A curiosity — Monte Ruperto

I tell you there is always something new to learn! A couple of days ago I was looking up a place in Le Marche on Google maps. I noticed, to my surprise, a chunk of Umbria completely surrounded by Le Marche. Like it was a little island stuck in the next region. Of course I was curious and so went looking and found out it is a Frazione, or a part, of Città di Castello, next town north from us. It is called Monte Ruperto. It is an Umbrian enclave surrounded by Pesaro and Urbino. It is 30 kilometers from the center of Città di Castello. So, how did this happen? Enquiring minds.

It is described as a historical curiosity. The mayor of Città di Castello can claim the noble title of Baron of Monte Ruperto while he serves as mayor. The story goes like this…during a time of famine, caused by a heavy snow, the Baron asked for help for his citizens. Only Città di Castello responded, sending a mule train with supplies.

The Baron was grateful and decided to donate his territory to Città di Castello, along with the title which was bestowed on the sitting Mayor. He can wear the period dress and has the dual role of Mayor and the Baron of Monte Ruperto.

The story is an old one. The inhabitants of Monte Ruperto had tax benefits. A document dated 1274 and reaffirmed in 1574 established that they owed the municipality only five soldi, in usual currency, per hearth (per house), to be paid on 27 August.

There is not much left in the little Frazione. It is about 500 hectare and once had four towns. They are gone or they are ruins now. There are only mountains and forests left. Photo borrowed from Città di Castello.

10 thoughts on “A curiosity — Monte Ruperto

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Yes. Super upscale. An enclave for the rich and famous. Equestrian center. €1,000 a night rooms. Fully booked so someone has the money. We get a lot of movie stars here who stay there. Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, recently. There are private homes there too.

  2. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Thanks Terry. I didn’t know that bit about the Frazioni. Le Marche, part of Emiglia Romana, Lazio and Umbria were Papal States – owned and run by the Vatican. They were relatively tranquil unlike Tuscany and others which were constantly warring within and without. Tuscany had Florence, San Gimigniano, Siena, Montepulciano, Lucia, Montalcino…and many more. All separate fiefdoms and all fighting with each other. The Papal States were spared that.

  3. terrylarsoncomcastnet

    As always, thank you for writing! I found your latest email very interesting so I looked up some of the words. Maybe others would like these details.

    Marche, also called Le Marche, is one of the twenty regions of Italy. The name derives from the plural of the medieval word marca or march, originally referring to a borderland territory of the Holy Roman Empire, such as the March of Ancona and others pertaining to the ancient region. In English, the region is referred to as The Marches.

    A frazione is a type of subdivision of a comune in Italy, often a small village or hamlet outside the main town. Most frazioni were created during the Fascist era as a way to consolidate territorial subdivisions in the country.

    500 Hectares = 1235acres.

  4. royane mosley

    so? notlittle villages with a bar and room at least so you can go visit? Nothing there. Sad, but yes very interesting.

  5. Nancy Hampton Post author

    How interesting Natalie! I guess these stories like this are more common than we think. Thanks for this comment!

  6. Natalie Smargiassi

    I am in Gallese. When you are near otricoli, there is a little paese on the hill that is part of Gallese even though Gallese is about 20 kilometers away. Apparently the duke of Gallese at the time, in the 1800’s I think, won the little village in a card game. So Gallese is spread between Lazio and umbria

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