Marching out of the Renaissance, Italy initiates a period of transformation towards trade and commerce and soon it would see distant political events arriving in Italy and particulary in Marche.
But first, the trade. It is relevant to mention that in the historiography of the city, Esanatoglia is mentioned as a “road of commerce” which, to a certain degree, help us estimate the level of commercial activities and its cultural impact.
Santa Anatolia, already in the XVI century, witness an important commercial flux which can be seen in the remarkable number of documented activities that were carried along the current Via della Portella, parallel to the wall and the river.
Visitors would negotiate outside and inside the city's walls, carrying their goods through a path that was constantly busy: after entering the Castle, the merchant would cross a "minor gate" (dei Mulini), take a pause near the Dazio building and then walk through a narrow alley to the exit (over the Fonte del Borgo), after which he would find the "pesa" (area to weigh the goods, demoslished in 1868), only then to reach the "loggia del mercato" - the market center -, in the ground floor of the Palazzo dei Podesta, where all was bought & sold.
It is around this period of intense commercial and social interchange, that one of the most dramatic chapters in European History was unfold.
In the early 1800's, the French general Napoleon Bonaparte decided to conquer Europe. His determination included ignoring even the powerful Roman Church. The lands of Marche, for so long belonging to the Church as Papal States, fell under the "New Roman Empire".
The city of Santa Anatolia was an eye-witness of Napoleon’s audacity, when his revolutionary Civil Code imposed a dramatic separation between State and Church, changing its dynamics in Western civilisation in a profound way.
The Comune of Santa Anatolia followed the new Emperor's rules and implemented the Napoleonic Code: births, marriages, deaths, property and commercial and civil records were now to be registered by the city’s Comune city hall and no longer at the Church, in a transferance of power that had, for over 14 centuries, remained under the religious Roman Catholic institution.
The downfall of the French Empire restored the power back to the Church but the impact of Napoleon's Code was irreversible: soon after it was the model to shape modern secular States.
Today, the Comune of Esanatoglia preserves in its historical archives some of the civil register notebooks from Napoleon's ruling period in Italy.
The notebooks carry the famous insignia “N” of the Emperor, marked in a golden laurel wreath as a reminder of a power born under the inspiration of the Ancient Roman Empire.
Few decades later, a new period of political struggle raises in Italy, with an ultimate and lasting outcome arriving with the unification movement "Il Risorgimento", which was about to, further than unite, create a modern Republic.
And it is along the spirit of designing a new era that the name Esanatoglia arrives: coined by the historian Camilo Acquacotta around 1862, it combines the ancient name Aesa and the medieval Anatolia.
While proudly maintaining its ancient and medieval roots, the new denomination represents both a welcome and a preparation of the city to the dramatic changes taking place in the world.