Today I went exploring the southern part of Le Marche.
Ripatrasone, Offida, Castignao and Ascoli Piceno, these medieval villages
are all inland.
The beautiful views on my drive to Ripatrasone.
Then I arrived to…
They actually, have the narrowest alley in all of Italy. The hill of Ripatransone has been inhabited since prehistorical times. Durning the Middle Ages, several castles were built here and later unified into a single town.
Then I was off to…
Church of Santa Maria della Rocca, above is located to the extreme west of the town, it is surrounded on three sides by many ravines. The large brick building in Romanesque – Gothic was erected in 1330 on pre-existing small church Benedictine. Other churches and crypts to see in Offida are, Sanctuary of St. Augustine, Church of OurMadonna dell Suffrage, Monastery of San Marco, Sanctuary of the Blessed Bernard and The Palazzo Communal (Town Hall).
Offida is also very important wine country and the hills are covered with gorgeous vineyards. So wine tasting is also a must here and in July they have a wonderful, Jazz & Wine Festival.
Then I was off to…
Castignao, is a charming little hamlet, with tiny little streets. Because it is located high on a ridge, it rises to 473 m above sea level, the views are phenomenal. During the spring and summer months, they put on many festivals that are full of life. Their Museum of Sacred Art, is a must see, but it is by appointment only.
Finally, I was bound for, Ascoli Piceno.
Ascoli Piceno, is the capital of the southern region of Le Marche.The old center is stunning, many of the buildings are built using marble called travertino, a grey-hued stone extracted from the surrounding mountains. Its main square, Piazza del Popolo (“Square of the People”) is surrounded by a number of buildings using this stone. In this square is the famous Caffè Meletti. Where after a scrumptious lunch or dinner, it is tradition to go there and have an espresso & anisette (anise) adding only 3 coffee beans. Carlo Crivelli, who is one of my favorite Italian Renaissance painters, spent his last years and is believed to have died in Ascoli Piceno around 1495. Ascoli is full of many churches and life, delicious little restaurants, pubs, galleries, shopping, theater and just plain old people watching, there is not a lack of things to do here in this town.