A journey through vineyards that conceal some of the great Marche DOC wines. As well as food and wine suggestions, you'll find art, archaeology and places of great natural beauty.
This suggested tour begins in Ancona, the capital of the Marche, whose historic centre has many interesting monuments-the Cathedral of san Ciriaco, the Roman amphitheatre, san Francesco delle Scale, Santa Maria della Piazza, Piazza del Plebiscito, the Loggia dei Mercanti, the Teatro delle Muse and Trajan's arc. If you have time to spare, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche is well worth a visit. It contains relics from the civilisations that lived here from the Peleolithic period until Classical timeand an important section dedicated to the Piceni and Celtic ribes, who were the main inhabitants durino the Iron Age.
At lunch time, try tasting the dry, ruby coloured Rosso Conero wine which goes well with red red meate, stoccafisso all'anconetana ( the local dried cod recipe) and mature cheeses such as formaggio di fossa. The wine is produced from Montepunciano and Sangiovese grapes in seven districts around Monte Conero.
At Morro d' Alba there is a delighful walk around the Scarpa, a covered walkway around the town's 15th Century walls. The Museo Utensilia houses rural working implements: a fine opportunity to look back at rural life in the Marche region. The town's real attraction is a local grape , blended with up to 15 per cent Montepulciano and Verdicchio to produce Lacrima di Morro d'Alba, an unmistakable aromatic wine which is soft and full-bolied and produced in very limited quantities.
Jesi retains its picturesque city wall, built in the 14th Century on Roman remains, which is among the best conserved in the Marche and around one and the a half kilometres in lenght. Its entrance gates, defence towers, machicolations and walkways evoke centuries of unrest and battles for power. Ther historic centre consists of squares , narrow alleyways, noble buildings and churches. The 14th Century Palazzo della Signoria, the elegant symbol of the city which houses the Biblioteca Comunale Planettiana, was built by Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The city's great pride is the 18th century Teatro Pergolesi, the only provincial theatre with along-standing tradition. Palazzo Pianetti Tesei is is one of the most interesting examples of Italian Rococo. It houses the Civic Art Gallery, which includes works by Lorenzo Lotto, the Venetian pater who was active in the Marche durino the 1500s. The Enoteca Regionale delle Marche is in Palazzo Battaglia, in the centre of the city. Here you can taste all of the best winws produced in the region
In the afteroon, the tour continues on to Cupramontana, one of the classic areas for the production of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. Made from a single local grape, it is one of the foremost Italian white wines, with excellent organoleptic characteristics.
A trip to the Eremo dei Frati Bianchi ( White Friars Monastery) offers an Hour-long tour which is suitable for everyone. The journey takes you along a valley with a stream that dries in summer, through dense protected woodland, at the centre of which there is a large , well constructed monastery complex built partially out of the rock, dating from the 15th-16th Century. After this brief excursion, the tour visits the Museo Internazionale delle Etichette del Vino ( International Wine Label Museum) at Cupramontana, which has over a hundred thousand winw labels from the 19th Century up to the present day, divided geographically and by content. Nearby is the municipal enoteca wherev it is possible to taste wines from the area.
During the morning of the third day, visit the spectacular Frasassi Caves and the small medieval village of San Vittore Terme. In the afternoon, the tour passas on to Matelica, in the centre of which is the main Piazza Enrico Mattei, whit its octagonal fountain of 1587, which is overlooked by Palazzo del Governo ( 1271), the Torre Civica and the fine Loggia degli Ottoni. Palazzo degli Ottoni houses the Civia Art Gallery and Archaeological Museum, whit finds from Piceni necropoli, Roman remains, early Medieval pottery and Medieval and Renaissance mayolica ware.You can also visit the interesting Museo Pierasanti, housing a collection of art and archaelogy. Among the exhibits is a marble spere, about thirty centimetres in diameter , cvovered whit signs andlines. This i san ancient calendar dating back to the 1st-2nd Century AD.
The upper Esino Valley produces the other Verdicchio DOC wine, which takes its name di Matelica from the nearest major town. The particolar characteristics of the soil, which is permeable and marly, whit clay and limestone , and also the microclimate and hilly altitude, makes it possible to produce wines of excellent structure which are a ready for drinking in the year after the grapes are harvested. The longevity and depth of this wine make it suitable not only with fish dishes but also whit white meats, ciauscolo, salame from Fabriano and prosciutto from Carpegna.
Arrival at Ancona and visit old town
Break for lunch and taste ruby coloured Rosso Conero wine
Departure for Morro d'Alba
Arrival at Morro d'Alba, visitold town and Utensilia Museum
Tasting of lacrima di Morro d'Alba, aromatic wine
Arrival to Jesi and visit old town
Aperitif at Enoteca Regionale
trip and visit to the Eremo dei Frati Bianchi (White Friars Monastery)
Visits to the Museo Internazionale delle Etichette del Vino ( International Wine Label Museum) at Cupramontana
Taste wines from the area at the Enoteca comunale di Cupramontana (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi)
Meeting at the ticket office of Frasassi Caves
Tour of the Frasassi Caves
Visit the old town and museum of San Vittore Terme
Departure for Matelica
Visit old town of Matelica
Taste a local wines (Verdicchio di Matelica)