San Benedetto del Tronto
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The thing that first strikes you on arriving in San Benedetto del Tronto is the rich vegetation of the splendid palm trees which grow right onto the beach giving a tropical look to the resort. The beach of finest white sand gradually slopes into the shallow sea. For culture lovers San Benedetto del Tronto houses various museums: the Fish museum, the Palaeontological museum, the Amphora museum, the Fishing Trade and Seafarers museum.
The origins of San Benedetto del Tronto are said to date back to a pious legend regarding the recovery of the mortal remains of Saint Benedict the Martyr, a Roman soldier who refused to renounce his Christian faith: the martyr's body, discovered on the shore, was placed by a peasant in a catacomb; the first dwellings were built around it, forming the nucleus of the borough of San Benedetto "in Albula", also cited in documents as San Benedetto "nella Marca" or San Benedetto "di Fermo". Its present name, San Benedetto del Tronto, is instead relatively recent and only came into use in the nineteenth century. In fact, the discovery of important archaeological testimonies allows the hypothesis of a much older origin for the town, certainly Roman and probably pre-Roman, connected to a settlement of the Liburni, Truentum, or to the ancient city of Alba Picena that dominated the right bank of the Albula.
During the Middle Ages, some other places on the present municipal territory were also inhabited, such as Mount Cretaccio, where the emperor Frederic II set up his encampment, and Sculcula, where today the Guelfa Tower rises; the plebs of San Benedetto passed in 1145 in fief to Bernardo and Azzo, sons of Gualtiero of Naples, who obtained permission to build a castle there. In 1211 the emperor Otto IV granted Fermo the territories from Tronto to Potenza and thus San Benedetto too found itself in the "Marchia Fermana".
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