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The former takes place in the Sibillini mountains and there are downhill and cross country courses. Passes for equipment and lifts in inexpensive, especially when compared to the French resorts. Additionally, accommodation is far cheaper. The hunt ("caccia") typically involves a small group of men and they tend to roam freely. If you are walking through forest or upland between late September and December, it is no bad idea to dress brightly, in case you are confused for an animal

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Marche: what to see

There is much to see and appreciate in Le Marche and Abruzzo - while you might not get 'top' cuisine, the restaurants are far cheaper and much more friendly than in the north. The local specialities are salami sausage, pastas (of course), a huge variety of seafood (not just in costal towns), wild boar (tastes somewhat like venison) and many other carnivore delights! For veggies they will always rustle up a tasty pasta minus the meat.

There are many attractions from the shopping glitz of Civitanove Marche to the quiet and serene hill towns (citadels). The caves at Frassasi are well worth a visit (not far from Jesi; Genga is the railhead and there are free transfer buses) and the towns nestling at the bottom of the Sibillini mountains are a must. Everywhere is packed with medieval churches, castles, Roman antiquities and the like. One favourite with natives is the lake at Fiastra but avoid this on a nice summer Sunday.

If you're going in the summer season, a visit to the open air opera at Macerata (Sferisterio) is a cultural must. The atmosphere is electric and seats not too expensive. Bring a rainproof and warm clothing unless you're in the expensive box seats - even in summer you can get the occasional deluge. In winter there are many attractions, not least the beautiful light which highlights this beautifully fertile green countyside. Inland, the natives persue two popular sports, skiing and hunting.


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