The history of this beautiful, fertile region can be traced back to Palaeolithic times with many stone tools having been found locally dating from as long ago as 900 B.C.
The earliest history that can be established is the presence of the Piceni (or Picenti) people who were present in the area from the iron age (900-400 B.C.) up to the time when Roman domination became firmly established in the first century B.C.
Little is known of these people beyond what was written of them by the Roman Historians (such as Pliny and Tacitus), and a wealth of iron and bronze age tools, artistic artefacts and domestic items that have been discovered and are now to be seen in local museums. A lot of these items were found in the very heart of Montefiore, which indicates that it was probably a thriving, sophisticated community as long ago as the Iron Age. The large quantity of beautiful artefacts and tombs found here make Montefiore one of the most important Piceni centres for the entire Marche region.
The Roman era, which began in the third century B.C. is well attested archaeologically, and we have a great deal of information about their culture and history from the writings of Roman historians, as well as a large number of finds representing all aspects of domestic, artistic and religious life.
The remains of some Roman villas have been excavated in the local area, notably at Coppola and San Giovanni. One of the most impressive Roman sites (dating from the first and second centuries A.D.) is the necropolis consisting of hundreds of caves and niches for funerary urns dug out of the rock face in an area known as ‘Li grotti’.
To date this is the only region where Roman burial sites of this nature have been discovered. There are other similar sites at nearby Massignano, Campofilone and other neighbouring towns.
Location: Outskirts of Montefiore dell'Aso, Strada Provinciale 58, 63062 Montefiore dell'Aso