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Jackie_in_Italy Jun 14th, 2004 05:53 AM

11 Days in Italy: What We Did
Hi everyone!

Before my friend came to Italy to visit me, I spent a lot of time on this site asking questions and getting advice. Now, she's come and gone, and she seemed to really enjoy her time here. We visited Sulmona in Abruzzo, hilltowns in Le Marche where I live, Castelluccio in Umbria, Florence, Orvieto (thanks to advice from you Fodorites) and Rome.

I'm including links to a couple of blog entries about her trip here, one especially that talks about our trip to the synagogue in Florence. If you have not been to the synagogue, it is definitely worth visiting.

Anyway, thanks again for your advice!


Four Days Away:

In A City of Churches:

Jackie_in_Italy Jun 15th, 2004 05:14 AM


has any one else been to the synaogue in Florence? What are your thoughts on it?

marcy_ Jun 15th, 2004 06:59 AM

No, I haven't been to the Synagogue, but it is on my list of things to see the next time I'm in Florence.

But this is the funniest thing! I just found out that your brother and his fiancée are friends of my daughter and her husband (from the Wells program), and they'll probably be seeing you at the wedding! Small world!


BarbaraJ Jun 15th, 2004 07:17 AM

I noticed that you live in Le Marche. We are going to be in Urbino from 7/4-7/9 and am looking for as much information as I can regarding Urbino, Pesaro and the surrounding area. My husband will be at a meeting most of the time and I will be on my own. Do you have any suggestions or advice. Thanks.


Jackie_in_Italy Jun 15th, 2004 07:30 AM


ha! that's great! Yup, getting on a plane to head home in a week for that brother of mine and his wedding. i will look out for people who know me through Fodors :).


Jackie_in_Italy Jun 15th, 2004 07:57 AM


Le Marche has lots to do, and the region you will be visiting (Pesaro/Urbino) is pretty rich with architecture and art, history, etc. Urbino is the gem of that area, with its very impressive and important renaissance palace which now houses the National Art Museum of Le Marche. It has great stuff--two great paintings by Piero della Francesca, La Muta by Raphael(who is from Urbino) and, perhaps most impressive, a study for the duke which is made with inlaid wood and shows everything from drawers opening to the little palace in the distance. It's the most impressive inlaid wood piece I have ever seen.

Also, Urbino is a great little hill town to wander. It is a university town and has lots of cute little viccoli to get lost in.

Nearby are also the towns of Gradara and San Leo, both worth a visit (okay so I have never been to San Leo, but it's on our must-sees) with their castles. Gradara is a bit of a tourist town because of its fame from Dante's Inferno (the love story of Paolo and Francesca). they are both reachable by bus from Pesaro, I am pretty sure.

Also nearby is San Marino, the independent republic located in the hills between Emilia Romagna and Le Marche. It is worth a visit if only for its views and castles, as much of the capital city (San Marino) has too much kitsch tourist stuff and disney-like appeal.

If you want beach towns, Pesaro is nice and has a historic center worth wandering. Nearby is also Fano, which is supposed to be rather cute, and Senigallia--another wanderable town with a nice stretch of beach. Both of these towns are on the Lecce-Milano train line.

If you have time to venture south into Le Marche's more picturesque hill towns, here are a couple worth visiting:

Macerata (reachable by train, maybe 2 hours from Pesaro) and

Loreto (reachable by train I think, but you need to take a bus from the station to get up to Loreto).

Smaller ones are visitable by bus but with only 5 days you probably aren't going to have time. Nonetheless, here are some particularly nice ones:

Cingoli (reachable by bus from Macerata--this town has amazing views)

Sarnano (great mountain views, reachable by bus)

Amandola (near Sarnano. bus)

Recanati (this is a cute town that might be reachable by bus from Porto Recanati, which is also a neat little beach town on that same Lecce-Milano line).

If you do have time for one city in particular in the southern part of Le Marche, make it Ascoli Piceno, reachable by train from San Benedetto (also a nice beach town). Ascoli is not a hill town, but it has a rich history and beautiful buildings, plus one of the nicest piazzas in Le Marche.

Also worth exploring is the Monte Conero region, with really great towns like Sirolo and Numana on the beach. It's probably the nicest stretch of coast on Italy's Adriatic, until you get down to Puglia.

If you have more specific questions, let me know! I hope this helps for now. While I don't have any specific hotel/restaurant info or stuff like that (unless you were to go to Macerata or Ascoli Piceno--in Macerata, go to Il Pozzo, a bar/restaurant with great pizza), I have some pieces I wrote about some places in Le Marche that might give you a sense of the environment, if nothing else.

Here's an entry I wrote in my blog about Urbino (you have to scroll down):

Snow on Tile Roofs

and here are a couple of pieces about Le Marche, specifically Macerata:

To The Station:

An Italian Library:

BarbaraJ Jun 15th, 2004 09:11 AM


Thanks for all the great information! It's very helpful. Enjoyed your pictures and commentary. Being in Urbino will probably be a nice change of pace from Rome and Florence.

I noticed that Corrie is from Indiana? Anywhere near Lafayette. That's where we call home for the moment.


Jackie_in_Italy Jun 17th, 2004 08:54 AM


I was born in Lafayette! That's neat that you live there.

I am a Hoosier, actually, who has been living in Italy off and on for a little over a year.

Hope you enjoy Le Marche! I love it here.

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