When next in Italy! Le Marche region

We happened to sit next to some very nice Italian men the other day at a little sandwich shop in Chicago and got to talking. They offered suggestions of locations for our next visit to Italy. I’m sharing them here (and also noting so I remember!):

The Marche region, in eastern Italy, between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, including Urbino – sights: Ducal Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and countryside that was the background for a famous painting in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery by Piero della Francesca in 1472 (A man gazing at his wife in front of the landscape that they ruled)

Loreto (featuring a basilica with a famous “black Madonna”) – also excellent pork and two open-air opera festivals. (See Rick Steves! and CNN story.

“Do you like opera?” one of the men asked me.

“Yes, sort of,” I said…which was a good thing. The men turned out to both work at Chicago’s Lyric Opera, one as the music director!

Also of note: Ancona, its capital, a port city on the Riviera del Conero, an area with sandy coves, limestone cliffs and medieval villages.

Pesaro, the birthplace of renowned opera composer Rossini. The interior has countryside dotted with fortified hilltop settlements and the glaciated valleys of the Monti Sibillini National Park.

Still on our list for a next trip: Puglia region and Matera.

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