Mobile, ubiquitous, unpredictable, industrious, and alive. Five adjectives to designate and describe as many thematic areas as those that characterize “The nature of Culture”, the dossier that convinced the commission of the Ministry of Culture to proclaim Pesaro “2024 Capital of Culture”.
In fact, Pesaro possesses ancient cultural traditions and an important and articulated historical-artistic heritage, made up of museums and libraries, churches and theatres, villas, monuments, and noble palaces. The identity of the city is therefore crossed by the ‘places’ that define the spaces of civil life, positively connoting the urban form; containers of cultural institutions and various events: consolidated seasons of prose, music and dance, exhibitions, concerts and meetings, performances and opportunities for training and knowledge for both adults and children.
The name of the city (from the Latin Pisaurum) seems to derive from the ancient name of the Foglia river: Isaurus or Pisaurus. It has very ancient origins: it is thought that the first population to start building here were the Sicels. Undoubtedly the history of Pesaro begins with an important settlement of the Picentes, the village of Novilara sul Colle Ardizio, in whose necropolis valuable artefacts from the Iron Age were found, now kept in the Oliveriani Museums. The area was known to Greek sailors, who traded with an emporium at the mouth of the Foglia. In the fourth century B.C. the Senones occupied the entire northern area of the current Marche and therefore also the territory of Pesaro. In 184 BC Pisaurum, which took its name from the river Foglia (Pisaurus) became a Roman colony and ten years later rectangular walls were built around the town with the typical orthogonal layout crossed by the cardo and decumanus. In 170 BC the playwright and poet Lucio Accio was born there.
Located along the Via Flaminia, Pesaro was an important commercial centre in Roman times. It is known that corporations already existed here, such as those of carpenters and potters. Various discoveries have brought to light floor mosaics from many Roman domus and a famous bronze statue from the Augustan age, known as the Idolino of Pesaro, now kept in the Archaeological Museum of Florence. The remains of the walls are also noteworthy.
Today Pesaro is the second city of Marche after Ancona. Here culture is represented by numerous institutions: the Civic Museums, including the Pinacoteca and the Ceramics Museum, the Oliveriani Museum and Library, the first one dedicated to archaeology, the second one counted among the most important book collections in the region, the Casa Rossini, the Morbidelli Museum (about 350 motorcycles from all over the world from the early twentieth century to the nineties), the Guidi Museum, a collection of historic scientific instruments, the Museum of evidence of rural life in the lower Foglia valley and the Visual Arts Centre. The maritime tradition is well documented by the Washington Patrignani Museum, which collects in two sections the testimonies relating to the history of the Pesaro navy.
Pesaro is also a well-known seaside destination: there are seven kilometres of sandy beach between equipped and free coasts, more than 100 tourist accommodation facilities, some of them opened all year round, including hotels by the sea, in the centre and in the hills, farmhouses, campsites and apartments, for a total of almost 11,000 beds. The sea is linked to a centuries-old tradition of hospitality that pays particular attention to families and children.
Pesaro is the city that gave birth to Gioachino Rossini (February 29th, 1792 – November 13th, 1868), composer and musician of immense value for his ability to innovate musical language, and cosmopolitan forerunner for the European capitals touched by his talent.
Since 31 October 2017, Pesaro has been a UNESCO Creative City of Music, a historic result that officially certifies the musical DNA of the area. Because music is what best expresses the genius loci of a provincial city as lively as a metropolis, a high-quality tourist destination.