A characteristic medieval village in the Marche region, Montappone stands atop a picturesque hilltop above the Tenna Valley, between the Sibillini Mountains and the Adriatic Sea.
Montappone boasts an ancient tradition: it's famous for making straw and its production of hats, which are also exported abroad. The origins of this tradition, which has even featured on international catwalks, date back to 1300. Wheat has always been grown in the fields around Fermo. The tradition of weaving the stalks left over after the harvest led to the creation of the first straw hats, which the workers would wear to shield themselves from the sun and rain. The art of straw hat making then developed into an industry in its own right, which now draws fashion lovers from all over the world, who come to admire the boutiques and hat shops to be found here. Over the years, the straw hat has established itself as a driving force in the local economy and is an iconic product that reflects the artisanal craft traditions of the town.
1991 saw the opening of the first "Hat Museum" with the aim of preserving and handing down the memories of this tradition. The Museum is now located in the building that once housed the town hall, in Piazza Roma. The exhibition tells the whole story of how the hats of Montappone came to be created and produced.
Montappone may be a small village, but it has a great history. Its historic centre is dominated by Palazzo Riccucci, which was recently restored to accommodate tourists and show them the spectacular views of the Fermo countryside and its crops. In the square, the site of the ancient castle, is the Oratory of the Holy Sacrament with its beautiful 14th-century portal and 16th-century frescoes. Take a walk around the town's historic boundary and not only will you enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, but there are also must-see surprises for art and history lovers, such as the Church of St Mary of the Castle, which is set close to the walls.
In the newer part of the town, you'll find the Parish Church of Saints Mary and George. It was founded on the remains of a Romanesque villa with a distinctive red-brick façade and portal decorated in white stone.