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The secret bathing rivers of Marche

Do you often wish to do something unusual when on a holiday, something that you know you could do only there or in just few other places? Would you like to discover some of the unknown and really authentic faces of the new destination, some of those special places, known only by locals?

Come with us and explore places and natural beauty you have never seen before in Marche, Italy! Immerse into them as a local and leave yourself to be seduced by their charm and mystery. It’s high time you check off such adventures from your to-do list! Do you have any idea what I am talking about? Well….how about river bathing? 

Bathing rivers! Yes, indeed! Have you ever swam in a river? If you haven’t done it yet you have definitely missed a lot. The good news is… it is never too late to give it a try!

So trust us and do something that will make all your friends envy you. Why? It is not something that you can easily do as most rivers are either dangerous or dirty, or cold, or far from the place where you live. But here, in Marche, you have so many possibilities to swim, jump, sunbathe, have fun with your friends and relax as in hardly no other place!

 

Where?

Near Cagli, Mercatello sul Metauro e Borgo Pace, on the rivers known as il Bosso, il Burrano and Il Metauro (in its upper part), where the mother Nature has “built” unique opportunities for river bathing and much more…

How?

The rocks between which the rivers flow form comfortable platforms ideal for sunbathing, while the crystal clear waters form refreshing oasis and their unique waterfalls gently caress you, offering you a one-of-a-kind natural hydro-massage… do you catch yourself dreaming already?

       

 

When?

From June to September but it is a must on those hot, sunny  summer days, when you wish to refresh yourself somewhere else but you do not feel like driving to the beach; when you want to try something more exciting than just lying by the pool, when you feel this huge desire to enter in direct contact with nature and still rest and relax, you have no other choice but trying something fun and thrilling for the first time: swim, splash, dive into the fresh and clean waters, take some sun and… why not, enjoy a delicious pic-nick lunch by the river!

 

Far from the crowd and the business of the seaside, completely surrounded by nature, here you can have the time of your life!

Watch our VIDEO to get a taste of what you can experience here, what kind of memorable emotions it can provoke and what can make you fall in love with this places and the Marche! Watch out, you may become addicted to this and wish to come back again and again…

 

And since we know you will love to fully experience our rivers and their wonders and completely immerse in their one-of-a-kind-atmosphere, we are creating on our new, unique “Marcheholiday river experience” – a daily excursion to our rivers for a unique and memorable lifetime experience! Work is in progress, stay tuned!

In the meanwhile, check our collection of holiday villas and country houses in Marche and start planning the holiday of your life!

Our tip: Choose one of our nearest holiday accommodations below and go river bathing whenever you feel like it!

Relais Castello della Pieve, ChecelloDel FrontinoCa GaravanoCasa NinaLa TorreBorgo San MartinoVilla ColleCasale degli UliviCa DominaCasa ElisaLa BaionaVilla degli AffreschiCasal ValdaltoCalfattoreSan GiuseppeCol di Luce.

Enjoy and don’t forget to share your emotions and memories with us! 

BBQ6

Feeling like BBQ? Oh, yes!

We have all heard so much about it, we have all eaten it, smelled it,  seen it , most of us love it and feel their mouths watering just from the very thought of it….
It smells delicious, it could be smoked, it could be juicy also when it is well done….and even vegetarians and vegans are not completely left over….
Have you guessed? What am I talking about?
BBQ, oh yes!

But have you wondered why it has become so popular or why it is considered a reason to get together with friends?
And most importantly, do you a place where you can enjoy it every day? Yes, I mean it, every day during your holiday!
Just read through the whole article and find out all the answers on how to happily barbecue on your next holiday and much more…

Let’s introduce you to the basics of BBQ!

Barbecue, barbeque or more informally BBQ or barbies (so many different ways to call it) when used as a noun can refers to: the cooking method itself, the meat (or other ingredient) cooked this way, the cooking apparatus/tool used (the barbecue grill ), or to a social event based on this type of cooking.

When used as a verb, i.e. “barbecuing” it means preparing/cooking, usually outdoors, by smoking the meat/fish over wood or charcoal. It is usually done slowly over low, indirect heat and the food is flavoured by the smoking process, while grilling, a similar cooking technique, is generally done a lot more quickly over moderate-to-high direct heat that hardly produces smoke (Wikipedia).

Why do we like BBQs?

So, what makes barbecuing so liked today and why do we associate it with gatherings? It probably comes from its origins, when it was first used by native groups (it is believed that the word barbecue originates from Haiti and was used by the Taino Indians) and the idea of getting together around the “fire”, the BBQ, with friends and relatives even nowadays gives us the feeling of something common, something festive, something we share… Why? In a way it brings people back to their roots, providing more than just a cooking experience but quite often an escape from civilisation and brings us closer to nature.


Thus barbecues continue to be a very popular and easy way for socialising, celebrating, relaxing, enjoying…Unfortunately if you live in an apartment without access to a garden or in some cold-climate country you can only have it in a restaurant or occasionally in open-air events, in short not whenever you wish it!

 

Where can you enjoy it every day?

And before I continue teasing you with some more interesting facts about barbecues and barbecuing, let us reveal you where you can enjoy barbecues every day, whenever you wish , the way you wish them: in any Marcheholiday rental home in Central Italy!

Yeap, and if you didn’t know yet that by spending your holiday in a Marcheholiday home in the countryside or by the sea you can enjoy barbecues as much as you wish, you better remember this! In all our exclusive villas, cottages and apartments with pools and gardens, you will find  …barbecues, either masonry or portable (in some cases both :)) and you can barbecue all the time! Under the porch, by the pool, under the oak tree or why not on the grass! You choose the place, you choose the time, you choose the way… Are you ready?

 

Varieties of barbecues

We know you love it but do you really know what barbecue is and how various it can be?

Barbecue is used in many areas around the world and therefore it varies from place to place. Even the word Barbecue itself has different meanings in British and American English. However, the longest tradition of barbecuing remains the North American one and particularly the southeastern region of the United States (between Texas, Oklahoma., Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean on the east).

 

Barbecues are traditionally held outside and although they vary from one geographical area to another,  they all hold the same concept of cooking outside and over a fire. The ingredients used for BBQ also vary, although the main one is meat (starting from pork and going through veal, beef, poultry), however, we can also barbecue fish and different vegetables.

Cooking techniques

Different words, different meanings, different ingredients, even different…cooking techniques: Smoking, roasting, braising…which one is your favourite?

Smoking, if you like the smoked taste then you can enjoy not only meat or fish but even cheeses and vegetables on a BBQ. Smoking is the original technique that uses smoke (usually from burning wood) to flavour and cook at low temperatures and considerably longer cooking times (several hours).

What about roasting? -another technique for which you will need a masonry barbecue; it allows for an open flame but cooks more quickly and uses convection to cook with moderate temperatures for an average cooking time of about an hour.

Or why not braising (our favourite) – the technique that combines dry heat charbroil-grilling directly on a ribbed surface and braising in a broth-filled pot for moist heat. A gas or electric charbroil grill are the best choices for barbecue-braising. When choosing this technique, cooking occurs at various speeds, fast at first then slowing down, then speeding up again and thus lasting for a few hours.

There are two advantages to barbecue-braising; it allows browning of the meat directly on the grill before the braising. It also allows for glazing of the meat with sauce and finishing it directly over the fire after the braising. This effectively cooks the meat three times, which results in a soft, textured product that falls off the bone. The time needed for braising varies depending on whether a slow cooker or pressure cooker is used; it is generally slower than regular grilling or baking, but quicker than pit-smoking.

And last (but definitely not least), comes our special recipe…

We wouldn’t finish this article without an appropriate delicious ending,  so let’s enjoy together our favourite special vegan BBQ recipe (since most people believe that BBQ is for the meat and fish lovers only):

Tofu and Vegetable Skewers

Ingredients:

300 g diced tofu
4 Roman zucchini cut into medium slices
1 red pepper cut into medium pieces
cherry tomatoes
long wooden sticks (leave them to soak in cold water for about 20 minutes)

For the marinade:

4 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 clove of minced garlic
olive oil

Preparation

Mix the ingredients for the sauce to prepare a homogeneous compound in which the vegetables and tofu will be marinated (soaked ). Use a fairly large bowl. Once the marinade sauce is ready, soak the vegetables and tofu in it for at least a couple of hours, occasionally turning them from one side to another. Once the vegetables and tofu are well marinated, proceed by piercing them on the special sticks alternating pieces of tofu with zucchini and peppers. At this point, your skewers are ready to be grilled.

Cook them on a barbecue for about 15-20 minutes, turning them often and brushing occasionally with the marinade sauce.

I bet that at this point you have your mouths watering. So what are you waiting for?

Hurry up and find your ideal holiday rental home for your next holiday, in the countryside or by the sea, and enjoy BBQs and gatherings with your family and friends as much as your heart wants it!

Buon appetito!

Roncaglia_esterni (5)

12 reasons to book a holiday rental home in the countryside

Holiday homes fever!!! Why is everybody so excited about a holiday in the countryside?

I am pretty sure you have already heard of a friend of yours who has had an amazing holiday in…somebody’s “home”, or a friend of a friend who has rented an entire villa abroad with a bunch of other families and had a blast! Perhaps you have also seen your neighbours coming back satisfied and relaxed from an amazing rental retreat in the countryside… Have you wondered why? Because there are so many advantages to spend your holiday in a rental home far from the city life! Find out our 12 reasons why a countryside holiday in a rental home can be so appealing and next time it will be you, who everybody else will envy!

1) Feel at home, away from home!

I bet you know the feeling when you come back from a holiday and feel like “Home sweet home”, as you have missed the comfort of your home while being away. Then why not renting a real home for your holidays? Why not having all the comforts and beyond while relaxing somewhere else? Cosy rooms, spacious bathrooms, a garden, a swimming pool, Wi-Fi, well-equipped kitchen, BBQ, porch and you name it…just for you! Yes, your home will always be your home, where you have all your stuff, memories and where your heart belongs to but what you should not sacrifice while on a holiday is the comfort and the cosines of your home!

2) See your kids excited!

If you are one of those parents who wish to go on a holiday with their children but are looking for a vacation different than the classical all-inclusive one (with entertainment club for kids), if you wish to explore another country or area and immerse in the local culture, together with your children, then a rental holiday home will fit your needs and wants in a way you haven’t thought before! Imagine your children running outside in the garden, jumping in the swimming pool, shouting, laughing… without disturbing anybody, without having to obey any rules (except for the ones their parents establish) and feeling free, feeling save, feeling kids!

3) Enjoy your holiday with your friends or your big family!

Are you looking for a place where you can go together with your friends and their families or with your entire family of different generations? Then rental holiday homes are the ideal solution for you. You can rent a whole villa or a big house where each family will have their own spaces while at the same time you can all stay, cook, eat and play together! All you want, as you want it!

 

4) Bring your pets on a holiday too!

Finally a place where your pets can feel on holiday too. See them running, jumping and barking freely and you will wonder why you haven’t discovered this type of holiday earlier.

5) Be free!

Loud music, BBQ in the garden, splashing in the pool, laughing out loud, singing under the shower or reading under the shadow; sipping cocktails by the pool, having your favorite dishes under the oak tree, while watching the sunsets together with your loved ones… you can have all the privacy and freedom in the world, just enjoy it!

6) Immerse in the local culture and spirit!

 

No matter how good the country house is, you are not going on a holiday to spend it inside! Should you wish to practice some Italian, go to the nearest square or bar and mingle with the local people! Should you wish to learn about the history and culture of the area, ask the property owner or some of the neighbours around! Taste some local dishes, sip some local wines, explore some trekking trails or cycling paths, become local, do the best out of your holiday.

 

 

7) “Dolce far niente” or relaxing by doing?

As you have all the time in the world and all the freedom imaginable, do whatever you wish, whenever you wish it! If you feel lazy, lay down under the sun and enjoy what Italians call: “dolce far niente” (it’s sweet doing nothing)! If you feel like being active, try our aqua trekking and canyoning adventures, you won’t regret them. And the good news is: you can have it all – dynamic, easy, relaxing, mixed – your holiday will be what you make out of it!

8) Spend your time outdoors!

Big garden, BBQ. swimming pool, trees, flowers, birds singing, breeze whispering, stunning views, rolling hills, golden sunsets…you definitely do not have all these in your daily life, or at least not all at once. So take some fresh air, encounter some local birds or insects, listen to the natural sounds around you: it’s your holiday after all!

9) Cook for the whole family! Trust me, it is very different than doing at home!

Preparing your meals when on a holiday may not be the most desired thing but think about… how many new and fresh local ingredients you can use how many new recipes you can learn how different it is to cook together with your family or friends and how fun it is to eat altogether outdoors, by the pool or under the porch

10) Stay away from everything you wish to escape from, get close to everything that matters!

Away from the city, away from the stress! This is what most of us are looking for and yet, staying in the countryside may seem challenging for some, especially if we are a bit isolated, far from the city. But think about this you will indeed be isolated just from: work, problems, deadlines, stress, traffic, noise, people who you would like to avoid but you are forced to see every day; while in the meantime you can get closer to: your family/friends/loved ones, pure nature, beautiful landscapes, fresh air, Italian weather and food, silence, peace and quiet. Imagine waking up with this view… isn’t it fantastic!

11) Learn a new sport/art/recipe

Make the best out of your holiday in the countryside: expand you knowledge, learn a new skill, improve something about you! How? You can start by visiting a local farm, meeting its animals, eating local food, learning a new recipe, trying a new sport, tasting a new drink, learning a new language!

12) Save on the price, gain on the quality!

Last but not least, renting a holiday home may turn out to be absolutely budget friendly, even if you choose a very luxury accommodation. Wouldn’t be fantastic if you can save from the price (not the quality) of the accommodation and have more spare money to spend during the holiday. How? Our tip: book a large villa together with 1-2 other families of friends and share the costs! You will spend the holiday in excellent company (your friends), your children will be happy too and so will be your pockets ! 😉

And do not forget:  this should be your holiday! Enjoy it!

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12 motivi per affittare una casa vacanza in campagna

Frenesia di case vacanza! Perché le persone sono sempre più entusiaste di affittare una casa vacanza in campagna? 

Siamo certi che almeno un tuo amico ti abbia parlato di una fantastica vacanza a “casa di qualcuno”, oppure hai saputo che l’amico di un amico ha affittato un’intera villa per una vacanza insieme ad un gruppo di famiglie e si è divertito tantissimo! Forse hai visto anche i tuoi vicini tornare soddisfatti e rilassati da un incredibile ritiro in campagna … Ti sei chiesto perché? Forse non hai mai pensato a tutti i vantaggi nel trascorrere la tua vacanza in una casa lontano dalla vita di città! Scopri con noi i 12 motivi per cui scegliere di affittare una casa in campagna per le tue vacanze può essere così rilassante e divertente… e magari la prossima volta sarai tu l’amico da invidiare!

1) Sentirsi a casa, lontano da casa! 

Conoscerai di certo il detto “Casa dolce casa”, perché tutti l’abbiamo pensato di ritorno da un viaggio, quando riassaporiamo il comfort della nostra abitazione. Allora perché non affittare una vera casa per le tue vacanze? Perché rinunciare al comfort mentre ci si rilassa da qualche altra parte? Camere accoglienti, bagni spaziosi, giardino, piscina, Wi-Fi, cucina ben attrezzata, barbecue, porticato per mangiare all’aperto e tanto altro….solo per te e i tuoi cari! Se casa significa il luogo dove hai tutte le tue cose, dove crei i tuoi ricordi e il posto a cui il tuo cuore appartiene, non rinunciare a tutto ciò nemmeno quando sei in vacanza!

2) Vedere i vostri bambini felici!

Se, come ogni genitore, sogni una vacanza perfetta con tuoi bambini, ma diversa dal classico villaggio vacanze con mini-club, questa è la vacanza giusta per la tua famiglia. Scegliere di affittare una casa vacanze, significa esplorare e conoscere insieme ai tuoi bambini, un nuovo stile di vita, una nuova cultura, un diverso ambiente naturale. Immagina i tuoi bambini che corrono fuori in giardino, saltano in piscina, giocano liberi, ridono felici….

3) Godersi le vacanze insieme agli amici o con tutti i parenti!

Sei alla ricerca di un posto in cui puoi andare insieme agli amici e alle loro famiglie?  Cerchi spazi grandi per la tua famiglia allargata composta da diverse generazioni? Allora le case vacanza in affitto sono la soluzione ideale per te. Puoi affittare un’intera villa o una grande casa dove ogni singola famiglia avrà i propri spazi, ma nello stesso tempo si può stare, cucinare, mangiare e giocare insieme! Tutto quello che vuoi, come lo vuoi!

4) Porta con te il tuo cane e sarete entrambi più felici!


Finalmente un posto dove anche i tuoi animali domestici possono sentirsi in vacanza! Guardali correre, saltare e abbaiare liberamente e ti chiederai perché non hai scoperto questo tipo di vacanza prima!

5) Sentiti libero!

Musica ad alto volume, barbecue in giardino, giocare e tuffarsi in piscina, ballare sotto un portico, cantare sotto la doccia o leggere sotto un gazebo, un cocktail a bordo piscina, pranzare sotto una quercia, sdraiarsi sul prato… puoi avere tutta la privacy e la libertà del mondo, goditela!

6) Immergiti nella cultura e nello spirito del posto!

Per quanto sia meravigliosa la tua casa vacanza, sappiamo che non passerai tutto il tempo chiuso in casa. Se desideri conoscere la storia e la cultura della zona, chiedi consigli e suggerimenti al proprietario o alla gente del posto! Assapora alcuni piatti locali, assaggia i vini della zona, esplora i percorsi di trekking o le piste ciclabili, diventa un “locale”, ti gusterai al meglio la tua vacanza.

7) “Dolce far niente”!

Visto che hai tempo e sei libero, fai quello che desideri, ogni volta che lo desideri! Se ti senti pigro, sdraiati sotto il sole e goditi il “dolce far niente”! Se ti senti pieno di energia, prova le nostre avventure di acqua trekking e canyoning, non te ne pentirai. Vacanza attiva o rilassante o entrambe…lo decidi solo tu!

8) Passa il tempo all’aria aperta!

Grande giardino, barbecue, piscina, alberi, fiori, panorami mozzafiato, colline ondeggianti, tramonti dorati e poi la brezza che muove le foglie, il canto degli uccelli… forse non hai tutto questo nella tua vita quotidiana, o almeno non tutto questo insieme. Quindi passa il tuo tempo all’aperto e “ascolta” la natura che ti circonda. Anche questo significa essere in vacanza.

9) Cucina per tutta la famiglia! Fidati, è molto diverso dal farlo a casa!

Forse pensi che cucinare in vacanza non sia così divertente, ma pensa a quanti nuovi ingredienti freschi del luogo puoi usare, a quante nuove ricette puoi imparare, a quanto è più bello cucinare insieme alla tua famiglia o ai tuoi amici e quanto è divertente mangiare all’aperto, magari sotto un portico o a bordo piscina!

10) Stai lontano dalla routine e avvicinati a ciò che conta!

Lontano dalla città, lontano dallo stress! Questo è ciò che molti cercano, eppure, soggiornare in campagna può sembrare difficile per alcuni, soprattutto se si sentono un po isolati, lontani dalla città. Ma pensaci: sarai davvero lontano dal lavoro, dai problemi, dalle scadenze, dallo stress, dal traffico, dal rumore, dalle persone che vorresti evitare… ma sarai più vicino alla tua famiglia, agli amici, alle persone care, alla natura, a paesaggi meravigliosi, all’aria fresca, al buon cibo, al silenzio, alla pace e alla tranquillità. Immagina di svegliarti la mattina con questo panorama… non è fantastico?

11) Impara un nuovo sport, un mestiere, una ricetta

Sfrutta al meglio le tue vacanze in campagna: amplia le tue conoscenze, impara cose nuove, migliora qualcosa di te! Come? Puoi iniziare visitando una fattoria locale, conoscere i suoi animali, mangiare cibo locale, imparare una nuova ricetta, provare un nuovo sport, degustare una bevanda tipica, conoscere la storia e la cultura del posto…

12) Risparmia sul prezzo, guadagna sulla qualità!

Ultimo, ma non meno importante, affittare una casa vacanza può rivelarsi assolutamente economico, anche se si sceglie una sistemazione di lusso. Non sarebbe fantastico se si potesse risparmiare sul costo della sistemazione, senza rinunciare alla qualità, e avere più soldi da spendere durante le vacanze? Come? Il nostro consiglio: prenota una grande villa insieme ad altre famiglie di amici e condividi i costi! Trascorrerai le vacanze in compagnia di persone care, i tuoi figli saranno felici con i loro amichetti e anche le tue tasche saranno più contente! 😉

E non dimenticare….Questa è la tua vacanza! Divertirti! 

loreto

Did you know… where the original house of the Virgin Mary is today?

Did you know….

that in the heart of Marche, in the borders between the provinces of Ancona and Macerata, there is a town called Loreto, which each year attracts more than 4 million visitors? What makes this borough of 12 thousand residents so special? Is it its strategic position on top of a hill, overlooking the Adriatic Sea, or the stunning views towards Monte Conero (the heart of the Conero Riviera) that attract so many people from all Italy and beyond? Let’s find out!

loreto-notteIndeed, on top of the Loreto’s hills proudly stands one of the 3 most visited cathedrals in Italy. It is undoubtedly large and beautiful but why is it so popular? Is it its magnificence, its size or maybe the art inside it that has such an important role to all Catholics and Christian believers? These certainly aren’t the only reasons.

As the Basilica of Loreto is beyond all the above: it is unique! For in its center lays down the Holy House of the Virgin Mary – the house in Nazareth that she inhabited before the birth of the God’s Son, where she conceived and raised Jesus in his early years! The one and only Holy House!

the-piazza-in-front-ofIt is then obvious why the Basilica of Loreto has such an importance for the Catholic World but I would like to tell you why it so special for me. I have been living in Loreto for the last 6 years and have often visited the Sanctuary of the Holy House. In my opinion, the Santa Casa (as it is called in Italian) is undoubtedly one of the most sacred places I have ever been to, notwithstanding its enormous importance for the Catholic World. Being Bulgarian I am also an Orthodox and although my religion is Christian, I was used to visiting and praying in Orthodox churches since I was a child –  those small, dark temples decorated with icons and lit by thousands of candles that fill up the air with their specific aroma of something burnt and creating this smoky but cosy, warm atmosphere of a place you belong to. Although I admire the Catholic churches and cathedrals, I have to admit that they are so beautiful and magnificent that when inside them,  instead of feeling in a sacred place, I have the sensation of being in a museum or an art gallery, where I feel like visiting and admiring the art rather then praying. The Holy House of Loreto is the only Catholic place where I feel home, I feel as if I am in one of those dark tiny little Orthodox churches filled with incense, magic and power where I could really feel closer to God, where prayers come out naturally and nothing else matters…

vg_santacasa_01You may be curious how the Holy House from Nazareth is today located on the Adriatic coast of Italy? There are a few versions explaining the mystery, the most popular being a 14th century legend and a more scientific explanation.

According to the legend, after the crusaders left the Holy Land and it came under the control of Muslims in 1263, the Holy House of the Virgin Mary was transported by angels to a place known as Croatia today, during 1291. It was found by a shepherd who was revealed in a vision by Mary herself to be her house. It was in that period when the Holy house had disappeared from Nazareth.

r4r9t6t4p2p8y6p5q7c0o9e1i8q7p7x2g5e0g9m8f0r1t2s3z8l5t6s0l3t0d6h3h4k5k8i6y0t6h4b2i4v0d5d5w8p9o9j8k7j7q7k5t1f0q2i9t1a8r1l5a0n6z8l3It was then again transported by the angels in 1294,  to the other part of the Adriatic Sea, to Recanati and finally, one year after, in 1295, it found its final position into a laurel grove, called the ‘Lauretanum,’ from where the name of Loreto comes from. The legend also says that when the Virgin’s House was lowered by the angels the the trees around bowed down in respect.

The scientific research, however, insists that the transportation of the Holy House was done by sea and was not flown by angels. Moreover, monks and crusaders were often referred to as ‘angels’ by the common people during the medieval period thus explaining the myth of ‘angels’ transporting the Holy House from Nazareth to Loreto on their wings. Indeed, after centuries of research, in 1962 archaeological and literature evidence  suggest that the house in the center of the Basilica of Loreto, may actually originate from the lands of Nazareth for its limestone and cedar construction materials are typical for that land and period and are not to be found in Marche.

The Holy House, located in the center of the Basilica today, is quite small, consisting of a single room. The original House had three walls with the fourth being open towards the entrance of the grotto where today stands the altar with a statue of a Black Madonna. Two different parts can be identified in the construction of the  Santa Casa : the original wall, about 3 meters high, built in regular row and with limestone blocks found in Palestine and a newer upper section built with Marche local bricks. There are six graffiti, similar to those found in the Holy Land, belonging to ancient periods.

Almost two centuries after the appearance of the Holy House in Loreto, in 1469, a large Basilica was built around it. It has been reconstructed and remodeled several times over the centuries and today it has a Renaissance exterior and a Gothic interior. Soon after the construction of the Basilica it became very popular in Italy, and by the 16th century it was visited by pilgrims from all over Europe.

anrea-contucci-sansovino-loreto-santa-casa-04-665x509Inside the Basilica, exactly below the Dome, there is a huge marble concourse, surrounding the Holy House. The Marble Screen, representing Bible scenes, together with a scene representing the legend of the angels flying the house, was assigned by Julius II, who, in 1507, sent Donato Bramante to Loreto to do “great things” there and to “draw many works”. There are two obvious paths formed in the hard stone concourse, left by the millions of pilgrims who would circumnavigate the Holy shrine on their knees. 

The Virgin of Loreto is considered the patron saint of pilots, emigrants, and expectant mothers. Each year, on December 10, pilgrims and citizens celebrate the arrival of the Holy House in Loreto.  The little town has become one of the most popular places in Marche throughout the centuries and undoubtedly a must-visited site for all the Christian pilgrims worldwide.

Today the Sanctuary of the Holy House is site No 2, according to TripAdvisor (in my opinion it should be definitely in 1st position ) and therefore I highly recommend you visit Loreto and its Basilica, even if you have just a single day in Marche. You do not need to be a believer or a Christian in order to appreciate the magnificence and uniqueness of this place. No matter if you are simply an art lover or a curious tourist who would like to expand his culture, the Holy House of Loreto will be worth visiting!

References:

Personal visits 2011-2016

Holy House of Loreto

The Holy House of Loreto

Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto

 

 

 

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