If art is your main interest, there are some excellent local galleries displaying works from regional artists, and other galleries displaying works by Titian, Tintoretto and Raphael. Visit the gallery in San Severino, housed in the 15th century Plazzo Manuzzini where works of art by local artists are arranged in chronological order from the first quarter of the 13th century, depicting the history of the town and the course of local events, or see the magnificent frescoes at the Basilica San Nichola at Tolentino.
Towns & Historical Villages
Le Marche has been rewarded in 2014 to have the best preserved historical villages in Italy. At just 3 km away from Villa Prati there is the Medieval picturesque village of Mogliano with cobbled streets and beautiful squares with Italian cafés and restaurants and local food shops and bakeries.
Jesi, Cingoli (‘The Balcony of the Marches’), Treia, Fabriano, San Severino Marche, Macerata, Osimo, Ascoli Piceno and the Catholic pilgrimage site of Loreto with its stunning cathedral are all within easy reach. A 2 hour drive will take you to the famous cities of Urbino, Todi, Assisi and Perugia in Umbria.
The nearest beaches from Villa Prati are in Civitanova Marche (approx. 30 km) which offers a long strip of sandy and pebbly beaches with great chalets (great sea food and activities for children) and good nightlife. A bit further down the cost, approx 1 hour away, you can find San benedetto del Tronto, which host livelier beaches with clubs and bars humming in the evenings and are highly recommended if you have children.
The real gems however may be found around the cost of Il Monte Conero (approx. 1 hour away, near Ancona), with its rocky beaches, turquoise clear waters and hidden bays backed by steep white limestone cliffs, this coastline makes for a great family beach day out, diving and sailing destination as well as a spot for some high quality dining.
Each year, the main town of the area – Macerata – hosts a celebrated opera festival towards the end of July and early August. The operas all take place within the magnificent outdoor Sferisterio opera house, and attract an international crowd. This year’s programme includes Carmen, La Traviata and La Boheme. The Sferisterio
The whole region is alive with festivals throughout the summer, and the local town of Mogliano, is home to the famous festival “Mogliano 1744” – the whole town goes back in time with costumes, shows and old taverns which are turned into restaurants with traditional cuisine. It really is a must see if you visit the first week of July.
Activities for children
If you have young children, there are plenty of places to visit. Whilst most are content to play in the pool at Villa Prati, others might like to explore further afield. The water park Verde Azzurro near Cingoli (44 km) is packed with exciting water slides and pools, and the beaches along the Adriatic coast are very safe for swimming, with lovely surrounding countryside and some excellent beach side restaurants and games for children.
Or you might want to take the children to the caves of Frassasi, where they can see some of the most amazing stalagmites and stalactites.
If you love shopping, there are of course some wonderful shops for clothes and food, but more important to most visitors is the opportunity to visit the incredible designer outlets. Some are simply small rooms tacked onto one of the thousands of shoe and handbag manufacturers, and others are stunning purpose built stores. The Tod’s and Prada outlets, just 30 minutes away, are amongst the most famous in the area and, along with the Armani factory outlet, they really are a shopper’s paradise.
Wine & Food
The food in this area is truly Italian, and whether you love fresh fish, home made pasta, or just a local pizza you are unlikely to be disappointed by your meal – or by the price! The wines of the region are delicious, but the Italians like to keep the best for themselves, so you will sample wines that you will never find at home. We will be happy to recommend our favorite restaurants in the area and arrange bookings for you.
Le Marche are the home of the world-renowned white grape Verdicchio and also to some of Italy most popular and interesting red wines: Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno. There’s also the unique taste sensation sparking red wine, Vernaccia di Serrapatrona to try! It’s fantastic to tour some of the great local wineries and sample delicious local snacks too; we will be happy to book wine tours for you during your stay.
Just 10 minutes away there is the stunning natural reserve “The Abbadia di Fiastra”, where it is possible to go horse riding or simply go for a walk or a run in the woods, strictly followed by a delicious cappuccino in the bar in front of the Monastery. Near the Abbadia there is also a small golf club; however if you are a golf enthusiast then you may prefer the renowned Conero Golf Club on the coast at Sirolo. The club boasts an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole executive course. http://www.conerogolfclub.it/
The roads around the property lend themselves perfectly to cycling and the hills offer fantastic mountain biking opportunities. At villa prati we have 4 mountain bikes available and if you need more we can arrange for you to hire them.
For nature lovers the Sibillini mountains (at just 45 minutes away) offers skiing in the winter months or hiking, quad biking, canoeing and water rafting in the summer months; other sports include paragliding, hunting, fishing and climbing.
Whatever your preference, you will find something to interest you in the Le Marche region, and wherever you go, you can expect a warm welcome - although little English is spoken. To find out more about Le Marche, there is an excellent website which provides extensive information about the area. Visit www.le-marche.com to find out more about this wonderful