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Charm in Le Marche

The major cities are Ancona, Urbino, Pesaro, Fano and Ascoli Piceno in the south.

But the many small medieval towns near Fratte Rosa are all worth a visit. In the nearby historic university city of Urbino, we find one of UNESCO's World Heritage. Urbino is the birthplace of Raphael and it has an impressive Renaissance Palazzo Ducale, also the Museo Nazionale delle Marche with an art collection of Raffaello and Piero della Francesca.

There are many year round festivals and cultural festivals in Le Marche. In Fratte Rosa itself the party "Oh Che Bel Castello" is held around August 15th. And Pesaro is very famous for the annual Rossini Opera Festival.

Furthermore, Le Marche has got many other cities with beautiful sights and great for shopping and people-watching. Below are some examples of villages and towns in the Marche certainly worth a visit.

Fratte Rosa, Mondavio and Corinaldo

The Touring Club Italiano, has ditributed the orange flag to 100 villages in Italy. These 100 villages offer everything you expect from an Italian village: intact city walls, narrow streets, quaint plazas, good restaurants and a beautiful environment. Many of those perfect villages lie near Fratte Rosa. Corinaldo and Mondavio are the true jewels of The Marches.

Fratte Rosa was between the 11th and 13th centuries the capital of the small state Ravignana. Fratte Rosa has a well preserved historical center with a maze of narrow streets within the walled area. The monastery of Santa Vittoria, arguably the most important monument of the terracotta site, is now a museum of terracotta. Fratte Rosa is famous for its potteries where handmade terracotta pottery is still made and sold.

Mondavio is a unique place with an architectural structure that dates back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The symbol of the city is the fortress, a masterpiece of military architecture of that time. It was constructed in the 15th century by the famous architect from Siena, Giorgio Martini. In Mondavio are also a number of huge medieval devices that stopped the enemies on the walls.

Corinaldo still has its 18 meters high walls of the Renaissance, which surrounded the old town.

There are many artistic and historical places of interest and public buildings. Worth visiting is the Civica Raccolta darts Claudio Ridolfi, a collection of paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Saint Maria Goretti Corinaldo was born here. So, certainly visit the medieval festival in Corinaldo in July !

Also some other nearby villages are superb, as Sant'Ippolito known for its sculptures, or even Orciano, Barchi ...

Fossombrone is the closest town to Fratte Rosa. Fossombrone is a very nice old town on the River Metauro. The main street Corso Garibaldi, with its many side streets is a pleasant shopping street. Besides the "Cattedrale" there are also interesting museums including the Archaeological Museum, with historical finds from the Roman site on the Via Flaminia, the ancient road to Rome. Fossombrone is also known because of the presence of the studio Bikkembergs, whose name you frequently find on the street and in several outlets. Fossombrone also has some nice restaurants.

Pergola is a nice town founded in 1234 in an area where many finds from the Stone Age, Umbrian, Etruscan, Celtic and Roman times have been excavated. In the old town it is possible to see lots of buildings with a typically medieval structured tower, pointed arches and bas-reliefs along with many fine churches that indicated the importance of the town. It is worth to view the Roman statues (Bronzi Dorati) in the museum.

Surrounded by the typical Marche hills, San Lorenzo in Campo owes its foundation to a Benedictine abbey dating back to the 7th century. It is one of the most important Romanesque-Gothic monuments in the Marche. Near the Abbey is the Della Rovere Palace with the Tiberini theater and the archaeological museum of the Suasa area. It's also nice to make a detour via Montalfoglio and San Vito sul Cesano.

Urbino is one of the main towns in Le Marche, and certainly one of the best, if not the most beautiful. The historic center is included on the World Heritage list of UNESCO.

In the second half of the 15th century Federico da Montefeltro Earl invited the greatest painters, poets and scholars of that time at one of the finest Renaissance palaces in Italy.

This palace now houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche with a remarkable collection of paintings by Piero della Francesca and Rafaello. This university town is beautifully situated to stroll around and go to 1 of the bars of restaurants.

Fano is also a nice city on the coast, where you can easily combine beach and culture. The colorful old town, the cattedrale and the old streets are fun to visit any time of the year. On and around the central square with the fountain of Fortune, the typically weekly market in southern Fano is a must. The second weekend of the month a very nice antique market is held over there. There are a lot of nice shops in the old center of town. The Sea near Fano is ideal for a day out on the beach, especially the area around the harbor with its delicious seafood. And certainly dont miss the Roman celebration of the pageant in the month of July.

Senigallia is a nice beach town, known for its fine seafood restaurants and beautiful velvet beach (spiaggia di velluto). Along the beach is a lovely promenade where in the evenings and at weekends it can be very busy : ideal for watching people, strolling or eating an ice cream. Along this boulevard are nice beach bars, seafood restaurants and pizzerias, and even a two-star restaurant. In the center there are more shops and wine bars and restaurants. Senigallia rises above the status of provincial town, you have a lot of well dressed people over there that you normally only expect in Rome or Milan. So take your bikini, but alsa a dress, trousers, and your sunglasses ...

At the coastside of Le Marche you find lots of beautiful, rich and important places. Pesaro is definitely worth a day trip, because the area has much to offer. To the north lies the beautiful nature of San Bartolo. You can do a nice tour along the coast, where small roads bring you to deserted beaches. The small villages of Casteldimezzo and Gabbice are fun to visit. Gradara, north of Pesaro, is a touristy and walled town museum where you can walk around the ramparts and the restored castle.

Pesaro itself has lovely shops and a beautiful promenade. Architecture lovers will certainly enjoy the beautiful Art Nouveau and Liberty villas. Music lovers are also in the right place: Pesaro is the birthplace of composer Gioachino Rossini. You can visit here the Rossini Museum and every year in August the Rossini Opera Festival is being organized. For lunch or dinner the old Osteria La Guercia is a nice place.

Ancona is the capital of the Marche the largest and busiest city. The location of the city is special. Ancona is located in a bay on the Adriatic coast with the beautiful Monte Conero on top of it. This allows you to combine shopping with a visit to the harbour of Ancona, where large ferries to Greece and Croatia leave. At the port you can visit the beautiful monument of Lazaretto. This fort,once a prison and quarantine for seafarers, was built in the water. The Duomo of San Ciriaco is very interesting as well, not only for its building but also for the view. A nice alternative is a walk through the city to the Monumento ai Cadutti (the monument for the casualties of wars). From here you have a magnificent view over the sea. There is also a road to the beach right under the monument. This beach is particularly special because of the many decorated caves where fishermen keep their boats.

When you combine a visit to the city with a visit to the beach, the beaches of the Parco Monte

Conero are the best. A visit to this park on the waterfront should not be missed (see Nature).

The famous cathedral of Loreto you can already see from the distance. Every yearthousands of pilgrims come to Loreto to visit the house of Mary in the cathedral. The Santa Casa Loreto is the Lourdes of Italy, a city that is always buzzing with activity : disabled and sick people are driven around by nuns, queues of people are waiting for confession or souvenirs. Loreto also attracts many other tourists, making it a vibrant city with numerous shops and cafes.

One of the nicer towns is Jesi: a perfect city wall, nice restaurants and a bustling town with lovely shops. In Jesi its important to see and to be seen. In summer the town even has outdoor cafes for this purpose. The old town is a bit higher than the newer part and has a beautiful wall thats almost completely intact. The main shopping street and the theatre are situated in a newer part of town, In every corner you can find scenic pictures, so do bring your camera.

Jesi has, like most towns and villages of Le Marche a magnificent theatre. The Duomo of the city has a rich and beautiful interior, especially the bronze doors attract many visitors. There is also a wonderful Pinacoteca, an old Palazzo in which the city retained its collection of paintings. Jesi is also known for its annual Pergolesi Festival (August - September): Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was one of the most important early composers of opera buffa (comic opera).

Fabriano is a well-known painters and artists name, the best craft paper is primarily of the city paper. In the entertaining and instructive Paper Museum you'll learn all about the history of the Italian paper and the development of the production over time. There is still hand made paper in the museum, but they mainly specialize in a different craft: filigrano, Italian for watermarks.

Another fun and not at all boring old museum is the farmacia, pharmacy. The magnificent original wooden interior and all the terracotta pots are particularly well preserved, you really take a step back in time. The church of Fabriano is also fun to watch

San Leo: the name San Leo originates from Montefeltro Feretrus Mons, the rock was built by San Leo. This name is well known in Le Marche, it was Federico da Montefeltro, who had built the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino. The fortress of San Leo on top of the rock is often said to be the most beautiful castle of Italy: thanks to its majestic location and construction its almost magical.

In the south of Le Marche you can visit Ascoli Piceno. This town may not be as big, but intimidating being called beautiful and one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.

Here are a few recommendations, just outside Le Marche but certainly worth a visit from Ca 'Tartufo e Mare.

Not far from San Leo is San Marino, the tiny city state. With its 61 square miles and 29,000 inhabitants, San Marino, is not even the smallest independent state in Europe. Vatican City and Monaco are smaller. The republic has its independence probably due to the hidden position on a mountain. Three million tourists a year climb Mount Titano using a cable. They spend here for 50% of the national income in and take many pictures, wine, cheese and pottery back. The San Marines Euros and stamps sell well ... But the superb location and stunning views over the Adriatic Sea are good reasons to visit San Marino once when you're in the neighborhood. It is recommended to do this outside the busy summer season because its too hot and crowded in summertime When you visit the historic center of San Marino, walk to the three towers on three peaks at the top of the town and then on through the natural park at the foot of these peaks. This is the most beautiful and quiet part of San Marino. Or go to the quiet Italian brother San Leo, spectacularly situated as well !

The most medieval town of Umbria is Gubbio, as clearly seen in the many souvenir shops with medieval weapons. Furthermore, Gubbio has a beautiful square serving as a balcony on top of the hill from where you can see very far.

A little further in Umbria, half an hour over the beautiful S444, you'll find the world famous Assisi, which has a sisterhood with San Francisco and Bethlehem. A very picturesque town with many beautiful places and squares. The city is famous for St. Francis Basilica and Basilica di San Francesco, whose two floors are richly decorated by important artists. For laymen it is really very worthwhile, especially if you know the story of Saint Francis you can go trying to figure out the paintings. Of course you can also enjoy a terrace or a stroll through the squares

All roads lead to Rome... Within 3 hours by train, you're right in the capital of Italy, by car it goes a bit faster (just over 200km). The road is beautiful, you cross from one coast to the other shore. Its perfect for a day or weekend. You can leave from Casa Tartufo e Mare early in the morning and take the train to Rome. Its also a good idea to fly to Rome, spend there a number of days and come back to relax in the beautiful countryside of the Marche!

Watch Raffaello and listen to Rossini

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Charm in Le Marche

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Charm in Le Marche

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