The days draw in, the dew is heavy after cooler nights, ripe figs split and fall, apples and walnuts drop from laden trees, the scent of autumn is in the air, and it's time for another seasonal issue of the Marche Voyager Newsletter.
Bread & truffles
Down on the coast at Senigallia, the ever-popular annual bread-making festival Pane Nostrum runs from 27 to 29 September, and includes stalls selling artisan breads from across Italy, demonstrations of bread making, and tastings.
Meanwhile autumn marks the start of the white truffle season and the highlight of the calendar, as ever, is the Fiera nazionale del tartufo bianco (National White Truffle Fair) set to take place this year on 27 October, and 1, 2, 3, 9, and 10 November at Acqualagna in Pesaro & Urbino province.
Pane Nostrum website (in Italian)
Acqualagna truffle fair website.
Mummies of Urbania
You'll find Urbania's strangest offering behind the altar of the Chiesetta dei Morti in Via Ugolini - the Cimitero delle Mummie. Here a dozen or so leathery mummified corpses hang like washing in a row of glass-fronted cabinets.
They were put on display in 1833 after their discovery in the ground below, preserved by a rare type of mould. The custodian takes ghoulish delight in opening the cupboards to show you the body with stab wounds and the pregnant woman with a mummified foetus.
Queen Elizabeth comes to Pesaro!
Next year's Rossini Opera Festival at Pesaro from 8 - 21 August 2020 sees three brand-new productions of works by the master of bel canto: Moïse et Pharaon, Elisabetta regina d’Inghilterra, and La cambiale di matrimonio.
At the Macerata open-air opera festival from 17 July to 9 August 2020 in the spectacular Sferisterio arena the three works to be staged are Puccini's Tosca, Mozart's Don Giovanni, and Verdi's Il Trovatore.
Rossini Opera Festival website
Macerata open-air opera website
Fair squares #33
The classic little piazza in Montefiore d'Aso, above the lush valley of the Aso river, and home to a beautiful altarpiece by Carlo Crivelli.
Raphael and his friends at Urbino
A major art exhibition to mark the 500th centenary of the death of the great Renaissance painter Raphael is set to take place this autumn in his native town of Urbino. The show, entitled Raffaello e gli amici di Urbino, or Raphael and His Friends at Urbino, takes place in Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, in the splendid Ducal Palace from 3 October 2019 to 19 January 2020.
"Wedding tourism" in Italy is reckoned to produce around 400 million Euros per year, and the Marche is rapidly becoming a popular Italian destination for couples getting married.
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