Italy is made up of 20 regions, each with their own personality, beauty, food and dialect. In the central east coast along the Adriatic, you'll find the Le Marche, filled with rolling hills covered in lines of grape vines and ski slopes of sunflowers, topped with fortified Medieval towns. The beaches are blanketed in colorful umbrellas and olive skinned Italians bathing in the sun. Le Marche is a lesser known region of Italy, in the shadows of its popular neighbors Umbria and Tuscany. And that’s just the way we like it.
My mom, uncle Peter and Auntie are Biagettis and 100% Italian Americans whose father, my nonno Aldo, was raised in a tiny town of San Michele in Le Marche, and he and my nonni Flora raised their family in Natick, Massachusetts, along with many others in the family tree who came over. We have countless relatives - cugini - who live near San Michele and my great aunt Italia still lives in the farm house that my great great grandfather bought over a century ago.
We have made this pilgrimage many times before, and this is the third time as an official family reunion in five years, with 25 of us coming over from the States to gather, catch up, and soak in being Italians, Marchegiani, to be specific. [...]