The virtually unknown Le Marche region of Italy offers splendid scenery that rivals anything found in the more popular province of Tuscany. I found this picture-postcard view in the Metauro River Valley. The river carved this landscape over the centuries as it wound down from the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. The result is a gently rolling terrain that is perfect for vineyards and a multitude of other crops. The Metauro River punctuates these pastoral scenes with mini waterfalls and still pools that are perfect for cooling dips on sultry summer days.
So far, time and tourism have passed the Metauro River Valley by. Locals still hunt truffles with specially trained dogs, collect wild strawberries to sprinkle over desserts, and create patterned clothing using ancient hand-carved wooden stamps. Weekly markets in the larger towns offer the region’s luscious fresh fruits and vegetables. Restaurants serve homemade pasta, luscious salads drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and paper-thin slices of Carpaccio. Wines and liqueurs like Limoncello flow liberally at every meal. And palaces like Palazzo Donati in Mercatello sul Metauro, provide unique accommodations that hearken back to Medieval days. Despite this being one of the most authentically Italian places in Italy, tour buses are a rare occurrence.
Author’s note: I was a guest of Palazzo Donati during my stay in the Le Marche region of Italy. However, the receipt and acceptance of complimentary items or services will never influence the content, topics, or posts in this blog. I write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
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