Loreto the Basilica (on the background the Conero Mount)
Between legend and reality
The legend says about the house of the Madonna that after being transported by the angels from the Terrasanta until a zone near Fiume (Rieka) in Istria, it was transported in the Marches.
At first they put down it on a hill near Castelfidardo, but it seems that the owners of the land litigated between them for the economic management of such event, and therefore was carried on that hill of bay (lauri from which Lauretum, even if according to others the name of Loreto would derive from the name of the owner of the land, such Laureta).
During the transport, always according the legend, was supported in the zone currently called Scossicci of Portorecanati and in the same place, to memory of such miraculous event was erected one small church called of S.Maria of the Banderuola.
From 700 years the Basilica of Loreto represents the strongest callback for the christianity, so that in the centuries one of the ways of the "romei", the pilgrims directed to Rome, passed throu Loreto.
They had to be not few if from Ancona to Rome via Loreto existed a regular series of places of pause for change horses, with tavern and inn at intervals of 12 km, to use just of the pilgrims. The tavern of the Angel (arc of the Angels), in Camerano zone, was the first station after Ancona with inn and small church, having replaced the "Osteriaccia", an Hospital of the Pilgrims annexed to the church of S. Maria of the Umbriano, in the meantime closed. The ancient road that come down from Umbriano mount going along the Aspio river was called until now " road of the gipsies ", where with such term agrees " pilgrims ". Even if are changed way of travelling, roads and all the rest, Loreto remains one of the most important stages of the pilgrimages.
In many years the Basilica has become rich of extraordinary works: frescoes of Lorenzo Lotto, Luca Signorelli, Melozzo da Forlì, Mark Palmezzano, L. Seitz and others; Fleming tapestries of the 1500 years,
ceramics, beyond tothe architecture of the church to which they have participated with various contributions Antonio da Sangallo, Giuliano da Maiano, Baccio Pontelli, Luca Signorelli, Giuliano da Sangallo, Andrea Sansovino, Bramante and Luigi Vanvitelli.
In the local tradition there is a saying "Who goes to Loreto and he does not go to Sirolo, he sees the Mother and he does not see the Child "; and the term "Child" refers to the Crocifisso di Numana, (in the saying is " of Sirolo " why approximately from the 1000 to the 1800 p.C.
Numana become suburb of Sirolo).
Loreto carried out the most important role in the comparisons of the Ottoman invasion: the legend takes shape in the immediately next years to the fall of Bisanzio (1453), with the need to transfer in the West the sacrality of the Terrasanta, in a climate of large religious fervor in sight of the crusades.
Melozzo from Forlì - frescoes
The hermit "Paul of the Forest" reveals that the Vergine appeared to him for communicate that the small church of S.Maria is its own house of Nazareth. Some testimonies confirm that this had been handed on from grandfathers of the grandfathers and, around the 1470 a relation on the situation, it stretches to confer veridicity to all the story, and that is that the divine will has intentional to embezzle to infidels the such house.
So it is clear the why about the engagement of the local authorities and the same popes for not to allow that the Turks can plunder such reliquia, catholic outpost in the fight against the Islam. The same basilica is a fort, therefore intentional just in order to contrast pirats and the corsairs, that they infested the coasts and they represented in large part the world Arab-Turk-Muslem. Optimal they demonstrated the defense, in fact all the raids stopped to the castle of the port of Recanati (Castle Svevo di Portorecanati) and to the Aspida tower (a sight tower and garrison mails close to the end of the Aspio river, that is to the actual end of the Musone river.
The moment of greater reputation for Loreto is had with the battle of Lepanto, whose victoria from Pope Pio 5th is attributed to the intercession of the Loreto Virgin. Don Giovanni of Austria reached Loreto with its officials and thousands of freed slaves thanks the victoria; with the chains and the stocks carried to Loreto they were manufactured large cancelled the inner ones to the Sanctuary with large emblematic value: the Santa Casa not only can block the infidels but also to free the believers from every chain.
Loreto therefore, becoming rich of symbols in several the centuries, is still today one of the most important goals of the Pilgrimages of Madonna.
The fortress basilica