The late figs are splitting open on the tree, the warm afternoons 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 autumn edition of the Marche Voyager newsletter.
The olive season
Mention Italian olive oil and most people think of the celebrated produce from Tuscany or Liguria but few know that Le Marche now produces some of the finest olive oil in the country.
The 2006 edition of the prestigious Slow Food Guide to Extra Virgin Olive Oils gave only 34 Italian oils the coveted Tre Olive, or three olives, award and four of them were marchigiani.
The extra virgin oil from Cartoceto in the province of Pesaro is now protected under the EU's DOP(denominazione di origine protetta) scheme and in early November a major mostra mercato showcasing the town's produce takes place as the harvest is brought in and the new oil is being pressed.
The best way to taste newly-made oil? On bruschetta (pronounced "bruce-ketta" incidentally, not "bru-shetta") - lightly toast some Italian bread, rub it with a clove of garlic, pour the oil generously over it, sprinkle a little salt and eat while bread is still warm. Purists can leave out both garlic and salt if the aim is simply to taste the peppery, fresh oil in all its complexity.
For other foodie events in Le Marche, including truffle fairs, see the Marche Voyager events page
Fun for fashionistas
Do you treal 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 glamorous 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" and "Marche" as search terms.
The first official figures for this year's summer tourist season in Le Marche suggest a healthily positive trend with an increase of around 2 per cent in arrivals and over 3 per cent for the length of stay.
Meanwhile the three-month, major exhibition on the great 15th century artist Gentile da Fabriano at his native town of Fabriano drew record crowds of nearly 90,000.
The opera wintery show
The season is in full swing in the region's many theatres, and opera looms large in a number of them. At Ancona's Teatro delle Muse the 2006-07 season features Bellini's Il Pirata and Verdi's Nabucco while the programme at the Teatro Pergolesi in Jesi includes Mozart's Don Giovanni and Bizet's Carmen.
Ancona - Teatro delle Muse opera season (in English)
Jesi - Teatro Pergolesi opera season (in English)
And now for the traffic news
If you've ever used the region's principal traffic artery, the A14 motorway, you might like to know that detailed plans have recently been unveiled for the construction of a third lane. The work, scheduled to start in 2007 with completion by 2010, also includes five new motorway exits at Marina di Montemarciano, Ancona Ovest, Porto S. Elpidio, Pesaro Centro and Fano Nord.
Ancona is one of the few towns in the world where you can watch the sun both rise and set over the sea.
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