Loreto (Ancona, Italy) - Piazza della Madonna
Piazza della Madonna is the famous main square of the town of Loreto, in the Marche region.
It rises on the highest point of the city, at the end of Corso Boccalini and constitutes the artistic-monumental and religious center of Loreto. All the main monuments of the city are overlooked.
In the middle of the square stands the remarkable Fontana Maggiore, a fine baroque work by Carlo Maderno and Giovanni Fontana, built between 1604 and 1614, and adorns bronze sculptures by the brothers Pietro Paolo and Tarquinio Jacometti.
In the east dominates the imposing fortress of the famous Basilica of the Holy House, among the most important and visited Marian sanctuaries of the Catholic world. Numerous characters and saints visited the site, among them Saint Camilla da Varano, Saint Teresa of Lisieux, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. Among the popes who visited the basilica are Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
It represents one of the masterpieces of Italian architecture according to Gothic and Renaissance styles, erected by the greatest architects of the time, including Marino di Marco Cedrino, Baccio Pontelli, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Antonio da Sangallo, Donato Bramante, Andrea Sansovino.
The sanctuary, pontifical basilica, is flanked by the Campanile Vanvitelliano, which with its 75 meters is the highest in the region. In front of the sculpture stairs is the monument to Sisto V, made in 1587-1589 by Antonio Calcagni.
The north and west sides are closed by the Apostolic Palace, built on Donato Bramante's project in 1507-09 for the will of Pope Julius II.
The south side is occupied by a series of brick houses, among which the Illyrian College stands out. These funds had to be expropriated to continue, according to the Bramantes project, the loggia facades of the apostolic palace. Due to lack of funds, the project was unfinished.
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