PresentationArchaeological finds date the birth of Altidona to 150,000 years ago, with Greek and Roman presences over time.
The name has uncertain origins: widespread opinion is that it derives from “altum dunum”, high mountain, but the village rises on a gentle hill and the expression mixes Latin and French. Another thesis suggests a link with Lapedona, since the two towns rise on important medieval pedestrian paths. That would have originated (il) la Pedona – Lapedona, and Alte(ra Pe)dona (“the other Pedona”) – Altidona. Also, a romantic theory gives the town a Latin-medieval etymology from “Alta Domina”, tall woman.
In the early Middle Ages Altidona has been under the dominion of Fermo and the Cassinesi monks, and the castle of San Biagio in Barbolano (now destroyed) was built. After the 12th cent., on the hill, around the parish of St. Mary and St. Ciriaco, a new castle rised, whose walls are restored and can be visited.
In the medieval town, crossed by suggestive alleys, stands the church of St. Mary and its imposing bell tower: the 18th-cent. rectory houses the Madonna with Saints, a polyptych by Cortese (1390). Must-sees: the Belvedere, a watchtower overlooking the Val d’Aso; the Madonna and Child, saints and donor, panel attributed to Pagani, in the parish church; Villa Montana and Roman Cistern, in the ancient district of Barbolano; the Provincial Historical Photo Library.
Curiosity: since the Roman Empire Altidona has been a town of kilnsmen. In the 19th cent. this activity spreads consistently, thanks to Raffaele Bagalini, a lime burner who founded one of the first brick industries in Italy (1890). His legacy is collected among others by Antonio Nepi, technological innovator of the Thirties, and from Altidona it spread all over the world in the following thirty years. In honor of these workers, Altidona celebrates a kilnsmen festival (Festa dei Fornaciai) every July.