Such a fascinating building to visit in its own right. La Fenice theatre in English translates to The Phoenix and the theatre in original form dates back to...
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6th January Italian Festival – Come with me and meet Befana. By Amanda Brake, Frost’s Le Marche correspondent. <<Finally, shaking off our reluctance, we hurried into coats and boots, and we set off for our small town of Amandola. By the time we arrived things were just about getting started; in fact witches were everywhere.>>[...]
Each August in Amandola there is a re-enactment of the offering of grain as a symbol of the farmers’ gratitude for a bountiful harvest at the altar in the Church of Sant’Agostino. It is preceded by a colourful procession with men and women dressed in their traditional garb, the latter carrying baskets (canestrelle) filled with grain on their heads. They proceed up Via Cesare Battisti, around the square and lastly down the steps leading into the church. As this festival always coincides with the festival for the Blessed Antonio, there is a lot of celebrating in town. In fact, it begins the prior evening with a candlelight procession which slowly meanders up Via Cesare Battisti and into the church. On the day of the celebration, the square is crowded with locals and tourists, vying for a view or for a photo of this unique procession. The visitors are serenaded by the local band and entertained by the saltarello, a traditional dance performed by a local group. Not to be overlooked is a sampling of vino cotto (cooked wine similar to sherry) along with cantucci, local hazelnut cookies.
Autumn is the best season for the white truffle and Amandola (province of Fermo), dedicates to it Diamanti a Tavola that sounds like "Diamonds on the table", an event enhanced to promote the nose prized white truffle of the Sibillini.
The event will take place along the historic streets of Amandola with the presence of numerous food stands open till late hours, where you can taste traditional dishes.
It was time to visit Italy again.. but away from the usual hotspots you hear of, it was time to head to a beautiful area in the mountains of the Region of Le Marche. A home from home for me, great open countryside, and a perfect greeting of snow tipped mountain tops with lush green and quiet valleys below. [...]
Mariano Pallottini's insight:
Bald and Bold, this is Paul Steele, founder of BaldHiker.com and avid hiker, climber and trekker, always seeking new adventures around the world.
Hiking in the Sibillini Mountains - From 2 hour circular walks, to hiking up Hell's Gorge, to climbing over 1000 meters to Pilate's Lake, there are so many interesting hikes. Afterwards relax in Amandola with a gelato or coffee, watching the world go by and reflecting on the day.
Some of our favourites walks include:
Gola dell'Infernaccio - a stunning walk suitable for most levels which is especially great during the summer as you are walking by the river Tenna, waterfalls and through shaded beech woods. Slicing through limestone cliffs, you can take a side path up to the San Leonardo Church, the perfect place for your lunch stop. Originally the church was built by a group of Camaldolesi monks in the 9th centuary, before it was abandonned in the 1500's.
Then in 1960, Padre Pietro a Cappuccian monk made this his hermitage and started building his own gothic church once more. The church is beautiful but simple and surrounded by nature, this has been his mission for over 40 years and you may even be lucky enough to meet him working on the shurch or growing his own veggies.
Lago di Pilato - slightly more difficult (and you might just ache a little the next day, but it is certainly worth it!) amazing views all round and the most rewarding part of the 1000 meter climb is when Pilates Lake comes in to view. You will pass through beech woods and plateus and make sure you make an early start in summer as it can get quite hot up there.
However, be careful you are not tempted to take a dip in the waters though as they are protected, being the only home in the world where the tiny fairy shrimp Chirocephalus Marchesonii live. The coral coloured shrimp swims tummy up and you may just be able to spot them. In the middle ages there were rumours that devils and ghastly spirits lived up here.
Dogana Loop - further away but well worth the drive - a long (15.5 kms) but easy walk with stunning views over Castelluccio, Monte della Laga and the Piano Grande. Halfway along the walk is the rifugio Colle Le Cese, where you can be refreshed or eat your lunch.
Part of the walk is on the Grande Anello dei Sibillini and you will be rewarded at every turn with a new vista. A really beautiful walk with only one slightly steep climb just near the end.
Lama Rosse or Red Blades - take a hike up to these wonderful creations being eroded by the elements into cliffs and pinnacles. You will walk through thick shady woodland and may be mistaken for thinking you have wondered into the Middle East.
The walk starts by the beautiful blue Fiastra Lake where you can bathe in the designated swimming areas. Dammed in the 1950's the lake provides hydro-electric power.
From the Lama Rosse, you can also continue to the Grotta dei Frati, a small cave hidden away in the rocks
Via Sarah Topps
Le Marche’s Carnivals are renowned for being spectacular, fun and full of tradition. One Carnival, celebrated on Fat Tuesday (as many are), starts with huge and colorful floats by the shore, and then moves inland for the real party. There is more food than you could imagine, and so many people in costume, just enjoying the frivolity of having a good time.
There is also the Offida Carnival, which consists of men moving a giant fake ox through the streets, then a crowd of young people in robes move it swiftly, in attempt to show the ox’s nature. This used to be performed with a live ox and then it was ritually slaughtered, whereas now they just do so symbolically.
The Fano Carnival, Italy’s oldest, is a huge and beautiful affair, with entertainment, food, exhibits and so much more. They try every year to make it better than the last, with more color and excitement to give people an experience not to be forgotten. It is one giant party, each day different and new with a lot of great things to do free of charge.
The carnival of Macerata has chariots, music, dancing, cake and a whole lot of fun. With all of its colorful displays and confetti everywhere, it truly is a wonderful celebration.
The Ascoli Carnival is a traditional festival of dancing, music, masks, confetti and fun. With so much to do and see it is another carnival worth attending. The Carnival of Ascoli Piceno, starting on January 17th each year, consists of people in masks, doing skits and impersonating celebrities, local government and other well-known people. The city is lit up with beautiful lights, as the streets become theaters and the spectators become participants.
Lastly, the Amandola Carnival is celebrated with two large events. First there is a parade with people in masks everywhere. Then there is what is called the beacon of King Carnival, during which people in old costumes throw wheat and poppy in honor of Blessed Antonio. There are also actors and theater afterwards during this one as well.
Anthony was born in Amandola in the Marche Region and, attracted by the reputation of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, he entered the Augustinian Order and distinguished himself for his humility, spirit of obedience, and mortification, as well as his apostolic zeal. Around the year 1385 he was assigned to the monastery at Tolentino where he served as sacristan in the church of his beloved Saint Nicholas of Tolentino. In 1397 he went to southern Italy, possibly to undertake the preaching ministry. In 1400 he returned to Amandola where, through his initiative, the new Augustinian monastery with its adjoining church dedicated to Saint Augustine was constructed. After his death the church was renamed in Anthony's memory.
Anthony has been venerated ever since his death at Amandola on 25 January 1450. It is recorded in the municipal acts of the city that, as early as 1460, the anniversary of his death was observed as a feast and not a work day. His incorrupt body is exposed for public veneration by the faithful in the church of Saint Augustine in Amandola.
Teatro La Fenice, Amandola, Marche