The beautiful countryside of the Aso Valley, situated in the Marche region, has been preserved unchanged since the middle ages: a great farming network with scattered farmhouses, a land of nature’s many colours, with striking scenes for every season of the year: from the winter brightness of the snow covered Sibylline Mountains, the gentle hills that descend to the valley which in autumn have warm colours of yellow, ochre and brown, while in spring the beautiful fruit orchards with their soft pink and white flowers fill the air with a wonderful perfume; to the intense blue of summer and the sea with its splendid golden beaches.
The towns and villages along the valley have gathered and preserved, over the centuries, the best of the resources (history, traditions, art), that give life to a widespread museum still to be discovered. A valley that has stayed on the margins of the chaotic development of the past few years, preserved almost intact, a spectacle of rare beauty for those who appreciate the environment, history and art and for those who wish to relive the flavours and customs of the old days. In this enchanting scenery you can find Ortezzano.
Altitude 322m s.l.m.
Ortezzano has remote origins, there are traces of Etruscan life and, above all, Picene. Its name has had different interpretations such as Ortempianum,
Ortentianum, Ottazzano. Utricinum means fortress, there are some however who believe the name refers to a nobleman Hortensius Utricinum.
It was destroyed by the Romans in 269 BC. After the barbaric invasion it was subjected to the Farfensi in the 9th to13th centuries.
It has a heptagonal – based Ghibelline tower that dominates the town, beautiful churches, fountains and an altogether harmonious feeling of history,
art and the ancient traditions for which it is characterised . Here you can still find old values and rural customs: such as the country fairs that can be
enjoyed together with the simplicity and friendliness of the locals, like the well known wine festival which takes place in the little lanes of the old town centre,
where you can watch the old methods of wine pressing. There is the lovely festival of the decking of flowers dedicated to the Madonna where, during the night, the
flower adorners cover the village streets with mosaics of flowers to welcome, the following day, the over a hundred year – old procession. Ortezzano’s gourmet cuisine is still authentic
in its deliciousness that the culinary abilities of the locals place at your disposal.
|Festa Religiosa:||Festa di S. Antonio||17 Gennaio|
|Festa Religiosa:||S. Maria del Soccorso con infiorata||Giugno|
|Festa popolare:||Festa del vino con rievocazione storica della pigiatura||Secondo sabato e domenica di settembre|
Altitude 475 m s.l.m.
On the side of a high hill, south of the inhabited part of the village, in a place called La Cuma, you can see the ruins
(temple and colonnade) of a monumental Sanctary of the Late Republican age (2nd Century BC). It is one of the Hellenistic cultural complexes of
exceptional historic and artistic importance in the region.
It is not clear to which deity it was dedicated but the presence of a well and canals of a water system seem to suggest that it was a health spa.
For the historical – archaelogical context, there is the possibility that it was the the city of central Novana mentioned by Plinio, whose geographical position has not yet been specified.
|Mercato tipico:||Fiera di S. Andrea||30 novembre|
|Concertistica:||Capitello d’Oro – Concorso canoro per bambini||16/17 Luglio|
|Sagra:||Sagra della bistecca di castrato||14/15 Agosto|
Altitude 365 m s.l.m.
4 km from the centre of Carassai stands the Castle of Rocca Monte Varmine which has Longobard origins and was built in the 14th
Century over the ruins of the old 10th Century country house.
The mighty walls still remain and when climbing up the tall tower with Ghibelline battlements,
you have a panoramic view of the whole territory of the Aso valley. The watchtower was a large fortified farm , not a manor,
and is the only one in all of the Piceno that is completely preserved. Inside the castle there is the courtyard and St Peter’s
Church where Vittorio Crivelli’s cross was originally kept.
In the last century, the “Bombardella Manesca” was found there dated 1341: the first known manageable firearm.
|Mercato tipico:||Fiera di S. Angelo in Piano||Seconda domenica del mese|
|Sagra:||Sagra della salsiccia alla brace||Ferragosto|
Patria del Pontefice Sisto V
Altitude 513 m s.l.m.
In 1521 Felice Peretti, the future Pope Sisto V was born into a simple farming family in Montalto delle Marche. At 10 years of age he entered Montalto’s
St Francis Friary. In 1570 he was nominated Cardinal, (Cardinal Montalto), and was to be Pope from 1585 to 1590 , the year in which he died. He is remembered as one of
the great Popes because of his energy and determination to succeed in his enterprises.
The Roman poet Belli said “Among all those who have had the post of vicar of God, there has never been a Pope as determined, stubborn and crazy as Pope Sisto”.
His name has been given to the famous 16th Century.
|Rassegna di canti corali:||Festival degli Appennini||Seconda domenica del mese|
|Sagra:||Novalia||Primo sabato e domenica di agosto|
|Un viaggio nelle fiabe:||La notte delle streghe e dei follett||13/14 Agosto|
– Paese del merletto a tombolo
– Chiesa di Santa Maria della Rocca
Altitude 293 m s.l.m.
The art of pillow lace is one of the most noted crafts in the Marche and is a tradition that goes back at least 5 centuries,
from mother to daughter: it is a job that requires a lot of patience to interlace the bobbins on a cushion.
The first historical evidence of the use of this esteemed lace comes from the 15th Century and in 1600 Offida
lace was famous for its refinement and quality. Today, especially in the summer months, as you walk round the streets
of Offida, you can see lace makers at work outside their own front doors just as they have done for centuries.
On a cliff, that isolates it from the town, rises the majestic structure of Santa Maria della Rocca Church (14th Century).
This Roman – Gothic construction was built by Master Albertino in 1330. Inside the church are affreschi from the 14th – 15th Centuries and,
in the crypt, 14th Century affreschi of the Master of Offida.
|Festa Carnevale:||Carnevale Storico Offidano||Dal giovedì al martedì grasso|
|Festa popolare:||Le Cove festa del grano di antica tradizione contadina||Agosto|
|Sagra:||Sagra del Chichì ripieno (focaccia in pasta di pane sottile farcita)||Prima domenica di Agosto|
|Mercatino:||Mercatino dell'antiquariato||I venerdì di Luglio ed Agosto|
|Mostra mercato:||Vino dei Colli Piceni||Primi giorni di settembre presso l’enoteca regionale|
– Terrazza sul mare
Altitude 120 m s.l.m.
Hill –top centre from the early middle ages built by hermit monks of St. Agostino.
Its position and well preserved structure render it particularly interesting. It faces the sea almost like a cliff offering a stupendous view.
The narrow streets, arches, the flowering squares and the many views merit a visit as do S. Maria church with works from Marche artists of the
14th and 15th Centuries and the Parish church St Agostino with polyptych by Vittore Crivelli.
|Mostra:||Auto d'epoca||14 maggio|
|Mercatino:||Festa di primavera||28 Maggio|
|Mostra:||Mercatino dell'antiquariato||Tutti i martedì di Luglio e Agosto|
|Mercatino:||Il lavoro sui pedali||15 luglio – 28 agosto|
Città d’arte storia e cultura
Altitude 320 m s.l.m.
Fermo is a noble city and has ancient origins rich in art and culture, over twenty centuries of history are contained within its age-old walls.
There are architectural masterpieces, cultural and religious sanctuaries: traces of the ancient civilisation, a comprehensive urban system intact in its
Renaissance appearance, the characteristic streets in the city centre, the noble mansions powerful with their elegant doorways,
the many churches and bell towers, the rich library, the historic theatre and the museums with precious antiques.
Venturing in the streets through circles is a spectacle of rare beauty to visit.”;
cavalcata = “Cavalcata dell’Assunta:
|Mostra mercato:||Mercatino dell'artigianato e dell'antiquariato||tutti i giovedi di luglio e agosto|
|Sfilata con costumi medioevali||Cavalcata dell'Assunta: patrona della città||14 -15 agosto|
Città della Quintana
Altitude 154 m s.l.m.
Ascoli Piceno has very old origins, its ancient past (it existed before Rome) is all written in its ruins and the evidence
that defies the centuries, an authentic open museum that comprises the styles of the various ages from the Medievale to the Renaissance.
The passage from the Roman era to the Medievale era is present in the narrow contorted streets called Rue, in its doors that give the names to
the Districts of the Quintain, the temples, the palaces, the towers (Ascoli, city of 100 towers) and in the famous Piazza del Popolo which
is deemed one of the most spectacular in Europe. When visiting the city, you realise the history and atmosphere that the “Quintana” intends to evoke,
a name that is linked to the crusades, with which they called the dummy of a warrior.
Ascoli’s shows are the most important in the Marche region and they’ve also been abroad with their characters, figures, soldiers, ladies,
flag wavers and music, an image of the old chivalry of the 15th Century.
|Manifestazione storica:||Quintana||Luglio e Agosto|
Città in forma di Santuario della Santa Casa di Nazaret
Altitude 296 m s.l.m.
Capital of the Marian cult, the town is world famous because inside the basilica is the Sanctuary of the Holy House where the Virgin Mary received the Annunciation.
The story begins in the 13th Century with the arrival of the house of Nazareth, which according to tradition was relocated by angels on
10 Decaembre 1294. Recent studies of the stones and graffiti confirm the authenticity of the Holy House.
The Sanctuary has been for centuries and still is today one of the most important places of pilgrimage in the world, it has been visited
by about 200 saints and blessed and by numerous Popes.
|Feste religiose e civili:||Carnevale Storico Offidano||Settembre|
|Sagre, rievocazioni e spettacoli vari||Corsa del Drappo||Agosto|
|Festa religiosa:||Festa della Venuta della Santa Casa||9 – 10 dicembre|
|Rievocazione storica della Passione di Cristo||La Morte del Giusto||Venerdì Santo|
|Incontro dei giovani di tutte le Nazioni||Agorà dei giovani del Mediterraneo||Ogni anno a Settembre|
Patria del grande Poeta Giacomo Leopardi
Altitude 296 m s.l.m.
Recanati lives in remembrance of the great poet: streets, squares and towers evoke Leopardian splendour.
Starting from the 18th Century Leopardi palace, birthplace of the poet, his descendants still live there and is situated in piazza “Sabato del Villagio”.
The exhibition of objects and manuscripts belonging to the writer allows you to follow his life, his father’s rich library, to understand the
formation of his character. From here a marked route takes you to Monte Tabor, the famous “Colle dell’Infinito”.
The old city is famous also for the tenor Beniamino Gigli and the artist lorenzo Lotto.
|Mercato:||Mercatino dell'Antiquariato||Ogni primo sabato e domenica del mese|
– Lo sferisterio
Altitude 315 m s.l.m.
The sferistico (theatre) in Macerata represents one of the most significant architectural works of the late European
Neoclassic designed by the young architect Ireneo Oleandri from San Severino Marche.
The particular form of the building with the base in circle segments, was studied to adapt to its original purpose: gymnastic activities in the first half of the 19th century.
At the beginning of the 1900’s it was restored and organised to transform the building into an opera house.
In 1921 Guiseppe Verdi’s Aida was the first opera to be performed there.
The inside is impressive, an immense arena of 90×36 metres, a capacity of 3000 people and the harmonious structure guarantees perfect visibilty and unbeatable acoustics.
Today the Sfreristico is noted for the summer opera season called “Macerata Opera”, and since 1967 the arena has offered opera seasons
with spectacles of great quality and with impressive artists such as Placido Domingo, Montserrat Caballè,
Rayna Kabaivanska, Ken Russel and Josef Svoboda not to mention the unforgettable Luciano Pavarotti and Rudolf Nureyev.
– Grotte di Frasassi
The Grotte di Frasassi at Genga in the province of Ancona is part of a great underground complex that extends for about 18 kms.
It was discovered in 1971 and has become one of the most important attractions in the Marche, already visited by 10 million people from all over the world.
The route is exalting and the illuminations accentuate the forms and colours of the concretions: inlaid stalactites, gigantic stalagmites, little lakes closed
in by arabesque crystals, alabaster lances which hang down from the majestic vaults, an underground tour which has been defined as one of the most beautiful in the world.
The names attibuted to each scene are significant: Ancona Abyss (240 m in height); Sala 200 (200m long) or the Obelisk (at the centre rises a stalagmite of 15m in height);
and Canyon (similar to those of Colorado).
The Frasassi Trust offers speleological tourism: a new and fascinating journey inside the Grotte.
At the entrance you can find all the clothing and equipment necessary and you are taken by experienced guides, you have the chance
to admire new, magnificent rooms hidden to the normal visitor and to experience, for a day, the wonderful world of the speleologist.