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OFFIDA

Offida has ancient origins. The first settlement is of preistorical age but were the Pelasgians, arrived here at the end of Bronze age (XIII sec. a.C.), to bring here the civiliszation being building a temple dedicated to the “Ophite snake”. Of this period it has been discovered a cemetery (necropoli) in the territory. On the territory followed then the Picens and the Romans were (290 a.C.).

The ancient history however becomes sure beginning from the date of 578 a.D., year of the conquest of Ascoli by Longobards. Offida became seat of a gastaldato (royal demesne or gastaldia) of the county of Ascoli and was begun the construction of a fortified castle.
In 920 Offida appears in a document of Benedictines monks of the Abbey of Farfa who, in order to escape to the invasion of the Saracens of 898, took refuge in these lands.
In the X, XI and XII century Offida grew around the Benedictine monastery which received from Emperors and Popes the power and the property on the territory. As a result of the increase of the village the city became free Comune and stopping the administration of the monks. The city in this period was fortified with high walls and lived the fight between Guelfi and Ghibellines.
Subsequently the fight for the power saw as protagonists two families: the Boldrini (Ghibelline) and the Baroncelli (Guelfi). The fight culminated in the attempt of signing a peace treaty in 1533, attempt that ended with the slaughter of Boldrini family by Carlo Baroncelli.
In 1557 a singular episode: the French troops came to help the Pope stopped in Offida receiving a good welcome by the population. However the French returned annoying the women and giving fire to the Communal Palace. The inhabitants, after having closed the doors of the village, exterminated the French launching them from the high walls. To remember the event it was written in the Church of Maria of the Rocca: "1557, addì 17 Maggio morì accoppati 70 dei francesi" (1557, today may 17th died slaughtered 70 French people”.
Offida then made part of the Papal State until its unification the Reign of Italy.

OFFIDA
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