Everyone has heard about Tuscany, The Amalfi Coast, Venice and Rome to mention a few of the well known holiday hot spots of Italy but if you want a real get-away then the unspoilt, beautiful Le Marche area in Italy is certainly the place to be heading this summer. Many Italians have not even been here yet to sample the delights of all that this wonderful region has to offer, so you can even beat them too it.
Tucked away in a little valley between Amandola and Comunanza, Mark and Sarah created a perfect environment for your relaxing holiday to Le Marche. Hidden in a beautiful wooded valley surrounded by nature, the three well equipped self-catering apartments are set in 2.5 acres of gardens & countryside and provide the ideal base for exploring. After a busy day, there are hammocks to laze in, a circular above-ground 5.5 meter swimming pool to dip in, games to play, bbq area, herbs & veggies to use from the garden & much more.
From rambling or skiing in the Sibillini Natonal Park, to the beautiful beaches of the Adriatic and everything in between, there really is so much to see and do. Picturesque hilltop towns & villages, opera & festivals, museums & churches, restaurants & markets, history & art, tradition & culture are all around. There’s something for everyone in the delightful Le Marche region of Italy.
Entitled “The Gateway to The Sibillini’s”, the nearby town of Amandola has a beautifully porticoed main square where you can sit outside one of the cafes & enjoy a coffee before wandering up through the old town’s cobbled streets to view the stunning Sibillini National Park. Slightly further afield, the attractive medieval spa town of Sarnano is a delight to explore and has many good restaurants and cafes. From here you can reach the ski resorts of Sassotetto, Madellana and Pintura and have a great day out on the slopes. You can also have fun here in the sun too, with mountain walks across the flower-filled meadows in Spring and Summer. Autumn brings the stunning shades of colour and is a photographer’s delight.
The Monti Sibillini National Park covers nearly 2 million acres with some of the highest mountains in the Appennines, (Monte Vettore being the highest at 2,476m). Here the park offers walks of all levels to some of the most delightful yet least discovered areas in the whole of Italy. Ancient hilltop villages are perched upon craggy cliffs waiting to be explored, deep gorges with icy waterfalls, wild flowers of every possible colour and wildlife all around. From the huge expanse of the Piano Grande, a vast natural plain surrounded by mountains to the Gola di Infernatio with it’s stunning waterfalls & sheer rock faces, to the high mountain lake Lago di Pilato, where according to legend Pilate’s body was dumped.
Legend tells us how Pontius Pilate, whilst awaiting execution, asked that fate decided his final resting place.
His corpse was sent unescorted from the gates of Rome on a wagon. The oxen made their way to the Sibilline Mountains, straight up to the lake, where they dived in & disappeared. Small rare shrimps turn the lake pink in the summer months – some say it represents the blood of Pilate!
Then there is the chance to visit local markets, shops & restaurants where you will find the traditional cuisine is delicious & wine inexpensive. Dezi, one of the local wine producers has even won best vineyard to the year for the whole of Italy and one of the local pizzerias has won the award for best pizza maker in the whole world!
The many year round festivals are great fun, from the Medieval Palio to truffle festas, nativities, harvest festivals & many more.
Opera lovers will be please to hear that the beautiful Sferisterio in Macerata is home to the local opera and stunning performances can be seen every July and August. There are ballets and plays at other times too. Well worth a visit and with tickets as low as €15.
Further afield, there are day trips to discover the fascinating towns of Servigliano, Ascoli Piceno, Offida, Norcia, Assisi & Loreto (to name a few) plus the varied beaches of the Adriatic, all just a short drive away. Museums & churches, art & history are just waiting for you to explore within easy reach. Famous artists such as Crivelli and Raphael all have stunning works in Le Marche.
There is the opportunity to take part in cookery lessons whist in Le Marche and learn how to prepare traditional Italian dishes and pasta or eat the region’s famous local white and black truffles. The amazing fresh porcini mushrooms are definitely worth trying. Le Marche really is a gourmet’s delight.
Le Marche is also home to many famous brands including Armani, Tods and Prada. While here, it would seem silly not to take the chance to visit one of the many the factory outlet shops and find yourself a real bargain. There are local shoemakers making famous hade-made shoe and bags and many artesian outlets, including a wonderful copper-makers specialising in beautiful cookware in Comunanza which has been in operation for seven generations.
So, if you are looking for a tranquil place full of legends & history, where by day you are surrounded by beautiful scenery & eagles circle overhead & by night the fire flies dance in the darkness of a summer evening, look no further. Welcome to Le Marche.