There is no way to melt into a small village in central Italy within a week. However, there is a way to get a feeling of how it could be to live like a local. It was the main reason why my hosts put me into a villa outside the city. The place was called Casale degli Ulivi and just as the name says: the house was located in an olive grove. I found it appealing for couple of reasons: I enjoyed the silence of the countryside, marvelous views on Acqualagna – a nearby town, I experienced a luxury of solitude and also the nature of traditional life of Marche.
Old and new
The house was old. A sort of traditional one that has been constructed for a long time in the area. It has all architectural wisdom in it: deep loggia to shadow a table, floor covered with terracotta, and window blinds. All elements that helps to keep the house cool in the middle of the summer. I especially appreciated the attachment to the details of interior design: all interior and exterior door were the original one carefully renovated. Table, cupboards, stairs and beams were made of wood creating a welcoming atmosphere of a countryside villa.
Instead of running like mad to see everything in the area I chose to split my day in two parts, spending morning or afternoon in the house and the second half on visiting places. Such a rule was very helpful in keeping a good balance between activity and relax. It also made possible to continue regular running in order to prepare to my first half marathon.
Thanks to its construction properties and a large garden the place was cool even in the middle of the day, when sun was burning. It was also a perfect location to visit the nearby interesting sites: Urbino, Acqualagna, Furlo and Pesaro. All in all I had a marvelous time staying there and read few good books while sitting in a garden.
This was a new way of spending my holiday and I found it really nice. It must be also a great idea for family holiday: you get your own kitchen with all facilities so you don’t need to drive to the town for every meal. You have a large garden, a swimming pool, few rooms to share among the relatives and privacy. I would imagine that this is a perfect place for a family holiday or for a nice stay with few friends (I need to think about it next time I’m in Marche).
Yes, the most comfortable way to hanging around was by car. It makes life easier here: you drive to the supermarket or a street market just like the locals and cook your own food in a kitchen. My idea was also to split the meals: I was having one of the meals prepared by myself and the other in a restaurant, to taste the local specialities. It worked wonderfully and allowed me to enjoy the natural surrounding of the villa and local truffle specialities.
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