Apecchio, Italy

P3210786Apecchio has been on an active trade route between the coast and the Tuscan plain for a thousand years.  In fact, if you go to the Vatican Museum and look at the 14th Century murals showing a map of Italy, P3210796 Apecchio  is there,  an important stop on the route between the Duchy of Urbino and Tuscany.

The town itself is nestled in a small valley, with the River Metauro running through it.  The river meanders down towards the Adriactic, through Piobicco and to the sea.  Between Apecchio and Piobicco, only six kilometers away, are many well-marked hiking and mountain bike trails.  In fact, in Piobicco is a great sports shop, and the proprietor runs a bike racing team.  He will be happy to tell you anything you need to know about biking in the area, and will even rent you a bike for the day.P3210785

the Giro d’Italia often runs through this area, especially through Columbara and up to Mount Nerone.  If you are a biking fan, this is a real treat.

P3210791The terrain has a mountainous feel to it, with hills of shale rising above the river.  The wildflowers in the spring are many and varied.  On Chi Paolotti itself, there are often more than two dozen different wildflowers blooming around the house alone.  There are areas of rolling to flat terrain as well, for  gentle walks and photo-taking opportunities.

Apecchio is in the heart of Italy.  It is less than two hours by car to Florence and only 45 minutes to the Adriactic coast at Fano.  A few minutes down the coast from Fano is Ancora, where the ferry stops.  This ferry can take you up to Trieste or down to Greece.  There is a wonderful overnight trip to Split in Croatia, home to Diocletian’s palace and some of the most beautiful coastal views in Europe.  Locally, you can drive to the famous Estruscan hill town of Gubbio in 45 minutes, or take an hour drive into Assisi, home to St. Francis and the beautiful basilica that honors him, Santa Maria d’Angeli.  Venice is about five hours by car, or you can drive into Fano and take the train that will put you into the heart of Venice with no worries about driving or where to park!

To get to Apecchio, you can fly into Florence and drive to Arezzo, over to Citta d’Castello and then 27 kilometers up the road to Apecchio.  For international travelers, fly into Rome, which is about 2 1/2 hours away.