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Some " goodies" and some suggestions

A land beyond the sea

It’s a small casket where you can discover a “diamond” surrounded by nature that gave birth to a reality already rich on its own. Here I feel at home… Villa Contessina. Little-known and far from the tourist circuits, commonly known as the “Ombelico del Piceno”. Where the splendour of certain paths is able to preserve the more intimate character of a human sized culture. An extraordinary component of the soul of an ancient and complex nation, where the desire for normality and the research of peace gives life to the desire to immerse oneself in the typical slow rhythms of old-time villages. Cossignano is a medieval town, welcoming and waiting to be discovered… let yourself be embraced by its old paths.
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My Balcony

I love this enchanted place, for me it represents The Sublime Beauty. …I have to confess that I can’t help visiting it at least once a year. A mix of ancient origins and current beauty… Torre di Palme and its lovely, breath-taking view, and when I say BREATH-TAKING I mean literally so. A balcony overlooking the sea… a unique experience that has a charm of its own. For me it was love at first sight… seeing is believing… you’ll hold it forever in your heart.

Boxes full of buttons

I was always fascinated by those grey cardboard boxes that have all the buttons inside them attached on one side for display. They have the charm of things of the past. Thankfully all this still exists. Let me tell you a secret… for years I collected countless buttons, bought them on every vacation that I took. I never knew what to do with them once I took them home, but I was never able to resist the temptation to buy them. I always jealously kept them in a tin can where my grandma kept her embroidery kit. This year I had a surprise, thanks to my daughter’s curiosity she found the box and decided to sew all the buttons… how wonderful. This is one of those gems that you have to hear from someone, otherwise you would walk in front of its windows and leave behind the charm of those things that are disappearing. So remember, while you’re strolling along Corso Serpente Aureo in Offida, in front of a small shop window at number 18, you’ll find Mrs. Pina, who will happily welcome you in her precious shop, and if you’re lucky, she’ll also show you how she makes bobbin lace. Her friendliness and openness will help you appreciate even more your trip to Offida, also thanks to her tips on what to visit in that gorgeous village.

"Venus' Thread"

Proudly Made in Marche. Lots of love for precision, love for colour and never banal details. Doriano Marcucci, artisan of footwear, in his workshop in Montegranaro, historical epicentre of the shoemaking creativity in the province of Fermo, shapes everyday veritable works of art. His products made of leather, cowhide, rope and wax take shape under his skilled and strong hands; becoming unique and unrepeatable masterpieces. If you’re lucky, between an “onda marina” braid and an unexpected colour shade, the master could involve you with his unstoppable cheerfulness singing a melody and playing one of the many musical instruments that he keeps in his workshop. Passion is art.

The Snack

There’s a lovely place that I like to rediscover every year. Here the hands of the clock seem to have stopped, and the atmosphere is full of references to a really ancient time. Walking through the streets of the town is an experience that brings you back in time… a lot of time. MorescoI always loved this village and a while ago I found a small place, one of a kind. It’s a local agricultural enterprise that offers the opportunity to have a snack out in the open… a real degustation of products that, in this particular case, derive from organic farming. You eat outside in little covered structures, equipped with tables and wooden benches, that let you breathe even more the countryside air. They call it “La Merenda- The Snack” but for us it turned… into dinner!

Secrets of the Sea

When wonders come from the bottom of the sea! This is a gem that you will only find here. Impossible to be near almost a million seashells and not want to go take a look, right? The Malacological museum in Cupra Marittima is a huge exhibition of seashells and fossils. Hundreds of artifacts made out of seashells, awesome mother-of-pearl fans. A very interesting treat, not boring at all. A must-see. When will you get another chance to go back home with a dinosaur tooth?

Magical inspirations in hardware store

When curiosity becomes wealth! As the years go by, the desire to feed my curiosity looking for the uniqueness in each guest has grown. One of the best things about this job is that I can find out the peculiarities that characterize each guest here at Villa Contessina. After many years I finally understood what makes them so passionate. The desire to smile once you’re back to your daily routine… wanting to smile when, back home, you see your bathroom faucet leaking. Having a screwdriver in your hand that will remind you forever of a wonderful holiday is no small thing. How beautiful… to give meaning to the unexpected simplicity that is so rare lately.

The narrow alley

Here too I find myself in front of a curious Guinness of my records. How could you not want to fill your eyes with such beauty… delight in an unparalleled view that spans from Gran Sasso to Monti Sibillini. Ripatransone possesses a remarkable historical and artistical heritage, folk and enogastronomic traditions. Be sure not to miss the Narrowest alley of Italy… and remember to stop by the tourist office where they’re waiting to issue you a certificate that attests that you crossed it. https://www.destinazionemarche.it/10-cose-da-fare-e-vedere-a-ripatransone/

Il Serpente Aureo

An enchanted world full of history, tradition and culture. Magical paths of a historical village that embrace you with their warm hospitality… Offida, the magic town of smiles. A village that reflects the saying “NELLA BOTTE PICCOLA C’È IL VINO BUONO” what more to say… A concentration of beauty and an extraordinary historical value with a rich enogastronomy, and precious ancient rites. A small world that offers many events throughout the whole year. What to see in Offida? I don’t love making lists of suggestions that you can surely find on other platforms… the only recommendation I like to give is “Try it to believe”… And remember… Be unique… rely on magic and curiosity.

The Cave

In the heart of the Natural Regional Park of "Gola della Rossa e di Frasassi", the Frasassi caves were discovered in 1948. They’re an intricate cave complex, so big that it could even contain the Duomo of Milan, and since 1974 they’ve been one of the most loved and visited tourist attractions of Marche. A few hundred metres away there’s the lovely, small Romanic church of San Vittore alle Chiuse, built with pink and white calcareous stone blocks. Nearby there’s also a 700 metres path that climbs up the mountain and leads you the Sanctuary of Madonna di Frasassi and the Tempietto del Valadier, a hidden gem. Genga’s old town is a medieval castle surrounded by mountains and nature, its alleys smell of history and legends. It’s pleasant and interesting to gest lost through its narrow streets and visit the Museo d’Arte Sacra that contains many items that go from the prehistoric Venere di Frasassi to the Madonna con Bambino from Canova’s workshop (the ticket for the museum is included with the one for the caves). And if you feel like going to Fabriano you cannot miss a visit to the museum of paper but also the Museo dei Mestieri in Bicicletta, truly unique!

"Hats off to Marche"

That of the hatter is one of those crafts that, despite industrialisation, globalisation and the economic crisis, was able to survive the passing of time. Therefore today, whoever visits Montappone has the opportunity not only to see the hatters at work and admire their creations but also to buy them. In via Leopardi, 18, the Sorbatti family for three generations has carried on a family tradition that lasts since 1922, year in which Attilio and his wife Ester founded the business. Today, their grandchildren offer a rich collection of different designs that combine tradition, innovation, craftsmanship and technology and that range from the classic hats and flat caps to famous styles like Montecristi Panama that many remember on Sean Connery’s head in “Indiana Jones”. Back in the 18 th century the sharecroppers would gather in the stables to spin, weave baskets, hats and sorghum brooms using straw. Now they also make purses with wood shavings or rush, and other items with wicker or rattan. There’s a museum dedicated to hats: all the processing phases of the straw are explained along the museum itinerary, from the harvesting to the selection, the weaving and the sewing, till the decoration and the sale of the hat.

A world of colors

A must-see event is the blooming of the plateau of Castelluccio di Norcia, an explosion of colors, a veritable spectacle of nature. There isn’t a specific day of the year to admire the wonderful sight of the blooming of Castelluccio di Norcia. Each year the blossoming depends from the season’s weather conditions. The stage that hosts this spectacular event is the Pian Grande area, located only a few kilometres away from the centre of Norcia. This area is incredibly gorgeous and also houses several animal species. In fact, while you’re visiting the plain, surrounded by the countless colors of the blooming, it’s possible to spot some roe-deer ! Every year in Norcia the Festa della Fioritura takes place. Usually the chosen dates are either the third or the fourth Sunday of June. The blooming of Castelluccio di Norcia could be the right occasion to visit these marvellous places, a land rich in food excellencies and typical products that reflect an ancient and genuine enogastronomic tradition. Remember that here you are in Umbria!

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