducci, known as Oliverotto da Fermo (1473-1502) Lord of Fermo and Falerone, who attempted to impose a lordship on Fermo, but was murdered by Cesare Borgia; whis event is narrated in "Il Principe" by Niccolò Machiavelli.

Photo copyright: Enrico Pighetti