Loro Piceno is located on the top of a gently sloping hill, in an area between Macerata and San Ginesio, south of the Fiastra river. The historic centre has remained virtually intact, with the sole exception of the area alongside the Castle of the Lords of Loro (incorrectly known as the Castle of the Counts Brunforte), in the vicinity of Porta Pia, which underwent some construction work in the 1980s. The current name refers to the ancient Castrum lauri; a human settlement established in pre-Roman times. Castle Brunforte, belonging to the Farfensi family, situated in the highest part of the town, is interweaved in the history of Loro, the name of which would seem to be linked to the laurel and its castle (Castrum Lauri). Later, in the 14th century the free Commune of Loro (the current name with the appellative ‘Piceno’ dates from after the Unification of Italy) became part of the area of the castles belonging to Fermo. The most significant sites of religious architecture are: the Church of S. Maria di Piazza, dating from the 1200s and built by the Benedictines, and the Church of San Francesco, embellished by stuccos and gilding. The Brunforte Castle stands on the ancient walls; built on the remains of a Roman
castrum, it was the residence of the Lords of Loro. The ancient fortified centre included the Palazzo dei Priori and the Palace of Justice, used since 1692 as the Corpus Domini Monastery. From the Torre della Vittoria, an imposing 21m high construction, visitors can enjoy a splendid panorama that stretches from Mount Conero to the Maiella massif and from the Sibillini mountains to the Adriatic Sea. Loro Piceno is the home of ‘heated’ or ‘cooked’ wine: this is also confirmed by the fact that in the noble and patrician palaces that line the characteristic streets of the town, some interesting architecture has emerged to accommodate the activities of grape pressing and boiling the wine must in large copper cauldrons. This traditional wine making tradition is reason why the ‘Permanent exhibition of equipment and tools for cooked wine’ was set up, housed in the charming space next to the cloisters of the Church of San Francesco. The festival of ‘Vino Cotto’, that takes place in August, attracts a large number of visitors.