When we introduced the blog, 2 years and 149 individual posts ago (that’s correct, this is currently my 150th post!), we underlined the peculiarity of Le Marche region, that has several little villages with hidden gems yet to be discovered. This is not only a task for foreign tourists, but also for Italian ones!
Indeed, during the pandemic, the Italian blogger Andrea Petroni run a contest among Italian writers-to-be, asking to write a short novel about an Italian village. I took part with a novel about Cupra Montana, and surprisingly and happily enough, I was selected among other participants. The piece had to be original, hence I could not copy any part of the guidebook that I wrote last year about Cupra Montana 😉
From the contest, the book “In viaggio tra i borghi d’Italia” was born. It will be published, in Italian, on both paper and e-book on July, 23rd. Among the 92 villages that have been selected, Le Marche has 6 villages: Cupra Montana, Mondolfo, Offida, Ripatransone, Serrungarina and Sirolo.
Since the book is in Italian, we though it would be good for you to have a “bucket list” of things not to miss in the selected villages of our region.
I’ll start with Cupra Montana:
Cupra Montana: where the monks slowly revived the lost Roman town: the white friars of the Camaldolese Order in their Eremo dei Frati bianchi, a hermit monastery built in a rock wall. A mythical place only accessible on foot. The other brothers lived nearby with brown or black robes belonging to the Franciscans. Their church della Romita can also be seen. It is not without reason that Cupra Montana is called the capital of Verdicchio wine; the wine label museum MIG in the beautiful vaulted cellars of the Santa Catarina monastery deserves a visit and so do the wines in the enoteca. If you want to read more about Cupra Montana, check our post “Cupra Montana in 24 hours“.
Mondolfo: once an important defensive stronghold in the area due to its sturdy city walls, nowadays it is still an imposing town on a hill. The book describes all the sights that we mentioned in our article: ( Mondolfo ) the piazza and the town hall, the beautiful secret garden at the Saint Anna bastion etc ..
Offida: a borgo that kept its medieval character well. Here one must absolutely visit the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Rocca, a beautiful example of Romanesque / Gothic style from the 14th century. The other most important building is the 15th century town hall, one of the most beautiful in the entire region. The town has been known for bobbin lace for centuries. Another recommendation: taste the specific wines in the enoteca in the ex-convent of Saint Francis.
Ripatransone: also a beautifully preserved medieval hamlet with the narrowest alley in Italy, one of the smallest theaters and with a fantastic panorama on the Gran Sasso in Abruzzo to the Adriatic coast.
Serrungarina : seen from a distance, it seems a cake with a church tower as a candle. It has played a role in the wars between the Romans and the Carthaginians with Hasdrubal (brother of Hannibal) as captain. You can stroll through the medieval alleys, and then taste the excellent olive oil from the local producers, which falls under the famous Cartoceto olive oils. The special Pera Angelica also comes from this area!
Sirolo: the beautiful seaside resort in the Monte Conero natural park and probably a piazza with one of the most beautiful panoramas; you look directly at the impressive cliffs and the azure sea water. There is therefore a choice of different beaches, not all of which are easily accessible, such as that of the 2 Sorelle, only by sea. (the hiking trail has been closed for a while because of too dangerous) also known are the Sassi Neri and the Spiaggia Urbani. The local fruit is the corbezzolo or fruit of the strawberry tree. In Greek komaros and corrupted with the centuries to Conero. Nothing better to end the day with a glass of Rosso di Conero and a seafood platter at the local restaurants.