Jesi…Somewhere to go on the way home from Gubbio…

Frederick II Square
Frederick II Square

Frederick II – Barbarossa was born in a tent in the market square of Jesi on the 26th December 1194. The reason he was born in a tent was because his mother the Empress Constance was at that time, on her to Sicily to join her husband the Emperor Henry.

Impression of 'The Tent'
Engraving  of ‘The Tent’

She had to give birth in a tent because she was an elderly first time mother – and nobody really believed she was pregnant so there had to be lots of witnesses to prove that she actually gave birth to the child and there was no substitution, which was often the case in those days. So, priests and bishops and nuns attended and probably half the population of Jesi…

Possibly this could mark 'the spot'
Possibly this could mark ‘the spot’

The Man had wanted to visit Jesi for a very long time in order to see this square and frankly, had mithered on about it for EVER… so we had to make the stop on our way back from Gubbio.

I was not overly impressed with Jesi or the Frederico II Piazza, but I did my best to enthuse.   There was a monument in the centre of it but it didn’t give any information…there was no…X marks the spot and surrounding the square engraved into the border tiles it repeated a pattern of the date and a drawing of a tent. Strangely there was no statue of the great man in his own square, we had to walk to the edge of the town walls and found him lurking around a corner.

The Man with statue of Federico II
The Man with statue of Federico II

After our little walk around the town we stopped at a rather lovely café. The array of savoury delights and sweet pastries looked divine. I made my choice and we took a coffee each and some water.  It was just coming up for one O’clock and we, The Man and I, were the only two customers. I noticed that the staff seemed to be clearing up and shutting up shop. How strange… I thought, why would a food outlet be shutting at lunchtime? But, yes they were. It’s typical in Italy. The people don’t take a sandwich for lunch they eat a full meal at home or in one of the many restaurants so the coffee shops often close for three hours and open again around 4 or 5. By the time we’d finished (and we felt obliged to hurry our rations) the streets of Jesi were pretty deserted and all the shops closed.

So different from England which I believe now has now a 24hour shopping culture.

I wonder who’s got it right?

5 thoughts on “Jesi…Somewhere to go on the way home from Gubbio…

  1. The Frederick Square looks good to me !! Think of it like this….. Before you visit the gallery one is enthused to see all that it has to offer, but you live in the gallery and you can afford to be selective???
    As for the shopping this is part of the charm of Italy.

    Keep the blog we love your stories- all the best Peter and Mary

  2. I’ve visited Jesi more than once and I think they have carried the lunch-break culture too far. This is an area that is desperate for tourists. They need our money! When I first went to Italy as a grown-up I thought we should respect Italian customs and anyone who was out in the midday sun was a mad dog … etc. I now think that if you really need tourism, you should not stay closed till 4 pm.

    1. I think you’re right. Where we are things are slowly changing. One of the supermarkets is now open all day all year and on Sunday mornings for the Summer months. I think there’s a happy medium, I don’t really want 24/7 the way it is in the UK but just a little more flexibility would be good. Not just for tourism but for the working man in Italy. I know someone recently who was offered a job which was 40 mins drive away from home and he didn’t take it because it involved a minimum 2 hour lunch break. Not enough time to come home and nothing open around where he worked! Madness.

      1. I agree, flexibility is the word. Yes, our supermarket on the main road in the valley is open all day and full of foreigners at lunchtime. But what about the tourists in the historic centre?

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