Things to do: Cartours.

Tracing back the history of “Fraticelli”, heretic sect in Vallesina

From the settling to the condemnation to the bullet.

The route develops between the municipalities of Maiolati Spontini, Cupramontana and Fabriano and it is preferably run by car or bicycle.
The purpose of the itinerary is to trace the history of the community of the religious order nicknamed the Fraticelli (little Friars), declared heretical since 1346. The stages include the places where the Fraticelli lived and took refuge during the inquisition, and finally the place that marked their end.

The route starts from Maiolati Spontini, where in the old castrum the Fraticelli had founded their own community made up of a Pope, a female Pope, a Bishop and a female Bishop. In order to kick the sect, the castle was destroyed: nowadays there is no trace of the original castle. However, in Maiolati Spontini it is worth a visit the Casa Museo di Gaspare Spontini (The Home-Museum of the composer Gaspare Spontini) and the English Garden at Colle Celeste Park.

The route continues to the small and quaint castle of Poggio Cupro, part of Cupramontana: it was a place of refuge for the sect, led by Niccolò da Massaccio.

The third stage is dominated by the barlozzo, that is the name given to the remains of the ancient Roman aqueduct of Cupramontana. According to the Inquisitor San Giacomo della Marca, this place was used for rites which confirmed the heretical nature of the Fraticelli.

The Abbey of the Beato Angelo in Cupramontana is the following stage: it was so called in the memory of the Blessed Angelo who was killed in the woods below by some Fraticelli. The details of the story are depicted by information panels within the Abbey; not to miss is the church where the relics of the Blessed are kept.

The main stage of the route is surely the one leading to the Sanctuary B. Giovanni Righi of the Frati Minori in Cupramontana. Here it is said that the inquisitor San Giacomo della Marca has found himself drinking a glass of wine offered by the Fraticelli, on whose bottom a snake's head appeared, revealing the danger of the poisoned wine.

Not far from here there is the Eremo dei Frati Bianchi, which hosted the friars escaping the Inquisition. They lived in caves dug in the tuff: some of them can still be visited today.

Finally, Fabriano was the place where in 1466 the Fraticelli's stake was ordained by Pope Niccolò V. The Palio of San Giovanni Battista di Fabriano of 2010, dedicated the theme to this event: the districts prepared sketches and big drawings adorned by flowers, also representing the rogue. The sketches can be visited at the offices of the districts (called Porte).

For a complete route guide download the PDF file here.
You can track this route live, by connecting to GPSies.