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This booklet is based on my love for Vestignano. I was only able to write an account that evaluates and preserves this locality. Over time, more information has been added together with other written contributions. The wish to seek refuge in provincialism – in our small towns this becomes campanilismo (parochialism) – is nurtured by an overwhelming love for our own back yard or, more precisely, for the nearby church tower.
I have deliberately included various hypotheses in the text and made attempts to provoke. The intention is to whet the appetite of people who might wish to explore this hidden corner of the Province of Macerata where there are, indeed, many treasures to be seen and historic events to be recounted. I wanted to rattle consolidated certainties and blow away the dust of centuries.
The people who already know these localities are encouraged to observe them with greater attention, from a fresh perspective. Those who are seeing them for the first time are invited to open their eyes and their hearts to the views, the colours the tastes and the local delicacies.
This is a tourist guide with a difference. It is full of information but at the same time contains suggestions for further research, both in the field and … in the archives. It is a unique booklet, therefore, and I hope that the reader will enjoy it. There is no lack of digressions, with references to the traditions of the Marche, to plants that have virtually disappeared and to products typical of the area.
It is an itinerary that is both real and virtual, with references to the past that acquaint us with the habits and customs of our forefathers who were materially poorer but undoubtedly happier, also being free of the conditioning of the present-day media with its ever more aggressive publicity.
Nor is it true that the people who dwelled in this places lived as contented hermits in a lost corner. They also travelled, each one in his own mode: on foot, by donkey, in a carriage (those with means) and, at times, reluctantly. They travelled for a variety of motives: emigration, war, invasion, deportation, epidemics on the one hand and local fairs, trading etc. on the other. Today, as in those times, whoever has travelled returns with a more open mentality, a wider vision and with judgements based on greater objectivity. They are people who less likely to be easily shocked or become inextricably immersed in local gossip.
Over the centuries, the inhabitants of the Marche have experienced invaders with a wide range of usages, customs and habits, who have often put to the sword those they considered rebels.
This initiative has received many positive suggestions but also a certain resistance. If someone wishes to evaluate a territory, he inevitably encounters the oscurantisti, those who wish to preserve this corner of paradise exclusively for themselves. A good example of this is the plaque shown below that I came across on a trip to Positano (Salerno). My photographic collection of epigraphs has come to my aid!

Eno Santecchia

Translation by Mary Marggraf

C’è una sola stradina e non arriva alla spiaggia. Tutto il resto è scale, alcune ripide come quelle a piuoli.
Non camminate, se andate a trovare un amico, vi arrampicate o vi calate.
Quando vi capita di scoprire un posto bello come Positano, il primo impulso è quasi sempre di tenervi per voi la vostra scoperta. Pensate: “se lo racconto si riempirà di turisti; che lo rovineranno, e ne faranno un passeraio; la gente del posto comincerà a vivere in funzione del turismo, e addio la nostra bella scoperta”.
Ma non c’è la minima possibilità che questo succeda a Positano.

John Steinbeck