For walkers, the Sibillini Mountains (the local part of the Appennine range) hold fantastic opportunities:

The Piano Grande high in the mountains with the tiny village of Castelluccio on a lump of rock in the middle. It is covered with wildflowers in spring and produces lentils which are famous throughout the world. It is also a hang glider's paradise.

The Gola d'Infernaccio (Hell's Gorge) which looks like something out of Lord of the Rings (according to my son) and from which a path leads upwards to a hermitage built by hand over 30 years by Padre Pietro who lives there still.

For those with a taste for religious kitsch in a gorgeous setting, go to the Madonna dell'Ambro, a holy site where a mute shepherdess had visions centuries ago and still draws pilgrims in the summer.

Or our own local village of Montefalcone Appennino, perched high on a limestone outcrop, with views of the mountains and the sea, and pine-scented walks in the woods behind.

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