RKCANATI. 45. Route. 247
E. Side. 'Arrival of the Casa at Loreto, by A'iccolti Tribolo; above it
Death of the Virgin, by Giambologna.
N. Side. "Nativity of the Virgin, commenced by Sansovino, continued
by Baccio Bandinelli and Rafaele da Monlelupo. Basreliefs: "'Nuptials of the
Virgin, by the same masters.
This sumptuous and unparalleled structure with its embellishments cost
an enormous sum, although a number of the masters piously declined remu¬
In a niche of the interior is a small image of the Virgin and Child in
cedar, painted black, attributed to St. Luke. It is richly adorned with
jewels, Ihe lustre of which is enhanced by silver lamps alwa\ s kept burn¬
ing. In 1708, it was carried off to Paris by the French.
Iu the 1. Transept is the entrance to the *Treasury (open
to the public on Sund. till 11. 30 a. m. , at other times fee
1 fr.), which contains a number of valuable votive offerings and
other curiosities, the gifts of monarchs and persons of rank.
Several of the treasures disappeared at the time of the Peace of
Tolentino (179 7).
According to the legend, the house of the Virgin at "Nazareth was an
object of the highest veneration since 33(3, when the aged Empress Helena,
mother of Constantino, made a pilgrimage thither, and caused a basilica to
he erected over it. Owing to the incursions of the Saracens the basilica
fell to decay, and after the loss of Ptolemais the Casa Santa was mira¬
culously transplanted by the hands of angels to the coast of Lalmalia (Ihe
precise spot being between Fiume and Tersato), in 1291, where it remained
undisturbed during three years. For some unknown reason, however, it
was again removed by angels during the night, and deposited near Iteca-
nati, on the ground of a certain widow Laurela (whence the name Loreto).
A church was erected over it, and a number of houses soon sprang up for
the accommodation of the devout believers who tlocked to the spot. In
1586 Pope Sixtus V. accorded to Loreto the privileges of a town.
Among the numerous illustrious pilgrims who have visited the spot
Tasso may be mentioned. He alludes to this in the beautiful Canzone :
lEcco fra le tempeste, e i fieri venti
Di questo grande e spazioso mare,
0 santa Stella, il luo splendor m'ha scorto,
Ch' illustra e scalda pur I'umane meu/i'.
The Jesuits' College and the * Palazzo Apostolico, commenced
in 1510 from Bramante's desgns, are situated in the piazza in
front of the church. The latter is an episcopal residence. Valuable
pictures in the Hall of the Princes: *Titian, Christ and the woman
taken in adultery; Vouet, Last Supper; Schidone, St. Clara;
Guercino, Descent from the Cross; *Ann. Caracci, Nativity of Christ.
From Loreto railway in 20 min. to
Recanati, situated at some distance from the line, a forti¬
fied and important place in the middle ages. Municipal privi¬
leges were accorded to it by limp. Frederick 11. in 1229, the
charter of which is shown at the Palazzo Comunale. The town
is loftily situated and commands a number of charming views.
The Cathedral of 8. Flaviano, with Gothic porch, contains the
monument of Gregory XII., of 1417. Several of the palaces merit
notice, especially that of the Leopardi. The library and col¬
lections of the scholar and poet Giacomo Leopardi are shown
From Kecauati the traveller may either return by Loreto to