Panoramic view of Numana
Numana is situated south of the CÚnero mount and it is constituted from two parts: the historical center (70 meters on the level of the sea), said Numana alta and the part near the sea, said Numana bassa, joined between them also from one characteristic road-perron said " Costarella ".
In the photo at top, regarding the panoramic view: near the sea is Numana bassa, a little upper is the historical center of Numana alta, upper is the historical center of Sirolo and the background the mount CÚnero dominates anything.
Elements of history
The little Numana has an history of nearly 3000 years!!!
Already node of primary importance on the way of the amber, at the beginning of the world-wide commerce about in 9th 8th century b.C., Numana was one of the most important center trades of the ancient Piceni till the 3th century b.C. for exchanges with Greece, the Etruria, but also with the Gallia (France) and the Germany.
Archaeological evidence has shown that Numana was not only a center of shunting of goodses towards the river Po markets, but quite independent center of interests in commerce between Athenian and Piceni, also with own productions.
Cratere da Numana
now at Metropolitan
Museum of New York
The history is very long: if you prefere to read it later, it is possible to go to "what to see.
It was said therefore of the importance caught up from Numana; its name comes from the god Nu, which is equivalent to the Egyptians god Ra, which is Sun god, Time, Heaven.
The last king of Albalonga, the city of the Sabina destroyed from Rome after the episode of the Orazi and Curiazi, could have been of origin from Numana, having in fact the nickname " Numana ". The city of Siracusa of the Magne Greece, co-winner agains Athens in the war of the Peloponnesus, in expanding trades, founded Ancona. This last one developed soon as important port trades, coinciding with the interest against Etruscan of the founders of Ancona with that one of Rome, beginning its expansion. The occupation from the Senones Galliums of the territories at north of the Esino river: that involves a weakening of the relationships of the Piceno with the Etruria and an ulterior increase of strategic importance of Ancona for Rome, it becomes adjacent with the new neighbors and therefore bastion in the comparisons of this population.
Numana, as sayed, was in relationships with the Etruria and the part of Greece that had lost the war. Here begins its decline, and if this becomes part in the decreasing of importance of all the Piceno, caused by the expansion of Rome, the picture is enough complete.
In the 269 b.C. Numana was dominated by Rome and in the 91 a.C it take the title of Roman Municipality (it was rather important!).
During the expansion of Rome the Piceni had alternate meetings and crashes and only the arrival of Hannibal, theoretically allied but really grain winnower of died and terror, made the Romans be seed as liberators. The Piceni, including people of Numana, sended ally troops against the Chartaginens allied with Rome.
Later the Italiciens, the Piceni between them, began the revolt against Rome in order to straight obtain the roman citizenship (right to the property and other). They had enormous losses and they obtained what was desired only with the temporary prevailation of Mario in the Mario-Silla fight.
Pompeo, son of the governor of the Picenus, enlisted to Ancona in order to fight Silla, sight the inevitability of the victory of Silla, decided not to submit themselves to Silla but to help him as ally and raised the Piceno against Rome. He become triumvir at the dead of Silla, with Cesar and Crasso; later he tried to deprive of authority Cesar engaged in the Gaulish war.
While Cesar crossed the Rubicone river in order to resume the power, Rome sended troops to Ancona and to Osimo in the attempt to stop him. These cities did not want to fight against Cesar, estimated by them, and all the Piceno was submitted. Died Cesar and the legions of Antonio crossed the Piceno marching against Ottaviano, but seeding devastations and ruins, also being the Piceno friend of Cesar and therefore friend its.
Ottaviano gained Antonio and distributed many lands of the Piceno to the own veterans, but these were behaved as troops of invasion and there was a rebellion guided from consul Lucio Antonio. Then Ottaviano invaded the coast of Piceno and gained; with this the Piceno begins to end as independent civilization . Numana, also for other most serious causes, decayed definitly and all the splendor of the ancient city is intuitable now only through the archaeological remains.
The birth of Ancona and the expansion of Rome were only the beginning causes of the decline; in fact in the 558 d.C. a good part of the clay bastion on which it rested the ancient city and that it formed the port fell in the sea because of an earthquake.
Numana was bizantin province and it was part of the Pentapoli with Ravenna, was occupied from Longobards, conquered from the Franchi and later delivered to the Church. From the first centuries it was already episcopal center and until the 1000 d.C. it is continuously mentioned on purpose of important deals between emperor and Venice, customs and territorial alliances, controversies, even if with his name sometimes deformed in Humana and later in Human. With the unit of Italy (this is only recent history) resumes ancient N, with the dignity that had gotten lost for beyond 1000 years.
In spite of the decadence, that was already obvious in the year 1000, it participated in the 13th century to the wars between near castles: Ancona, Osimo, Castelfidardo, Recanati, now allied with this, now with with the others. Being the ancient Numana constructed on a non stable marls, also the earthquake of the 1298 was ruinous. This is not enough: in few years in the 14th century it endured three pillages.
The first one arrived by night, to the unexpected one, from Ancona: the previous year, with the Pope in Avignon (France), both the cities had rebelled to the dominion of the Church, but in the meantime Numana was reconciled with the Pope and the pillage was the punishment. The Numanans get cross with them if also now a registration to a painting in the municipality palace remembers that pillage with words not properly kind against Ancona.
The second pillage arrived from the mercenary captain "Fra' Morreale" who, called from the cardinal Albornoz to take term to the antipapal disorders in the Piceno and to pull down the survivors lordships, put to bag 44 castles. Curiously Numana was not in the list, but since Sirolo resisted to him, then Fra' Morreale was consoled plundering the neighbor and nearly defenseless Numana.
Finally the third party pillage arrived from the conductor Migliajo at money of the Governor of Marca (papal governor) in order to revenge the delay of a payment that, was admitted, had not been had. A real curiosity is given from the fact that the excuse forms for the pillage was introduced to Ancona, as " landlady " of Numana and not to same Numana.
The disputes with Sirolo are not never lacked: for the borders, for the salt and other... and also for the possession of the Crucifix.
In the years between 1400-1500 Numana was described only as a cumulus of ruins and little country near Sirolo ("Ruinata Humana " brings back the geographic papers). The bishop of Ancona that about at the half of the 16th century for a short period takes the civil jurisdiction on Numana began to use the title of Count of Numana with that one of Bishop of Ancona and Numana.
Returned under the dominion of Ancona the continuation of its history gets confused then with that one of the Papal State and later with the unit of Italy.
In the year 1778 the construction of the episcopal palace in Sanctuary square, currently house of Municipality, ideally represents the carried out point, even if the slow but continuous increase of the population (symptom of economic rebirth) begun already beyond 100 years before recommencing from 300 inhabitants.
Followed the periods bound to agriculture, to fishery and small harbour traffics, even if the "Gotto", as it was called the port in the year 1700, was no longar the same that made great the ancient Numana.
Moreover some collection in the municipality cashes derived also from the wine cellar and the inn born for accommodate the pilgrims of the Crucifix. Finally the 1900's it is characterized for the factories of accordions in the first half century and for the tourism in last the 40 years.
It was joined to Sirolo, with the name of this last one, in 1815 during the papal restoration but after two years it returned free. It was joined to Sirolo also in 1928 with the name of Numana, but in 1947 they are again separated for " incompatibility of character " and old grudges.
The emigration towards the Argentine, begun in the years the 1874-75 and strongest one for beyond 50 years, is moderated by the birth of factories of accordions that finished about in 1960, when with the crisis of such instrument the numerous factories closed and Numana " was forced to become a tourist center". For its fortune the anonymous and disordered buildings, price often to pay to the tourism, do interested the old center only marginally.
What to see
"The tower" of Numana, middle-aged, perhaps originally was a bell tower of a church, subsequently was used as sight tower. In 1930 has lost definitively the appearance of tower being conserved only one of the four sides: the ghotic arc. From the large square where the tower is situated, a beautiful panorama is enjoyed on the port below, on the coast from the Conero beyond Portorecanati and on the sea from north to south. Equally beautiful panorama from the public garden.
In 2010 October, has been positioned a monument to Numana's fishermen in the neighborhood of "the tower", an important evidence of our recent past.
According to ancient maps the roman Numana had the circus, the amphitheater, a temple dedicated to Venere, but now does remain quite nothing about this: it is visible only the rests of one goal of the circus and little other rests in some private caves.
About the ancient picen Numana it has been found many graves, richest of familiar, monili objects and arms. It is possible to reconstruct the life, the commerce and the way of living about those times, even if a lot must still be studied. Some of this remains are in the Antiquarium of Numana and in the Archaeological Museum of the Marches of Ancona. Also some of the greatest museums of the world have parts of Numana, like a vase in Greek style from Numana exposed in the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
An entire site would be reserved to the Crocifisso di Numana, whose legend perhaps covers an origin probably attested from the 5th century p.C. to the 12th century, perhaps Polish. Most original the manufacture, representing a crucifix, a not gained man by the pain or the dead as the classic iconography has accustomed to us. It has been goal of pilgrimages expecially from the 15th century to the 18th century and it was also indicated in all the geographic maps of that age. The church that guards it unfortunately is modern, risen on the place of a church of the year 1566 why this was declared dangerous, even if the most modern means have demolished it with much hard work.
The municipality palace, risen in 1773 as summery residence of the bishops of Ancona, but also factory and center of collection of the products of the earth of properties of the diocese, passed to the public property with the expropriations that followed to the unit of Italy. It represents for Numana the beginning of an economic and moral rebirth after the degradation of all the Middle Ages and the pillages endured in the successive age.
The Fountain of the Crucifix was constructed in the 17th century even if the aqueduct that lead her the water, saying " roman aqueduct ", is perhaps aged Picen-Roman. Such aqueduct consists in a cave completely walkable from Capo d'acqua (means "head of water") in S.Lorenzo of Sirolo and has leaded the water to Numana until the most recent years. It seems, but it is not tried, than from Capo d'acqua the cave continued until combining itself on purpose with the caves of the " hole of the devil " described in the paths of Conero.
The fountain of the 17th century originally was placed to obstructing actual via Morelli and, at the beginning of the 20th century, moved next to the church in order to make space the road. At recostructing the modern church, the fountain was made smoller sawing of stones in order to render it more " harmonious " in the comparisons of the new church.
La Fenice, glorious institution of mutual aid (marine and laborer) founded in 1899, has a building from the facade in liberty style in which, beyond to cultural the associative life, extensions are kept on the life lost.
The Costarella, nearly a nickname of via IV November, is one road perron of the beginnings of the 20th century, inhabited a time from the fishermen, it joins the historical center (Numana alta) with the sea (Numana bassa). The Costarella is between two rows of houses in large part in stone of the Conero and has been adorned with plants bloomed for large part of the year.
Some uneasiness memory on the recent past goes
- To the children: the "sciabica" (kind of fisher's work) or the apprentice after the three elementary years, and the shoes with the tips of iron in order not to consume them.
- To the fishermen: the sciabica to the dawn (the used term sciabegotto from the sirolesi nearly as an insult why it indicated the hard work and the misery entirety) or all the night in sea on the punts and it leave of the day to arrange the equipment: the bow-nets, the drag-nets and after the every winter squall the fishing with the dangerous " nechessa " (a stiff network between two longest poles placed to prow of a addle boat were enfilade within the more large waves, last the wave was made lever on the same poles in order to raise the network and to make to fall the fish in the boat).
- To the peasants, (in large part sharecroppers): the physical and moral isolation, beyond to the hard work in order working the earth. Animals for the plowing and the all worked rest by hand, a breeding of subsistence beyond to gets worm-eaten from silk. Only some sporadic apparitions in the village, without shoes until the periphery in order not consuming them.
- To emigrating: that they sent the moneies when they could and they paid to Buenos Aires the quotas for " La Fenice ".
- To the women: the bread made in house for one week and carried on the head until the furnace, like also the bucato one carried in head until the " lavatore " or the source near the costarella, but also the water from drink capacity, always in head, from the fountain of the Crucifix or the source at bottom the Costarella.
To all or nearly: the firewood to burn collected on the beach and the straw mattresses of leaves of mais
To the tourism, than in years 1920 it regarded only few families of Osimo or Ancona, and that she pioneering saw the birth of the Trattoria Hotel To the Sea, far premised to the Sorriso Hotel today.
- The passion for music, the theatre, the embroidery and for the musical instruments is only apparently in contrast with the life that was lead.
With the mmagine of the punts loaded with the bales of hay for the horses of the troops lodged in Ancona, of the burchielli (special boats) to addles loaded with stones of the Conero this escursus of memories ends: tremendous the hardships and the hard work, but enviable the semplicity of life and the inner wealth.
Part of that style and that wealth can be still discovered, wanting, in the character of the numanans.