The region of Le Marche
The sea off the Marche coast is especially rich with crustaceans and all types of squid, shrimps and cuttlefish. Brodetto is the most typical dish and, as the name suggests, is a type of soup made from the left overs and unwanted scraps that couldn't be sold in the market.
Traditionally, it was the daily meal for many workers in the ports and was considered a complete meal. There are four types of brodetto corresponding to the different fishing localities in the region - 'Ancona', 'Porto Recanati', 'Fano' and 'San Benedetto del Tronto'.
Essentially, the main fish caught in each town is the prime ingredient in the local brodetto. We have been informed of a new fifth version called 'brodetto delle Marche' which has aspects of each of the other four. If you are wondering where the best brodetto originates from, then Porto Recanati claims to be 'king of brodetto', but locals will differ.
If you take the busy state road along this stretch of the Adriatic Coast in the province of Ascoli Piceno, the beach resorts seem to merge into one. It isn't quite like that, but never has the word 'lungomare' been so apt as Pedaso, Cupra Marittima, San Benedetto del Tronto and Porto d'Ascoli for what is known as the Riviera delle Palme, not to be confused with a similar stretch of coast in Liguria.
Cupra Marittima has had two existences. The first was when the zone was home to a thriving Roman colony trading fine local wine and olive oil; the second when the well-to-do started building wondeful liberty style homes close to the beach was in the late 19th century and reestablished the original name.
To find out what happened in between take the short steep walk from the SS 16 Adriatica to the fortress town of Marano towering over Cupra (image below) where you can visit the Museo del Territorio inside Palazzo Cipolletti. The museum is divided into three sections over three floors: 'Prehistoric', 'Roman' and 'Picena'.
This dish of stuffed Olive Ascolane serves 6 people and requires a strong heart.
60 large green olives, 150g flour, 3 eggs, 150g pork loin, 100g mince beef, 3 spoons grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, 150g grated bread, 2 lemons, 2 spoons tomato pastes, 2 slices stale bread, olive oil, 100g chicken livers, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper
The tourism authorities of the Province of Pesaro and Urbino suggest 10 cycle itineraries to discover one of the the richest provinces of Italy from the point of view of history, natural beauty and monumental heritage.
For example, tour number 8 of Montefeltro country and its fortresses passes through unspoilt countryside inside the regional Natural Park of Sasso Simone e Simoncello as well as parts of Romagna and the Republic of San Marino
The Riviera del Conero is the closest resort area to Ancona in Le Marche.
What is distinctive about the area is the huge Monte Conero headland dominating the coastline in a stretch of the Adriatic sea flat for miles either way.
The area, and especially the Monte Conero, is therefore an unusual microclimate of beaches, reefs, coves and cliffs.
It is an area of uncontaminated beauty. From the towns of Numana and Camerano there are also day trips to bays inaccessible by land, two examples being 'Gabiani' (Seagulls) and 'Due Sorelle' (Two Sisters).
Portonovo lies on one side of the majestic 576m high Monte Conero, the huge headland spur which juts into the Adriatic coast in Le Marche as if it had arrived there by mistake.
There seems to be no good reason for its existence when you consider the rest of the flat coast from north to south.