Le Marche

25th April: From Bologna via Senigalli to San Marcello

After the experience with the public transport in Bologna, I directly took the next train to Senigalli, where I had to meet my Italian host Mauro. He lives with his parents on a vineyard. When I found him on the couchsurfing site, I thought it would be nice to see something more than only Italian cities. Fortunately he accepted my couch request. We agreed that I will arrive around 5pm at Senigalli.

Waiting for my Host

I arrived around 2pm at the station of Senigalli. I did neither find boxes for my luggage nor another possibility to deposit it. I sent my host a message, that I already have arrived, but he was with friends for a lunch and could not come earlier than appointed, therefore I was waiting for him all the three hours on a bench in the sun looking at the castle Senigalli. When Mauro arrived we went for a sightseeing of the castle. I told him, that I have seen people at the top and was asking entering it, too. He never has known before that this was possible. We paid 2 Euro each and looked at the castle and also climbed the stairs to the roof. It was quite interesting.

Senigalli Castle

Locating the parked car again was not the easiest, but technician made it possible (the gps is my host’s best friend). After a nice trip by the countryside we came to San Marcello (Marche) where the family is living. The first meeting with his mother and father were great, later that day also his sister and brother in law was coming. We ate a delicious dinner together. It consisted of chicken, artichokes, salad, wedges and “dolce”. I was thinking, that they really served a very expensive meal, but they told me, that they grow artichokes in the kitchen garden and that they eat them almost every day during the month of May. They also explained to me, that they usually have sweets (dolce) every day after dinner. This time it was a cake baked with yogurt and olive oil, but also a bought cake with chocolate inside. After the dinner we all had a nice chat, but unfortunately Mauro’s parents do not speak any other language than Italian, therefore my host and his brother in law where translating.

 

26th April: San Marcello (Le Marche)

It was a sunny day and the mother of my host made a big breakfast just for me. Afterwards my host went hiking with me on the Monte Conero. Naturally I was not used to this kind of mountains and the way thereof as well as my host is around 30 years younger than me, I was walking much slower than him. It was still quite OK down the hill, but when we returned it was worse, of course. He was waiting for me on and off, but there were amazing views beside the way and also from “al ponte de lupo” (see the pictures).

Conero, Marche, Italy: The Pirolo and the Two Sisters

At the beginning of that trail there is an old church, very unusual at the inside, because the inside roof is covered with wood.

Conero, Marche, Italy: Old Church Interior

However this walk did only take some few hours so we also went to Camerone where we met a friend of Mauro. She is a native English speaker learning Italian and therefore living there for around half a year. She also tried to make some money as a school teacher, but she did not enjoy it and was therefore starting her on shop with things made of sea wood. At the end of this meeting we were looking for a good Italian ice cream. At last we found a “gelateria”.

Camerone: Mountains and the Sea Close to Each Other

At Mauro’s home again his mother served another delicious dinner. This time it was rabbit, spinach, salad and a very god “dolce” made av biscuits in juice with “mascarpone” blended with yogurt (50/50) and chocolate ripples. I think I will try to make this by my own. However you can also use coffee or liqueur for the biscuits. Also this evening we had a nice chat after dinner. We made plans for the following day, too.

 

27th April: Another day in and around San Marcello

40 km away from San Marcello the Frasassi Caves (Grotte di Frasassi) are situated. After a really good and great breakfast, again served only for me, Mauro drove me to the caves. He already have been there for an adventures tour and was not interested in to follow me in, but he was waiting outside for me. I have been in a cave in Ireland in 2008 and was expecting something like that, but this was so hugh, so much more amazing than the other one! I think, people who has been in the Frasassi Caves will never visit another one, because they will be disappointed of all the others.

Not the Most Amazing view, but Anyway a Picture from Inside the Cave

Back from the caves we visited Jesi, the town where Mauro is working. It is a nice old town with an old wall around it. Famous people was born there, grow up there or still are living there. Not only writers and musicians but also politicians.

View of Jesi – From the Upper Part of the Town

Statue for Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, a Classical Composer

This day a thunderstorm blow up and we jumped into the car just before it begun raining. It was still raining cats and dogs a long time afterwards, therefore it was not possible to take a walk in the vineyard – I also had only one pair of shoes with me because there were no space for shoes in my luggage. This day we also ate lunch at my host’s place. It was a big lunch with tagliatelli, thin steaks, artischoks, chard (Mangold in German and Swedish), bread and “dolce”. This time the “dolce” was small cream puffs filled with Vanilla cream, topped with melt chocolate. They were also very delicious.

The rain became less crass and we went to the castle of San Marcello and the surroundings by car, because living in this area means you need a car to go somewhere else than to your neighbors. I was surprised that Mauro drive a car with gas instead for gasoline. I did not expect that technology in the small villages and towns in Italy.

The castle is situated in Morro de Alba, a part of the community of San Marcello. By the way Morro de Alba also is the name of the grape for the red wine of the area. At the castle there is a little museum showing the local history. We visited both. The museum was like a Swedish “hembygdsmuseum” or the German very small “Heimatmuseum” but in a castle. Anyway I have gott an idea of the earlier Italian way of living.

At the Castle of Morro de Alba You do not Need an Umbrella While Raining

Also this days dinner consisting of canapes with Philadephia cheese and ham (cut in very small pieces), spinach pie, proscutto, cheese, bread, walnuts and of course “dolce” (the rest of the mascarpone dessert and the cream puffs) as well as the every day selection of own young white and red wine and water to drink were a delicious meal. I was a little surprised at, that my new Italian friends never before have seen the German and Swedish way to drink wine with a glass of water beside. If they take wine and water, they put the water directly into the wine.

 

28th April: On my way to Naples (Napoli/Neapel)

The 28th April was a Monday. My host had to go to work again and I to continue on my trip to Malta, however I would have liked to stay for some more days. The stay in San Marcello was real vacation for me, but the cities were a kind of work, a must see and disappointment. The nature around San Marcello is so amazing and good for the soul.

Nature Not Far Away from San Marcello, Marche, Italy

Because Mauro is working in Jesi I decided to go by train from there. We started quite early so Mauro could carry my suitcase to the right platform. The train station in Jesi only has stairs and my train was going from platform three. He could, of course, not wait for the train, so I had to ask someone else to help me with my luggage into the train, but that was no problem at all.

 

O mia bella Napoli, city at the blue sea (an old German schlager), but how is Naples like?