A rustic retreat in the Marches for the Christmas holidays
Get away from it all in one of Italy's best-kept secrets - the Marches. Hyped as 'the new Tuscany' discover this area before the secret gets out . . .
We're in the south of the beautiful Marches region, between Fermo, Ascoli Piceno and San Benedetto del Tronto. The Aso river cuts its way through the green valley as it flows downhill from Campofilone, our destination, which is only 15 minutes from the Pedaso exit on the motorway. Here we have the choice of two Bed & Breakfasts, each charging around 50 Euros for a double room. The first, "LUliveto"(0734-932123) is in Via Molino 10 and affords marvellous views of the Sibillini, the name given to the stretch of Appenines which run through this area of the Marches.
Campofilone is 50 km from Ascoli and with both Fermo and San Benedetto at a mere 20 km even the most hardened city-dweller will be able to run to a town for a quick fix of traffic. We resist temptation and the farthest we go are the couple of hundred metres into Campofilone, a delightful mediaeval town which was built around an atmospheric abbey and which is famous all over the world for its maccheroncini - a spaghetti-like egg pasta. We'll have to sample some . . .
But we mentioned two B & Bs, didn't we? The second, "Dal Capo", is in Via Marina 3, just outside Campofilone. The few rooms available all have magnificent views - as well as satellite TV. The breakfasts are huge, there's a computer, a sizeable CD collection but most of all great hospitality.
And if the peace and tranquillity is all too much for you, you can go horse racing at the nearby San Paolo Race Track at Piane Di Montegiorgio, fishing in one of the many lakes or dancing at Mahè - the local club.