The City of Smiles
Monte San Giusto is a delightful village near Macerata, at an altitude of 236 m and just 10 km from the sea.
The first documented settlements in the area date back to Roman times (during the age of Nerva, 96-98 AD), when the town went by the name of Mons Iustitiæ (another possible ancient name is Telusiano) but was later destroyed following the Barbarian invasions in the 3rd century. Monte San Giusto experienced its heyday when one of its natives, Niccolò Bonafede, was appointed bishop of Chiusi and transformed the town of his birth into a Renaissance court.
The Bonafede Palace-Fortress, which is now the town hall, is the most importantarchitectural work in Monte San Giusto. It was built by Bonafede at the beginning of the 16th century: the central body of the building is inspired by the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, while the courtyard is similar to the one at the ducal palace in Urbino.
Monte San Giusto is located in the heart of the Fermano-Maceratese industrial district, one of the prime locations for the Italian fashion industry. The zone is home to 750 active companies, including more than 200 specialising in footwear and leather goods.
Monte San Giusto calls itself the Città del Sorriso ("City of Smiles") and with this in mind, it supports a number of laughter therapy projects. On the last Sunday in September, the town hosts the "Clown&Clown Festival", an international event dedicated to clowns in all their different guises, including the social role.