The beaches are empty even if the September sun is still warm on the skin, there is a glut of sensually ripe figs, the occasional shotgun echoes in the valley as the hunting season gets underway, and fresh funghi feature on the menu; the wheel has turned and once again it's autumn.
Local fruit for local people
If you see small, rosy-cheeked pears for sale, particularly in Pesaro e Urbino province, chances are that they'll be the delicious Angelica pears, grown only in a small area of the Metauro Valley.
These sweet delicacies with a distinct note of marzipan are officially recognized as a Marche prodotto tipico, and are celebrated at the annual Festa della Pera Angelica in early September in the pretty medieval borgo of Serrungarina.
Fair squares #4
This month's image of one of the region's 500 or so piazze features the sea-horses and tritons that splash about in the fountain in Piazza del Popolo, the broad main square in the provincial capital of Pesaro. Behind stands the Palazzo Ducale, built in the middle of the 15th century by the city's ruling Sforza family.
Last chance salons You still have a chance to catch a small but outstanding show of three remarkable works by the great Italian baroque painter Guercino, on display until 7 October at the Pinacoteca San Domenico in Fano. One of the paintings, St John the Baptist at the Spring, makes its first appearance back in Italy since it was looted by Napoleon and carted off to France in 1797. Open daily from 6pm to 10pm and admission is free.
Meanwhile visitors have until 6 November to see works by the 16th-century painter Vittore Crivelli, the lesser-known brother of Carlo, featured in an exhibition at Sarnano. The show, the first major exhibition dedicated to the artist, features over 40 works by both Vittore and Carlo Crivelli, and other contemporary 16th-century artists, including Gentile da Fabriano.
The Guercino a Fano exhibition website (in italian).
The Vittore Crivelli exhibition website (in English).
Rof, rof... Pesaro's prestigious Rossini Opera Festival is set to run next year from 10 to 24 August, and includes productions of Rossini's Ciro in Babilonia, Matilde di Shabran, and Il signor Bruschino.
What's up DOC?
The region's Verdicchio white wine is world famous, but the Marche has a total of fifteen excellent D.O.C. wines - D.O.C. is the Italian equivalent of the French Appellation Contrôllée. The up-to-date official list of wines is Bianchello del Metauro, Colli Maceratesi, Colli Pesaresi, Esino, Falerio dei Colli Ascolani, I Terreni di San Severino, Lacrima di Morro d'Alba, Offida, Pergola, Rosso Conero, San Ginesio, Serrapetrona, Rosso Piceno, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica. Many of these wines come in white, red and, sometimes, passito, or dessert, versions.
Let us be your guide...
We've finally produced our very own guide to the Marche available as a paperback or as a downloadable ebook. Entitled Le Marche: an insider's guide, it has been written by Peter Greene, the creator of Marche Voyager who has lived in the region for more than twenty years.
You can view a sample and buy the paperback at Lulu.com, or view a sample and download the ebook in a variety of formats, including Epub and Kindle, at Smashwords.com.
The book aims to give an honest view of the beauty and variety you'll find in the region, and uses a concise but intelligent style that doesn't swamp the reader with endless detail.
And remember that every copy you buy will help us to continue promoting this special part of central Italy.
As regular readers of the newsletter know, 1 October marks the start of the white truffle season so a reminder of the main truffle fairs is in order.
The highlight of the white truffle calendar is the Fiera nazionale del tartufo (National Truffle Fair) set this year to take place on 30 & 31 October, and 1, 5, 6, 12, 13 November in Acqualagna in Pesaro e Urbino province.
Another entertaining truffle fair takes place at Sant'Angelo in Vado on weekends from 8 to 30 October.
We couldn't resist closing with this promotional video clip from the Marche regional authority. Marche, Land of Magic was made for the Shanghai World Expo and the closing credits (one minute long in a clip of less than five minutes) tantalisingly list Chinese dubbing - maybe it would work so much better in Mandarin? Anyway, please don't let it put you off visiting the region.
#22: There are 473,689 television licences in the Marche, 301 for every 1,000 inhabitants. This compares with an Italy-wide average of 278 for every 1,000.
This newsletter is only sent to people who have personally subscribed to it through the Marche Voyager web site. If you do not wish to receive further issues please unsubscribe here. Alternatively, please e-mail us
giving the e-mail address to which this newsletter was sent and
"unsubscribe" in the message subject. You are subscribed at [EMAIL]
If you have problems reading this HTML newsletter you can see it on the web here.
We appreciate feedback - any comments, suggestions, criticism or praise gladly received; E-mail us here.