Santa Marina Alta is one of the towns inside the perimeter of the San Bartolo Park. It is a small settlement overlooking the cliff. We know very little about its history.
Even if there aren’t any legends linked to this specific town, the persistence of such an inhabited center against the erosion of the coast and the adversities of local history suggests it has been nonetheless an important center throughout times. Santa Marina was once known as Villa di Cuspisano. It is mentioned in some documents of the 17th century, where we find a reference to the ancient castle by the sea, thus supporting the hypothesis that the town came to life in the 4th century BC as a trade center on the maritime routes to and from Ancient Greece.
The development of the port of Vallugola and the growing importance of the nearby settlement of Colombarone overshadowed the strategic function of the fort of Santa Maria, that was then inhabited by farmers and fishermen only.
The combination of the gradual yet constant depopulation process and the unstoppable erosion of its natural port and coastline eventually made it impossible for the town of Santa Marina to acquire the status of autonomous municipality. The area was thus incorporated into the municipality of Pesaro and it still is to the present day.
As an historical memory of the once thriving community, the church of Santa Marina Vergine still remains to date, although it is supposed that it was rebuilt downhill from where it used to be placed on the cliff in order to prevent it from collapsing into the sea. Unfortunately, the church has lost its seventeenth-century appearance, but it still includes its bell tower. The interior consists of a single arch and houses five altars, still decorated by the paintings of the saints to whom they are dedicated.