Medieval Towns and Villages near our Italian properties
The provincial capital Macerata
The ancient town of Macerata, administrative center of the province, is 25 Km away from our properties, has a population of little over 40.000 inhabitants, and lies a short distance from the Adriatic Sea (20 km). Macerata, like so many Le Marche’s towns, still retains its medieval lay-out of a walled city on a hilltop. But a much older settlement, of which there is archaeological evidence (the Roman Helvia Recina), existed nearby already in the 2nd Century A.D.
The town lies at the agreeable altitude of 315 mt. and its pace of life is both pleasant and informal. Macerata is a town of some beauty, has a university, a theatre with an yearly calendar of plays, concerts and ballet, a famous open air Opera House (the Sferisterio) for the Summer lyric season, six public museums, including two National Galleries for pictures, and good restaurants, hotels, shops and all the facilities to make life comfortable both for body and mind.
The University town of Camerino
15 miles from our properties, Camerino, although a town small in size (7.000 inhabitants), can boast a proud history that dates back to ancient Roman times, was an independent “Comune” (little self sufficient state, ruled by representative bodies) in the early Centuries of the second millennium and became a “Signoria” (sort of dukedom) from the 13th to the 16th C. under the Varano and later the Borgia lords, before becoming part of the Papal States.
During the Varano’s rule in Camerino a University was founded (1336), which still exists much in the same place as it used to. The whole town still retains its medieval flavour and the ancient lay-out of a walled “borgo” built on a hilltop, with all its religious and civic architecture, its museums and venerable houses, palaces and churches, its lovely views on the Sibillini Mountains and a pleasant pace of life that helps restore the human spirit.
The small but perfectly formed Le marche town of Caldarola
A short distance from our houses lies the lovely renaissance town of Caldarola. Located at an altitude of 314 m, it has all the services a town with with a population of some 1850 people needs: shops, post office, four bars-ice cream parlours, primary schools, one hotel, a good restaurant, medical services, etc. The town, already in existence in medieval times, was redesigned in the 16th C to include the Summer residence of the powerful cardinal Evangelista Pallotta (1548-1620). Members of the aristocratic Pallotta family still own the ancestral castle, an imposing complex of buildings whose mighty walls and bastions can be seen from everywhere around. This outstanding castle is really well preserved and worth a visit (guided tours are available every day of the week).
Other buildings of note are the Palazzo dei Cardinali, a frescoed renaissance palace, partly used a a City Hall, and home to frequent art exhibitions, and two late 16thC. Churches facing each other: San Martino e San Gregorio. Also the tiny but delightful 19th C. Caldarola stage Theatre shouldn’t be forgotten, a miniature Covent Garden, still in use for local concerts and plays. In Caldarola life goes by at a leisurely and pleasant pace, always accompanied by good food and wine, positive good humour and a friendly human touch.
San Ginesio - A delightful medieval Le Marche town with breathtaking views of the mountains
Close to our Italian properties is San Ginesio, which has been named one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. This walled medieval hilltop “borgo” has a beautiful central square that is named after the town's most famous ancestor, the jurist Alberico Gentili (1552-1608), one of the founders of international law as an independent doctrine,
Gentili's statue overlooks the imposing Collegiate Church, with its Romanesque portal, unusual brick Gothic facade, and dome. Inside, a superb crypt is decorated with early frescoes by Lorenzo Salimbeni (1406).
The remainder of the town retains its original medieval layout and sandstone walls, as well as many early buildings. These include two churches - the 10thC Chiesa di San Michele and the 13thC Romanesque Chiesa di San Francesco. Two of the five "hospitals", which gave rest to pilgrims on their way to Rome, survive too. Of these, the Ospedale di San Paolo, with its magnificent two storey gothic loggias and carvings, just past one of the arched entrances to the town, is a famous landmark of Le Marche.
The town's Civic Museum, housed in the former Chiesa di San Sebastiano, holds many works by artists of the 15th and 16th Centuries and a haunting painting by Nicola da Siena of Saint Andrew watching over a battle between the towns of San Ginesio and Fermo.
The town has all the local shops one needs and a number of lively bars and restaurants. There is also a lovely, panoramic park and a well appointed open air, public swimming pool that is open the whole Summer.
Sarnano - One of the most beautiful towns in Italy
The bustling and perfectly preserved medieval town of Sarnano, also named one of the most beautiful in Italy, is only 10 minutes away from our properties.
Sarnano retains a lot of character in the ancient, cobbled streets that wind up through wonderfully restored piazzas, churches, dwellings and the impressive towers that dominate the amazing local landscape.The history of Sarnano dates back to pagan and Roman times, while the modern town is home to a theatre, museums, rennaissance art, a spa resort, many Summer "festas", some great shops and a helpful Tourist Office.
Sarnano and our Italian properties are ideally located for outdoor activities, like parascending or climbing, exploring the Sibillini mountains or the smaller foothills that surround them, on walking or cycling trips.
Sarnano has also many bars, shops, "ristoranti", hotels and delicatessens. For the night there's even a music pub "Sticky Fingers" and a nightclub "L'ex" that plays Jazz until midnight and dance music after that.
Sarnano is also known for its thermal waters, which are claimed to be beneficial for many complaints: the Sarnano Terme offers its visitors health and beauty treatments in lovely surroundings at reasonable costs. There are also other local beauty farms offering massages and beauty treatments nearby.
Sarnano has year round tourism, thanks to its gentle climate and ski resort in Winter, 15 minutes away (Sassotetto). Skiing here is well organised, all facilities are available and there's even a local ski club. At Christmas time, the snowy backdrop of the mountains, the illuminations and the tree decorations transform Sarnano into a magical, festive place.
The little town of Camporotondo di Fiastrone
A short distance from our properties lies the quaint medieval town of Camporotondo di Fiastrone, whose history can be traced back to the 12th Century. This "borgo" (hamlet), like many other in Central Italy, is built on a rocky outcrop on a small hill. Camporotondo still retains its ancient stone walls and gates and a similarly old church named after St.Marc the evangelist. Oddly enough the coat of arms of the town is the same as Venice's, a winged lion holding a book bearing the name of the evangelist himself, possibly on account of an ancient trade with the mighty maritime Republic. These lands also were the dominions, in medieval times, of the Varanos, the lords of Camerino, and later became part of the Papal States, until 1861, when Italy became a unified state. Camporotondo, which lies at the pleasant altitude of about 400 m, has a population of less than 500 souls, is a municipality in spite of its small size and has all the basic services and shops to suit a little community.
More towns and sightseeing near our Le Marche properties
- A touring itinerary near our Italian properties
- Ascoli Piceno, a stunning town near our Le Marche properties
- Amandola, a lovely town near our Le Marche properties
- Abbadia di Fiastra, an ancient monastery near our properties in Italy
- Frassasi caves near our Le Marche properties
- Loreto, rennaisance town near our properties in Italy
- Macerata, a medieval town near our properties in Italy
- Tolentino, home of St Nicholas near our properties in Italy
- San Severino
- Recanati, the town of our great national poet Leopardi
- The Sibillini Montains and their wildlife