Hear about travel to the Le Marche Region of Italy as the Amateur Traveler talks to Chantelle and Giovanni from theitalianontour.com about this off the beaten path destination.
Chantelle says, “Le Marche is located in central Italy and it is on the east side, so it is on the Adriatic coast. If you are coming in from Rome you are looking at about 3 hours east by car. I think you want to come to Le Marche if you are in search of an authentic experience. Le Marche is in central Italy just like Tuscany is and Umbria which have become very popular over the years, but Le Marche, because of its location with the Siblini Mountains, is not so accessible by train. It does not have as much outside tourism so you really still have an authentic feel when you go there. You’re coming to an area where the Italians travel. So you really get to experience a slice of Italy like Tuscany was 50 years ago.”
They recommend a minimum 7-day itinerary. Chantelle and Giovanni run tours in the region.
They start us in Ascoli Piceno which can be reached by car or by bus. The train will take double the time to get there than the bus does. Ascoli is surrounded by truffle country and wine country and offers great access to the mountains. It is a great base. You can also go into the Abruzzo region which is nearby. The piazza is beautiful and hosts a jousting reenactment every year in July and August. Ascoli is also famous for its fried stuffed olives.
They recommend a visit to the historic Caffè Meletti where Ernest Hemmingway used to write. It was also in the movie “Alfredo Alfredo” with Dustin Hoffman.
If you have a car Chantelle would send you to the village of Offida with its castle turn church, Santa Maria della Rocca. She would also recommend visiting the women who make bobbin lace in Offida. The theatre at Offida is a beautiful small theatre that is said to have perfect acoustics.
On the way to the coast, you will pass through a wine region known for the production of pecorino wine.
Ripatransone is another medieval village near the coast. At San Benedetto del Tronto has a boardwalk and some great “blue flag” beaches. These are beaches with less pollution.
In the north, in the city of Fermo, you can walk inside an ancient Roman cistern. Most of the tours are in Italian so book with a guide or book an English speaking tour.
The Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto claims to have the house where Jesus was born (don’t tell the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem).
They recommend a stop at the beach of the Due Sorelle (Beach of the Two Sisters) near Monte Conero. This also where you could take a ferry to and from Croatia across the Adriatic.
Urbino has the only UNESCO site in Le Marche, which is the Ducal Palace. It is one of the best-preserved palaces of its kind. Urbino is also the home to the artist Rafael.
Lastly, they suggest a visit to Frasassi Caves. While you are there, you are only a few minutes from the small country of San Marino.
Along the way, Chantelle and Giovanni suggest specific restaurants to eat at and local dishes to try.
This episode is sponsored by MyTravelCreditCard.com. Find our personal recommendations for which travel credit cards to use.
The Italian On Tour
Giostra della Quintana
La Quintana Palio
Quintana of Ascoli Piceno
Ascoli Piceno Cathedral
Tempietto di Sant’Emidio alle Grotte
Serpente Aureo Theatre
The Narrowest Alley in Italy
San Benedetto del Tronto
Basilica della Santa Casa
Beach of the Two Sisters
Ducal Palace, Urbino
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