Many have been the women from Le Marche who over the centuries have helped in writing the history of this region and have contributed to its fame and appeal: women of literature, poetesses, female painters, actresses, singers, archaeologists and sports women: all are women, all are from Marche and all are great … .
Women of literature
There have been plenty of Marche women who have lived a life of culture. One of the first ones was Battista Sforza, born in Pesaro in 1446, and represented in one of the most famous paintings of the Italian Renaissance “Diptych of the Dukes of Urbino” by Piero della Francesca. This woman, who married Federico da Montefeltro and lived in the beautiful city of Urbino, was dedicated to culture; she lived surrounded by scholars and men of science and had strong governmental skills so that she administered the city when her husband was fighting in some far-away war.
Two other women, literature lovers, were Battiferri Laura, who lived between the first and the second half of the sixteenth century, often likened by his contemporaries to the Greek poetess Sappho; and Margherita Sparapani, born in 1735 in Camerino, passionate about natural sciences, she became part of the important Accademia ‘Arcadia along with the most educated writers of the time.
Women of sciences
A name known by all and represented on the famous thousand liras in Italy is Maria Montessori, born in Chiaravalle, in the province of Ancona. At the turn of the nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century she was the first Italian woman to graduate in medicine and, as educator, she helped for the renovation the Italian school: the educational method that bears her name is still used in many institutions around the world.
Still in medicine, Edmea Pirami, born in Ascoli Piceno at the late nineteenth century, graduated in pediatrics in 1964 and became vice president of the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA). The city of Porto San Giorgio (MC) is the birthplace of the archaeologist Alessandra Nibbi who contributed to the research for delineating the actual geography of Ancient Egypt.
Women of Arts
The Art with capital “A” in the Marche region is represented by Nori de ‘Nobili, a painter and poetess born in Pesaro in 1902. Her energetic art, colorful and extremely feminine, is preserved in the Museum and Research Centre for Studies on Women “Nori de ‘Nobili “in Trecastelli, where the permanent exhibition of her most important works is exposed.
Also in the field of art we cannot forget to mention Agostina Segatori: from Ancona she arrived to Paris, where in the late nineteenth century began her career as a model and muse, posing for famous painters such as Eugène Delacroix, Vincent Van Gogh and Edouard Manet.
Ascoli Piceno also has its patriotic painter and poetess, Julia Centurelli, who did not hesitate to support the Mazzini organizations in the mid-nineteenth century: her love for her homeland and her energy are reflected in her paintings and in her literary compositions. Agugliano, as well, has its worldwide famous artist, Stefania Massaccesi, one of the most important representatives of the European figurative art: a painter, sculptress and a master in engraving, in recent years she has her works exhibited in many international museums.
… and music
We begin with Angelica Catalani, born in the city of velvet beach, Senigallia (AN), lived at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As a child was given to the Convent of Saint Lucia of Gubbio, but her father, realizing the innate talent for singing, took her back to his home to study music: Angelica became a great soprano and was noticed even by Napoleon Bonaparte!
The crisp air of the hills of Macerata has benefited the professional growth of one soprano, the unforgettable Anita Cerquetti. Born in the medieval village of Montecosaro (MC), the female singer has performed on the most famous Italian stages of the twentieth century; one interesting fact: it was her who replaced Maria Callas in 1958 when the latter left the scene after the first act of Norma, at Teatro dell’Opera in Rome. We conclude with another golden voice, Eva Mei, born in Fabriano (AN). She has conquered the international stages and is loved by audiences and critics, so much that in 1990 won the prize at the Mozart Competition in Vienna for her interpretation of the Abduction from Seraglio, opera by the world-famous Austrian composer.
From music …. to cinema and theater
Ave Ninchi and her family of actors, playwrights and impresarios, is particularly linked to the Teatro delle Muse in Ancona. The actress starred together with big cinema names such as Toto, Aldo Fabrizi and Alberto Sordi. The capital of Marche has also given birth to another interpreter of the Italian cinema, Virna Lisi, who won six times the prestigious Silver Ribbon prize and two times David di Donatello. Valeria Moriconi, born in Jesi, was also a great interpreter of the Italian cinema of the twentieth century, as well as of the Italian theater, working together with great masters such as Eduardo De Filippo.
They could not be missing in this classification: our great championsform Marche who over the years have distinguished themselves for tenacity, strength and passion. Let’s start with Valentina Vezzali and her inseparable companion: the foil. Born in Jesi, she is the first fencer in the world who has won three Olympic gold medals in three consecutive editions, has also been awarded numerous times in team competitions and has won eleven times the World Cup. Giovanna Trillini, on the other hand, is also never separated from her foil: her achievements began in 1986 with a silver medal for team competitions in the Championships in Sofia and continued with winning the World Cup four times. Moreover, besides being a champion, she teaches young athletes how to achieve these important goals.The young promise of the Italian fencing is Elisa Di Francisca, who has already been awarded six times as World Champion and ten times as European Champion in individual and team events. Moreover, she won the gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012. These tremendous women athletes are all from Jesi, a town in the province of Ancona, surrounded by medieval walls and full of history, which became famous throughout the world thanks to these brave women.
Even figure skating has a woman form Marche as a protagonist hovering lightly on her shoes. She is the young Annalisi Graziosi, vice European champion in 2009 and 2010. Dominating the waves is Giorgia Speciale who, with her windsurfing, challenged even the stormy sea, becoming world champion in the under 15 category.
Le Marche have given birth to strong women, determined, talented and intelligent who over the centuries have distinguished themselves in various fields. Is it a merit of the pure air of the hills or of the Adriatic sea breeze? One thing is certain: we are proud that they were born in this land. To them, the women of today and to those who will be born!