Mondavio, is one of Italy's most enchanting destinations. The drive from Ancona unveils a scenic route, winding uphill through picturesque hills that lead you further inland. As you approach Mondavio, the sight becomes increasingly impressive. The majestic castle and the striking trio of bell towers, nestled within the impeccably preserved town walls, command attention and dominate the idyllic countryside that stretches beyond.

Prepare to be captivated by the timeless beauty and rich history of Mondavio, a place where past and present seamlessly merge.

The video below shows you just how beautiful the castle, the town and the surrounding countryside is.

A morning spent wondering the lovely little streets and soaking up the atmosphere can be followed by an afternoon spent visiting the perfectly preserved castle and its museum.

Prepare to be awestruck by the medieval castle in Mondavio, crafted by the visionary Tuscan architect Francesco Giorgio di Martini, this castle is nothing short of revolutionary. Its centerpiece is a five-story main tower, ingeniously shaped as an octagon, standing tall and commanding attention as it dominates the castle's grand structure.

Other than that, there's the little church of San Francesco and a convent (Il Convento dei Cappuccini) on the edge of town. If you've got a car, and a car is recommended, take a drive through the gorgeous countryside too: little farm houses, rolling hills, and cypress trees await.

If you have the time, and even a week will do, then this is one of the best places to learn Italian. The local Italian school is in fact one of the selected few under my Italian language section.

cars in Italy

Where to Stay & Where to Eat in Mondavio

Definitely stay at the Hotel La PalombaThis hotel is a real bargain, very well run, and a friendly home away from home. They've got a really good restaurant too, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner; it's a great place to try some local dishes. The setting, right next to the swimming pool, is lovely. There's nothing like sitting out under the trees on a warm summer's evening with a glass of wine in hand, good company, and good food.

If you fancy a few traditional dishes, or even a pizza, then head to Osteria della Rocca in Via Ridolfi, 3. It's right near the castle and a family-run place with views from the terrace that you will never forget. While specific dishes may vary based on the season, you can be sure to find a variety of mouthwatering options to tantalize your taste buds. From homemade pasta dishes like Tagliatelle al Tartufo and Tacconi di Fave to regional specialties such as Coniglio in Porchetta, the menu reflects the culinary heritage of the region.

Dishes to Try in Mondavio and le Marche

  • Coniglio in Porchetta: Treat your taste buds to the succulent delight of Coniglio in Porchetta, a traditional dish of roasted rabbit seasoned with aromatic herbs, garlic, and olive oil. The tender meat, infused with flavors, promises a memorable gastronomic experience.
  • Olive all'Ascolana: Enjoy a popular appetizer of Olive all'Ascolana, where large green olives are stuffed with a savory mixture of meat, cheese, and herbs, then breaded and fried to perfection. These delectable bite-sized treats are a must-try culinary delight.
  • Crescia Sfogliata: Delight in the flavors of Crescia Sfogliata, a traditional savory flatbread. Made with layers of thin dough, olive oil, and various fillings such as cheese, prosciutto, or vegetables, it is baked until golden and served warm for a delightful and satisfying meal.
  • Tacconi di Fave: This traditional dish of Mondavio features homemade pasta made from fava bean flour. The pasta is typically cooked with a simple sauce, often consisting of garlic, olive oil, and grated pecorino cheese. The result is a comforting and hearty dish that showcases the region's culinary traditions and the unique flavors of fava beans.

When to Visit?

A great time to visit is in August, when the Caccia al Cinghiale Festa (Hunting of the Wild Boar Festival) takes place. If you can't make August, then any month of the year is wonderful here—even the winter months.

Weather-wise May is my favorite; it's not too hot, and flowers add vibrant color to the meadows around town. In the town itself, countless window boxes are a profusion of bright hues.

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