Marche Region Discovery – Italy in a region
This itinerary focuses only on Marche region, a small but extremely fascinating region still quite unknown to foreign tourists. It is strategically located in central Italy along the shores of the Adriatic sea and it is rich in history, art, lovely landscapes, and Jewish heritage sites.
After the arrival at Rome Fiumicino airport, we will drive to ANCONA, the capital city of MARCHE, a region that fascinated American iconic movie star Dustin Hoffman, to the point of purchasing a beautiful villa in the area of ANCONA when he came to shoot a series of advertisements promoting its allures to an international audience.
Here we will be visiting many sites included in the Unesco Heritage List: medieval and Renaissance villages and towns surrounded by lovely landscapes such as JESI, FERMO, FABRIANO and URBINO that with its most iconic attraction, the Palazzo Ducale, even inspired some of the most spectacular scenes of the “Star Wars” series; the Jewish heritage sites located in Urbino and Jesi and in more secluded places like MORESCO; and last, but not least, natural wonders like the FRASASSI caves and the CONERO sea coast; tiny SAN MARINO (abt 23 sq. miles), the oldest Republic in the world, GRADARA and its castle soaked in history and perfect sets for a cloak and dagger movie.
Like any of our Tours also this can be shortened or extended. For the latter option we invite you to have a look at all our Tours which, either partially or totally could be added to this tour. We invite you also to check our list of 1 EXTRA DAY OPTIONS and ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES that are offered with each tour (extra cost to be advised upon request).
After visiting Italy’s beauties, if you might be interested in continuing your trip to Israel please bear in mind that we have a strong partnership with GO ASIA tour operator (https://www.goasia.it/destinazioni/israele/).
LOCATIONS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR:
Ancona; Urbino; Pesaro; Caves of Frasassi; Jesi; Sirolo; Moresco; Montegiorgio; Fermo; Fabriano; Gradara; San Marino; San Leo.
ELEMENTS OF INTEREST INCLUDED IN THE TOUR:
1) Jewish Heritage;
2) Art cities;
3) ”Minor Italy”: places off the beaten path, but that are worth visiting for their beauty and their typical Italian characteristics and atmosphere;
4) Nature and landscapes;
5) World War II;
6) Glamour/ Shopping.
Arrival at Rome Fiumicino airport.
Drive by deluxe van to Ancona, capital city of the Marche region.
The city is picturesquely laid out in an amphitheater shape on the hills around the port area where it was first founded by the Greeks over 2,500 years ago. Ever since, due also to its strategic position in the middle of the Adriatic sea, it has been an active and important sea trade centre. This also explains why its Jewish community is one of the oldest in Italy dating back well to before the year 1,000 AD.
After arrival and check-in at the hotel, you will be meeting the local guide to start the tour of Ancona’s historic downtown area where you will stroll around the picturesque Piazza Plebiscito and Piazza delle Repubblica, and the adjacent streets, all encircled and sided by lovely buildings, churches, and palaces. Then you will move to the Jewish area where you will be walking in the old ghetto established in 1555 and will be visiting the Levantine synagogue originally built in the 16th century, demolished at the time of the unification of Italy in 1860, and rebuilt in 1876. The same building is also home to the Italian synagogue. Time allowing, we will also visit the Jewish ancient cemetery of the Cardeto, picturesquely located on a cliff hanging above the sea.
Return to the hotel overnight stay.
After breakfast departure by deluxe van to Urbino, one of the most important Renaissance towns included in the Unicef World Heritage List. Here we will be visiting its historical downtown area and its iconic Palazzo Ducale that has inspired so many architects, artists, and even film makers such as George Lucas who put his version of the Palazzo Ducale in one of the most iconic scenes of the Star Wars movie saga. It is a fortified palace, practically a town within the town, astonishing from the outside with its huge size that seems to follow you throughout Urbino and beautiful to visit inside with its incredible halls and rooms. Inside the Palazzo also the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, an impressive art gallery where many art works collected in the Marche region after the reunification of Italy in the XIX century are on display, including several paintings from the great Renaissance Urbino painter Raffaello. Next, in fact, we will visit the House of Raffaello, one of the most iconic artists of the Renaissance period. Our visit will then take us to the Jewish sites: the ancient synagogue, which existed prior to the establishment of the Ghetto, and the Ghetto established later and where Jews from Urbino and eight other minor centres of the area were forced to reside starting from 1633. The synagogue was then built inside this Ghetto. Its original gorgeously decorated Aron HaKodesh in Renaissance style is now displayed in the Jewish Museum in New York.
We will then proceed to Pesaro, a lovely city by the sea and the birthplace of the famous composer Gioacchino Rossini. Here we will visit the area of the Jewish ghetto created in 1214 in the town's most insalubrious area, the Sepharadic Synagogue and what is left of the once lavish Italian Synagogue. The decor of this synagogue nowadays embellishes several synagogues throughout the world. Time allows, for the opera and the bella musica buffa, there will be the possibility of visiting Gioacchino Rossini’s house and the beautiful Theater dedicated to him. Return to Ancona for overnight.
After breakfast we will drive to the Caves of Frasassi (tickets included): you will access a natural and magical wonder filled with stalactites and stalagmites with incredible shapes. After the visit to the caves we will be reaching Fabriano, a lovely town where we will take a walk to enjoy the atmosphere, views and architectural layout of its Piazza del Comune and the surrounding maze of streets and alleys. In addition, Fabriano features two unique museums worth visiting: the Paper Museum celebrating Fabriano’s 700 plus years in this craft and the Pianoforte Museum. Here on display are 18 unique antique instruments showing the evolution that ends with the final creation of the piano as we know it today invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in 1700. On some of these instruments a musician will play music that was specifically composed for them by famous composers such as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven.
The last stop of the day will be in Jesi, a city founded almost 3,000 years ago included in the in the Unesco’s Heritage list. It’s the birthplace of two important historical characters: Emperor Federico II of Svevia and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Emperor Federico II of Svevia was a wise and farsighted giant of his time who was able to bring together the Greek, Latin, Christian, and Arab cultures. At the head of a crusade expedition, he was able to obtain control of Jerusalem without a fight, but only through negotiations and cultural exchanges with the then Sultan of Egypt. Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was a music composer born in Jesi whose influence in the music history spans from Johann Brahms to Igor Stravinskj – his is the iconic and moving “Stabat Mater”.
Jesi has a perfectly preserved historic centre and XV century city wall all around the old town, where middle age and Renaissance blend beautifully together. We will be first walking along the old walls and through its streets and piazzas to savour its atmosphere. Then we will start the actual visit to specific sites. These will include Piazza Federico II where the future emperor was born, Piazza Coloci and its impressive Palazzo della Signoria, the Theatre Pergolesi lavishly frescoed and decorated, Palazzo Pianetti with its art gallery and vaulted plastered corridor where masterpieces of Lorenzo Lotto are on display, and the area of the old Jewish ghetto.
Short drive back to Ancona for overnight stay.
After breakfast we will be leaving for Moresco, a small village of about 600 inhabitants the origin of which dates back around the year 1000 A.D.
It’s an extremely picturesque village that seems frozen in time, intact not only in its architectural layout, but also in the atmosphere that permeates it. Perched on top of a hill and surrounded by a gorgeous countryside it offers beautiful photo opportunities with its peerless views of the surroundings. On a clear day you can see to the east the Albanian coast across the Adriatic sea and the Gran Sasso mountain, the highest of the Appennini range with its 8,100 ft over 100 miles, down south.
We will then proceed to Fermo, founded by the Romans, with its unique medieval layout made of narrow alleys that all of a sudden open up in the open space of a square, tall buildings (for medieval standards) and its shopping “boulevards”. We will visit Piazza del Popolo, Palazzo Priori and its stunning “Globes” hall and art gallery, the underground Roman water tanks built in the 1st century B.C. to ensure water supply to the city, and to finish our visit with the retrò/liberty Teatro dell’Aquila.
From here we will move to nearby Montegiorgio where Jews used to live and work mostly as tanners. We will walk through the old town center and the Farfense Chapel. In this chapel there are frescoes illustrating episodes of the Old and New Testaments depicting the Jews, as by Christian tradition of the time, in a negative light. Then you will proceed to the Jewish sites of the town where Jews used to live since the XIII-XIV century engaged in activities like money lending, wool and linen spinning, and leather tannery. Visit to the areas of the old ghetto and where the tannery tanks used to be.
As a curiosity: in the nearby town of Urbisaglia was born Lucio Flavio Sinna, the Roman general who, at the head of the X legion, conquered Masada.
Before returning to Ancona, we will stop in Sirolo, the pearl of the Conero riviera, a lovely and beautifully preserved medieval little village perched on a cliff overlooking the Adriatic sea, to enjoy a walk through its typical alleys with their small shops, marvel at the sea views and the charming town “piazza”.
Short drive back to Ancona for overnight stay.
After breakfast, and weather permitting, we will discover the protected Conero area, a white cliff right on the Adriatic sea covered by the typical Mediterranean vegetation. You will be taking a private boat for a cruise along the Conero riviera, bathing in the open sea or cosy coves and relaxing on the boat where you will have lunch with local typical products.
Return to Ancona: overnight stay.
The first destination of the day will be Gradara and its suggestive small hamlet and famous fortress perched sitting on a strategic hill overlooking the surrounding area from the Adriatic sea to the Appennini mountains. It was built as a fortified village with its castle at its top; legend says it was the scene of the famous and tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca, caught in each other’s arms and killed by Gianciotto, Francesca’s husband. This love story was immortalised by Dante in his Divine Comedy.
From Gradara we will then move to our next destination of the day: San Leo, a beautiful and charming hamlet.
At its top sits the Medici Palace built between 1517 and 1523 after the conquest of Gradara by the troops of the Florentine Republic and its impressive fortress used by the Church to imprison “heretics”, amongst whom, the most famous, Cagliostro.
From here we will move to San Marino, the oldest Republic in the world. San Marino was established in unmemorable times (most probably in the late III century A.D.). Nowadays, it is still an independent sovereign State though on Italian soil. It’s the third smallest state in Europe with its area being a mere 23.55 sq. miles. Perched on top of a cliff, you will enjoy some free time to walk around the fascinating alleys and shop in the local stores.
Return to Ancona: preparation for Shabat.
Breakfast at the hotel. Possibility of Shabat prayers at one of the Synagogues (if open). The rest of the day will be free.
Transfer with luxury van from Ancona to Rome Fiumicino airport. Departure.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||2 participants||4 participants||6 participants|
|From 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023||€ 4,800||€ 3,200||€ 2,700|
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCES (we are open to satisfy any additional request you might have):
1) VISIT TO THE CITY OF RAVENNA, former capital of the Byzantine Roman Western Empire and its beautiful mosaics and art features;
2) MIRABILANDIA amusement park with attractions for both children and adults;
3) Visit to beautiful Osimo and its incredible underground 2,500 years old city;
4) Shopping spree in a brand outlet;
5) ITALIAN COOKING LESSONS/GO KARTS/QUADS/BICYCLING/SURFING OR SAILING/PAINT BALL, …
6) A day hiking on the magic Sibillini Mountains where nature, history and mystery meet;
7) Concert or opera at one of the theatres visited during our tour in the Marche: Theatre Gioacchino Rossini in Pesaro, Theatre Pergolesi in Jesi and Theatre dell’Aquila in Fermo (all in season);
KOSHER MEALS: starting from 650€ per person. Full-board with kosher certified pre-packaged meals, throughout the whole trip.
The tariff includes
The tariff does not include
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
from € 2390 - Excluding flights
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 1680 - Excluding flights
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 1400 - Excluding flights
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 2000 - Excluding flights
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The first Jewish presence in the city dates back to 1145. However it’s not until the 16th century that the Jewish community will reach it’s peak. In fact, in this century a grand total of 12 synagogues were built. They were called “scholae”, and they served both as places of worship as well as “schools”, […]