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Tourist Information Office
Ufficio IAT - Informazioni Accoglienza Turistica
Largo XVII Settembre 1860, n° 1
Tel. 071 7978636
Santa Maria Market Gate
This door is a real masterpiece of military defense consisting of two parts built in two different eras. There is a pointed arch located at the foot of massive steps on Via Piaggia, with ashlars bearing the epigraphs showing the year of construction “Hoc opus … MCCCXL” (1340) and the name of the gate “ad portas Sancte Marie”.
This primitive structure, which was also probably fitted with a tower that is now built into the surrounding complex, was expanded in 1400 with a polygonal bastion with another door, perpendicular to the first. This second door shows the ancient ruins of a drawbridge and door structure not part of the original structure. The bastion was built to defend the older gate from enemy fire and has an interior courtyard designed to allow strong defense in case the enemies managed to go through the first door.
On the outside, at the top of the arch, there is a niche that hosts the statue of Saint Anna, the patron saint of Corinaldo. In the 1600s, once the arch was not subjected to assaults anymore, it was used as the foundation for a Gaming House for the nobility of Corinaldo, refining the appearance of the complex
This is the surviving portion of a great 14th-century tower which collapsed in the mid 19th century.
This tower had the specific function of defending San Giovanni Gate using low lying shots, and above all Santa Maria Market Gate. From the top of the tower you can see the sferisterio below, a field used for playing Pallone con il bracciale (a traditional ancient Italian game), which was very popular from the 1800s until the years preceding World War II.
Once the siege era was over, almost all of the towers in Corinaldo were assigned to disadvantaged individuals by the local municipality, who lived and worked in the towers.The towers were lived in until the years following World War II, and this particular tower was the home of a sheep skinner (scorticatore), hence the name.
Only a few steps away, along the alley, you can walk on an old footpath and admire the entire complex of walls in Corinaldo, which reaches a height of 15 metres at this point.