Credits: Andrea Tarli
Throughout the province of Ascoli Piceno, in Le Marche region, dozens of easy and lovely tours are possible. A mere 12-kilometre car or moto drive from the Adriatic sea takes you straight up to the noble medieval town of Ripatransone, perched 494 metres above sea level. From here, the views over untouched green and rolling countryside take your breath away. On to the walled hilltop town of Cossignano, and you are in the heart of some of the most bewitching scenery in the world, its voluptuous contours irresistably reminiscent of the curves of the female form. Majestic but at the same time intimate, this landscape criss-crossed with vineyards and olive groves is the result of hundreds of years of human effort. A short journey through similar scenes of unspoilt beauty, and on empty roads from which the signs and hoardings that ruin so many other parts of Italy are thankfully absent, takes you to Montedinove, with further fine views from its hilltop setting 561 metres above sea level. Heading south towards Castignano, you enter an area that is famous for the strange calanchi that mark the bare clay and limestone hillsides. The result of a natural process of erosion, these deep rifts divided by sharp crests create a stark and quite unexpected lunar landscape. Now on to Offida, where the crenellated 14th-century town hall with its arcade and loggia dominates the triangular and almost impossibly picturesque Piazza del Popolo, creating a setting much beloved of film-makers. From here, an easy journey completes the circle, taking you back to the Riviera delle Palme.
Sebastian Cresswell Turner *
You can view our proposals of country and sky adventures in Le Marche region. Click here:
* S.C.Turner is a free-lance journalist based in London. He writes for “The Guardian” and “The Telegraph”.