my Marche
Landscapes and Architecture

When you see it for the first time you think that it is a fortress like many of those scattered throughout the territory as a defense of a time gone by, you are completely unaware that this one in Sassocorvaro is a fortress construction with a double meaning: it had to serve to protect oneself from enemies external but at the same time being a symbol of something more hidden, a message in a bottle for those who were able to see. Francesco di Giorgio Martini, the one who was credited as the designer and builder, however did not recognize his paternity and perhaps the reason is clear: the idea was that of Ottaviano Ubaldini, brother of Duke Federico, eminence grise of the court of Urbino, not the her. He would never have allowed a round construction, good for protecting oneself from the bombard, the new weapon of the Renaissance, however extremely risky because it prevented one from completely seeing the enemy's assaults. But Ottaviano was tough in this, just like the animal from which the Fortress takes shape: a turtle. In fact, seen from above it is a gigantic stone tortoise.
And immediately, one cannot help but think of the alchemical meaning of his soul/form. Ottaviano was, as well as a philosopher and scholar, advisor to the Duke and astrologer, certainly a magician and an alchemist. 

It must be said that even Cosimo de' Medici himself in the sixteenth century chose the turtle as an emblem for his fleet, with a sail on its back and the motto "festina lente" that is, hurry slowly. In the sense of doing things calmly but never stopping, proceed with caution but don't stop. 

For Ottaviano, a great tactician and politician, haste, whatever path one undertakes, is a bad advisor: time, patience, dedication and the study of matter lead to metamorphosis, or rather to the alchemical transformation of the element which from rough stone becomes slowly turns into gold. And this also and above all happens for the spirit.

It had previously been a castle, destroyed and set on fire in 1464 by Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, the lord of Rimini perpetually at war with the Montefeltro of Urbino, and Federico in rebuilding it, had decided to make it the residence of the man who was, as well as brother , a true friend and confidant. Octavian did not miss this opportunity. Perhaps he himself considered himself a turtle and wanted to have the tortoise, wanted to finally live inside him. After all, life is nothing more than a combination of elements, where if you pay attention and proceed by studying every move, therefore with abundance, you are witness to a happy metamorphosis, that is, a transformation of the initially dark and rough stone into shining gold . From the nigredo phase to the albedo phase to speak like alchemists.  

Precisely because of the presence of this construction, Sassocorvaro is considered the esoteric capital of the Marche and Focus magazine includes it among the ten most important places of mystery. Many scholars have succeeded in understanding its secret and it has often been the site of numerous studies on parapsychology, seminars and conferences with mediums of recognized importance.
Many psychics and mediums have sensed the presence of soldiers in battle, as well as a man treacherously killed by Malatesta, a certain Corrado Cariati. The Fortress also has a particular energy charge, with movements of objects and luminous phenomena; most likely, the place originally constituted an important center of solar worship. In recent years it has been proposed to host a small library with texts relating to Renaissance occult philosophy. Occultism and astrology, or rather the possibility and search for the ability to control one's own destiny, took hold in the Renaissance.  

One last piece of news about this magical place: it seems that every  August 26, at night, noises of horses, shouts and cries and a sort of crackling like a vague fire are heard. 

Someone every year on that day seems to venture out to listen or see  what appears only to those who really know how to do it. 

That it has something special is absolutely certain, were it not for the great rescue operation, just before the great war, of all the works of art, more than ten thousand, received from national galleries and churches throughout Italy, in which they were hidden works by Giorgione, Titian, Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello, Raphael. The protagonist of this entire extraordinary story was the superintendent Pasquale Rotondi who managed to safeguard our national treasure from destruction and raids, hiding it in this wonderful construction. 


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