The unsusual altitude of just 178 metres above sea level makes you wonder wheter the castle of La Rancia was really meant to be a monumental architectural construction with military purposes, given that castles were traditionally built much higher so as to both figuratively impose power from above and better control the surroundings. This fortified farmhouse was erected in the middles of the ninth century and it looked like a tower-house whose facilities served to shelter agricultural commodities. The La Rancia Castle was enlarged in the fourteenth century (circa 1352-1355) by order of Rudolph II da Varano, and, though maintaining its original purpose, it was also used as a residence. It played a leading role in local historical events until the mid-sixteenth century. In the course of time it fell under the peacful domination of the Church, it was ran by Jesuits in the mis-sixteenth century and it again functioned as farmhouse and food warehouse.
Hey dates to remember are 2 and 3 May 1815; on those days the area all around the castle was the scene of a raging battle between the French army of Gioacchino Murat, king of Naples and Napoleon’s brother-in-law, and the Austrian troops of General Federico Bianchi. This battle (called “della Rancia” ora “di Tolentino”) was so important thatit later came to be regarded as the first in the Italian Risorgimento (or “resurgence”).
Civic Archaeological Museum “Aristide Gentiloni Silverj”
The Archaeological Museum of Tolentino, established on 30 September 1882 is amongst the first to be set up in the Marche Region. The itinerary, that includes showcases with explanatory panels, is divided into two distinct segments: the first concerns both prehistoric and pre-Roman materials from the Picentes necropolis, the second is devoted to the remnants of both Roman and ancient times. The pre-historic section comprises lithic and bronze objects from the Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age, such as an almond-shaped rend flint dating back to the Lower Paleolithic, a number of arrowheads from the Neolithic and Eneolithic and some polished green stone and bronze axes. Finally, the itinerary comprises the finding related to the Picentes Necropolis that come from about one hundred tomb furnishings excavated just outside the present old town of Tolentino.