This region is amazing, after over 35 years here, I still keep finding Le Marche hidden gems…
Yesterday was a cold sunny Winter day so we were looking for some place to take a short walk. While browsing the internet for events but deciding against them all since we were looking for a quiet place away from the Christmas bustle, I suddenly thought about the Piagge hypogeum, that only opens on Saturday afternoons (or upon appointment).
So, off we went, stopping in Fossombrone for a short walk and a hot chocolate because it was early and the hypogeum only opens at 5 that is already dark and we wanted to enjoy the sun a bit.
Piagge is one of the “castles” (fortified hilltop villages) that form the municipality of Terre Roveresche. Unluckily among quite a few pretty and unusual buildings there are many newish houses and others are abandoned and not looking very pleasant.
We walked round and round for a while (because we decided to not be smart enough to follow the very clear signpost near the parking lot) and we even passed the entrance of the hypogeum without seeing the sign, until a very kind child asked us if we were looking for something and pointed us in the right direction…
I had seen photos of the place but, even if tiny, if looked a lot better!
Walking down the very worn stairs took a bit of time and care while we got used to the humidity and the light. The hypogeum is entirely dug into the limestone that forms the base of Piagge (it has some beautiful hues of different colours).
The interior resembles a very simple church but branches out into what look like some side chapels, each engraved with simple designs and containing various shrines or tabernacles. It’s a small space and the ceiling is not high, but it never feels claustrophobic.
We were told that the designs and the fragments found in the hypogeum suggest its origin and use as a paleochristian chapel, that was later used for storage and, more recently, to cure salamis and hams since the space upstairs was a butcher shop.
Just another one of Le Marche hidden gems.