GUBBIO/PESARO/GRADARO
Pesaro

Having spent two days touring Urbino we decided to leave for a day trip to Pesaro, a small beach town on the Adriatic. Located in the region of Marche, it is a town of about 100,000 which was founded by the Romans in about 200 BCE. It is pretty much a tourist destination for Italians in the summer.

Beach

The Queen stands on a boardwalk that ran the entire length of the part of the city along the beach. There is a large marina there with many boats. The hotels along the beach were a mixture of modern and old.

Bike Lanes

In the newer part of the city there were dedicated bike lanes. We did not see too many people on bikes but it was a pretty nasty day.

Piazza Popolo

The Queen walks through Piazza Popolo, I wonder if they had executions in this piazza like they did in the one in Rome.

Sinagoga

As in Urbino, there was a significant Jewish population in Pesaro until it became part of the Papal state. Then depending upon the Pope, life was either horrible or bad for the Jews. The synagogue in the ghetto area was only open during the summer months. Pictures show that it has been completely renovated.

Holocaust

On a sidewalk of Piazza Popolo what appeared to be at first a bunch of papers thrown on the ground turned out to be a permanent exhibit about the holocaust. There were only about 60 Jews in Pesaro during World War II and although they were supposed to be in camps they actually lived in homes and were expected to report to the Italian police every day.

Fountain

The King is wearing a long sleeve shirt, a leather jacket and carrying two umbrellas a sign of not so nice weather.

Rossini Theater

Rossini was an 18th century composer who was born in Pesaro. The theater, built is 1818, is still used and is supposed to be beautiful inside but we were not able to enter. His most famous opera was Barber of Seville and it was first produced at Teatro Argentina in Rome in 1816.

View

This is a view of Pesaro as we were leaving and going north along the coast. We tried to find an old Jewish cemetery that was located on this hill and had been renovated. We could not find it but people told us that it was locked and only open in the summer time. At one time they tried to make Pesaro a deep water port but that failed and you can see why by the color of the water where it is very shallow.

Gradara

This tiny hill top town located between Urbino and Pesaro is famous for its castle. Started in the 13th century it is supposed to be one of the most intact castles in Italy.

On the Way to Gradara

On our way to Gradara we passed through some small towns high up with some spectacular views of the Adriatic.

Walls

The castle actually has two sets of walls so that the actual size of the property takes up the entire hill top. The Queen is standing in front of the outer wall.

The clock tower is on the outer wall.

Within the walls and close to the entrance to the castle there were lots and lots of noisy Italian school children.

The Queen is walking the outer wall of the castle.

View

The views from the top of the castle of the surrounding countryside are beautiful.

Piadini

For lunch we had a piadini which seems to be the sandwich of choice in this region. This is made from scratch by a local vendor in a food wagon. They take a ball of flour and use a machine to smash it flat. They use a circular cutter to make it round and cut off the excess flour. Then they fry it on the grill and fry up whatever you want to put on it after it cooks. We opted for lots of vegetables. It was quite good and very filling.

Gubbio

While we were in Urbino we made a day trip to another hilltop town Gubbio which is in Umbria. Gubbio is one of the steeper towns we have been in and it is wonder that people still live there. There is an elevator you can take half way up and then another one up to the top. We took the elevator up to the midpoint and you exit into this big square. There are not many people here now since this is not the tourist season.

The view from the top of the town.

The inside of the main castle of the town.

Just outside the town there are the remains of an old Roman amphitheater.

In the square we noticed a table set up with a small crowd around it and two young ladies who appeared to be twins being recorded talking about an event that was about to take place. They had a table with a big bowl of apples in water and an equal bowl that was empty. We were asked to be part of the crowd and then the four young people started to pass the apple from one to the other by biting it and not using their hands. The Queen can be seen in the crowd.

After this round of entertainment they had four chefs making all sorts of fresh food of the area. The filming continued and then at the end they let the crowd eat everything. There was wine, bread, meat, fish, etc. We did not have to worry about lunch.

Someone had forgotten plates so the chef served himself in the top on one of the pots he was cooking with.

The King gets in a picture with the two sisters who hosted the show.

Porti dei Morti or door of the dead. The people built houses that had very short doors which were for the dead to leave the house.

A small river runs through Gubbio.

Todi

Our last stop on the way home was Todi. We were not too impressed with this small hilltop town built by Hercules in the 14th century BCE.

We managed to park at the bottom of the town and had to walk up to the top.

A view from the top of Todi.

Almost every town has a statue of Garabaldi somewhere.

Piazza Popolo with the Duomo in the background.

Piazza Popolo from the steps of the Duomo.

This Klu Klux Klan type outfit is worn at some festivals in Todi.