After the long weekend of All Saints, here’s another opportunity you can’t miss to escape from the same routine! If you’re lucky enough, the feast of the Immaculate Conception will offer you a few days of rest before the hustle and bustle of Christmas holidays. Le Marche and Umbria are both two low-cost regions that can be easily visited by car and very rich in proposals: from skiing to shopping at the street markets, from sightseeing of art cities to food and drinks tastings. I’ve made a selection of some events and activities, start planning your itinerary!
Skiing in Le Marche and Umbria
During the winter season, people in Le Marche and Umbria truly love skiing – weather permitting! Enjoy cross-country and downhill skiing thanks to well organised facilities that allow you to reach many slopes of different length and difficulty, across forests, valleys and breathtaking views. In Le Marche, in the province of Macerata I suggest you the facilities of Pintura (Bolognola), Sassotetto and Santa Maria Maddalena (Sarnano), Frontignano in Ussita, home to one of the few ice palaces of central Italy and last but not least Monte Prata (Castelsantangelo sul Nera). In the province of Pesaro and Urbino, in the hamlet of Frontone rises the Monte Catria with a 6 km off-track descent, a kinderland where children can use their bobsleighs and a restaurant offering the best local specialties. Moreover, those who love cycling can benefit of the Catria Bike Park which is very well equipped. Other interesting skiing facilities can be found in Montecopiolo at the Eremo Carpegna and Villagrande, in the district of the Regional Park Sasso Simone and Simoncello; in Piobbico at Monte Nerone. Here you will find 5 ski slopes, of which 2 blue type and 3 red type. There is also a snow park for snowboarders. In Umbria, the ski resort is that of Forca Canapine and for cross-country skiing you can try Pian delle Macinare, near the town of Gubbio.
The long weekend in early December is the perfect occasion to visit the charming villages of Le Marche and Umbria. By the end of November during the weekends, many historic centers host the Christmas markets with exhibitions of handicrafts, clothing, pottery and quality food. You can buy your first Christmas gifts, decorations and nativity scene items or enjoy a glass of mulled wine with roasted chestnuts to warm you up during the walk! In Le Marche I suggest those ones in Urbino, Pesaro, Mombaroccio, Candelara dedicated to candles, Gradara in the beautiful setting of the fortress, Frontone inside the castle, Loreto, Macerata, Ascoli Piceno where you will find many antiques and Fermo – just to name a few. In Umbria, you’ll find Christmas markets in all majour cities like Perugia (inside the Rocca Paolina), Assisi, Gubbio and Spoleto, as well as in the small towns and villages. I can almost say, wherever you go there will be a market!
For all tastes and ages, here are some other ideas to spend this holidays. In Urbino, you can take part in the Renaissance Living Nativity, one of its kind in Italy. Don’t miss The Nativity Route (Le Vie dei Presepi), an exhibition of handmade nativity scenes into churches, oratories and palaces of the historic center. In Pergola, the city of the Gilded Bronzes, you can enjoy the Cioccovisciola, a festival dedicated to chocolate and visciolata, an excellent sour cherry wine. In Corso Matteotti children will find the Magic World of Santa Claus (Magico Mondo di Babbo Natale), with the laboratory of elves and Santa’s Cave. Even the town of Gradara offers events for children and the fortress is turned into the Magic Land of Santa’s Elves (Magico Paese degli Elfi di Babbo Natale). Everybody will enjoy taking part in the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Gubbio, the largest one in the world consisting of over 800 lights set along the slopes of the Ingino Mountain. At the exhibition center of Bastia Umbra, near Assisi, it is held Gifts’ Expo (Expo Regalo), the largest Umbrian Christmas fair with pavilions selling items of all kinds.
That’s all for today! If you want some more detailed info, you can read my articles dedicated to these Christmas events in North & South of Le Marche and Umbria. Have you already planned your itinerary? Write me in the comments and share your experience!
To enjoy your stay and experience local habits and traditions of the Italian peninsula, I suggest you these three villas, equipped with every comfort.
Are you ready to leave?
Villa Rossini – Pesaro (PU)
Villa Giorgia – Senigallia (AN)
Casale san Francesco – Assisi (PG)