It was time to visit Italy again.. but away from the usual hotspots you hear of, it was time to head to a beautiful area in the mountains of the Region of Le Marche. A home from home for me, great open countryside, and a perfect greeting of snow tipped mountain tops with lush green and quiet valleys below. The drive into the region was so quiet I could hardly believe it, a hidden treasure indeed! First stop though was the small and beautiful town of Amandola, the gateway to eastern side of the Sibillini Mountains (Monti Sibillini)
Perched on a hilltop, like most of the places around here, Amandola has a most impressive backdrop of the mountains. But as you come to the archway to the square (Gate of San Giacomo) you cannot be helped by feeling the pull of discovering what is within the town itself.
Even on a warm Spring, weekend day I could not believe how quiet it was. Honestly I only saw 2 other cars on the 10 miles or so drive from where I was staying. If you love great hilly and mountainous areas, beautiful countryside together with lots of history, art, food and culture then this gem of an area was quickly becoming a big hit for me.
Inhabited by just less than 4000 people I found the atmosphere very welcoming and relaxing. Walking around the narrow medieval streets, up and down steep alleyways, there was always something that piqued interest or forced me to get my camera out. There are a couple of special finds that I will talk about separately in coming posts so watch out for those too
There is definitely a sense of humour about town too! This sign, for the carpenters says they are very sorry but they are away on holiday from 23 Dec 14 to end of December 15. Italy time… relaxed time ;D
Walking up to the top Piazza there are street views beyond street views and always a view out to the mountains. Quite a perfect place to slowly wander or watch the world go by with an aperitivo
Reaching towards the piazza at the top you cannot miss the 14th century Tower of Podesta. A high point looking out from the town but also holds secrets to many tales from the past within. Tales of Robin Hood style bandits, beheadings and more. The tower is a surviving reminder of a stronghold from hundreds of years ago.
Down on the main, bottom piazza you will find not just wonderful places to eat and drink but also historical churches and monuments to catch your interest like the Church of Sant’Agostino and the Town Hall buildings.
There are so many things to explore here that one or two I shall showcase separately as they deserve it too! Also the surrounding areas and mountains. Time for another wine as I remember the kind and welcoming people of Amandola, Le Marche, Italy.