The ussignoli, or nightingales are back, fireflies light the warm evenings, and cicadas provide the soundtrack. Evviva! It's summer again in the Marche.
Marche food is characterized by simplicity while using the best ingredients; a good example of this quality can be seen in the range of modest but delicious biscuits baked across the region.
You'll find a good rundown of nine traditional biscuits in this article from the Italian Gambero Rosso magazine (Use Google Translate to read the original in English - and note that Google Translate now uses the impressive "neural translation" technology for Italian-English translation and isn't bad at all).
In praise of limestone
Two geology professors, Callan Bentley and Alan Pitts, have written a fascinating account of the Monti Sibillini national park in the southern Marche, taking us back over some 200 million years to the formation of the rocks that silently accompany us through our lives here. The piece, in Earth magazine, has plenty of technical detail, but makes a lively read even for the non-specialist.
photo: Lago di Fiastra / Alan Pitts
A garden of delights
One of Italy's best preserved 18th century gardens lies just outside Porto Potenza Picena in Macerata province, and can be visited during summer months.
The Giardino di Villa Buonaccorsi includes playful giochi d'acqua, clipped hedging, much statuary and outstanding views of the surrounding countryside. It's open until the end of September on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons - also Wednesdays in August - from 4.30pm to 7.30pm. Check opening times before visiting by telephoning (+39) 328 886 8412.
Baroque notes in Urbino
The Urbino Musica Antica festival features some 15 concerts of early music between Wednesday 17 July and Saturday 27 July. Concerts take place in the Salone Raffaello, Teatro Sanzio and the courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale, and feature outstanding international performers.
Urbino Musica Antica festival website.
Recent tourism figures for 2018 from the Marche regional authority show an increase in arrivals of 6.5% compared to 2017, with the figure rising to a 12% increase for foreign visitors. A total of 2,243,000 people visited the region last year.
Regione Marche tourism statistics presentation (in italian).
Pesaro has recently honoured its illustrious citizen Gioachino Rossini with a brand-new museum dedicated to the master of bel canto opera. The Museo Nazionale Rossini recounts his intense life as if it were itself an opera, from his birth in Pesaro in February 1792 to his death in Paris in 1868.
New Museo Rossini website (in Italian).
There are nearly 800 hotels in the Marche offering visitors more than 56,000 beds.
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