The dispute between Montalto delle Marche and Grottammare about the birthplace of Pope Sisto V
has very remote origins, dating back to the 17th Century. However, it is now well established that Felice Peretti (name of Sisto V before his pontificate) was born in Grottammare, on December 13th 1521, in a family of ancient and sure origins from Montalto and therefore, due to the escape of his parents following the war between Leo X and the Duke of Urbino, in a fortuitous place of birth.
Even as a Cardinal, Peretti honored his "dear homeland" of Montalto with the founding of a school and other donations, but his attention increased when in 1585 he became Pope. As much important is Grottammare, where he was born. Newly elected Pope, he wanted to establish a public school, so as to enable pupils a direct passage to the study of medicine, law and philosophy.
In correspondence to the great construction works in Montalto, Sisto V also wanted to build, in the place of his birthhouse, a church dedicated to St. Lucia (Saint of the day of his birth) by calling the architect Domenico Fontana.
Unfortunately, the death of Sisto V occurred on 27th August 1590 when the church had just begun and it was then his sister Camilla who completed this work in 1595 costing more than 25,000 ecus.
Within a few years the Church was elevated to the rank of collegiate by Clemente VIII.
As a Pope he administered with intelligence the financial resources of the Papal State and, in the Rome of that time, he was the creator of great works of urban planning and architecture. He always showed an affectionate attachment to his adoptive village, Montalto delle Marche, to which he donated a precious relic belonging to Paolo II and preserved in the halls of the “Museo Sistino Vescovile” (Episcopal Sistine Museum) dedicated to the Pope.
He died on August 27th 1590 at the Palazzo Quirinale. There are numerous Churches and works of art connected to the name of Pope Sisto V in the Piceno area.
City: Montalto delle Marche
Web sites: www.montaltomarche.it/montalto/SistoV/intro.asp