Tuesday, July 25, 2006

When a travel writer comes to town...

A friend of mine last week sent me this Travel & Leisure article about Le Marche. I was genuinely excited to see the link in my inbox as I truly believe the charms of Le Marche is a story worth telling. Half way into the first page I started to groan, then gesticulate wildly at my laptop screen, and then bellow incomprehensible grumblings in the general direction of my neighbor across the courtyard. The author might as well have been describing Mulberry Street. The same pedestrian observations are tossed out, like so many travel writers before her: Loreto, Leopardi and a strange place called Ascoli (presumably, the football club has taken over the provincial capital). Not a peep about Acqualagna's truffles nor Ancona's famous stoccafisso nor the ascendancy of Marchigiani wine. Nor does it cover adequately the natural wonders (the blue flag beaches, the trails that criss-cross Monti Sibillini National Park, the caves of Frassasi) that makes Le Marche such an incredible part of the world. Instead, we get observations like this: (warning, take a deep breath before reading)

A schizophrenic existence is possible in Le Marche, as one shuttles back and forth between the austere hill towns and the sybaritic resorts and bathing establishments along the Adriatic, where for four to five months of the year raked sands are ornamented by a forest of striped, polka-dotted, and bright-colored umbrellas, and neat rows of deck chairs and sun beds present a world dedicated to rest and recreation, set within a "real" one of small cities, traffic, shops, and bustling life.

Il Sette Bello
needs to go on the road and write the quintessential guide to the region, methinks.

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