Highlights of this trip

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    Ancona, with its 2400 years of history, is the largest and most populated city in the Marche region, as well as one of the region’s richest in history and beauty.

    What to see in Ancona?

    Mole Vanvitelliana

    We began with the Lazzaretto, also known as the Mole Vanvitelliana (in the port area, where there is often parking). This pentagonal structure was erected on an artificial island and was used to accommodate confined sick people. Inside, there is a little plaza with a magnificent temple dedicated to San Rocco, which is likewise pentagonal and built in the neoclassical style.

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    Porta Pia and Teatro delle Muse

    As we left the Lazzaretto, we passed through Porta Pia, a late baroque arch, and onto a “patio” overlooking the harbour, where we marveled at the numerous moored boats. We arrived in front of the Teatro delle Muse, an imposing and majestic neoclassical structure, and the Loggia dei Mercanti, a structure that reminds us of Ancona’s former prosperity as a commercial maritime port.

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    Cathedral of San Ciriaco

    We strolled up the ancient village’s streets for fifteen minutes till we arrived at the Cathedral of Ancona, San Ciriaco, made of white and pink Conero stone, a little out of breath. A magnificent place of worship, a mysterious and evocative Romanesque-Byzantine Cathedral to explore both inside and out. A formidable view can be seen from the square, which will make your pulse race with emotion.

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    Roman Amphitheater

    We went to the Roman Amphitheater, which is located between the hills Guasco and Cappucini, just a few steps from the Duomo. It has an elliptical shape and can hold up to 10,000 people. The Romans were incredibly clever because they were able to take advantage of the land’s morphology.

    Piazza Cavour and Viale della Vittoria

    We strolled down Corso Garibaldi, stopping for an excellent coffee at Bar Torino and shopping in the numerous stores.

    We began our trip after the break, passing by the lovely Piazza Cavour, which had recently been rebuilt, and walking down the wonderful Viale della Vittoria (a one-kilometer pedestrian promenade in the middle of the road surrounded by numerous trees) until we arrived at the Passetto.

    The Passetto

    The magnificent Monument to the Fallen of the First World War, a modest circular temple of Istrian stone, is Passetto’s icon. The Passetto neighborhood, which overlooks the Adriatic Sea, was established in the 1970s. We took the magnificent staircase down to the Passetto beach, which is primarily rocky but has a gravel section and a rocky seabed.

    Until we reached the Seggiola del Papa, a rock reduced to a slab polished by the sea, we appreciated the unique Grotte del Passetto, boat shelters constructed by excavating the rock at the end of the 19th century.

    Cardeto Park

    Returning to the Monumento ai Caduti (for a price, you may also take the public elevators back up), we made our way to Cardeto Park, a 35-hectare green space in the heart of Ancona facing the sea, spreading along the cliff occupying the summits of Monte del Cardeto and Colle dei Cappuccini. It is the city’s lungs, and it gets its name from thistles, a common plant in the area. We enjoyed a pleasant stroll through the city’s flora and history. On the inside of the park, you can see:

    the Campo degli Ebrei, ancient Jewish cemetery
    the “Castelfidardo” powder magazine
    the old Lighthouse, where we suggest you to arrive to admire a wonderful panorama.

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    13 Spouts

    Returning through the old center’s streets, we arrived at Piazza Roma to view the Renaissance-style Fontana delle 13 Cannelle or Calamo.

    Ancient Port

    We wanted to see the sunset from the ancient port as the day drew to a close. A beautiful stroll took us to the Roman Emperor Trajan’s Arch, a Roman marble structure with fluted Corinthian columns that has been admirably preserved. We recommend that you travel all the way to the red lantern at the end of the harbor.

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    Curiosity about Ancona

    * Many directors have selected this city to film scenes for their films; we recall the following: Luchino Visconti’s “Ossessione,” Silvio Soldini’s “Un’anima divisa in due,” Claudia Folrio’s “La regina degli scacchi,” and Nanni Moretti’s “La stanza del figlio.”

    * In Ancona, the legendary Caffè Borghetti, or Caffè Sport, was created.

    * “Mosciolino,” a new carnival mask designed by Andrea Goroni, who won a contest in 1999 with the story of Mosciolino (from mosciolo, the local name for mussels), a youngster without a family who lived near the sea.

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    Lake Orta, a small body of water in the province of Novara and known since the Middle Ages as Lake San Giulio, is linked to the arrival of the Saint, but also to one of the most important Italian writers: Gianni Rodari, who was born here in 1920.

    Lake Orta

    Lake Orta

    The current name of the lake dates back to the 17th century and takes its name from the main locality: Orta San Giulio. (here is the link to the dedicated post).

    A lake, a legend

    The legend that hovers over Lake Orta and that takes us back to the 4th century is curious, more precisely to the arrival on the shores of two brothers originally from the Greek island of Aegina: Giulio and Giuliano who here, with the backing of the emperor Theodosius I dedicated themselves to the demolition of pagan temples.


    Island of San Giulio

    Island of San Giulio

    Tradition has it that San Giulio, having left his brother Giuliano alone in the construction of the ninety-ninth church, in Gozzano, sought by himself the place to build the hundredth: he decided to do it on the islet a few steps from Orta. A noble idea, but no one wanted to transport it to that strip of land that rises from the lake because it was rumored that the islet was infested with ferocious beasts.

    Undaunted, St. Julius went alone to the island. He put his cloak on the water and began to walk on it until he reached the strip of land that emerged from the lake. Then the legend put his own. It is said that the saint defeated dragons and snakes that infested the place, according to ancient pagan beliefs, chasing them away forever and that later he laid the foundations for the church that was built on the spot where today we see the basilica of San Giulio.

    The Island today

    Around the Island of San Giulio

    Around the Island of San

    Reached the island by boat, the landing is at the height of the basilica which stands on the site of the primitive church founded by San Giulio. Today only the main apse remains of the original building. At the beginning of the 10th century, there was a fortified structure on the island which was demolished in 1842 to make way for what is now the seminary.

    Once you have visited the basilica, you can take a complete tour of this islet following an annular circuit known as the path of silence and meditation. In rigorous silence, we walk those few hundred meters that bring us back to the starting point, between walls that exude humidity and fantastic views of the lake. Step by step you reach the nineteenth-century Palazzo dei Vescovi and the Benedictine abbey Mater Ecclesiae, a convent for women, while the other buildings on the island are private homes.

    How to reach the island of San Giulio

    The island of San Giulio can be reached from Orta San Giulio by sailing boats or by private motorboats moored on the pier in Piazza Motta. The island can also be reached from other locations overlooking the lake.

     Island of San Giulio, street

    Island of San Giulio, street

    A very ancient human presence on the lake

    The human presence on Lake Orta dates back to the Neolithic period. In the Middle Ages, the lake was known as Lake San Giulio, while the name of Cusius (Cusio) would have come from the misreading of the Tabula Peutingeriana where a “lacus Clisius” of uncertain identification appears. The name Cusio was initially used as an administrative element while today it simply indicates the lake.

    Gianni Rodari

    The writer Gianni Rodari is a native of these places. In fact, he was born on 23 October 192.0 in Omegna, which is located on the northern tip of the lake. The man of letters mentions Lake Orta in his works: “There was twice the Baron Lamberto” which has the island of San Giulio as its setting and “The accountant-fish of Cusio”.

    Today in the municipality of Omegna you can visit the park dedicated to the writer.

     Island of San Giulio

    Island of San Giulio

    How do I get to Orta San Giulio?

    Orta San Giulio can be reached by car following the A26 motorway (Genova Voltri -Gravellona Toce) exit Gravellona Toce, then direction Omegna along the Regional Road 229, while for those coming from the A8 / A26 highways (Milano Laghi-Gravellona Toce) Arona exit, then towards Borgomanero.

    Orta San Giulio can also be reached by train. The closest railway station is the Orta-Miasino station, in the Legro district on the Domodossola – Borgomanero – Novara section. The alternative is the Arona station, on the Milan-Domodossola line, then you can continue with the Comazzi bus service – here the link http://www.comazzibus.com )

    The closest airport is Milan Malpensa which is about 40 km from Orta San Giulio

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    I was on my way to the Mercado Cerrado of Latacunga when I realized that the parade of the Mama Negra had begun and I looked for a place to observe the parade, I had spent the whole day without eating but my desire to witness this parade was more.

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    This celebration of la mama Negra is a mixture of indigenous, Spanish, and African cultures. To observe this festival that takes place only in the city of Latacunga is to fill the mind and heart of the cultural expressions of a people towards the Virgen de la Merced to which they pay homage for their favors received.

    The central figure of the party is precisely La Mama Negra, always personified by a man who dyes his face black and his fleshy lips an intense crimson red, from his head comes along and curly hair adorned with colored ribbons and Artificial pearls, from the pinna of the ears each light gold earrings and on his neck beautiful and fine chokers hang.Post Creator

    The Black Mama represents a matriarch slave of a crowd of black slaves freed from the gold mines near the city and who rides on a beautiful dark steed, she takes with her three children: two black children on the rump of her horse, as a symbol of her fertility and the youngest in her arms.

    The Virgen de la Merced is called the patron saint of the volcano. The celebration of la Mama Negra is performed twice a year, the first that takes place on September 24, which is performed by all its devotees.

    The second party is held the first week of November at the Independence of Latacunga, in which the characters are chosen for their popularity and the work that they have done in the city.

    Among the characters that exist are the Huacos who are the so-called sorcerers who perform the cleansing of people with rue, drink, and cigar. They are the ones found at the beginning of each comparsa. This ritual has a value of $ 1.

    The angel of the star represents San Gabriel Arcángel that is mounted on a horse dressed in white.

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    The Moorish King adorns the procession, the standard-bearer who looks like a soldier with a checkered flag, the captain who goes with a sword in hand and is well uniformed.

    The ashanguero, who is represented by the strongest, carries a basket of food on the back, a pig, guinea pigs, liquors that are going to be distributed at the end of the party.

    I was surprised that there were children carrying their baskets in a demonstration of faith towards the Virgen de la Merced.

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    There was a character who was reciting couplets to people once he finished his couplets, he gave to the people a liquor prepared with fruit, so I had to try it and it had a very good flavor.

    I did not know how long time the parade was going to last and when I asked about this, people told me that everything depends on the number of comparsas that show up, the faith of the people is great Latacunga showed it to me.

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    Visiting the fortress of Montebello, a hamlet of Poggio Torriana, we are in the province of Rimini, a few kilometers from the Adriatic Sea, you can admire a small, yet charming village, which hides a rather curious legend: that of Azzurrina.

    Montebello, historic center

    Montebello, historic center

    Before knowing this story, let’s take a tour of Montebello which rises 426 meters above sea level and from the top of its imposing castle dominates the valleys of Marecchia and Uso. The name of this locality is linked to its fortress and refers to the early medieval settlement when it was called, in Latin “Mons belli” or War Mountain, which later became Montebello.

    Church of San Pietro Apostolo

    Before visiting the castle and discovering its secrets and the legend of Azzurrina, we wander through the streets of the village to the church of San Pietro Apostolo, which is located at the end of the town. It is a small building renovated in the seventeenth century inside which you can see some interesting paintings from the same period.

    Montebello, bell tower of the church of San Pietro Apostolo

    Montebello, bell tower of the church of San Pietro Apostolo

    The fortress

    The castle, or fortress of Montebello, dates back to the year 1000 and was built on a Roman tower of the third century BC The tower, a square-plan masonry building still inserted in the structure of the manor, while the residence dates back to the second half of the 1400s stately. In the noble hall there is some precious furniture, among which a painted chest dating back, it is said, to the times of the Crusades.

    Montebello, the fortress seen from the village

    Montebello, the fortress seen from the village

    Building with ups and downs, it was conquered by the Montefeltro in 1393, then reconquered by its legitimate owners, the Malatesta, who was defeated in the battle of Pian della Marotta, near Senigallia by the army of Pope Pius II. Since then the fortress has been owned by the Guidi counts.
    Today the fortress is divided into two wings: one Renaissance and the other is a military fortress. For this purpose, it was used as a garrison to keep the Valmarecchia under control, the main link between Montefeltro and Tuscany. The fortress is one of the most interesting buildings of the Malatesta family in Romagna.

    The legend of Azzurrina

    The most interesting and mysterious aspect of the castle is the legend of Azzurrina.
    Daughter of a certain Ugolinuccio or Uguccione, feudal lord of Montebello in 1375, on June 21 of that year the little girl disappeared after entering the snowfield and was never found again.
    A short, simple, insignificant story, but which over the centuries has been enriched with episodes of fantasy. In fact, handed down orally, there are those who have added … non-existent details about the story. What may be the most likely was collected by a historian in the seventeenth century and is about a girl with sky-colored eyes and fair hair with blue highlights.


    The girl in question was called Guendalina and was born with albino hair. For fear of diversity, her parents dyed her hair, but the white of albinism did not hold back the colors. Thus it was that her hair turned blue. Hence the nickname of Azzurrina. The little girl, however, mysteriously disappeared one day in the snowfield. Since then, all traces have been lost.

    In the seventeenth-century manuscript we read:
    “… and it is said that, at the end of the summer solstice of every five years, a sound coming from that underground passage is still heard.”

    Montebello, the fortress seen from the village

    Montebello, the fortress seen from the village

    The mystery

    Montebello Castle today is a museum and on 21 June 1990, some sound engineers, looking for evidence of the presence of these sounds, made some recordings with sophisticated equipment.
    While listening they heard: thunder, a violent roar of the rain, then … a sound.
    Over the years other recordings were repeated, always on the same day and the result was identical with the repetition of that mysterious sound.
    This noise is made to listen to the visitors of the museum. There are those who claim to hear the moans of a child, some a voice, some only the sound of wind and rain. The mystery of Azzurrina remains close for centuries.

    The kitchen

    The other interesting aspect of Montebello is its cuisine, made up of simple dishes and genuine local products. Among the first courses, handmade pasta prevails, such as strozzapreti and tagliatelle, while the second courses offer grilled meats and game, while among the desserts there is the classic donut and homemade tarts. This is also the production area of Sangiovese and Trebbiano wines.

    How do I get to Montebello?

    Montebello can be reached By car from the A14 motorway, Bologna-Taranto, exit Vallo del Rubicone, then follow the Sp33 and then So 14 towards Poggio Torriana, from where you take the provincial road 120 for the final destination.

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    In this city with a thousand-year history and sturdy Roman fortifications dating back to 174 BC, you can live and relish a variety of activities. If you’re only here for a weekend or a couple of hours, we’ve put up a list of things not to miss… Good journey!

    A 2,500-year journey through history

    Do you know that Osimo was formerly known as the “Piceni metropolis,” the Piceno’s most significant city and an invincible bastion since ancient times? From the ancient Roman walls, the largest and best-preserved in the Marche; to the historical sources scattered throughout the city, including Fonte Magna, where Pompeo Magno had his horses watered; to the numerous Roman and medieval finds preserved in the Lapidarium, every glimpse, every construction of the historic center tells us anecdotes related to this priceless historical baggage.

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    What is the collection’s high point? The oldest inscription bearing the name Pompeo Magno has been discovered so far.

    The mystery of the nickname “osimani without a head” is solved

    When you enter the Town Hall of Osimo’s entrance hall, you’ll notice twelve headless Roman sculptors of comparable size, each telling you about the city’s vicissitudes from the top of their centuries. The residents of Osimani are known as “Headless” because of these sculptures that used to adorn the ancient Roman forum, which is now known as Piazza Boccolino. There is still an air of mystery about why they were all headless!

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    There are several theories, the most popular of which is that they were beheaded as a scar following a siege in 1487 by the Milanese general Trivulzio. Others believe that some heads have never been sculpted or that they have fallen as a result of conflicts or severe weather.

    Cross the threshold of a mysterious underground world

    You should be aware that some 2,500 years ago, ancient peoples began digging deep into the Osimo hill to create protective walkways and secret passages, as well as to supply water and survive. As a result, the city is cut through by a maze of caves and tunnels, some of which can be explored.

    Explore the mysteries, learning about the amazing figures and symbols that occupy this underground realm; it will be an unforgettable experience!

    Explore the city center and be surprised at every corner

    Going up via dell’Antica Rocca (known in the city as the Costa del Duomo for good reason) from the city’s heart, the Piazza del Comune, you can reach the city’s highest point, the summit of Gmero, where you will find the splendid Cathedral of San Leopardo and Santa Tecla, one of the most beautiful examples of Romanesque-Gothic architecture in the Marche.

    We urge that you go visit the cathedral’s crypt and the nearby fifteenth-century baptistery, pausing to admire the timber coffered ceiling, which will undoubtedly astonish you… Instead, instead of walking down the street, you’ll be immersed in the genuine historic center, which is comprised of majestic homes, an attractive theater, stores, and tasteful cafes where you may stop for an aperitif.

    The best thing to do is get lost following the smell of freshly baked bread from the baker or browsing through the artisan shops until you reach the city park: the Giardini di Piazza Nuova, where an exciting panorama from the Sibillini Mountains to the gentle green hills, to the blue sea of the Conero Riviera will unfold in front of your eyes.

    Discover hidden art almost everywhere

    In addition to the Pinacoteca and the Diocesan Museum, which house works by masters such as Pomarancio, Guercino, Ridolfi, Guido Reni, Simone De Magistris… (to name a few! ), the Pinacoteca and the Diocesan Museum house works by masters such as Pomarancio, Guercino, Ridolfi, Guido Reni, Simone De Magistris Inside the old cathedrals and behind the facades of the exquisite buildings in the center, you may see works by notable authors.

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    But the story doesn’t end there… With the PopUp! Festival, Osimo is also a city of urban art. New mural works and temporary and permanent installations by Italian and international artists transform the village into an open-air gallery. The internationally renowned artists Agostino Iacurci, Giorgio Bartocci, Allegra Corbo, and Twoone were invited to create site-specific works in public spaces in Osimo, a city nestled between the Conero sea and the hilly hinterland, as part of an exceptional program. In the midst of the picturesque historic city, the Broken Fingaz collective and thirty modern Italian artists are collaborating on temporary projects.

    Admire one of the most beautiful historical theaters in the Marche

    On the ruins of a previous theater, the neoclassical La Fenice Theater was erected. The horseshoe framework, nineteenth-century embellishments, and a historical curtain, painted by scenographer Alfonso Goldini, were unveiled in September 1894.

    It can hold up to 444 people in three tiers of boxes plus the gallery, allowing them to attend many shows throughout the year. The winter prose season is especially popular, with protagonists including young acting students as well as established celebrities in the Italian theater.

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    Offagna, located on the top of a hill near the Conero Riviera in the province of Ancona, is one of Italy’s most beautiful settlements. The medieval settlement is built around its ancient fortress, the town’s major defensive building, which still stands silently watching over the town and the beautiful scenery that surrounds it.

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    What to see in Offagna

    The ancient town of Offagna is small in size, but it is a classic landscape that should be experienced slowly and carefully, paying attention to every aspect. The beautiful Rocca di Offagna, a splendid example of military architecture from a historical time between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, is perhaps the architecture that hits the visitor the most. The Rocca, which stands on a tuff cliff and is a quadrangular structure with a forty-meter high keep in the center and five stories, was built by the people of Ancona for defensive purposes in 1454-1455.

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    A panoramic terrace on the top of the castle overlooks the countryside, which stretches from the Adriatic to the Umbrian-Marche Apennines, while a perimeter of fortified walls with Ghibelline battlements, interspersed with defensive towers, surrounds the fortress: the semicircular tower that delimited the walls to the northeast is still visible today. The view from the Belvedere, which extends around the Rocca and up to Monte Conero, is truly spectacular, while inside the Rocca today are the Museum of Weapons, the Museum of Ancona Liberation, and the Paolucci Museum, which houses a rich wildlife collection amassed by Professor Luigi Paolucci, an Ancona scholar who lived between the 19th and 20th centuries.

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    Aside from this military wonder, the city of Offagna was supplemented by various works by the great architect and hydraulic engineer Andrea Vinci. Vinci worked with other notable figures such as Carlo Murena and Luigi Vanvitelli on the Royal Palace of Caserta and then landed in Offagna to complete the Monastery of S. Maria della Visitazione in 1767 and the Church of Santissimo Sacramento in 1787, both jewels of rationality, formal purity, and austerity. The parish church of San Tommaso is Offagna’s principal religious structure, but the Church of Santa Lucia, which was first recorded in 1372, attracts the interest of visitors who visit the little center: The church, which houses seventeenth-century artworks, benefited from Andrea Vinci’s restructuring work and is also known for the discovery of remnants of a victim in its sacristy.

    Offagna, on the other hand, has two major structures worth seeing. The first is Villa Montegallo, which is located just outside of town on a hill overlooking the sea and features a seventeenth-century body commissioned by Antonio Maria Gallo but subject to Vinci’s revisions. It was once an aristocratic home and is now encircled by a magnificent terraced garden complex. Villa Malacari, a country mansion of the Malacari family from Grigiano, was built in the 17th century. The cellar, the stables, the carpentry, the oil mill, and the grain storage all bear witness to the building’s agricultural past. It is now a vineyard, and the gardens are extremely beautiful. Offagna’s setting in the picturesque Marche valleys makes it a romantic and timeless destination, ideal for a relaxed visit and proud representative of the Italian landscape’s eternal beauty.

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    The Medieval Festivals of Offagna

    During the last week of July, the province of Ancona is immersed in a bygone era as part of the Medieval Festivals. Even Offagna’s hamlet is implicated in these reinterpretations, with every lane and square taking a step back in time to reclaim its original character. Offagna takes on a truly irresistible appeal thanks to fire eaters, storytellers, and representations of Middle Age arts and crafts. The Contesa della Crescia is the primary event of the festival, which includes a battle between the knights of the four districts of Torrione, Sacramento, Croce, and San Bernardino, as well as the ultimate investiture of the top duelists.

    In May, however, the village is tinged with a thousand colors on the occasion of the Offagna in Fiore festival, an event dedicated to the world of floriculture that colors the pearl of the Conero with hundreds of nursery species and an all-spring climate.

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    Sirolo is a town located 125 meters above sea level on the Monte Conero slopes. We’re in the province of Ancona, looking out over the Adriatic. Between the green of the forest and the azure of the sea, in the heart of the Mediterranean scrub. A treasury of natural, historical, and architectural wonders. It’s an easy location to fall in love with.

    Old Town

    Every part of Sirolo’s ancient town is a tangle of romanticism to be uncovered. Its building dates from the late Middle Ages and is in excellent condition. A network of narrow streets to explore, with several shops selling unusual handmade products and traditional Marche restaurants. Houses with meticulous attention to detail, flower-filled balconies, and glimpses of the past strewn around make walking through Sirolo’s old center a pleasurable experience.

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    Church of the S.S Rosario ⛪️

    You must be careful not to miss any important corners when walking around Sirolo’s historic core. The Church of the Holy Rosary, for example, is a charming small church that blends in with the houses in its alleyway. It is positioned just after the Gothic Arch, one of the villages of Sirolo’s entrance doors. It is imperative that we pay attention to it. However, it is worthwhile to seek it out. It was erected in 1613 in the Baroque style and features numerous important works. Most importantly, it maintains calm and tranquility.

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    Sirolo square

    The village’s heart, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, is reached through the tiny lanes of the ancient center. A spacious and cheerful square with a spectacular view of the sea. Hundreds of people congregate in this true open-air living room, especially during the summer when it transforms into a stage for shows, concerts, music, and entertainment. Young and old alike take a seat in this wonderful living room, in the company of friends, for an aperitif, an ice cream, or a cocktail, in this gorgeous plaza on the Riviera.

    Panoramic viewpoint 🌅

    One of the most magnificent vistas of the entire Conero Riviera may be seen in the village’s picturesque square. Simply gaze out from Sirolo’s Panoramic Balcony onto an expansive panorama, which includes a glimpse of Croatia’s profile on clear mornings. An intimate, inviting space where individuals who are alone with their thoughts, those who pledge themselves love, and those who grin at their friends can all be found. Without a doubt, one of Sirolo’s most romantic spots.

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    Church of San Nicola di Bari

    The Church of San Nicola di Bari, with its bell tower, is located in a corner of Piazza Vittorio Veneto. They are in a position where they can gaze down on Monte Conero and the sea below. The church of Sirolo, dedicated to San Nicola di Bari, the famous miracle-working saint, was built in the 1700s on the foundations of a prior structure dating from 1230. It has a modest façade but is lavishly decorated on the inside. It also houses old figurative paintings, a magnificent 18th-century organ, and a 16th-century wooden crucifix.

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    This church also incorporates one of the two towers, the only remains of the ancient castle of Sirolo.

    Alle Cave Theater 🎭

    During the summer, the Cortesi Theater’s full program is relocated to the Teatro alle Cave, which is unquestionably one of Sirolo’s must-see attractions. Because it was developed from an abandoned quarry, a former stone mine was restored into a magnificent open-air theater that hosts up to 3,500 people every year beginning in June. The Teatro alle Cave is a stage that brings music and performances to Sirolo’s pleasant summer evenings. In a situation like this, it’s invaluable.

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    Anuradhapura is a notable and highly explored ancient city in Sri Lanka, which is known for its ruins which represent the ancient civilization of Sri Lanka. This destination is visited in large numbers by the people of the Buddhist religion and is the major pilgrimage destination of the nation. Anuradhapura used to be the capital of this Island in the early period and almost all major rulers of Sri Lanka resided here during their ruling period.

    This ancient city is one of the sacred world heritage sites because of some breathtaking attractions. The hotels and tourism industry are well developed in this city and attention has been is given towards guest comfort and hospitality. While most sightseeing in Anuradhapura concerns archeological sites and exquisite stonemasonry, you can also combine the history trip with an exploration of the new town’s shops and major department stores. This ancient city is home to not only temples but also pools and budget accommodation places Your trip to Anuradhapura for 2 days might turn into 4 or even 5 when you get along with their relaxed paced lifestyle.

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    How to get to Anuradhapura

    If you have just flown into Sri Lanka, then the best ways to reach Anuradhapura from Colombo are as follows:

    By Bus: Many busses are running from Colombo to Anuradhapura in a day. Buses are very cheap in Sri Lanka and they shouldn’t cost more than‍ 500 LKR.

    By Train: The train from Colombo to Anuradhapura is the most budget-friendly and quickest way to get to Anuradhapura. It costs roughly 270 LKR and takes around 3 and a half hours.

    By Taxi: You can get a Taxi to Anuradhapura if you are leaving from Colombo or Katunayaka Airport. It takes around 4 hours and it costs around 7,000-9,000 LKR, which is between 4 people.

    When is the best time to visit Anuradhapura?

    The best time to visit Anuradhapura is year-round. However, April and September are the best months as the weather is dry and sunny and you would be able to explore the destination comfortably.

    Although the weather in Anuradhapura remains the same throughout the year, the best time to visit Anuradhapura has been recorded to be April and September. During these months, the city receives less rainfall and it is a dry season which makes it perfect for sightseeing. So, if you want to explore this place without any hassle then you know when to plan your trip.

    I visited in September and the weather was warm, but there was no rain or cloud which was nice.

    If you are visiting in the peak seasons of the year then you need to make sure that your accommodation gets booked well in advance. The rush of tourists remains so high during such periods that getting good hotels and resorts at the best price becomes tough especially in the case when you plan to book after arrival.

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    Final Thoughts on visiting Anuradhapura

    Exploring the sacred city of Anuradhapura is much like going to visit Mayan ruins and Roman ruins. Each site at Anuradhapura will tell a story. It is evident how important religion was to this ancient society, and how pivotal the kingdom was in spreading Buddhism throughout Sri Lanka.

    It is important to know that there are significant distances between some of the attractions, and so transportation will be needed to make the most of each day. Tuk-Tuks are always available to take you around to each of the sites, but a personal tour guide is more helpful. Comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, and airy clothing are a must for touring Anuradhapura. Most stupa sites require all guests to remove their shoes, this is where socks come in handy and dress appropriately as a form of respect. All the sites I visited feature free admission, but donation boxes are set up to help cover maintenance costs.

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    Monkeys, birds, and lizards are just some of the local critters you will encounter at each of the sites. Remember that the monkeys are wild, and although they seem tame, I advise that you never touch or try to feed them. They can pass on quite a few nasty things to people that surely you do not want to take back home with you. Plus, they are notorious for stealing things.

    I sincerely hope you will enjoy and appreciate your time spent in Anuradhapura among the ruins before heading off on your next Sri Lankan adventure.

    I had a wonderful time in this ancient city and I know you will too.

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    Let’s go to the discovery of the Capo Caccia caves in Sardinia in the panoramic Marine Protected Area

    Capo Caccia, the staircase leading to Neptune's cave

    Capo Caccia, the staircase leading to Neptune’s cave

    Located twenty kilometers from the center of Alghero, Capo Caccia is a huge promontory overlooking the sea. We are at the most extreme point of the north-western coast of Sardinia, exactly in the Marine Protected Area of Capo Caccia – Isola Piana.

    This rock owes its name to the fact that here the nineteenth-century nobility came to hunt pigeons during the calm period. We are also in a panoramic point of the island, in fact from the top of the promontory you can see the Gulf of Alghero and the nearby island of Foradada.

    A place with overhanging walls, here land and sea blend in a single shade of blue, and the colors are embellished by the presence of wild fauna. If you are lucky you can admire the Bonelli’s eagle, or the peregrine falcon but also gulls, from the royal to the Corsican one, then petrels and swifts.

    The caves

    The marine area of Capo Caccia has limestone rocks in which caves and ravines have formed and includes the inlet of Porto Conte and the stretch of sea between Punta del Giglio and Capo Caccia. An underground treasure that can be reached both by sea and by land. Beyond the bay of Mugoni, the area has several promontories shaped by karst phenomena, while the eastern side offers the Green Cave.

    Capo Caccia, towards the Neptune caves

    Capo Caccia, towards the Neptune caves

    Green Cave

    This cave is closed to the public but can only be explored with a special permit. The green cave owes its name to the mosses and lichens that formed on the rocks, but it also bears witness to human presence in prehistoric times. According to scholars, this was the burial point of the dead 7,000 years ago.

    Neptune’s Caves

    Capo Caccia, the entrance area to the Neptune caves

    Capo Caccia, the entrance area to the Neptune caves

    Reachable by sea or by land by a long staircase carved into the cliff: the “Escala del Cabirol” which starts from the square of Capo Caccia and reaches the sea, with a difference in height of 110 meters, allows us to visit or rather, the spectacular Caves of Neptune are a real geological wonder. About fifteen underground tunnels were formed both on the surface and below sea level and which are formed by suggestive environments embellished by the presence of stalactites and stalagmites.

    The path of the Neptune’s Caves

    The itinerary starts from the Sala del Lago Lamarmora, one of the largest salt lakes in Europe, where there is the monumental Acquasantiera, the stalagmite about two meters high. We continue in the Sala delle Rovine and in the Reggia, where imposing natural colonnades are displayed, including the Christmas tree. At the end of the lake, there is the Spiaggia dei Ciottolini. The tour continues in the Smith Room to admire the majestic column called the Great Organ, the largest column in the entire cave. Then continue towards the Sala delle Trine e dei Merletti and finally here is the Tribuna della Musica, which is the suggestive balcony from which to admire the area of the Reggia and Lake Lamarmora in all its beauty.

    Capo Caccia, rocks overlooking the sea

    Capo Caccia, rocks overlooking the sea

    Nereo’s cave

    Lovers of scuba diving can visit the Nereo cave, with its series of tunnels where coral grows, whose ramifications can already be seen at about 5-6 meters deep.

    Punta Cristallo

    After Capo Caccia, going towards the north, you arrive at Punta Cristallo, the place where you can observe the peregrine falcon and the griffon vulture.

    Capo Caccia: a griffon vulture

    Capo Caccia: a griffon vulture

    How do I get to Capo Caccia?

    From Alghero you arrive at Capo Caccia following the coast road to Fertilia, then continue to the bay of Porto Conte, and after the crossroads, on the left, you reach the square where parking is allowed.