Jesi is the birthplace of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Sicily and Stupor Mundi or Wonder of the World. His mother Constance de Hauteville gave birth to him in 1194 in a tent on Piazza San Floriano, having gone into labour on her way south to Sicily. It is also a busy industrial town, the centre of production of the wine called Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, with an attractive centro storico on top of the hill and spilling down it like brandy sauce on top of the Christmas pudding.
- The Walls of Jesi
The Teatro Pergolesi offers delightful musical performances – opera (La lirica) and concerts. There is a programme outside and/or you can visit the website.
The art gallery (Palazzo Pianetti)has some fine Lottos and amazing stucco ceilings. Go upstairs and don’t be put off if the door to the gallery is shut during official opening hours – just push it open and go in. If they have decided to shut they’ll tell you.
The library (see my other blog http://beautifulbooksinitaly.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/biblioteca-planettiana-jesi/ ) is rather confusingly called the Biblioteca Planettiana but is in the Palazzo della Signoria.
Finally, there is the Palazzo Pianetti Vecchio, which houses the centre for the art of printing and occasional interesting-sounding exhibitions, but which I have not yet managed to track down. This is largely because the Tourist Information Centre is shut from 12 or 12.30 till 4. I know I have written at length about long lunches and doing as the Italians do, but this is ridiculous, especially in May when it’s not that hot anyway, and the tourist season has started. I am not prepared to hang about after lunch till 4 p.m. I’ll go and spend my tourist money elsewhere.
I had lunch at the Trattoria della Fortuna, Arco Del Soccorso 1, just off the piazza in which the theatre is situated,(it has a Facebook page), which offered an excellent seasonal primo piatto (was it pasta or risotto?) with asparagus and broad beans. The veranda is delightful but I wouldn’t fancy sitting in the actual restaurant underneath the huge tv screen.
There is elsewhere in town at Via F. Conti, 5, in the basement of the Palazzo Balleani, a beautifully fitted-out enoteca, or wine bar, where you can drink a glass of all sorts of different local wines. Not much in the way of food, though. It is run by the Istituto Marchigiano di Tutela Vini .