The vines are heavy with ripe grapes, late figs are splitting open on the branches, and nuts strew the ground under the walnut tree. Days are still warm after the hottest summer anyone can remember, but the nights quickly turn cool as the sun sets, and only the occasional gunshot of a lone hunter breaks the silence of the Marche countryside - welcome to the season of mists and the autumn edition of the Marche Voyager newsletter.
Bread and wine
Down on the coast at Senigallia, the annual bread-making festival Pane Nostrum runs for four days from 21 September, and includes stalls selling artisan breads from across Italy, demonstrations of bread making, and tastings.
Meanwhile one of Italy's oldest sagre, or festivals, dedicated to the grape takes place at Cupramontana in the heart of Verdicchio wine country at the end of this month. The event runs from Thursday 28 September through to Sunday 1 October, and features a parade of decorated floats, a contest of bare-foot grape crushing, and plenty of chances to try local wine and food.
Pane Nostrum website (in Italian)
Sagra dell'uva website (in Italian)
Fair squares #26
This autumn's picture of a Marche piazza is the monumental Piazza Federico II at Jesi, said to be the site of the birth of the celebrated Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (see item below).
Carmen and the Barber at Ancona
Ancona's short opera season this autumn at the pretty Teatro delle Muse features new productions of Bizet's Carmen on 22 & 24 September and Rossini's The Barber of Seville on 13 & 15 October.
Next year's open-air opera festival at Macerata, will run in the dramatic Sferisterio arena from 20 July to 12 August, and features Mozart's Don Giovanni, Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, and Verdi's La Traviata.
Teatro delle Muse website (in Italian)
Macerata open-air opera festival website (in English).
Oh bio mio!
Head to Urbino for the weekend of 7 & 8 October for all things organic when the annual festival Biosalus returns. This year it features not only organic food producers, but also the worlds of crafts and holistic medicine.
Website for Biosalus 2017 (in Italian).
The world astonisher
The fabled Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II is celebrated in a smart new museum in Jesi. Frederick, known as Stupor Mundi for his stirring deeds, spoke six languages - Latin, Sicilian, German, French, Greek and Arabic - and was one of the Middle Ages' most avid patrons of science and the arts.
The museum, housed in the splendid Palazzo Ghislieri, stands in Piazza Federico II, the very square where he was born in a tent on 26 December 1194. It boasts sixteen themed rooms on aspects of his fascinating story, and much of the display material is also translated into English.
Federico II museum website (in Italian)
Wikipedia page on Frederick II
Amandola in the academic spotlight
A two-day conference at Britain's University of Cambridge will focus on the town of Amandola in the southern Marche and the devastating earthquakes that it suffered last autumn.
The conference takes place at Jesus College, Cambridge on 24 & 25 October and brings together international experts from engineering, earth sciences, sociology, architecture, history and the history of art, to address holistically issues that are often looked at only with a narrow focus. It will also introduce a number of longer-term research and education programmes to be based in the town of Amandola itself.
Further details of the conference on this page
Fun for fashionistas
Do you treat life as a catwalk? Then make for Le Marche. In this region that specializes in the small-scale production of high-quality fashion for many of the most sought-after labels, factory outlets selling designer clothing and shoes at knock-down prices abound. Look out for spaccio aziendale - or factory outlet - signs, and search the web with "spaccio aziendale" or "outlet" and "Marche" as search terms.
Two links with listings (though both in Italian):
Site for factory outlets across italy
Site for factory outlets in the Marche.
Some 408,214 foreign tourists visited the Marche and stayed for 2,294,880 nights in 2016, compared to the 414,564 who visited in 2015 and stayed for 2,443,550 nights.
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