FROM APRIL TO OCTOBER
FANO - DAY 1
In the afternoon visit to Fano, region Marche third most populous city after Ancona and Pesaro, famous for its carnival, one of the oldest and most famous in Italy. We will start with a pleasant walk to discover the Roman Fano, with the Arch of Augustus (the gateway to the Roman city) and then continue towards the Augustean Walls, also built as a part of the important monumental project of the city of Augustan period and preserved for about two thirds of their original extension. Then it will be the turn of the Malatesta Fortress ( Rocca ), standing at the north-eastern end of the ancient Roman walled town.
The complex has a quadrangular plan with three sides - including the one where the entrance is protected by a moat. Currently, after restoration, large-scale events and shows are held in summer in the lawned courtyard of the Rocca, hosting up to 800 seats. Then we will visit the Teatro della Fortuna (theater of Fortune ) , located inside the fourteenth-century Palazzo del Podestà , and admire the nineteenth-century historical sipario (theater curtain) that depicts an imaginary entrance of the Emperor Caesar Octavian Augustus into the ancient Colonia Iulia Fanestris. The visit will continue with the former church of San Francesco, a unique and suggestive open-air monument , roofless since the 1930 earthquake. Certainly one of Fano most beautiful monumental complexes , the former church of St Frances has a medieval origin, but was completely modified in the nineteenth century. In the evening, arrival at the hotel in Fano, dinner and overnight stay.
GRADARA AND URBINO - DAY 2
After breakfast we will reach the village of Gradara. The town has been included among the most beautiful villages in Italy and is known for its historic Malatesta Fortress , which together with its fortified village and its walls is a characteristic example of medieval architecture. Free walk through the center of Gradara with the possibility of a guided tour of the castle, one of the best preserved in Italy. In addition, the two walls that protect the fortress, the outermost extending for almost 800 meters, contribute to making it one of the most impressive of the peninsula.
The Castle stands on a hill 142 meters above sea level. The keep - the so called “mastio” main tower, rises as up as 30 meters, dominating the entire valley. Free lunch. In the early afternoon we will reach Urbino, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, one of the most important centers of the Italian Renaissance, of which it fully preserves the architectural heritage . Guided tour of the most important sites of the city: - the Palazzo Ducale - a small fortified city commissioned by Federico da Montefeltro and built from 1444 - the National Gallery of the Marche: about 80 rooms of the Duke’s Palace transformed into a museum. The collection includes works of art created between the14th and the 17th century, mainly paintings but including furniture, sculptures, tapestries and drawings as well.
The main works are located on the first floor, in the apartments where the Duke and his family lived. In the Duke’s Apartment there are two famous masterpieces by Piero della Francesca: the Flagellation of Christ and the Madonna of Senigallia. The Oratory of San Giovanni is also worth a visit: one meight be deceived by the banal Gothic facade built in the early 1900s, but the true masterpiece of the Oratory, well hidden beyond the entrance door and painted on the walls, is the frescoed cycle by the Salimbeni brothers, Lorenzo and Jacopo, from San Severino (about 1400), the most important interpreters of the late Gothic in the Marche region. In the evening, arrival at the hotel in Fossombrone, dinner and overnight stay.
TREKKING AT THE GOLA DEL FURLO, ACQUALAGNA, PIOBBICO - DAY 3
After breakfast, meet your hiking environmental guide to start your trekking tour at the Gola del Furlo (Furlo Gorge). An interesting route from Passo del Furlo to the refuge of the same name, crossing a wild and unspoiled environment and offering magnificent panoramic views of the gorge below. At the end of the route, you will reach Acqualagna and have lunch in a typical restaurant with a menu based on truffles. In the early afternoon, guided tour of the Truffle Museum, at the discovery of the truffle universe on a path divided into three sections, each associated with an experimental interpretation key. Then we will reach the small village of Piobbico to admire the Brancaleoni Castle, built in the 13th century, remodeled and transformed into a splendid Renaissance residence during the 16th century. The castle has recently been restored. At the end of the visit, pleasant walk through the alleys of the village. Return to the hotel in Fossombrone, dinner and overnight stay.
THE MARMITTE DEI GIGANTI BY CANOE, FOSSOMBRONE, SENIGALLIA - DAY 4
After breakfast we will return to the Gola del Furlo, this time to canoe the Marmitte dei Giganti (the Giants’ Potholes). The excursion winds through a deep canyon known for its particular morphology, that shows circular wells dug by the rush of the Metauro river. The up to 30 meters high rock walls highlight the white flint limestones that tell a millions years old geological history and become a suggestive natural scenery, unique in its kind. Crossing the canyon by canoe allows you to admire it from a different perspective that offers breathtaking views, plays of light and shadows, endless echoes. The total duration of the excursion is about two hours. The adventure continues to the nearby Furlo where a short walk will take you to one of Marche most spectacular panoramic views, where your gaze lingers between infinity and the amazing gorge. Free lunch.
In the afternoon visit to the village of Fossombrone. Medieval center lying on the slope of a hill, dominated by the ruins of the Malatesta fortress, Fossombrone is a smaller Urbino, thanks to its characteristic architecture and to its having been under the power of the Montefeltro for a long time. The old town main attractions are Corso Garibaldi noble palaces, the church of St Frances and the Cathedral, as well as the Palazzo Ducale with its high court. Then you will reach the city of Ancona, stopping at Senigallia for a last pleasant walk. In the evening, arrival at the hotel in the Ancona area, dinner and overnight stay.
CONERO TREKKING RING AND THE CAVES OF CAMERANO - DAY 5
After breakfast, meeting with your environmental trekking guide to start on a tour of the Mount Conero. Immersed in the atmosphere of the Mediterranean scrub, a hiking loop will make you discover the many sites of historical and environmental interest on the Conero promontory: the Abbey of San Pietro with its beautiful crypt, the caves dug in Roman times, the enigmatic rock carvings and of course the breathtaking views of the white cliff plunging into the Adriatic Sea, such as the Southern Belvedere and the Path of the wolf (Passo del Lupo) overlooking the famous Beach of the two Sisters (Due Sorelle). Free lunch.
In the afternoon guided tour of the town of Camerano or rather of its Underground city, carved with labyrinthine pattern in the sandstone along the basement of the old town. For a long time the many tunnels were believed to be but the remains of ancient sandstone quarries or places to store wine. The explorations and studies carried out, however, revealed the presence in almost all areas of architectural embellishments (carvings, vaults, decorated columns) not suitable for quarries or simple cellars. After the tour you will have chance to take a leisurely stroll in Portonovo, well-known tourist and seaside resort on the Conero Riviera, facing the homonymous bay. Return to the hotel in the Ancona area, dinner and overnight.
ANCONA - DAY 6
After breakfast, guided tour of the city of Ancona, settled by the Greeks who named it “ Ankon “ (elbow); the ancient Ancona in fact stands on a promontory shaped like a bent elbow, offering a perfect natural shelter to its port. The visit will begin from the millenary Cathedral of San Ciriaco which rises in a scenic position at the top of the Guasco hill, then you will go down the Lazzaretto (Lazaret Hospital ), also known as Mole Vanvitelliana, from the name of its architect Luigi Vanvitelli (Van Wittel). It stands on an artificial pentagonal island located in the port. Inside the Mole we will visit the Omero Museum one of the few tactile museums in the world. Free lunch and end of services