My parents had planned a trip to Greece with the hostel program over a year ago and when we announced our plans to be in Italy for all of 2007 they added a flight into Ancona to spend a couple days with us. We picked them up on Monday in Ancona and drove back to Ascoli Piceno after stopping for lunch in Recanati and taking a tour of Santa Casa in Loreto. Tuesday we took them up through the picturesque country north of Ascoli Piceno around Castignano and Montedinove.
While in Castignano at the top of the town we were fortunate to find the Chiesa San Pietro Apostole open and there was a lady inside doing some restoration work. She took some time to explain some of the artwork inside the church including the large partial fresco of the Last Judgment and a beautiful bejeweled reliquary. She also explained some of the signs on the front of the church relating to the Templar Knights who traveled through this area during the time of the Crusades.
On Wednesday we drove up into the Sibillini Mountains to Casteluccio to see if the flowers that area is so famous for were in bloom. Unfortunately only the yellows were out and the locals advised it would be mid-June before the valley would be full of color. From there we headed to Norcia to visit the home of their famous salami, funghi and tartufi.
Thursday morning we strolled around Ascoli Piceno and my Mom picked up a few souvenirs for herself and some friends. We then took them up to Jesi, just west of the Ancona airport, as they wanted to be closer for their early morning flight on Friday. It was a short visit but we were glad they were able to add a stop in Italy to their trip to Greece and we enjoyed the time to just be together.
Bryan, we have corresponded before (about your attending language school is Ascoli Piceno). I wanted to recommend a restaurant to you -- not exactly next door, but in Colonnella, so not too far away. It's called Zenobi, and it has a website: www.ristorantezenobi.it We have eaten there (usually outside) on several of our trips to Italy. BTW, my husband is now starting to think about buying an apartment in Colonnella or vicinity. We probably won't be in Italy this summer, but possibly this fall, depending on how serious he is about this purchase. Mary Hitt, Pittsburgh PA area
Mary, We have driven by Colonnella many times on the A14, we made need to stop by Zenobi.
My parents are from the Pitt area, Carnegie area. We visited Pitt before leaving the US, took the incline up for a great night view of the city.
Bryan, I'm sure you'll enjoy Zenobi. But I would also suggest that you call for reservations. In that quirky Italian way we know and love, they don't always keep the same hours. And the place is very popular. We have been there because our friends live in Colonnella and they knew about it. Both times we had reservations. Glad you liked the incline -- it certainly gives a beautiful view of our city.
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