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Lazio, Le Marche and Umbria


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We leave tomorrow for our Italy trip. Our bags are packed and we are spending tonight at a hotel at the airport.

Fly London to Rome.
1 night Civita Castellana in Lazio.
9 nights in Le Marche - Valle Nuova near Urbino.
7 nights in Spoleto
Fly Rome to London.

I planned the Le Marche part of the trip on the forums. I am hoping to trace most of the route of Via Flaminia, the ancient Roman road that went from Rome to the Adriatic. My notes on Via Flaminia.

I will post as we go along! Ciao!!
We are in Civita Castellana and had pizza with Alison (from ST). What a lovely town, perched on cliffs like Pitigliano. We found our first bit of Via Flaminia. Will post photos when the internet connection is better.
We are settled into our apartment at Valle Nuova and picked up our friend Joan at the train station in Pesaro on Saturday. We thought we would visit the beach at Pesaro but it was a zoo! Nowhere to park. Lots of traffic and people on a sunny Saturday. So we drove south to Fano and walked around the medieval center. We found the Roman gate for the Via Flaminia. The coast is an easy one hour drive from Valle Nuova.

Le Marche seems prosperous. Many modern houses in the towns, some offices and industrial areas. I was expecting it to be more "beaten up" like Lazio, but it isn't like that very beautiful rolling hills in the area where we are (south of Urbino's).

On Saturday morning we did a nice walk on white roads from Valle Nuova. Met a Britsh expat painting the view. Sunny and warm. Big blue sky. The countryside reminds me of the Crete area in central Tuscany.

Our closest town, only 7 mins by car, is Fermignano with a medieval tower and bridge, some abandoned mills from when this was a paper making area, and a brand new Conad supermarket that has a section of vegetarian foods (seitan, tofu, vegan pesto, etc.). We've already been there twice. People are very friendly. We found a good bakery (they have sourdough!) and a nice caffe.

Today, Sunday, we went to the Furlo Gorge to see the Roman tunnel (excellent) and then to Fossombrone, a pretty town on the side of a mountain. An easy day because we are all tired. Joan has been traveling for several weeks already.

Tomorrow, Urbino!

I posted Via Flaminia photos in the Italy forum. This one is me and Joan in the Furlo Gorge.

Tomorrow is our last full day. We've had a great time. It was HOT today - 90F!

We liked Urbino, but found Urbania not very interesting (very small).

We spent the day in Gubbio and liked it, then found bridges on Via Flaminia on the drive back.

We had a great cooking class. Made two types of pasta (one with fava bean flour, one with egg and flour) and two sauces (simple tomato and a lovely vegetable and porcini). I have never made pasta before. Then we found a few more Via Flaminia things. And had pizza for dinner at a local countryside restaurant (fresh porcini, fabulous!).

Today was the hot day. We visited the Fonte Avallena hermitage, tried to do a hike but ended up walking around a hillside for an hour looking for the trail, had a picnic lunch, saw the fortress in Mondavio, saw the guilded bronze Roman statues in the museum in Pergola (fabulous - thanks for recommending them @jonathan ), and found the bridge we couldn't find the other day in Cagli.

Tomorrow maybe San Leo, but maybe we don't want the long drive. Or maybe the coast. Or maybe back to Urbino since it is so close.

Fonte Avellana hermitage and the hillside we walked on.


The fortress at Mondavio.

Tomorrow is our last full day. We've had a great time. It was HOT today - 90F!

We liked Urbino, but found Urbania not very interesting (very small).

That's interesting; we really liked Urbania! It had a nice lived-in vibe we liked, and had a couple of really good meals there, just enjoyed strolling, and the views.

Mondavia and all the castle towns are so cool! We're a sucker for hill towns with castles! :D
We only have a few days left. It has been a great trip, but our internet connections in both places have been slow, so it isn't easy to upload photos. And my iPad is breaking down.

I have fallen in love with Spoleto. We spent 3 nights here in 1997, and have been back once since, but we are seeing more of it on this trip. Our apartment is fabulous, in an historic building right in the center.

I love these 5th century BC tiny figures from the Spoleto Archaeological Museum.

We are home and had a FABULOUS trip. It was only a 2 1/2 hour flight but I swear I am jet lagged - or at least tired from the travel day. I did not post much because my iPad broke (sort of) on the trip and I was too lazy to set up Steve's travel computer. Also we were traveling with a friend and had more social time, plus we all got hooked on Transparent (via Netflix on a VPN - that's what we used Steve's computer for) and watched the 10 episode season while in Spoleto.

Also during the trip we sold our house in the US (mixture of emotions on that) and found a new place to live in England (moving to Dorset next month).

The weather was sunny and warm. A few days were hot. I can't imagine what it must have been like in Italy in July and August when it was very hot!

I will post more notes and photos.

We liked Le Marche and had a nice week there. The countryside is beautiful and we enjoyed the non-touristy towns. Urbino is beautiful.

But Spoleto stole my heart - we loved it. We were last there for 3 nights in 1997. Spending a week there was great (except for the parking, which was difficult and expensive). We did three nice walks/hikes from the town, saw most of the museums, found lots of ancient Roman tidbits and realized that the apartment we rented was about 20 feet from Via Flaminia and the location of the Roman forum (Piazza della Mercato). Also found a very, very good vegetarian restaurant!!
Spoleto is fabulous. And the parking gets more expensive if you're late getting back to your car to add more money to the parking meter (we got an expensive ticket there, for a parking pass that was expired by only five minutes!)

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