Offida - The 1500s

Offida - The 1500s

The most influential and esteemed town’s people of Offida, fearing upheavals in the town life, acted as intermediaries between the two families fighting for the supremacy of the town (the Ghibelline Boldrinis - and the Guelph Baroncellis) and chose the Corpus Christi Day of 1533 to stipulate official agreement.

Carlo Baroncelli. Inside the town-hall Palace.

On that day the two families, in full regalia, went to the Town Hall for the official ceremony of reconciliation. As the agreement came to a conclusion, the Boldrinis began to make claims that their rivals thought to be excessive; the Baroncellis, then, replied arrogantly and very soon the two factions “got down to brass tacks” and began to fight. Carlo threw himself violently against his rivals and, after having slaughtered almost the entire rival family, escaped from Offida.

After a long wandering he died, at a ripe old age, in Molfetta, in the Puglie Region. Under the pontificate of Paul IV (1476-1 559) Offida had to resist a hard fight against the militias of the duke of Guisa (1519-1563) that were helping the pope against Marcantonio Colonna (1535-1584).

Some of the French troops, while the main body of the army was heading for Fermo, stopped at Offida where it received a warm welcome by the local people; in 1557, however, they tried to set fire to the town-hall Palace destroying part of the archive.

The people rose up and, after having closed the town gates, attacked the French that, in the attempt to escape, were massacred and flung from the high cliffs surrounding Offida.

The street where the French were defeated still bears the name of vicolo della Vittoria ( the alley of Victory); besides, inside the church of S. Maria della Rocca (to the right of the central apse) an unknown person carved with his dagger the following writing on the wall: "on 17th May, 1557 seventy French soldiers were killed."

Baldassarre Baroncelli. Inside the town-hall Palace

In late Middle Ages and in the sixteenth century Offida was a very busy town as testified by the local market created in 1576 and the Municipal Statutes reformed in 1524 during the papacy of Clemente VII (1478-1534) and published later in 1589. During the papacy of Pious V (1504-1572), in 1571, Ripatransone, turned into a town, obtained the bishop’s seat and 0ffida should be subjected to the new Diocese.

Owing to the complaints of the townspeople that wanted to stay in the Presidato Farfense, they deferred the decision. Nevertheless, Pope Gregory XIII (1502-1585), as reported by Rosini, in 1572, with a papal brief, included "part of the town of Offida in the Diocese of Ascoli, despite the pressing claims of the Offida people for including Offida in the Diocese of the bishop of Fermo. Only in 1575, however, the bishop of Ascoli, Pietro Camaiani, could carry out his pastoral office in Offida.

Meanwhile Pope Sisto V (1520-1590), having confirmed to the communes of the Marca the privilege to elect their own podestà, admitted Offida to the Presidato of Montalto, turned into a town in 1586 and become the seat of Diocese and Province, designating a headmaster that had jurisdiction on the former Presidato Farfense.

In 1527, as reported by A. Rosini, the city of Ascoli and the Territory of Offida reached a political truce.