Le Marche, a lovely name, just perfect for this ravishing region. Its immense beauty simply knocks you off your feet. The Adriatic sea and smooth hills descending towards it from the Appennine mountains. embrace the Marche district.
Its fantastic geographical position creates a unique dialogue between “terra e mare” reflecting in its culture as well as in nature. Characteristic towns nestle in the highlands and rigorous secular olive groves and vineyards bless the landscape. Le Marche has it all: sea, rolling hills, mountains, valleys, sublime cuisine and glorious art sites. Starting off our itinerary amidst the saline perfumed nature of Portonovo, nestled in Ancona’s sea resort, Conero Park will make you feel one with nature at a glance.
Portonovo is referred to as the the jewel of the Conero Park. Getting there you get a clear idea of how its beach was formed by a landslide in ancient times, resulting in shiny white stone cliffs embracing the crystal clear and blue Adriatic sea. Green flourishing slopes add to its magic smoothing the Conero promontory all the way to the sea.
The natural park was founded to safeguard the areas unique natural beauties and resources. To be enjoyed in all seasons, Portonovo gives you the strong feeling of a private sea, an intimate seaside even when a little bit crowded because of its wild and pristine context. Walking on its beaches you may bump into the most incredible sea sponges, pure rose colored marvels of the ocean, one of its incredible filter feeders. They don’t walk nor swim, but nurture themselves by filter-feeding and are vital water filters in our ecosystems. Research show that sea sponges may be the way to oxynate the seas and keep other dwelling species alive. So if you “meet” one don’t take it home as a souvenir, but at the most caress it gently and take it out for a good swim back into its habitat.
After a regenerating afternoon embracing the waves of this picturesque, playful and innerly sea amongst sea sponges, canoas and wild mussel covered under sea rocks, a contemplative aperitivo at Clandestino Susci Bar of chef Moreno Cedroni.
Be sure of tasting the moscioli by the way during your stay, that are a unique local sea delicacy, and for a more casual merenda or lunch snack, a piadina flatbread filled with mortadella, burrata and the local spaccasassi (stone breakers), a unique herb, that looks like seaweed, but is actually a variety of sea fennel. You wild find it for example at the bar of Ristorante Il Molo on the Portonovo beach.
Sunrise and brioche in front of the sea
An idea for starting off another day at Conero national Park is colazione at dawn at Sirolo with the typical italian breakfast consisting of cappuccino and brioche sweet bun. You will find those italian croissant version in all regions of Italy in different shapes with numerous fillings.
At 7 o’clock in the morning they are so deliciously fresh and crunchy to wake up with. But first we pass by the harbor of Numana, one of the three main towns of the Conero natural park and sits on the southern side of Conero mountain. This cute little town consists of the old town which lies higher Numana alta, and the lower part Numana bassa.
After having admired the first part of the most silent and golden sunrise, our feet take us up to the higher part to take our breakfast in one of the many bars in the panoramic piazza square in the center.
This part of the city sits on top of a cliff overlooking the sea and softly merges in with the nearby Sirolo. There is no hurry on this very early Sunday, so we linger on to take a second colazione consisting of a second brioche bun and freshly squeezed orange juice. The sun continues to rise above the sea adding a magically bluer tone to the Adriatic sea each minute of its sunny voyage up the sky. Now we are ready to move on to our next stage in the unique natural “theatre” of the Conero Park where marvelous rock caves, white limestone cliffs and immense green make the place one of a kind on the Adriatic seaside.
The medieval town of Sirolo sits right in the middle of the Conero Regional Park enjoying constantly the enchanting view of the Adriatic coastline. An absolute “must” is to take a boat ride from Numana harbour with traghettatori del Conero and visit the Due sorelle beach that can only be reached by boat. This small picturesque bay is located at the roots of the Conero mountain in front of the crystalline blue sea with two imposing white rocks in front of it, from whom its name derives.
In summer time the Fondazione Cetacea of Riccione organizes in collaboration with the boat company the so called Tartaruga Day, where log head turtles of the Riccione turtle hospital are taken to the beach after have been healed by the medical staff. It is a big emotion admiring those ancestral animals trundling (some even running) from the beach towards their much beloved habitat, the Adriatic sea.
Getting to the Due sorelle beach, getting ready and go……
The silent joy of the Sirolo seaside
Music as the sea doesn’t need words to sow happiness, just silence. You experience that even deeply if you get to the beaches early in the morning, in weekdays and in spring or autumn out of the main tourist season. But the sea always remains the sea, expressing immense joy and energy, revitalizing our beings. Sirolo is a small and elegant town situated in the southern slopers of the Monte Conero. It is commonly named “the pearl of the Adriatic Sea” because of its unique position between the big blue and the rolling hills and white rocks. San Michele, Sassi Neri and Urbani beaches welcome you to their uncontaminated landscape embracing all your senses starting with the inimitable breeze characterized by a decisive mixture of pine and sea. This is the perfect seaside for reflecting, walking, for feeling romantic, for playing, and the cozy boatlife is ever so charming and underlines as well the sense of deep contact between man and nature.
The sea from above
The are most certainly many places from where to admire the Adriatic sea from above on the Conero riviera, including of course the Monte Conero promontory itself. There is a famous passeggiata that leads to the Belvedere del Passo del Lupo, where you will have a breathtaking view of the Due Sorelle beach. If you wish to pass a lazy meditation afternoon contemplating the sea you can always get by car on top of the mountain and just let our mind fly free and high over the ocean like an eagle. On a clear day you will have a dreamy view of Gran Sasso mountain and the Abruzzo coast, as well as San Marino and the Romagna Coast to the north. Here you really get a strong sense of how the land melts in with the sea, and what a miraculous wonder it is sitting in a paradise between heaven and earth.