Sassoferrato – a journey among history and traditions. Sassoferrato is a little town shielding a long history that can be relived in the historic centre, as well as the suburbs. We would like to thank Happennines, Gabriele, Sara, Marco and Letizia, for having guided us and let us discover a perfect destination for many history/art/traditions and food lovers. Happennines is the company behind the tourism active panorama of Sassoferrato: discover more about their impressive programs, I am sure you can find the ones that suit you most. You can find them at the tourist office, ready to help you!
Bar Cristallini | 9 a.m.
You know that no good journey starts without food in Le Marche, and that is why we start with a delicious breakfast. Of course, “cornetto&cappuccino” is always the magic word, and here you can choose among several filling to your pastry. Tip: It’s not only about breakfast, have a look at the fridge and maybe treat yourself with a delicious cake!
Bar Cristallini is in the historic centre of Sassoferrato, in Cavour Street.
A good alternative for an energizing breakfast before our tour starts is Bar La Mimosa, on the same street.
Archaeological Museum | 9.30 a.m.
I may be quite obsessed with history, but I believe that tourists should always start with the history of the town to understand it fully. That’s why we will start this “Sassoferrato in 24 Hours” with the visit to the local Archaeological Museum. This museum was a real surprise also for me. It is located in Piazza del Borgo, next to the Town Hall and it is very well organized. Every room has a precious mosaic, that leads the theme of the room itself. The funds were discovered around the 20s outside Sassoferrato, and they all belonged to the old Roman Sentinum.
English guided tours are available.
Tip: don’t miss the “Sentinum battle” scale model. It is very accurate, and if you can back in Summer you could actually participate in the reenactment of this battle!
Sentinum Archaelogical Park | 11.00 a.m.
But where was exactly the old Roman city of Sentinum? In order to walk on the very streets walked by the Romans, we leave the centre for now and we head towards a 15-acre archaeological park, that is the actual Sentinum. The visit to the park can be divided according to the old Roman site position: you can either start visiting what was outside the Roman city walls, or what belonged to the city itself. The two parts are well connected with a walking path. You know Romans loved to take care of their bodies, and this also applied to the people of Sentinum. Here indeed you can see several thermae, or spa, as we would call them nowadays, that were important parts of the Romans’ everyday life.
Tip: since it is an open-air park, don’t forget to bring sunscreen protection! After the visit, you can also have refreshments at the “Bistrot”, right at the entrance to the park. You may fancy some snacks after so much walking! At the moment (April 2019) the cafè is still looking for new owners, maybe would you like to work there? 😉
Lunch by Agriturismo La Vecchia Stalla | 1 p.m.
It’s lunchtime! Which better place to have lunch at that a family run agriturismo? I think this is probably the most genuine agriturismo I have ever experienced for a while. Here not only the two sisters who own the restaurant engaged the whole family in it, but literally every part of their garden. Everything EVERYTHING is homemade/harvested/cooked and you can only taste the dishes yourself! The portions are gigantic, be sure to come with your tummies rumbling!
Tip: Try the tiramisu as dessert! It’s just delicious!
Mill della Marena | 2.30 p.m.
Before driving back to the centre, we should have a walk around the Church of Santa Maria. Not only the Church is very beautiful, but also the hidden mill next to it. You can spot it on the bridge on the way to the centre, and it is really worth a visit. The owner Gilberto is making a great effort in renewing the whole mill, and especially to make it work again! It is not only a mill that produces flour, but it is also capable of exploit water in order to activate a sawmill, to produce lime, to dye clothes, and to grind vines, nuts, corn and much more. The mill is open on request (contact Happennines).
Tip: ask the owner to activate the mill, and you will see how the power of water can make incredible things!
Before getting to the historic centre, have a look at the hill right in front of you. You can spot the next three attractions we are going to visit: Rocca Albornoziana on the top left of the hill, Chiesa San Pietro on the right, and the Museum of Arts and Traditions right in the middle. If you feel very sporty, you can walk to the hill, otherwise, you can drive to a very handy car park near the Rocca.
Historic centre |3.30 p.m.
The Historic centre of Sassoferrato is awarded as one of “Borgo più bello d’Italia”, one of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy, and you can easily understand why. The quietness of the vicoli (alleys), the beauty of the view and the attractions in the centre make it a very special part of Sassoferrato. In one of this alley, there is the Church of Santa Chiara, where nuns are still managing the opening hours.
We can start with the visit to the Church of San Pietro, whose refectory is unique, I would say. Here you can find a prison cell made for priests! The eclectic guide Edgardo will show you hidden messages sketched by the prisoners. A real must-see!
The second attraction that we could see from the bottom of the hill was the Museum of Arts and Traditions. We can reach it by walking down the path next to the Church of San Pietro. I must say that the visit to this museum may take even more than 2 hours, but it is totally worth it!
The Museum is divided into 6 different sections, and it is located inside an old Monastery (that was previously a fortress). It is divided into three different floors, and it shows exhibitions of old tools, traditions and stories that are part of Sassoferrato popular history. The topics cover from the land works, to the women one, from the old transportation with birocci to a typical farmer house (where you can find original furniture and even bed linen!). The last section is about traditional jobs that most of the time are now replaced (sadly) by modern technology. Guided visits are scheduled in advance. The museum can be open also during events.
Tip: you should finish your walk in the park around the Rocca Albornoziana. The view is just spectacular and on a sunset, it is just breathtaking.
Aperitivo at Memory’s | 7.00 p.m.
It’s been a long day! We can finish it where we started this morning, actually in the bar next to it. We can have indeed an aperitivo (that could be also our dinner) at Memory’s. We can taste good wine and eat good food while sitting on these fancy old sewing machines tables!
Aperitivo is also worth in Bar Castello! You never know if hunger hits you twice! 😉
Dinner | 8 p.m.
It’s been a long day in Sassoferrato, and now it’s time to relax, to taste local food and enjoy a good glass of wine. There are several alternatives, and we suggest to come back more than once, so that you can try them all! If you want to stay near the Archaeological Park there is Agriturismo Antico Muro, or Hostaria La Rocca that is in the historic centre!
- There is a Camper Car Park in Piazzale Castelletti
- The park on the top of the hill is a very pleasant way to enjoy a beautiful view while visiting the centre
- Every second year, on Good Friday there is a heartfelt reenactment of the Eastern Passion.
- After having visited the Archaeological Museum and wondered about the Sentinum Battle, you should come back at the end of July for the live reenactment of this battle, called “Battaglia delle Nazioni“.
- For other info on Sassoferrato: http://www.happennines.it/
- Stay tuned for a very special Museum around Sassoferrato: the Museum of the Sulfur Mine.