Civitanova Marche, the ancient Cluana, was already settled in Roman times, along the Adriatic coast, at the mouth of the River Chienti (Cluentum), while Cluentensis Vicus, the present-day Civitanova Alta, was established on a hill 6 km from the sea. Neither Cluana nor Vicus survived the invasions of the Barbarians and the Greek-Gothic War, but it is known that in the 9th century, near the sea, there was a church dedicated to St. Marone, a martyr who later became the patron saint of Civitanova. Towards the end of the 11th century, the municipality of Civitanova was established as part of the March of Fermo, subject to the Holy See. Another small inhabited centre, around the ancient Church of San Marone, was destroyed by the rival city of Fermo towards the end of the 13th century. Between the 14th and 15th centuries Civitanova was under the dominions of the House of Malatesta, Francesco Sforza, Cesare Borgia and, for a long period, the Da Varano di Camerino family. Religious history mentions the apparition of the Virgin Mary to a child near the Chienti in the early 15th century, after which the small sanctuary of Santa Maria Apparente was built. In 1507 Civitanova gave birth to Annibal Carot, the great scholar and translator of the Aeneid. In 1551 the town, by now completely incorporated within the Papal State, was given in fief by Pope Julius III to the Roman gonfalonier, Giuliano Cesarini. Civitanova soon acquired the title of dukedom and a large ducal palace was built in the square of Civitanova Alta. The Cesarini, who became known as the Sforza-Cesarini in the 17th century, maintained possession of their fiefdom until 1817. Civitanova increased in size, especially during the 18th century, a period in which the collegiate church of San Paolo was rebuilt and the mediaeval churches of San Francesco and San Agostino were enlarged and decorated with works of art. During the Risorgimento period, Civitanova made its contribution to the national cause through patriotic figures such as the marquis Giacomo Ricci and Pierfrancesco Frisciotti. After Italian unity, the small fishing village of Porto Civitanova expanded between the present-day Corso Umberto I and the beach, along the straight streets lined by rows of small houses that today forms the characteristic fishermen’s village, also known as “Shanghai”. The new rail links with the north allowed the industrial development of the port. A large bottle factory, directed by Ambrogio Faccio, father of the well-known writer Sibilla Aleramo, was already built there in 1889. She set a large portion of her autobiographical novel, “Una Donna” (A Woman), in late 19th-century Porto Civitanova. The enterprising spirit of the local industrialist, Adriano Cecchetti, then led to the creation of the Cecchetti machine shops, which manufactured and repaired railway carriages and also produced war material during the two world wars. Porto Civitanova separated from the upper town in 1913, and was later reunited with it in 1938, under the name Civitanova Marche. The municipal headquarters were then established in the Port, in Palazzo Sforza-Cesarini, overlooking Piazza XX Settembre. There was a further separation in 1945, followed by final reunification in 1952. Today the municipal delegation is located in Piazza della LibertĂ , in Civitanova Alta, while the municipal hall remains in the lower city. Various sectors of the city’s economy grew substantially after the Second World War: firstly, the traditional fishing industry, thanks to the construction of the port-harbour, then seaside tourism, which grew significantly during the 1950s and 1960s, particularly after the opening of the new South Promenade. In regard to industry, the engineering sector should be mentioned, particularly the Cecchetti factories, which became SGI in 1956 and continued their activity until the 1990s, and above all, the shoemaking industry, which experienced a real boom, putting Civitanova on the map thanks to the annual shoe fair and, in recent decades, the various internationally recognised designer labels. The vitality of its economy, which today is increasingly centred on trade and services, its lively cultural life and the presence of schools of every level and grade, including a separate campus of the University of Macerata, have enabled Civitanova Marche to establish its image as a modern and dynamic city and become the centre of reference for a large surrounding area.