Formerly Santa Maria in Serra. The abbey is situated in Contrada Badia Colli, on the road between Cupramontana and Staffolo. It is a Camaldolese monastery, documented for the first time in 1180, but almost certainly founded in the previous century. If so, it was probably founded by San Romualdo. Architecturally it is Romanesque-Gothic style, dating back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. No traces of the ancient church remain having been completely rebuilt in 1853, and extensively restored in 1973. Inside, in addition to the resting place of Beato Angelo Urbani, who was martyred in 1429, you can see a valuable painting “Incoronazione della Vergine”, painted by Pier Francesco Fiorentino in 1496.
Maiolati stands on a hill 412 meters above sea level.
It dates back to the Midddle Ages, like the other castles of the middle valley of the River Esino.
In the thirteenth century Maiolati and Villa Talliano, situated in the middle of the hill that slopes into the River Esino, were two small villages located at a short distance from one another.
Thanks to its position, Maiolati became soon a castrum; it was part of the County of Jesi from the first decades of the thirteenth century until its dissolution in 1808. Like many other villas in Vallesina, Villa Talliano was built after the eleventh century as an extension of a curtis, that is a complex of dispersed landed properties. It belonged to the bishop of Jesi and was contended from Jesi in 1262 which then acquired all rights.
Not far away, take a gander inside the church of Saint Sisto of Talliano with the attached cloister.
The church and monastery were probably founded by the monks coming from St. Elena Abbey; in fact they both belonged to it in 1199.
In 1305 they both suffered severe damages because of the struggle between Jesi and the inhabitants of Fabriano.
The church of St. Sisto now standing in place of the monastery was probably rebuilt in the XVIII-XIX centuries. Visit the remains from Neolithic and Roman ages found in this area, more exactly in Massarella Street on the east side of Maiolati.
In the period from the seventh to the ninth century, the whole ridge was the border area between the Longobard Duchy of Spoleto and Camerino and the Byzantine Pentapolis. Many of the “loci dominus” have a Longobard origin and they were later put to the head of the fortified villages and castles.
Cupramontana, S. Marco, Calapina, Castelbellino, Monteroberto, Maiolati Spontini, Cupramontana
Distance: km 14
Time advised: 75 minutes
Starting from the parking in front of Colonnara winery, take the road for the historic centre.
Just before arriving at Cupramontana, follow the signs indicating the cemetery . In front of the cemetery, take the avenue on the left . Go through San Marco street and turn left until reaching a junction , then turn right and take the white road. The path becomes flat only for a short distance, then it is narrow again and turns on a slight slope. Turn left and right; at the bottom of a steep slope cross the farmland and then right up to a bar. From here proceed along an old house until reaching a white road.
Follow the steep path to the right (Calapina Street), after about 100 metres turn left and follow the main road for about 500 metres until the junction with the big oak tree. Go straight on for about 100 metres and turn left uphill just before the descent. At the junction take the flat road on the right passing through a fence and a wash-tub and climb up to a big villa with a park; straight down until reaching the tarmac road (S.P. Castelli di Jesi).
Follow the left road that leads to Castelbellino. When you join the village, just before the last houses, turn right uphill to Monteroberto (approx. 800 metres). Then right under the castle walls and go straight up to the Provincial Road (S.P.).
At the junction turn to the right arriving at Maiolati Spontini. Go through the village and take the white road on the left. Continue until you come back to the Provincial Road and follow the signs indicating Cupramontana. After about 1,5 km you are again at the point of departure.