is a town and commune
of about 19,000 inhabitants, in the province of Macerata
in the Marche
region of central Italy
The city of Tolentino sits on a natural terrace (altitude 256 m) in the middle of the valley of the Chienti.
Signs of the first inhabitants of this favorable and fertile coastal zone, between the mountains and the Adriatic
, date to the lower Paleolithic
Numerous tombs, from the 8th to the 4th centuries BCE, attest to the presence of the Piceni culture at the site of today's city, Roman Tolentinum, linked to Rome by the via Flaminia. Tolentinum was the seat of the diocese of Tolentino from the late 6th century, under the patronage of the local Saint Catervo. The urban commune is attested from 1099, assuming its mature communal form between 1170 and 1190, settling its boundaries through friction with neighboring communes like S. Severino and Camerino. From the end of the 14th century, the commune passed into the hands of the da Varano family and then the Sforza, before becoming part of the Papal States until the arrival of Napoleon.
In the city, on February 19 1797, was signed the Treaty of Tolentino between Napoleon and Pope Pius VI which imposed territorial and economic strictures on the Papacy.
In 1815, at the battle of Tolentino, Joachim Murat was finally defeated by Frederick Bianchi at the head of Austrian forces, to return to Naples and abdication. Tolentino returned to papal control until Italian unification in 1861.
In the late 19th century industrial development decisively linked Tolentino economically to the rest of Italy.
The most famous Tolentinati
are the saint Nicholas of Tolentino
(c. 1246—1305) and the humanist Francesco Filelfo
(1398 - 1481). Other notable people:
Tolentino is about 60 km from the western Flaminia insertion to Rome and 40 km from the Adriatic sea and A14 highway to the east: the SS77 highway connects the town to both these state routes. There are bus lines from here to the nearby minor towns and villages and a railway leading from Civitanova
. The nearest major airport is Falconara (Ancona
), about 100 km from Tolentino but linked by highway, and there is a tiny airstrip for ultralight aviation in the town's immediate surroundings.