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The Furlo Pass: evolution of a landscape

 The Furlo Pass in the territory of Pesaro Urbino is some sort of biological island.

It’s away from the Appennine – 20 km ish - and away from the hills too because of its 1000 metres altitude. Mountains and hills at the same time while the alluvial plains of Metauro and Candigliano river sip into its slopes.

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La Gola del Furlo, oggi | © Nicola Pezzotta 2011. All rights reserved.

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Visciole in the sun

If you’re having a walk in the Marche countryside you will probably come across some curious little trees which, “instead of growing piramidally like the other cherry trees, grow larger with a rounded crown that make them look solid and about to fall”. This is how Giorgio Gallesio describes these trees in Pomona Italiana ossia Trattato degli alberi fruttiferi (Pisa 1817-1839). In Italy they are called viscioli: they have a rich dark green foliage which at the beginning of summer shows some intense ruby red dots.

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Visciolo in fiore. Ph: Simona Pezzotta


The Visciolo is a Prunus cerasus, also known as sour cherry tree.

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Workshop about taste: jam, preserve & Co

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 Gli ingredienti ci sono tutti per realizzare una deliziosa marmellata d'arance, in una versione particolare: con bucce d'agrumi misti. Ph: Nicola Pezzotta

How long is a jam supposed to be cooked for? How can I be sure it’s ready? How much sugar do I add in order to get a decent result? How can I guarantee the healthiness of the product? What’s the difference between jam and preserve?

These and more other questions have been treated during the first “Con in faccia un po’ di sole” workshop entirely dedicated to jams and preserves. A full immersion in a fascinating world which represents a stimulating part of the confectionery sector.

Wines, liqueurs, spices, aromatic herbs, fragrant flowers, dried fruit, everything can make a jam or a preserve a little richer, growing its perfume, characterising the aroma, donating a singular taste and a captivating consistency, which means making it unique.

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Lake Pilato between history and legend/2

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 Lago di Pilato | Biblioteca Vaticana, sec. XVI

Let’s now learn more about the legends and the stories of these places, full of demons and necromancers (For further information read the article Lake Pilato between history and legend/1). 

Lake Pilato becomes well-known in 1200. In these years many wizards are getting here in order to sanctify their books to the demon, even if the lake is not known as Lake Pilato yet. In fact some maps back then called it “Lago di Norcia” (or even Lake Averno, such as the lake in Campania with the same name). So it seems that the legend of Pilato’s body was not born yet in the 13th century.

"Egli [un certo prelato sommamente degno di fede, n.d.a.] diceva infatti che tra i monti vicinissimi a questa città [Norcia, n.d.a.] c'è un lago dichiarato da antichi demoni loro proprietà ed abitato da essi sensibilmente; nessuno oggi, all'infuori dei negromanti, si può avvicinare ad esso senza essere rapito dai demoni. Perciò attorno ai bordi del lago sono stati costruiti dei muri che sono conservati da custodi affinché ai negromanti non sia permesso avvicinarsi lì per consacrare i loro libri ai demoni. Perciò cotesto è ivi sommamente terribile perché ogni anno quella città invia ai demoni come tributo un uomo nell'ambito delle mura vicino al lago, i quali demoni subito subito visibilmente lacerano e divorano quell'uomo poiché (come dicono) se la città non lo facesse, la patria perirebbe per gli uragani. Pertanto la città ogni anno sceglie un qualche criminale e lo invia come tributo ai demoni."
da "Reductorium Morale" di Pietro Bersuire - sec. XIV

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Like cherries, one leads to another: Ascolan olives

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 Piazza Arringo | © Nicola Pezzotta 2009. All rights reserved

The amazing and culturally inspiring city Ascoli Piceno has been lived and walked through from different eras which left undeniable marks in the urban fabric. Several styles met, mixed and melt in it – from Romanesque to Gothic, from Baroque to Art Nouveau – all perfectly balanced, and this balance is what surprises most.

Travertine is the essential element for this game of elegance and harmony: for two thousand years it was used as the basic material in the construction of noble buildings, churches and squares pavements donating, thanks to its mellow tones, the priceless brightness that makes the Ascoli Piceno old town centre one of Italy’s most appreciated.

“Travertine city”, “one hundred towers city”, “talking travertine city” and many other expressions like these may be found walking through its streets. In fact the best way to live Ascoli Piceno and to get to know its real face is “on foot”, going through the distinctive alleys and let the striking views surprise us.

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Lake Pilato between history and legend/1

"The chain of the Sibillini Mountains is wrapped around a halo of mistery. Here we breathe a surreal and enchanted atmosphere. Pizzo del Diavolo (Peak of the Devil) and Gola dell'Infernaccio (Throat of the Hell) are names that clearly convey demoniacal and infernal images, as a prelude to scary and horrendous encounters; but even Cima del Redentore (Peak of the Redeemer), Scoglio del Miracolo (Rock of the Miracle) and Valle dei Tre Santi (Valley of the Three Saints), mystical and spiritual references, proof of the pious and respectful popular devotion; and then Monte Sibilla (Mount Sibyl), Grotta delle Fate (Cave of the Fairies), Fonte del Guerin Meschino (Source of the Parentless Guerin), all mythical and fairy places. This is the land where the opposites meet, a land of wizards, fairies and necromancers. This is a land of mysterious characters, a land where tale and legend run after each other, twisting togheter with reality, until they blur with the same thin boundary line between fantasy and truth."

 This is the context where we find the Lake Pilato: set Park of Sibillini Mountains this is the only natural lake of the Marche region and certainly it's one of the last remaining lakes of glacial origin in the Appennino. His altitude is 1949 metres above sea level and it's set in a bowl, a glacial circle with morainic deposits, which are a manifest proof of the glaciers that were here during the Quaternary era. Surrounded by the highest peaks of Sibillini Mountains (Monte Vettore - 2476 m, Punta di Prato Pulito - 2373 m, Cima del Lago - 2422 m, Cima del Redentore - 2448 m, Pizzo del Diavolo - 2410 m) during the season of its top capacity his length is about 500 m, his depth is 15-20 m and its width, in the middle part, is 125-150 m.

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 Lago di Pilato. Ph: Nicola Pezzotta

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