Sarnano is officially one of Italy’s most beautiful towns, and manages to combine the archetypal hustle and bustle of modern Italian life with the serenity of its medieval Centro Storico. Lying in the foothills of the Sibillini mountains it is a tight-knit community with a real sense of vitality.  The citizens are tremendously welcoming to travellers and are used to foreigners hailing from far and wide.

The Centro Storico is still inhabited and is the focus of the town.  At the top  is the Piazza Alta and the 12th century church of Santa Maria Assunta, The Palazzo del Popolo (now the town’s delightful theatre), the Torre Civica, the Palazzo dei Priori and the Palazzetto del Podestà – all still in constant use.  In the Pinocoteca you will find the magnificent  Madonna and Child by Vittore Crivelli as well as an extraordinary collection of stuffed birds.

Café society is at the heart of Sarnano, and there are many terrific restaurants, all family run and all serving great food at reasonable prices.  There’s even a cinema that shows  Italian films as well as the staples from Hollywood!

Sarnano is also famous for the San Giacomo Terme -  it is a spa town in the old tradition. The waters are renowned for curing a range of illnesses and ailments (www.termedisarnano.it) and as well as the medical component of the spa there is also a huge array of beauty treatments and therapies available.

All four seasons bring something special to this town. Winter sees the ski season begin at the resort of Sassotetto just minutes away;  spring unfolds with extraordinary flower displays up in the hills and the two-week national Mostra Mercato (see www.sarnano.com);  summer is a period of celebrations, the Palio, and festas, and autumn is all about blue skies and fiery coloured leaves everywhere.

As anyone who lives here will tell you, Sarnano  is good for the soul.

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