Sites & cities that bear the name of Senigallia


Today in : Italy
First trace of activity : ca. 4th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Sena Gallica, Sinigaglia, Sinigallia, S’nigaja

Description : Senigallia (or Sinigaglia in Old Italian, Romagnol: S’nigaja) is a comune and port town on Italy's Adriatic coast. It is situated in the province of Ancona in the Marche region and lies approximately 30 kilometers north-west of the provincial capital city Ancona. Senigallia's small port is located at the mouth of the river Misa. It is one of the endpoints of the Massa-Senigallia Line, one of the most important dividing lines (isoglosses) in the classification of the Romance languages. Senigallia was first settled in the 4th century BC by the gallic tribe of the Senones who first settled this coastal area. In 284 BC, the settlement was taken over by Romans, who established the colony Sena Gallica there. "Sena" is probably a corrupted form of "Senones" and "Gallica" (meaning "Gaulish") distinguished it from Saena (Siena) in Etruria. In the prelude to the Battle of the Metaurus between Romans and Carthaginians in 207 BC, Sena Gallica was the southernmost point of Carthaginian General Hasdrubal Barca's invasion of Italy. Senigallia was ravaged by Alaric during the decline of the Roman Empire and fortified when it became part of the Byzantine Empire. It was again laid waste by the Lombards in the 8th century and by the Saracens in the 9th. It was one of the five cities of the medieval Adriatic duchy of Pentapolis. The diocese and the bishopric had long been established, and the city saw economic development, including the establishment of the so-called Magdalena Fair around the 13th century. The fair's popularity grew when Sergius, count of Senigallia, became engaged to the daughter of the count of Marseilles. On his engagement, the count of Marseilles presented Sergius with relics, said to be of Mary Magdalene. The fair was visited by merchants from both Europe and the Levant. In the 15th century, Senigallia was captured and recaptured many times by opposing sides during the Guelph and Ghibelline war. Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta of Rimini fortified the town in the years 1450-1455. Pope Pius II made his nephew Antonio Piccolomini Lord of Senigallia in but in 1464 the residents pledged loyalty to Pope Paul II. In 1472, Giacomo Piccolomini tried but failed to seize the town. In 1503 Cesare Borgia, the brother of the famous Lucrezia Borgia and illegitimate son of the Pope Alessandro VI, carried out a bloody coup at Senigallia against some of his disloyal supporters. Pope Sixtus IV assigned the lordship to the Della Rovere family. In 1516 this was temporarily revoked by Pope Leo X who transferred the Lordship to his nephew Lorenzo II de Medici, then again the Della Rovere family came back since 1624, when Senigallia definitively became part of the Papal States' legation (province) of Urbino. Senigallia was the birthplace of Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, the future Pope Pius IX. He was born here in 1792, became pope in 1846, and was the last pope to rule the Papal States before Italian unification. During the First World War, the town and its port suffered intensive bombardment by units of the Austro-Hungarian navy led by the battleship SMS Zrínyi, causing severe damage. The town was also badly damaged by a powerful earthquake in 1930 and in the Second World War. After the war, Senigallia became one of the most important holiday resorts in Italy.

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