We like to create personalised tours of the Marche in an attempt to unveil the hidden treasures between the Apennines and the Adriatic Coast, placing private villas and intimate gardens at your disposal. Below is an example of a 7-day tour that focusses on art, architecture, food and wine.
● The Marche landscape of hills and coastline
● Renaissance and medieval villages and towns
● Crivelli and Lotto masterpieces
● Historic theatres
● Discovering ancient flavours and old traditional recipes
● Craftsmanship, ancient trades and outlets
The Marche landscape of hills and coastline
A trip inside the entire Marche region to discover unspoilt landscapes with ancient agricultural traditions. The green serpentine trails will leave you amazed by the enchanting variety of marine views and wooded peaks. It is the only region in Italy with two national and four natural parks and introduces its visitors to wonderful botanical and natural scenery. Suitable for excursions by car, by bicycle and on foot, with the option of other outdoor sports.
Renaissance and medieval villages and towns
The Marche region is famous for its ancient villages and fortified towns, elegantly resting on hilltops between the mountains and the sea. From Urbino to Ascoli Piceno, we organize trips to marvel at the ancient architecture. These pearls of scenery jealously enclose historic theatres, art galleries and delightful places in which to enjoy the local food and wine. They are all constructed using pink bricks and merge with the surrounding landscape.
Relations with Venice in the footsteps of Carlo and Vittore Crivelli
As witnesses of the frequent exchanges with the lagoon area and Dalmatia, brothers Carlo and Vittore Crivelli moved to the Marche region in the second half of the 15th century and adorned the most prestigious religious institutions with their sumptuous polyptychs, sparkling with gold and precious enamels. The tense and agitated expressiveness of the characters painted by Carlo is softened by the more melancholy figures created by Vittore, which share the outwardly pomp and unsurpassed technical expertise of those of his brother.
The historic theatres of the Marche
The Marche has a greater number of theatres than any other region in Italy; in 1860 there were one hundred and twenty, whereas nowadays there are still more than seventy left and all of them have been the subject of careful renovation in order to restore them to their former glory. Built between the 17th and 18th centuries, they were commissioned by enlightened citizens who came together to promote the construction of spaces dedicated to music and acting, not only for personal entertainment, but above all as a way to educate the people. It represented a unique phenomenon that undoubtedly assisted in the development of a lively musical tradition in the Marche.
Discovering ancient flavours and old traditional recipes
A trip…peppered with ancient peasant and noble recipes in order to rediscover agricultural and alimentary wisdom. The special composition of the Marche region allows you to taste both mountain and sea food in a single day. The small, fragrant catch from the Adriatic is the result of a history of fishing, while wild boar and venison express the medieval spirit of the ancient mountain fortresses.
Craftsmanship, ancient trades and outlets
The Marche region has always been known since antiquity for its great manual skills: carpenters, gilders, weavers, potters, are still capable of the heirs of an ancient tradition. At this it marries modernity with cutting-edge designers for shoes, bags, hats and fashion.
Day 1 – Arrival
Check-in from Ancona, Rome or Pescara. On the road from Ancona you can visit a delightful secret church with an altarpiece by Lorenzo Lotto. Afterwards, you can enjoy a moment of relaxation and dinner at the Ristorante del Borgo.
Day 2 – Ascoli Piceno
Ascoli Piceno is an ancient pre-Roman city, nestled in a crease of the Sibillini Mountains overlooking the Tronto valley down to the Adriatic Sea. A true travertine stone treasure trove, Ascoli Piceno is also known for its exceptional Renaissance buildings and its numerous noble towers.
The heart of the city is the Piazza del Popolo, made entirely of travertine stone and surrounded by the Palazzo dei Capitani dating back to the 16th century, the Gothic church of San Francesco, medieval porticoes, shops, bars and the historic Caffè Meletti with its Art Nouveau style, where you can take lunch.
In the nearby Piazza Arringo we shall explore the archaeology of the Picenes, the last people in Italy to resist the Romans, the extraordinary works of art in the civic art gallery and the Cathedral of Sant’Emidio, which houses the great polyptych by Carlo Crivelli and a medieval altar made of silver.
We shall then visit the magnificent Teatro Ventidius Basso and one of the finest collections of majolica. You will have the opportunity to do some shopping at several local manufacturers of leather handbags, jewellery and shoes.
Dinner will be served in the Sala Venezia of the Villa at Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi.
Day 3 – Visit to Fermo and shopping tour
Once a Picenes stronghold, then a Roman colony, later rebuilt by Francesco Sforza and stage of the Grand Tour, nowadays Fermo is a beautiful hillside town with a well-preserved Renaissance centre. You can descend among the huge Roman cisterns that have survived intact.
The art gallery has a number of panels by Jacobello del Fiore depicting the story of Santa Lucia. The Romanesque-Gothic cathedral on the hilltop was built by Frederick II (‘Stupor Mundi’) and there is also a 6th century basilica that is still clearly visible, as well as the chasuble of San Tommaso’s Becket.
There is a pause for lunch in a wine bar that offers a fixed menu of homemade food and local wines. In the afternoon, there is a visit to the outlets (Tod’s, Fay, Roger Vivier, Prada, Lacoste, etc.). Dinner is at a family restaurant in Ascoli Piceno.
Day 4 – Offida and gardens
A charming hillside village, Offida is located on a rocky outcrop and overlooks farms and excellent DOCG vineyards. We shall visit one of the architectural jewels of the Marche, Santa Maria della Rocca, a Romanesque-Gothic church dating back to 1330 that is home to a number of original frescoes that have survived the test of time and can be viewed in the crypt. The City Hall is located in an elegant historic palace built in the 13th century and we shall visit the city’s renowned Tombolo Museum.
We shall then visit a private residence where we can admire a beautiful 18th century garden, before continuing on to the coast for a seafood lunch on the beach. In the afternoon, everyone is free to explore the park or relax by the swimming pool at Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi.
In the evening, dinner shall be booked in the historic square of the ancient village of Grottammare Alta.
Day 5 – Loreto, Recanati
Loreto is the second place of pilgrimage in Italy after Rome, featuring the house of the Virgin Mary, brought here during the Crusades and located in a marble structure carved inside a late Gothic church, both designed by Bramante. The Basilica is a collection of many art forms, from the bronze doors to the Guido Reni mosaics. Among the treasures of the Diocesan Museum there are seven paintings by Lorenzo Lotto, who spent the last years of his life here, tapestries by Raphael and a wonderful collection of Urbino majolica.
After the visit, we shall stop for lunch in a restaurant in Recanati, a powerful medieval city that was also the home of many prominent artists. Palazzo Leopardi houses the great family library that inspired one of the great Italian poets, Giacomo Leopardi. The art gallery has three masterpieces by Lorenzo Lotto. Dinner is at the Palazzo Dalla Casapiccola in Recanati.
Day 6 – Norcia, Montefortino
Norcia is located on a high mountain plain and was a frontier outpost, but was also an important settlement since Neolithic times and over the centuries saw the arrival of the Sabines, Hannibal, San Benedetto, the Lombards and even the Saracens.
In the museum of the imposing Castellina there are important archaeological finds. The jewellery recounts the local history and we can also admire pottery and ceremonial burial artefacts. Among the many interesting churches, the Basilica of San Benedetto is notable for being the home of his birth. Unusually, the city walls, dating back to the 14th century, have survived many invasions and serious earthquakes intact.
After lunch in Norcia, where we suggest you might buy some local specialties such as wild boar sausages and lentils, we continue onto Montefortino, which has stunning views of the Sibillini Mountains and breath-taking panorama scenery.
Dinner based on local grilled meats shall be served in the old kitchens of the Villa in Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi.
Day 7 – Departure
We will provide a selection of wines during dinner at the Borgo to showcase some of the best wine cellars in the Marche region.
Tour costs can vary. Please contact us for information and details.