We are back in our so-called third home; Marche Italy. If this is your first time on this blog this means that we are right now located in Sweden, planning our second home in California and this might be what we call our third home. Why? Well, Jake has some Italian in his blood and still has a few of his relatives living there and my family loves this place so much that they keep coming back her 2-3 times a year. That’s partially the reason for us coming back here so often and the fact that we love it here, doesn’t hurt.
Italy has a lot to offer, everything from skiing, cobblestone cities, beautiful beaches, hiking trails, interesting culture and history, great shopping, and of course the food. And with everything Italy has to offer, it’s not hard to go off the path and find amazing hidden places with no tourists, no English and very helpful Italians showing you how to enjoy their amazing country.
Strangely, one thing that reminds me of California is all the beautiful highways with great natural views of the ocean and the countryside. I think this is why Italy makes for such a great roadtrip country. That is, if you dare to drive among all these crazy Italians.
Except all this, why are we coming back here and why just Marche? To keep it short and make you curious to keep reading I am going to describe it in five words; Amazing wine, mountains, biking, beaches and no tourists!
Marche is one of 20 regions in Italy and is located Northeast of Rome, on the east coast of Italy. Most of the Marche region is mountainous or hilly but has a lot of beautiful sand beaches along the coast. Marche has both old mountain villages with only 3-5000 inhabitants to bigger beach towns with over 50 000 people.
What differs Marche from other regions is that it has a little bit of everything for everyone. We especially like it because of its great local food, of course a lot of pasta and pizza but also a lot of vegetarian dishes, steaks and seafood.
The combination of mountains and sand beaches makes this place very picturesque and we would recommend to start your day on the beach when the sun is still high in the sky. Since the region is on the east coast of Italy, you only want to sun bath or hang out at the beach until around 3 or 4pm.
There are several beaches to choose from; everything from small isolated beaches, deserted ones with cobble stones, long beaches with tons of sun chairs, umbrellas and cappuccinos and then there are always the busy ones with stores, restaurants and beach volleyball.
What we like to do is enjoy the warm sun and water until noon and then grab some antipasto and spritze for lunch, the rest of the day we like to spend hiking or biking to different villages or visiting the great wineries! The charm with this is that wherever you go, people will welcome you with open arms, it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak any Italian, they will do their best to serve you no matter what.
The bigger wineries have signs and direction but sometimes you can pass by a house where it says “vino” and you just knock on their door and they will show you their production and give you free winetasting. The only words you need to know is “apierto” (open) and “vino” (wine).
San Benedetto del Tronto
San Benedetto is the biggest beach with several sun chairs, umbrellas, restaurants and stores. It’s a bit more expensive than the other beaches but you have everything you need here! Have in mind that it could be extremely busy on the beach during high season 🙂
Grottamare is a bit smaller and quieter than San Benedetto but they are very close to each other, you can reach Grottamare by walking for about 20min . There are a couple of restaurants along the beach and also sun chairs to rent but you won’t feel the busy part as in San benedetto and it’s cheaper!
Cupra is the most quiet beach with just a few restaurants along the beach and in the town, you will see mostly locals hanging out, having a cappuccino and playing with their kids in the sand. If you come here in high season and don’t like crowded beaches then this is the place to go! You will also find several hidden but great dinner restaurants around this area.
Le Caniette is one of the biggest wineries in Marche run by two Italian brothers since 1897. They have seven different wines with Montepulciano and Sangiovese for their reds, and Passerina and Pecorino for their whites. Something that differentiate this winery from the others in the same area is how they are naming their bottles;
The red wines take their names from the colors characterized by Michaelangelo in his paintings. The white wines take their names from the owner’s daughets, Lucrezia, Gaia, and Veronica.
The Ciù Ciù Organic winery is located in the heart of the Piceno hills, at Offida (Ascoli Piceno), in the Rosso Piceno Superiore production area and its vineyards extend over an area of 130 hectares. Ciu Ciu provide the basis of a vast range of wines: from the Passerina and Pecorino grape to the more well known Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet, Barbera, Pinot and Chardonnay.
Fiorano is an organic winery that produces over 35 000 bottles per year. Fiorano produces both young wines for timely consumption, and wines to savour the texture and flavour of after a period of maturation and agin. Except wines they are also producing great tasting olive oils. Its a beautiful vineyard with a view of the valley.
To think about:
- Always check the siesta times, everything closes during this time of the day; wineries, restaurant, stores etc.