This summer we went to Sirolo and stayed in www.lanticomulino.it .
Sirolo is a small town or village about 20kms south of Ancona. What makes Sirolo and Numana interesting, is nature itself. South of Ancona a mountain rises to about 570m along the coast, known as the natural reserve of “Conero” . At the southern end of this natural reserve are the villages of Sirolo and Numana – and then the coast is flat again. What this means is that for a short while you get a very different, and much more interesting, coastline, with white cliffs falling straight to the sea, and a very narrow beach strip below, sometimes only reachable via the sea itself. Essentially, the scope for tourism is limited by the the narrow beaches and the lack of big hotels, so the area is never crowded, and the tourists are mainly Italians. Numana has a breakwater, so you can swim also on windy days.
The picture below is taken from a boat, and shows a beach which can only be reached by sea.
Whenever you want to get to the beach, you have to descend a steep road or track; but there are also public buses and in some places a “navetta” or shuttle-service, often in the shape of a white-painted Land Rover. Once you get there, you will find the usual Italian set-up: part of the beach is public, part of it private, and there you pay 15-20 Euros/day for a couple of sunbeds and a parasole. The sea is blue and transparent and warm.
In both Sirolo and Numana there are excellent restaurants specialising in fish. Our marks go to “La Taverna”, for its menu and friendly staff.
Then maybe you get into your hire car and drive to some of the medieval towns sitting on hill-tops in the immediate vicinity.
Recanati is famous for being the birthplace of Giacomo Leopardi, and also the place where he lived many years and wrote many of his poems – or at least, whence he drew inspiration for his poems. To get maximum benefit from Recanati, it helps to be familiar with Italian and with Leopardi…. the local Leopardi museum is a bit on the quaint side, but does contain his death-mask and the only portrait said to bear his likeness. You can visit the garden which is the key place in his (lovely) “L´Infinito”, the famous isolated hill (quest´ermo colle), but frankly, it´s a bit of a mess, a dilapidated garden. The view of the surrounding landscape is great, though, and that´s what inspired Giacomo. You can also visit his house, and the 20.000 volume library his father created.
Loreto is a place of pilgrimage. You will be absolutely astonished to find a huge monastery and a big basilica there, as a well as a busy trade in Catholic paraphernalia.
It´s an awe-inspiring place. It makes you feel small, and it makes you think, or even feel, all the suffering and longing that people have placed at the feet of the Madonna over the centuries.
The photo below shows the entrance to the basilica´s raison d´être, the sacred house. Well worth a visit in the afternoon, when you´re tired of the beach.
Here´s what I believe to be the German chapel in the same basilica:
Summing up: a very good place for an adult get-away. Ancona is reachable by train from Venice in 3 hours or so.