For all the luggage behind door number two, name the battle the Romans fought and won that allowed them to unify central Italy?
Tick tock. The battle was near Sassoferrato in Le Marche. Tick tock.
Give up? Parting prize starting to look good? It was the Battle of Sentinum. 296 bc.
The Samnites had gathered Etruscans, Senones, Gauls and Umbrians (hereafter referred to as “just about everyone else on the boot and beyond”) to combine forces against the Romans, but the Romans were clever and defeated the coalition, which started with about twice the troops.
This important battlefield lies just outside the interesting town of Sassoferrato. There are Roman Baths, Roman Roads, and countless ruins that will take you back to a (slightly) bloodier time. The whole complex is fascinating, really.
I remember as wandered through the ruins a few years ago seeing a sign to a Bed and Breakfast, right smack in the center of the archaeological site. “Only in Italy,” I sighed.
Well, that was a few years ago, and the B&B was closed. Now it has returned as Agriturismo Antico Muro.
The Antico Muro has a view over this momentous history. In the background there are mountains framing it all nicely.
The structure itself is a rather unique look at the architecture of a family farm.
Imagine watching the moon rise over Sentinum in one of those plastic chairs under the big tree. That can’t be a bad thing.
But wait, there’s more. How about eating right smack upon an excavation? Inside! Ok, ready?
Yes, you can reserve a table like this. (Drink enough vino and test your vertigo by trying to walk on the glass.)
And you can eat like this:
This colorful lunch pasta was served to us by the owner Guido Mingarelli. You probably can’t guess the pasta. It’s called “piancianelle” and it’s a local pasta made from the leftover dough you might have when making sourdough bread. The “condiment” on top is all stuff out of the garden and surrounding countryside. This is a serving for four people.
You want this. Oh, my, you certainly want this. If you are a vegan or gluten intolerant, Guido’s got that covered, too.
The full menu has other surprises, including the reasonable price. Although we didn’t stay the night at Antico Muro, the place gets rave reviews on the Internet—and we all know that has to be true.
I hope those of you who have visited Italy’s big three already and are ready to see some of the rural charm you get in lightly touristed Italian regions will come to Sassoferrato. What’s near? Well, the Marche Map shows us Citta di Castello and Gubbio in northern Umbria as well as Genga and the incredible Frasassi Caves as well as Fabriano, the paper making capital of Italy.