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Stage 12

Martinsicuro > Fano


The starting line in Abruzzo of the Ciclovia Adriatica cycle path, Martinsicuro is a well-equipped seaside resort that owes its fortune to a deep sandy beach kissed by the Adriatic. Proof of its past importance is the Torre Carlo V (Charles 5th Tower) - an imposing brick construction with a square base, built on three floors marked by two rounded stone cornices - and the Castellaccio, a former palace erected by the Franchi family that overlooks the town from the neighbouring hills, now considered a symbol of the town itself. Martinsicuro also boasts a unique biotope, where nature and fauna are preserved - an ideal spot for walks or bike rides to see the rare species of plants and, with a little luck, perhaps the Kentish plover, a small marsh bird that usually nests on beaches. While you await the departure of the racers, it's worth visiting the exhibition entitled 'A devil of a champion, an angel of a man. Gino Bartali's human adventure', organised as a tribute to the unforgettable Tuscan champion rider.

Leopardi and Recanati

After a long stretch along the seashore, the race leaves the coast and heads inland towards the magnificent towns and their many shoe factories, the heart of a very lively and well-known manufacturing district that has even made a name for itself abroad thanks to the quality of its production. Recanati, the 'wild birthplace' of Giacomo Leopardi is like a trip back to our school days. A visit might start from the residence of the 'splendid young man', now a house-museum, where the decor, furnishings and library, with over 20,000 books, have remained untouched. Right outside the poet's home lies the 'Village Saturday' square and 'Silvia's house'. A short distance away, we find the so-called Colle dell'Infinito (the Infinite Hill), with its vast panoramic terrace. The Beniamino Gigli museum, dedicated to one of the greatest tenors of all time, is also worth a visit.
In Castelfidardo, music again takes centre stage, with its International Accordion Museum housing some 150 instruments built by local craftsmen between 1840 and 1968. There's also a fascinating section dedicated to music on coins, the iconography of accordions and their appearance on stamps.
It's now time to move on to Osimo, surrounded by robust city walls that protect exceptional seventeenth- and eighteenth-century palaces and the cathedral consecrated to San Leonardo, with its marvellous three arched portico.


After passing by the Medieval town of Mondolfo - with its 'Italy's most beautiful towns' status - we head back to the Adriatic coast for the final sprint. Fano is a seaside town, home for centuries to fisherman and sailors, but it's also an artistic city that is proud of its extensive history and one that sets great store by protecting the environment - having received many awards for its 'green' efforts. It's worth trying to pinpoint the various historical periods in the monuments that in turn represent Roman Fano (the Arch of Augustus and the Augustan walls), its Medieval splendour (the majestic Malatestiana Fortress) and Renaissance Fano, with its Sangallo Bastion, the Church and Cloisters of San Paterniano and the churches of Saint Francis and Saint Michael. A stroll along the seafront would be a fitting conclusion to an intense, yet unforgettable, day.

I know them all!