January 24, 2011.


Stands among the hills to the left of the Lower Metauro Valley, 2.5 km from Tavernelle, which lies along the ancient Flaminian Way, 16.4 km from Fano (in Roman times there was a "tabernula" or "statio" at Tavernelle, where travellers could stop and eat). Serrungarina was originally known as Brisighella but probably took its present name from Ser Ungaro degli Atti, a lawyer who lived here during the 14th Century. The town formed part of the lands of Galeotto Malatesta, who built a castle here in 1341, of which nothing remains except for a water tank. It was here that Sigismondo Malatesta defeated the troops which Vitelleschi had sent against Pope Eugene IV in 1432. For a long period after that, Serrungarina became a cornerstone in Fano's defences against the Montefeltros. In 1482, the people of Fano built an underground channel (called 'La Traforata') at their own expense, with a vast well with a spiral access ramp, in order to carry water to the ancient mills at Sacca. Inside the town walls, at the top of a pleasant stairway, stands the parish church of Sant'Antonio Abate. It was built on the site of the old castle in 1665, and rebuilt in 1867. Inside are two fine paintings by Giuliano Persciutti of Fano ('The Immaculate Conception') and Gianfrancesco Guerrieri of Fossombrone ('The Visitation').

While in Savignano we obtained the death certificate for Nazareno. It showed Serrungarina as his birthplace. We arrived Tuesday April 10, 2007. Two days after Easter. Parked near the steps and proceeded upward. The picture to the right of the steps is an example of the alleyways that circle the hill. The left side of the building behind the tree is the Commune Office and on the right is the Church. We first inquired at the Office about a birth certificate. Our granddaughter, Elizabeth, with her French managed to tell the clerk we were after a birth certificate. He did not find it. Told us to check the Church next door. At this point we had a major language problem. In the last picture there are two young ladies sitting on the steps. We asked them if they spoke English. They went in and got their mother who had lived in Canada. Language problem solved. She told us that the Priest only came to the Church on Thursdays and was giving us directions to his Church when he drove up. We showed him the death certificate and he found the baptismal certificate. Nazareno was born on April 8, 1850. The certificate was written in Latin. The Priest as he spoke, was translating it into Italian and the Canadian was translating it into English. That was only part of the problem. I obtained a copy of the original certificate and sent it to Old Dominion University in Norfolk to have it translated. The copy was not clear enough for translation. Mailed the copy back to the Priest and asked for an Italian translation. A friend then translated it into English.

It is a beautiful Church and we had a nice feeling being in the same Church where my Greatgrandfather was baptized. Very friendly, helpful people around us.

“We” is wife Heidi, myself, son Marc, his wife Melissa and children Mary Katherine and Elizabeth.

We stayed in an old farmhouse that overlooked Serrungarina. Beautiful country.