On Saturday the 14th, I just finished lunch and an unfortunate change of plans with the Venturi’s left my weekend wide open. So in a whirlwind of last minute chaos I decided to take the next available train three hours south of Cesena to meet my friend Chiara in San Benedetto del Tronto. I had absolutely no idea what was planned for the weekend, but Chiara was picking me up from the station and El Marche is her home Region, so I didn’t ask any questions. The train rode parallel to the Adriatic the entire time. I watched the sunset as it danced its way down along the passing farm houses, marinas, brick cities and green pastures customary of the nearby regions; views I will never stop being mesmerized by. Chiara and her friend Giampiero picked me up from the station and off into a long and lively night filled with new friends, food, drinks and dancing at a discoteck in a villa. Well after midnight we arrived in Ascoli Piceno to Chiara’s family’s house where we slept a few hours. The next morning we reunited with some friends from the night before to explored Ascoli’s town center. Giampiero is very active with Couch Surfing specifically in Ascoli where he is the CS ambassador. In other words I had a very educated and experienced tour guide! Ascoli has a continuous history dating back to the 9th century when the land was inhabited by the Sabine tribe and there is a quote that goes something like “when Ascoli was Ascoli, Rome was a pile of shit” because Ascoli was booming before Rome was ever on the map. Ascoli is also known locally as “the city of 100 towers” though time and war took their toll only 27 remain today but you can still find 100 churches packed into the small town. Ascoli is truly a hidden gem that is undiscovered by most tourists and seems more down to earth than some of the other micro-cities I’ve visted. The local monthly market filled the streets with a genuine exlectic assortment of mostly vintage and antique goods. The locals were friendly and not afraid to smile at a stranger. Add in the traditional Italian sights and rolling hills to marvel over and I would say that Ascoli Piceno is a stunningly cozy place worth a casual visit. We were on the road after eating a thoughtfully-prepared lunch with Chiara’s warm and welcoming family. Gratefully filled with delicious food and bustling excitement!
Of friend of Chiara’s insisted that we must stop on our way home at small “town” called Torre di Palma. So less than an hour drive through rural El Marche we were in paradise atop a tiny hilltop seaside town at sunset! This tiny treasure is pure character boasting an immaculate display of perfectly restored ancient brickwork transformed into rustic quaintness that screams Italian romance! Our first peek at the overlooking view was astonishing, with the Adriatic to the right and the rolling green countryside to the left! The prefect time of day too right around dusk with the kind of sky that is painted those unique hues of pinks and blues making everything glow a little more whimsically than usual. I felt a pretty unforgettable twinge in my heart as I noticed the unused outdoor tables and chairs stacked up in the corner of the open terrace next to a cozy bed and breakfast and a deep longing for my love Justin thousands of miles away rushed over me. It hasn’t been an easy separation but it has been enlightening at the very least. I can’t wait for the day we get to meet each other again in Paris..
Until then I will day dream of one day visiting Torre di Palma with Justin.. I can just imagine falling asleep on the beach probably after eating too much then waking up with the sun and walking back to the quaint brick covered hilltop to our room at the bed and breakfast.. Mmm now that will be an unforgettable experience..