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Staying in Marche

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Staying in Marche

I have been to other regions in Italy but now I'm considering the area of Colmurano near San Ginesio. Has anybody stayed in that area? Is there enough to do in the surrounding area-good towns to visit? Any good museums , churches, festival? I'll be with 5 people in a villa in late Sept Oct and we want to expolre. Is it too remote compared to somewhere like Lucca? I guess we'll have to drive everywhere?

Any suggestions?

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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1. Re: Staying in Marche

Colmurano is in a beautiful area, but a very different environment from Lucca. It's in the foothills of the beautiful Sibilline mountains. It and the surrounding towns are tiny compared to Lucca. Driving is by far the best way to get around this very rural region. I really wouldn't stay there without a car. However, the bus or train could be useful if your party wants to split up for a day and you have only one car.

The nearest train station is in Urbisaglia; from there you can reach San Benedetto del Tronto or Ascoli Piceno.There are a few trains a day on a line that runs from Fabriano to Ascoli Piceno through beautiful countryside, with a stop in Urbisaglia. There are buses from Colmurano to Macerata and to Tolentino, but they may not stop anywhere near your villa. If you're interested, you should ask the tourist office for information.

There are lots of things to see in the area, but all of them would involve a drive. Close by, Urbisaglia has some Roman ruins you might want to visit. Near Urbisaglia, you can see the beautiful abbey church of Chiaravalle di Fiastra. The church is set in a lovely natural park, where you can take walks.

There are lots of small museums in the area; pretty much every town has one. Some of them have real gems of religious art taken from churches that have been abandoned; often they collaborate with larger or smaller museums to put on exhibits. It's too early to know what art shows you might find next September. Tolentino has a museum of caricature; Castelfidardo, which is famous for its manufacture of accordions, has a museum devoted to that instrument. The Buonaccorsi Museum in Macerata has a collection of art and also a carriage museum.

In Caldarola, there is the beautiful small castle of Pallotta, which has guided tours. La Rancia castle in Tolentino is also worth a visit; there are often exhibits there. There are many other small castles in the area. Camerino was the seat of a Renaissance duchy; It's now a beautiful little walled hilltop university town, with some good restaurants and shopping.

On the Adriatic coast, Loreto has a large basilica inside which is a small stone Palestinian house said to be the home of the Virgin Mary. It was disassembled during the crusades and brough to Italy, where it was reassembled. Porto San Giorgio is a nice little coastal town. Fermo is also worth a visit, and just south of Fermo, the little walled town of Torre di Palme perches on a cliff overlooking the sea.

Ascoli Piceno is a fairly long drive (about an hour and a half) from Colmurano, but it's worth the trip to see the medieval towers in the town, and one of Italy's most beautiful piazzas. If you go there, I suggest you also stop in Offida, an attractive town with a long lacemaking tradition. You can see demonstrations of women making bobbin lace, and you can see many examples of this intricate art in the lace museum.

I'm not terribly familiar with festivals in that area, especially in September. Treia, about 45 minutes away, has a polenta festival, usually the last weekend of September. There's also a well-known grape festival, which we really enjoyed, in Cupramontana, that runs from late September to early October. In late September, you should be able to sample dishes based on local porcini mushrooms, but I don't know of any specific festivals based on mushrooms.

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2. Re: Staying in Marche

We stayed in the area a couple of times and agree with most of BVLenchi’s comments, although it is now only about an hour to Ascoli Piceno thanks to a new tunnel. Try the tour at Urbisaglia <a target"_self" href="

http://www.villasanraffaello.com/free-time/volunteer-excavation-dig-roman-ruins-italy.html"><strong>Urbisaglia</strong></a> , it takes you round the amphitheatre, theatre, temple, water cistern, the castle and museum and is well worth the money.

In autumn its really worth buying the blue topographical Sibillini parco nazionale map from a tabacchi and going up into the mountains and hiking, if you go on weekends then most of the rifugii are open and serve up fantastic rustic cuisine. Try walking round the shore of Lake Fiastra and strolling up to the village of Fiastra and eating lunch at Il Tribbio

http://www.rifugioditribbio.com/ where the food and wine is delicious, includes a few surprises and is great value. If you take the tour of the lovely castle at Caldarola be sure to book Picciolo di Rame ristorante http://www.picciolodirame.com/ which is nearby and does a sumptuous 12 course tasting menu of historic Marche recipes and costs only €30.

The drive through Amandola, to Montefortino is spectacular and you should take the brown sign on the right before Montefortino that takes you to the Golla del’ Infernaccio which is one of Italy’s most spectacular gorges, after 40 mins you reach a wooden sign for San Leonardo, go right here and hike for 25 mins to a priory which has been rebuilt single handedly for 41 years by a Cappuccian monk padre Pietro who is still living and working there (he’d love it if you took him some bread!)

This things to do in Le Marche page www.villasanraffaello.com/free-time.html is a great resource for local festas, museums, itineraries, sports, shopping, hiking, sightseeing etc

Edited: 02 November 2011, 13:01
3. Re: Staying in Marche

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