Via, Villa, Contrada.....??? What's the difference here in Le Marche?

The sign on the way up to La Mela Rosa B&B
The sign on the way up to La Mela Rosa B&B

There is an old house just up from our gate with "Villa Caccianebbia" written on it.  I assumed for a long time that it was the name of the house but I have since understood that it's there as the name of the street. 


In Amandola, the streets are "Via" as is usual in Italy (except for Ascoli Piceno where some streets in the very old quarter are "Rue").  However, I have been thoroughly confused as to why some streets in the countryside are called "villa" and some "contrada".  Our friend from Monte San Martino who knows all the local history backward explained it to me. It seems that:


A villa was a group of houses, lived in by diverse families but not owned by them, that sprang up in the countryside near a village and which usually took its name from the ruling family.


A contrada was (still is) part of the local countryside which took its name from the characteristics of the terrain, or from events that happened there or from the saints which the local inhabitants worshipped for some reason.


In our case, "Caccianebbia" was not the name of a ruling family.  It is where Blessed Antonio sent the fog to confuse the soldiers who had come from Sarnano to capture Amandola.  They became lost and frightened and ran off home. It means "hunting fog".

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