A holiday can be many different things and many things together at the same time, for what we want to do, where we want to go, or simply where we want to stay.
If we just want to rest and relax, the day goes by peacefully by the pool or in the grove by the wellspring, reading, chatting, or surfing on the Internet, if -in spite of everything- we wish to keep in touch with the world or our distant friends. The woods and the hills around the hamlet lend themselves for a stroll or a bicycle ride. Not far, we can rent horses for a ride. Very close to our hamlet, there are many gourmet restaurants or we can get our own barbecue ready for our friends in the open-air kitchen on the yard.
The town of Camerino is only 4 Kmtrs away, with its medieval center, cobble-stone streets, shops, the University and its large terrace with a stunning view of the Sibillini mountains. Local food shops are worth more than just a passing visit, or we can stroll up to the fortress, visit the theater with the restored remains of the Roman roads, see the museums, the cloisters and the churches. In the good weather, we can simply linger on in the main square, sipping a drink and wait for one of the many festivals or events that are a landmark to this ancient town.
If we decide to travel a little bit farther, within a range of about 10 to 20 miles, we find the Valley of the Rover Chienti, with the picturesque little town of Muccia, its narrow streets and the nearby awesome castle of Varano. On our route, we find the beautiful plateau of Colfiorito, with its green meadows, and we will not miss buying some of its local specialties like spelt, lentils and some great cheeses and hams. Amongst flower forests and hills that stretch as far as the eye can see, we find churches and retreats (San Salvatore, Madonna del Sasso), fortresses (the fortress of Percanestro) and ruins of ancient castles (Castle of Elce). There we find the ruins of the ancient Roman ghost town of Pistia, that reached its apex in the year 1000 and then suddenly disappeared for reasons yet unknown, amongts myths and legends. Not far, we shall encounter traces of pre-christian cults, the castle of Porfoglio, the Roman bridge, the retreat of Sant'Angelo and charming villages forgotten by time, such as Casavecchia and Pieve di Sant'Oreste.
Traveling yet farther, but always within a 10 to 20-mile range from our hamlet, we can coast the sky-blue waters of Lake Polverina and penetrate the chestnut woods amongst ancient ruins and -yet again- encounter small villages forgotten by time. Here is the river Chienti, Pievebovigliana, Fiordimonte, the archeological site off the clearing of Roccamaia, the silences of the Sanctuary of Macereto. Needless to say, the territory offers an incredible variety of restaurants with local dishes that remind us of long-forgotten tastes.
About three quarters' of an hour drive from our hamlet, we reach the national park of the Sibillini Mountains, an incredible amphitheater of nature all the year round. The first little town there is Visso, that looks like a mountain village and is renown for its very fine local production of cheeses and hams. The heart of the park is Castelluccio di Norcia, whose plateau is famous for its spring-flowering in the month of May, the deep green of its summer meadows (where you can go horse-riding) and the absolute white of its winter snows. Here, in winter, you can go skiing, and when the weather is good, the 7,000 foot mountains are the base camp for hiking and walks of all sorts. One more time, we must get ourselves ready for incredible encounters with local gourmet restaurants and wholesome food.
Returning to our hamlet, from Polverina to Fiastra, we shall travel along the friars' route to the Sanctuary of Beato Ugolino, and reach an overhanging rock above the waters of the lake. Not far, beyond a thick chestnut forest, lies the ghost village of St John (San Giovanni), that was abandoned in the fifties. Stopping by the lake of Fiastra, we want to stroll by the narrow streets that border the lake, or, in the summer, just lie in the sun on the beach or go for a swim.
If our mood changes and we decide to get back to noisy modern life, in about three quarters' of an hour drive from our hamlet, traveling down the motorway to Civitanova, we soon arrive to the Adriatic coast and can choose from the numerous well known beaches north or south of Ancona and spend a day at the seaside (Numana, Sirolo, Portonovo). Traveling the same distance in another direction, we can visit cities of art and famous places such as Assisi, Perugia, Spello and Gubbio. If we want to take care of ourselves, in about half an hour from our hamlet, in opposite directions, we find the spas of Santa Lucia (ailments of the breathing apparatus) and those of San Vittore (nose and ear, mud baths, rheumatisms).Just by the Spas of San Vittore, we find the world famous Caves of Frasassi, that offer a magical show of nature. If, at last, we are caught by a shopping-spree, within a 30-mile range from our hamlet, we find some of the most famous outlets of Italian fashion (clothing, shoes, house-ware).