Cupramontana was founded probably in the fourth to fifth centuries B.C. and took its name from a temple that stood there dedicated to the goddess Cupra. The town was mentioned by Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy in the Augustan age, as one of the ancient cities of Piceno, and therefore was an important town in Roman times.
Devastated during the Greek-Gothic war, the town was abandoned and its ruins were later used for the construction of firstly fortifications, and later a castle, which was built close to the ancient town but higher on the hill and which was then given the name of Massaccio. From the seventh century Massaccio was part of the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto. From the thirteenth century, Massaccio was merged into the county of Jesi becoming until its dissolution in 1808, the most important centre of the county. In the fifteenth century Massaccio was one of the strongholds of the heretical sect of the "Fraticelli"; in 1444 it was occupied by troops of Francesco Sforza and in 1517 it was looted by the militia of the Duke Francesco Maria della Rovere.
Then there followed a long period of peace, during which the town experienced strong population growth combined with cultural development. In 1747 the site of the ancient Roman town of Cupramontana was rediscovered, close to Massaccio. The discovery was made after the correct reading of an inscription on a tablet which had been discovered in 1718 in the archaeological zone. The tablet, referring to 'Cupra Montana' by its ancient name, is today visible on the council buildings.
In 1798 the French troops who had invaded the Papal States plundered the town after the people had displayed stubborn but futile resistance. By decree of Vittorio Emanuele II in 1861, Massaccio regained its ancient name of Cupramontana.
Distance: km 5
Time advised: 75 minutes to go up, 45 minutes to go down
Explore the wet route of the Black Crab on foot or on the saddle of a mountain bike, starting from the museum of Castelplanio and going downhill along Caciampa Street until the ditch.
You can also leave your car in the square in front of the Church in Macine-Castelplanio, also called Castelplanio Stazione and follow Via Copparoni until you reach the entrance of the route.
The path is flat at first, but after 2 km it climbs up to Castelplanio and ends near the Town Hall Square (Palazzo Mancini).
Along the route, you can admire the river-wood located in the border area between Castelplanio and Rosora.
The vegetation boasts rare tree species such as the white alder, the narcissus and the wild orchid and you can also find butterbur and pennywort.
Fonte del Coppo, dating back to the XVIII century, is the first water supply in Castelpanio and the quality of the ditch’s waters have been better since 1995.
This small river with waterfalls and small lakes is the ideal spot to enjoy a strict contact with a natural world of profound beauty. Be careful: avoid it after rain!