THE BEAUTY OF MARCHE AND PICENO
The hinterland of Marche has kept the charm of a place of another time preserved intact, known through the verses and paintings of numerous artists that where born and raised here, between the sea and hilly, mountainous landscapes, all within a short distance of each other.
The region in the province of Ascoli Piceno in particular, is extremely varied as it spans from the Monti Sibillini Mountains to the beautiful hills that are full of medieval villages, to then arrive at a crystal clear sea, which is recognized as one of the best in Italy and awarded with the prestigious European “Bandiera Blu” (Blue Flag) recognition every year.
Like imposing guardians facing the sea, the Monti Sibillini mountains make up the scenery that presents itself just as soon as you leave the coast, heading inland.
It is said that the prophet Sibilla lived precisely here, in a grotto, and that Pontius Pilot passed away here in the waters of a lake, dragged down by buffaloes.
The entire area is found within the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini, which is loved by trekking enthusiasts who won’t want to miss a chance to try their hand at the peaks and forests down in the valleys.
For hiking in the surrounding area, we also recommend some of the most picturesque centres such as Ascoli Piceno and its historic downtown, the beautiful San Benedetto del Tronto with its characteristic palm trees, the small towns of Grottamare and Cupramontana, but also Acquaviva Picena and Fermo.
It’s a territory infinitely rich with history that finds a way to give a voice to the past, including beautiful historical re-enactments such as the famous Torneo della Quintana tournament, which takes place during the first days of August in the historic downtown of Ascoli, a small, perfectly preserved medieval gem. On this occasion, figures richly dressed in period costumes walk through the streets of downtown until they arrive at the gaming field, where they carry out an equestrian tournament to the beat of drums, trumpets and flags.
There is also the richness of wine and food of a land that knows how to appreciate the good life, which is carried over to the dining table. From the mountains to the sea, there are many dishes based on local products for connoisseurs to discover, along with prized oils and wonderful glasses of wine, which certainly aren’t lacking in this area. Don’t miss out on “olive all’ascolana” (stuffed olives), the real ones, and “brodetto alla sanbenedettese” (a seafood soup).