The Eminent Collegiate Church of St Justine, Mondolfo’s parish church, took over eight centuries to complete, though records of its existence date back to 1290. However, upon visiting the church in late 16th century, the bishop of Senigallia, Pietro Ridolfi, remarked that it resembled a sty more than a church, owing to its general state of decay. He therefore ordered the church’s reconstruction: in 1602, Mondolfo’s townsfolk obtained permission from the Duke of Urbino to widen the northern end (which currently faces Corso della Libertà) by roughly half a metre and extend the length by 20 metres. Works began in 1615 and were completed in 1635. The renovated church appeared so splendid and imposing that Pope Urban VIII decided to raise its status to ‘Collegiate Church’, with an archpriest, canons and custodians. Another series of renovation works were carried out perhaps as a result of the earthquakes that rocked the walled town in 1672, and again in 1742. The church was further enlarged following substantial alterations carried out in the 18th century, when the front end with the main entrance was aligned with Strata Magna (Via Grande, the present-day Via XX Settembre), leading to the walled town’s main gateway. With its new, elegant and spacious late Baroque forms capable of housing the entire townsfolk, the Eminent Collegiate Church of St Justine was consecrated by Bishop Ippolito de’ Rossi on 18th May 1760. The Chapel of the Most Holy Sacrament was eventually constructed in 1833, based on the drawing by architect Giuseppe Ferroni da Senigallia; it would later house the painting of Our Lady of Mercy, who kept the precious silver keys to the walled town. The neo-Gothic brick facade is characterised by the warm hues of terracotta, while the spacious and bright single-nave interior is richly endowed with Baroque decorations. A series of altars, patronised by the most illustrious families of Mondolfo’s territory, line the interior. The first altar on the left houses a copy of Guido Reni’s painting of the Madonna and Child with St Philip Neri, certain details of which differ significantly from the original housed in Rome, most noticeably the angels appearing in groups or individually in the Mondolfo version. In the second altar lies the Annunciation, a copy from Federico Barocci painted by F. Scalabrini in 1891, in which the painter modified the cat appearing in the foreground of Barocci’s painting. The third altar contains the Sacred Heart of Jesus with St Margaret Mary Alacoque, by an unknown painter who worked in Rome: it features the typical formal solutions of previous artistic trends with mystical Baroque visions merging with the academic classicism of the Roman school. Two statues lie on each side of the entrance to the presbytery: to the left, a polychrome terracotta statue of St Lucy dating from the 16th century and, to the right, St Philomena, sculpted using various materials. The presbytery’s rib vaults are decorated with four oval paintings of the Marches school depicting the Four Evangelists, datable to the period 1740-1760, while the underlying wall contains a painting of the Immaculate Conception, St Blaise, St Anthony the Abbot and St Apollonia, also by a painter from the Marches. Behind the main altar, made with polychrome marble, lies the apse with the wooden choir of the canons; on the left lies the painting with St Jerome in penitence, on the right that of St Mary Magdalene the MyrrhBearer, both commissioned by the canon Don Girolamo Betti in 1762. In the centre hangs the large altarpiece enclosed within a richly decorated gilded medallion, depicting the Madonna and Child with St Justine and St Marino, commissioned by the collegiate church’s first archpriest, Don Francesco Ponti, in 1693 and completed only years later. The Chapel of the Most Holy Sacrament contains the 17thcentury wooden polychrome statue of St Justine—the patron saint of the town and municipality of Mondolfo (her feast day is on 26th September)—and the statue of St Emygdius, willed by the community in 1783 to protect the town against earthquakes. The altar contains a painting of Our Lady of Mercy, attributed to Giovanni Battista Scaramelli (1687-1752). Along the nave lies the altar of the Crucifix, containing the instruments of Christ’s Passion in the lavish 18th-century inlaid frame. The last altar contains a painting of the Martyrdom of St Stephen, a work of the Marches school completed between the 17th and 18th centuries. Above the entrance portal lies the imposing choir loft with a fine organ designed by Gaetano Callido. Built in 1776, it is a refined musical instrument used for liturgical functions and concerts.