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Marche Voyager Marche Places | Cagli


itinerary 2

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This courtly little town set against a backdrop of some of the highest peaks in the northern Marche, has welcomed strangers for over two thousand years. Since the days, no less, when ancient Rome made it an important staging post on the Via Flaminia, one of the oldest and most important Roman roads in Europe.

Still today it retains its Roman grid plan, all roads leading to a proper central square with a florid fountain, a steely medieval town hall, and huddles of old men deep in gossip.

The hand of the great quattrocento military architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini is unmistakable in the dramatic oval torrione, or tower to the west of the piazza, all that remains of the citadel that Duke Federico da Montefeltro had built above Cagli towards the end of the 15thC.

Search out the pleasing fresco of the Madonna and Child with Saints by Giovanni Santi - the angel to the left of the picture is said to be a portrait of Santi's better known son, Raphael. You will find it in the church of San Domenico near the hospital.

Try to see inside the magnificently restored theatre behind the town hall, a perfect little 19thC opera house with all the trimmings.

You might well be just as happy wandering along the medieval streets looking out for some of the many aristocratic palazzi that abound or lazing away a morning at a table outside one of the pleasant bars on the main square - a good place to watch Italian daily life.

The beauty of Cagli as a town, however, is overshadowed by the natural splendour of its setting amidst some of the Marche's most uncontaminated countryside

A winding 10 km drive up from the town will take you to the windswept meadows 1108 m up on the summit of Monte Petrano, olympian views and a mass of wild daffodils in late spring (follow signs from near Torrione).

To the east of Cagli stand the twin peaks of Monte Catria (1700m) and Monte Acuto (1527m), an untouched wilderness with breathtaking views.

A road from the nearby village of Acquaviva winds up through meadows and beech woods to within a few hundred metres of each peak, before dropping back down towards Frontone, or to Cantiano, beneath the western slopes. The journey is especially rewarding in May and June when the alpine flora in the upland meadows is in full bloom.

Cagli, incidentally, is the home town of Marche Voyager, and if you're looking to holiday in the area you could do worse than stay with us here.