San Vittore delle Chiuse
This page is written in my Pidgin English. Sorry. Besides, I am a writer, not a travel agency. I can only talk about what I know, about my waterholes, not about all Le Marche.
Le Marches are beautiful to visit. The hilly landscape changes at every curve of the road.
The climate is quite continental: real winters and real summers. The coast is obviously milder than inland. The population of Le Marche approaches 1,500,000 inhabitants.
To call from outside Italy, the telephone code number is 39.
There is a quantity of things to see and because of this profusion, many historical buildings are locked. Too much staff would be necessary to keep it open. One has to ask the locals how to visit (Mi scusi. Per visitare ?). Sometimes there is a timetable, sometimes one has to call a phone number, sometimes it is impossible to visit inside and one has to look from outside.
To visit the Cities of Art, the most logical thing is to take a specialized tour guide: Guide Turistiche Marche http://www.guideturistichemarche.it/
Maria Stefania Conti (Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata and the Loreto Basilica) 0734859916 and 3487725940
Andrea Giordani (Province of Ancona) 0712905303 and 3392964619
Both speak English, German, French, Spanish.
I advise to make at the same time an archaeological visit of the sites and a naturalistic one because the higher section towards Umbria is the National Park of the Mounts Sibillini.
Flora is luxurious in the spring, up to high in the mountains and fauna is everywhere.
The centre of the Park is the high plateau of Castelluccio, with its blossoming of red poppies and blue lentils at the end of June. The administrative seat of the Park is in Visso, beautiful little medieval town crossed by a small river on different levels.
To visit, lets say the Umbrian side, one can take quarters for example at
B&B and apartments Fontedellangelo http://www.fontedellangelo.wordpress.com
At Castelsantangelo sul Nera (MC) (0737970112)
The owner, architect Emanuela Petrucci, speaks Italian and French.
From there, on can make many walks in the mountains and visit for example Spoleto or dive in a Lombard atmosphere to the abbey of San Pietro in Valle, 6 km off Ferentillo in a luxurious wild valley. There is a hotel and restaurant. http://www.bellaumbria.net/it/religione-e-spiritualita/abbazia-san-pietro-in-valle-ferentillo/ The church has royal Lombard burials.
In Ferentillo, there are also natural mummies one can visit.
On the Adriatic side, for an elegant stay a stone’s throw from the imperial city of Camerino, there is an hotel with bar and restaurant on its own hill surrounded by a breathtaking landscape, where to spend extremely comfortable days. Villa Fornari offers a refined cooking, variation of the theme of the best local cooking email@example.com – http://www.villafornari.it Camerino is the town of Emperors Guido and Lamberto (ninth century).
If one settles in Pievebovigliana, there are many things to see on the spot.
In the village San Maroto of Pievebovigliana, there is a Carolingian round building transformed in a church, there are some stables that probably hosted Charlemagne’s horses, along the Chienti small river, called Beldiletto and what is left of at least 2 other fortresses and 2 crypts, one of which is under the main church in the historical part of Pievebovigliana. One has to ring the bell of the parish priest tel. 073744108.
To sleep and eat, visit the site: http://www.comune.pievebovigliana.mc.it/?page_id=67 Click on the right on TURISMO.
My favourite restaurants are “Sapori di Campagna” (Aurelio Macario 073744318) for an excellent farmer’s biological cooking. They have received the Federation of Work Masters of Italy 2013 award. For a more elegant dinner: “Poggio delle Armonie” (www.ilpoggiodellearmonie.it – 0737615265 ). The prices are in any case very convenient.
One may make Pievebovigliana the centre of one’s excursions to visit Camerino, the caves of Frasassi and the nearby magnificent Carolingian church of San Vittore delle Chiuse, Jesi, birth place of Emperor Frederic II Hohenstaufen. There is a great number of quaint little medieval towns like for example San Severino, etc. and typical villages.
Where to find the best handmade tagliatelle with fresh truffles in this area? (around 10 euros) at the Agriturismo Col di Giove 07376461291 on a hill above Muccia (Macerata province) route 77 http://www.coldigiove.it/
One is a few km away from Fiastra lake where one may swim. Going up the valley from Fiastra to Bolognola, one encounters delightful little villages and a ruined fortress in Aquacanina. Going up the road, it is on the right hand side behind a house. It overhangs the stream in the narrow valley.
Turning to the left in Aquacanina, one gets to exceptional mountain pastures protected by the EEC: “il Piano di Ragnolo”.
Whilst in the area of San Ginesio, the famous Saint-Denis of the Frankis High Middle Ages, one can comfortably sleep and taste an excellent cooking at the hotel “Albergo Centrale” which is on the main place (0733653135 – closed on Monday)
http://www.albergocentralesanginesio.com/ and firstname.lastname@example.org
The view on the Sibillini chain is magic.
From San Ginesio, one may visit San Claudio, Fermo, Urbisaglia, Rambona, the five fortresses of Caldarola etc. etc.
For the cooked wine, vino cotto in Italian (Charlemagne’s vinum coctum): Cantina Terre di San Ginesio http://www.terredisanginesio.it/territorio.php tel. +0733511196
For a more elegant stay, one could settle at the B&B San Nicolino di Morrovalle http://sannicolino.com/bed__breakfastI.htm (0733-56495 gratis).
From there, San Claudio, identified as Charlemagne’s Palatine Chapel, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Piè di Chienti, Sant’Elpidio a Mare, the seaside, are very close. One is at a reasonable distance from the San Benedetto del Tronto local market (Tuesday and Friday – pls check). Also to visit, the outlets of the shoe and fashion industry. Towns like Ancona, Osimo, Camerano, who have an underground town under the one we see, Numana, Fermo, Ascoli Piceno, Carassai, which could be the Carolingian Villa Carisiaca etc. are near by.
Let’s say that in general, one eats very well in the Marche, that de produce are healthy and grown locally, that the prices are extremely convenient especially in the small cities and the villages.
The pizza in Le Marche have a thin pasta and are often crisp. One eats them generally in the evening except in the towns, along the main streets, in the bakeries selling the “pizza al taglio”. They are cooked on very large dishes, cut in pieces and eaten warm standing or walking in the street.
The pizzerias I patronize are Albergo Bellavista in Castelraimondo tel. 0737640717. During the summer one eats outside on an enormous terrace on the roof. The other is at the foot of the small medieval village of Esanatolia: Pizzeria Sibylla tel. 0737889140 and http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurant_Review-g2184613-d3199998-Reviews-Pizzeria_Sibylla-Esanatoglia_Province_of_Macerata_Marche.html (it would be a good idea to reserve).
I recommend one thing: prepare your trip, find the sites you want to visit on the map, check the in internet sites of the municipalities (comune in Italian), then improvise.
The Sibillini from San Ginesio