In the many authentic towns and villages in the vicinity of 'il bel sogno’ you can find many museums and regularly organised traditional festivals and markets.
Montefiore dell'Aso (1.5km from 'il bel sogno')
Montefiore dell'Aso is a charming town in the hills of Piceno, with views of both the Adriatic Sea and the mountains of the Sibillini. The historic centre is well preserved with ramparts and towers dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. When you walk on La Piazza della Repubblicca in the centre of Montefiore dell'Aso, the first thing that will strike you is la Collegiata di San Lucia. This church was completely renovated in neoclassical style, but originates from the fifth century. A bit further located on Piazzale San Francisco you can find the monastery with the same name, built in the period 1247-1303. The original Romanesque-Gothic style of the monastery is well preserved while the interior, through major renovations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, is completely in Baroque style, typical of that time. Today the old Franciscan monastery houses a museum with exhibitions in the fields of art, anthropology and film. In the borgo are numerous seventeenth and eighteenth century edifice, buildings, to be found that are worth a visit.
Fermo (30 min.)
This beautiful old medieval town is located on the 319m high hill Girofalco and about 10 kilometers from the Adriatic coast. Fermo has a stately historic centre with a cathedral at the highest point in the old town. From the park near the cathedral you have a magnificent view of the surroundings, the sea and the mountains. Fermo is actually a twin city with the Porto San Giorgio located on the coast.
Civitanova Marche Alta (30 min.)
About 4 km inland from Civitanova Marche lies the medieval town of Civitanova Marche Alta on top of a hill. It is still partly enclosed by the old city walls and well worth a stroll.
Loreto (40 min.)
This wonderful place can be found near the coast on top of a hill. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world of the Blessed Virgin Mary each year attracting millions of pilgrims to the pilgrimage church. This is according to tradition, the ‘Home of the Mother of God’. The holy house is located in the cathedral on the main square. The pilgrims crawl on their knees around the house.
Macerata (55 min.)
Macerata is known for its outdoor opera. Various operas are performed during July and August. Besides these operas it is possible to visit the beautiful arena. The Loggia dei Mercanti on the Piazza della Liberta is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.
Rome, the capital of Italy, with many attractions is approximately 240 kilometers away from Montefiore.
From Pedaso two luxury touring bus companies can bring you to downtown Rome and the
airports of Rome Ciampino and Rome Fiumicino. These services run 24 hours a day
and leave at different times.
Moresco (15 min.)
Moresco is a small town on the other side of the Valdaso. It is completely dominated by the old castle of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The castle was built in the shape of a ship of which the courtyard now forms the village square. Of the original three towers there are two left: the tower with the characteristic shape with seven unequal angles and the tower with the clock (14th century). The fortress walls are still largely intact. The courtyard of the castle is now the village square surrounded by houses, town hall and a gallery with loopholes.
Monterubbiano (17 min.)
Monterubbiano lies just west of Moresco. The centre with its medieval layout is well worth it: the church of S. Maria dei Letterati, the church of S. Agostino, the ancient church of SS. Stefano and Vincenzo from the eleventh century and the Church of SS. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist dated 1238 with frescoes from the eighteenth century; the City Hall palace, site of archeological and art museum collections.
Ripatransone (25 min.)
This is a small medieval village on a hill on the north side of the Tesino river with a magnificent view of the sea and the mountains. Despite the small size of the village it has amazingly beautiful and large buildings from the sixteenth
century, when it had the city status. It also hosts the narrowest street in Italy, only 43cm wide.
Offida (30 min.)
This authentic Italian town is known for the Italian saying: "In Offida you can eat for little money". In itself a good reason for a visit to the medieval town, but Offida has even more to offer. The borgo for example still has original
seventeenth-century city walls, ancient alleys and squares and many historic monuments of great architectural value. An absolute must is a visit to Il Palazzo Comunale, herein, besides the town hall, il Teatro Serpente Aureo located. This theater is a real gem. The stage is arranged in the shape of a horseshoe. Each year, the Sagra del Chichì ripieno, a party on the occasion of
the stuffed focaccia, is held on the first Sunday of August.
Amandola (45 min.)
A winding climb brings you to the top of the hill where this beautiful city rests. It lies on the eastern side of the Sibillini. A visit to the central Piazza del Risorgimento is well worth it.
Ascoli Piceno (50 min.)
The heart of the old town is formed by Piazza del Popolo, a real outdoor lounge. In this square, on which the church of San Francesco is located, takes the whole daily life place. The weekly fruit and vegetable market is held here. On Friday and Saturday you can join in the passeggiata and try to get a place at one of the surrounding terraces before everyone spread across the restaurants. On Sunday morning, more elderly people exchange the latest gossip after church. It is definitely worth to take place on the very famous terrace of Meletti. Elegant in white and black dressed waiters serve an espresso with homemade chocolates or an aniseed liqueur of the house with 'olive ascolane', with beef stuffed and fried olives; the specialty of the city.
At the Piazzale San Francisco of Montefiore dell'Aso you can find the monastery with the same name, built in the period 1247-1303. In 2006 the monastery opened the St. Francis Museum for the exhibition of art, cinema and anthropology.
In the surrounding area and in the province of Le Marche are plenty of larger and smaller museums to be found. Almost every town or village has a museum or is a ‘museum’ in itself.
‘Il Carnevale’ (Carnival) is an important festival in Montefiore dell'Aso. Every street or district makes a beautifully decorated carriage going around the village in a parade with costumed participants.
The ‘Festa di Sant Lucia’ in May is celebrated for about 1,000 years. Although the official day of the Saint is on December 13th, Montefiore celebrates the patron in May with special Masses, communal prayers, and lay activities like jeu-de-boules competitions, horse races, fireworks and brass bands.
‘L'Infiorata del Corpus Domini’' is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, during which artworks of flowers are placed on the streets in Montefiore.
In August the ‘Maialata’ is organized on the Piazza and consists of a huge banquet where local delicacies are put on the map: polenta with sausage, grilled pork ribs and red wines of the region (Rosso Piceno). A thousand guests sit at huge tables.
In October, the time of chestnuts, 'La Castagnata' is celebrated on the Piazza; a true folkloristic and culinary feast with the chestnut as the centrepiece.
Virtually every self-respecting town or city has in the months of July and August its own feast. In the south of Le Marche these are often called ‘Sagra’. Often the theme is a local dish or market promoting local produce and crafts. Anyway, you can always find food when you are around.
Many towns and villages in the area have a weekly market. Because these markets often have a regional function the range of products offered is very wide. Of course you will find stalls selling vegetables, fruit, clothes and shoes, but also many with special local produce.
In Fermo in the months of July and August there is a antique & flea market every Thursday evening between 17h00-24h00.
Local markets (in the morning till 13.00h):