Jesi is one of the many magnificent towns in Marche. Italy has an incredible wealth of medium size towns with fantastic theatres, museums, halls and other interesting buildings and monuments. Jesi’s attraction is the Palazzo Pianetti.
Palazzo Pianetti is a 15th century building, where the library of the town can be found. Drink one more glass of Verdicchio and enter the Palazzo to admire its unique ceilings and also the paintings of Renaissance artists, among which, the famous Venetian Lorenzo Lotto.
Don´t forget that at Jesi there are excellent wine stores, where you can find a vast variety of Verdicchio and other wines of the region and taste them along with delicious specialities, so before you leave the town, have a visit at one of them.
We now must drive south, towards Filottrano. Filottrano is a beautiful small town, situated on the hills, with splendid views of the unique Marche environment. Have a stop at its centre, drink a coffee and snap some panoramic pictures. You can also visit the town´s churches. There are thousands of magnificent churches in Italy, Filottrano has at least five!!!
We move on towards Appignano, passing by small lakes, where we can catch some trouts, if we are experienced fishermen. We take the “strada provinciale 128” and we arrive at Treia.
Treia is one of the most beautiful small towns in central Italy. Don´t even think about not making a stop there. Treia is situated on a hill of sandstone above ruins of an ancient town, something that makes it very impressive. Leave your car at one of the numerous (but small) municipal parking places and have a long walk at its centre. Visit the beautiful Teatro Communale, go to the Piazza della Repubblica to take some breath taking photos and, if the weather is good, eat something at La Cantinetta, a restaurant situated on the central square of the town. Don´t forget to taste the local calcioni with ricotta.
It must be still early, so you can continue to Tolentino, it is about half an hour drive. Tolentino is an historical town with about 20.000 habitants, situated at the centre of the Chienti valley. It is well known for the Castello della Rancia, a magnificent castle built some 700 years above. The castle is at perfect condition and it is open for the visitors. It´s 100% worth a visit.
Before leaving the town, don´t forget to visit the Basilica di San Niccola, a 18th century church dedicated to San Niccola da Tolentino, a saint who lived there 500 years ago. Although the church is severely damaged by the 2016 earthquake, you should notsurpass it, as you can still admire there masterpieces by famous Italian painters and sculptures.
After all cultural visits, let´s explore the district´s culinary treasures. This area is a part of Monti Sibillini national park, a beautiful and green piece of the Apennine mountains, the main mountain range of Italy. We will return there, as the Monti have more places, also interesting to visit.
When you reach Tolentino, search for the famous Castelluccio lentils, a very well known variety in Italy. Coppa and Capocollo are some of the very tasty cold cuts of the region. Mushrooms, cheese and chestnuts of the area are also excellent. But the jewel of the local gastronomy is the mistrà.
The mistrà is a liquor, similar to Greek Ouzo and French pastis and also Italian Sambuca. It is made with star anise and it is dry or slightly sweet. It is usually consumed with ice as an appetizer but ……….
BUT we will drink mistrà, like the locals do. How? Adding a small portion of it in our coffee, turning it to …….. turbo powered. If you don´t know it, caffè corretto is a kind of espresso with a liquor of our choise. Let´s try it at the only place in Europe, where you can drink a perfect coffee.
(to be continued)