Stopping of at the Marche’s Macerata

Macerata, Marche, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan

We visited Macerata on a beautiful January day, after having mistaken picturesque, nearby Recanati for Macerata. Macerata is a hill town town in the Marche region’s interior. Its population is a little over 40,000. Perched 315 meters from sea level, this town is about 30 km from the Adriatic coast. Mentions of Macerata date back…

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Christmas cheer in Montepulciano and Pienza, Tuscany

Pienza, Tuscany/ Kimberly Sullivan

Earlier this month, I was in Tuscany for a weekend with my family, and we enjoyed seeing the cheery Christmas decorations. They were especially pretty in the towns of Montepulciano and Pienza – two gorgeous Tuscan hilltowns.   Montepulciano is a steep medieval hilltown (bring good walking shoes), known for its long wine tradition. Montepulciano…

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Visiting the world’s oldest republic: San Marino

For those who (like me) love Italy, you may be aware that, within its borders, Italy contains two independent countries. One – the Holy See or Vatican – requires little introduction. The second might be less known. San Marino, or, by its romantic sounding full Italian name Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, is just under…

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In search of olive ascolane in the Marche’s Ascoli-Piceno

In normal times, finding Ascoli-Piceno’s culinary specialty in its historic center is no real challenge. But these are not ordinary times. My son loves olive ascolane – olives stuffed with meat and deep fried. This is a common appetizer at restaurants throughout Italy, although, all too often, they are simply the frozen variety. In the…

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The showstopping square in Italy’s Cittaducale

On a recent visit to Rieti with my younger son, we decided to explore the nearby town of Cittaducale. Just 8 km east of Rieti, Cittaducale is an impressive example of a late medieval fortress town. Perched on a strategic hilltop location and surrounded by mountains, this town is a pleasant place to wander. Although…

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Wandering the silent, medieval streets of Toffia

I’ve driven by Toffia many times on my drives from Rome to Rieti, but never made time to visit. On a recent weekend trip to Rieti, my son and I decided to take a little detour from the Via Salaria to visit this picturesque, medieval town. We were in Toffia on a perfect summer day.…

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