The urban centre of Abbadia di Fiastra derives its name from the Abbey at Chiaravalle di Fiastra which is one of the best conserved Cistercian abbeys in Italy. Here the Benedictine ideal of work and prayer, as well as being an established concept and visible through an architectural language of rare beauty, has also left its mark on the history of the territory, enhancing it with valuable and interesting testimony.
With the aim of protecting the surrounding environment, 1984 saw the opening of the Abbadia di Fiastra Nature Reserve which extends over an area of 1,800 hectares: an expanse full of cultivated fields, protected fauna and vegetation, with two water courses and a lake. Start your visit here to a place where peaceful days can be spent in contact with nature.
A short distance away lies the Castle of Rancia with origins dating back to the 12th century which served as a granary and farm for the Cistercian monks in the nearby abbey, and was later transformed into a military fortification by the Da Varano family, Lords of Camerino: a charming place and home to the archaeological museum. Close by, in the municipal area of Urbisaglia, archaeology enthusiasts can visit the Archaeological Park of Urbs Salvia, which is an essential testimony to Roman times in the region, including the evocative Roman amphitheatre where ancient theatrical productions are staged during the summer months.
A few kilometres away from Fiastra abbey, an important town worth visiting is Montappone, a small centre with a medieval core known internationally for its hat making industry.
Continue towards Tolentino, a city with a host of works of art and monuments of considerable interest. First among these is the San Nicola Basilica with its ‘Sala del Cappellone’ completely covered with pictorial decorations dating back to the early 1300s.
A 15 minute drive from Tolentino brings us to the city of Macerata, the administrative centre of the Province of the same name and home to one of the oldest Universities in the world, founded in 1290.
Travelling inland along the main road we come to Caldarola with its famous Castle once owned by the Pallotta family. A few kilometres away lie large expanses of vineyards where the much appreciated Vernaccia di Serrapetrona sparkling wine is made, in dry and sweet versions best enjoyed with desserts.
Towards the Sibillini mountains we come to San Ginesio, awarded the Orange Flag and listed as one of Italy’s most beautiful towns. The historic town centre conserves its characteristic medieval walls projecting skywards, complete with towers, ramparts and castle gates. Continuing into the heart of the Marche and surrounded by the vegetation of the Monti Sibillini National Park we find Sarnano, and ancient medieval town which also is a holder of the Orange Flag and is listed as one of Italy’s most beautiful towns. Here a truly complete vacation can be enjoyed with the accent on relaxation and wellbeing.
Along this itinerary do not pass up the opportunity of visiting San Severino Marche, Camerino and Treia.