For centuries the Adriatic has been a major highway and, for this reason, the Abruzzo and Le Marche regions of Italy share history, culture, tourism, arts and ancient crafts with Croatia. The EU "Adristorical Lands" project aims to highlight remarkable, but largely unknown attractions, on both sides of the Adriatic. I embark on a voyage of discovery.
Le Marche - Crossing into Le Marche the scenery changes, mountains replaced by rolling green hills and villages by much larger settlements. Ascoli Piceno has a delightful historical centre built out of travertine, a local limestone, and the Renaissance Piazza del Popolo is among the most beautiful squares in Italy. There's much to explore here, including the Cathedral and the Palazzo dell'Arengo, housing the city's magnificent art collection. Also worth a visit is the beautifully restored theatre.
Slightly smaller than Ascoli is Offida, dating back to the stone age, and built entirely of Le Marche brick. It's famous for its lace and the local women can still be seen, sitting outside their houses with needle and thread. The most impressive monument is the church of St. Maria della Rocca, once a castle but donated to the Franciscan monks in 1039 . They incorporated an older church into the crypt and their new church occupies the first floor, with traces of the original frescoes still visible.
Hvar, Croatia [...]