Comments on Blue Guide The Marche & San Marino

2nd edition
1st edition

A stunningly beautiful region of coast, hills and mountains. As well as the historic town of Urbino, birthplace of Raphael, the region encompasses the former maritime republic of Ancona, the sandy beaches of the Palm Riviera, the dramatic scenery of the Sibylline Mountains, and lesser-known places such as the marble-built town of Ascoli Piceno.

  • 8 Comment(s)
Gravatar: ReaderReader

Dear Blue Guide

On page 214 of the 2006 Blue Guide to the Marches it says of Potenza Picena "Once famous for the production of fine quality damask and brocades of silk and wool ( still made by the nuns)," Please could you help as to:

1) whether the period referred to included the period 1430 to 1500

2) which nuns are now producing it and the address of the convent

3) whether they may have samples from the period 1430 to 1500

4) if you do not know the answers could you please let me know who might

Very many thanks

Gravatar: Ellen GradyEllen Grady

Good morning!

I am afraid the results of my research will be disappointing to you, but I hope that won't stop you going to Potenza Picena, to visit the nuns in the convent of the Addolorata! I have just had a long and enjoyable conversation with one of the sisters, considered to be the most knowledgeable on the subject of weaving damask. She told me that if you let them know a day or so before (Istituto Suore dell'Addolorata, Via Umberto, Potenza Picena, T: 0733 870535), they would be happy to show you their looms and samples of their work. Unfortunately, nothing pre-dates the late 1800s.

The community was founded by a group of pious spinsters on 5 April 1816, who met to weave linen and carry out charitable acts. On 26 March 1838 they were accorded a papal permit to reside in the huge old Jesuit convent, long abandoned, in a group of ten nuns. They were entrusted with the task of taking care of the church laundry, preparing the hosts for Mass, and weaving altarcloths and other items for religious purposes.

However, it was only in 1882 that the group of nuns was recognised as an Order, the Figlie della Madonna Addolorata (Daughters of Our Lady of Sorrows). About this time, a novice from Northern Italy joined the community, and was ordained as Suor Virginia. She knew how to make damask and brocades, and the bishop soon gave permission to acquire the new looms and materials for this activity. The results were excellent, and soon these fine fabrics were much in demand, not only for the local churches, but by the wealthy families of the region. Wool, silk and cotton were used, and the quality of the work and the particular designs made the nuns' work instantly recognisable.

Sadly, production stopped about ten years ago. There is no longer a wide demand for these fabrics, which are obviously very expensive, and competition from Chinese manufacturers is too strong.

I am sorry; however I wish you the best of luck with your studies.


Ellen Grady


Gravatar: EditorEditor

Comments below relate to the previous, first, edition.  The second edition was published January 2015.

Gravatar: Salvatore Saladini Salvatore Saladini

Hello i am the owens of b&b Villa Fortezza ,how can I be present on your guide? my web site is found on tripadvisor reviews on b&b at best regards Salvatore Saladini

Gravatar: HeerenHeeren

Having been a fan of your guides for a while now, I was wondering if there are any plans to renew the Marche gyuide any time soon, 1st edition 2006? This lovely area is getting more and more intresting for people, now Tuscany is so international one has to find Italy with a magnifing glass there…

look forward to updated guide, which i will order per direct then.

Gravatar: de Goeijde Goeij

de Goeij

Would it be possibile to publish our site in the Marche and San Marino Blue Guide?

Gravatar: ReaderReader

I depend on your guides for my travels around Italy and france. I have just acquired your guide on the Marche having had great difficulty in finding anything much in English on the region which I know quite well (particularly the northern and western parts).

I have followed some of your restaurant recommendations. I very much liked the Osteria del Teatro in Senigallia but found La Palomba at Mondavio very ordinary. I agree that Rolando at San Costanzo is excellent particularly anything with truffles on it and also his ceci soups. I found La Cerasa disappointing but you have not mentioned a particularly good small restaurant at Stacciola (near San Costanza) which does wonderful pasta dishes using local in season vegetables and meats including (depending on season) goose, pheasant, pigeon,lamb and goat as well as the usual beef and pork. Pasta dishes are 8 euros and meats from 12 to 16. Desserts all made on premises and beautifully presented. Good wine list. The Name is la Grotta de Tufo.
There is also a restaurant called Maria’s at Cavalli (near Piagge) where I had the best rabbit I’ve ever had.
I enjoyed your suggestion of Da Louisa at Serrungarina - excellent food and quite eccentric service. I shall continue to try out your eating out suggestions as well, of course, following your cultural guides!

Gravatar: John MacKenzieJohn MacKenzie

I found this guide a real treat, an indispensable companion during a recent week’s trip in this area. It is almost impertinent to suggest improvements but here goes.

The map on page 128 of the Sibilline Mountains was very helpful to me. Without it I would not have known that there was a ski-ing resort at Frontignano. Any chance next time of one or two more maps also including perhaps non-cultural items such as maybe the horse track at Corridonia, and maybe the odd golf course for those inclined to this pursuit? The description of the Frasassi Caves persuaded me to venture out on a guided walk for the first time in many years. It was a well worthwhile excursion. I was mildly surprised that the guide did not mention how easy it is to get to this day out from the train station of Genga San Vittore. I love a street map when travelling abroad. The one of Ancona is helpful. Previous to your guide I would not have known how long a walk the Arch of Trajan was from train station. There is a very good free tourist office street map of Camerino but not one at all for Matelica. In San Severino Marche it is necessary to buy a fairly expensive local guide in Italian to get one. So, any street maps of the larger places would be helpful. The only bits of the guide I never really read at all were the end-of-chapter lists of LOCAL SPECIALITIES , CAFES, PASTRY SHOPS & ICE CREAM, and CAFES SANDWICH BARS. This is not a criticism – there were just so many of these! In Pieve Torina there is a very friendly coffee and ice cream bar called Kriss Bar Piazza G. Leopardi 5, T:0737 518080. For San Severino Marche the 6am prompt opening Dignani, Via Eustachio 12/14 is helpful. PS:
Ostreria dei Fiore excellent in Macerata as is Hotel Arena. Oscar diner* in Matelica, just past the theatre, was also good. I was given a very good town map of Macerata by the deskman in Hotel Arena. Maybe there’s one of Matelica but I never found it. Hotel Massi was excellent there. * Oscar theme diner is very close to the Museo Piersanti in Matelica. Full details;
La Notte Degli Oscar, Via Beata Mattia 33 T:0737 787882. In Corridonia the Hotel Camerlengo and its sister restaurant Il Ceppo should not be missed – Via S. Maria, 2 T:0733 432743


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