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Sunday, May 31, 2020

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The arrival of spring is highly-anticipated by everyone, but for those who love nature, it is especially momentous. Places like Cupramontana in the Ancona province of Italy’s central Marche region are a prime example of Mother Nature at her finest. 

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The Hermitage of the White Friars in Cupramontana

Completely surrounded by trees and greenery, and nestled in the mountains, the hermitage (known as l’Eremo dei Frati Bianchi) is a hidden treasure. The name derives from the white habit worn by the friars who have lived here for centuries. Interestingly, it is also known as the Hermitage of the Grotte del Massaccio. These magnificent caves or grottos were carved into the rocky walls where the monks’ cells are still preserved today.

The hermitage is immersed in the woods where rare plant species can be found. This area is protected by the Marche region and rightfully so. You can encounter species like the red lily, the black alder or pyramidal orchids. Peace and silence reign supreme in these secluded woods and the only noises that can be heard are birdsongs or the gushing water from the creek nearby.

In recent years, the hermitage has even been hosting weddings. A fairytale setting in which to celebrate one of the most important days of your life. But the possibilities don’t end there because visitors can actually arrange to spend the night in one of the ancient cells and experience what it was like to live like the real White Friars.

For additional information or for reservations, visit the official website.

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Visiting the Cupramontana Hills

If you’d like to visit the hermitage, you will need to plan to arrive on foot. The tour that we recommend lasts about an hour. Starting from the parking lot at the foot of the hill, you will find a dirt road that cannot be traveled by car which then leads to the hermitage. You will find yourself on a path surrounded by dense vegetation with lush shrubs and tall trees. In a short time, you will reach the sanctuary. Once you get here, there are two options: the first includes a visit to the hermitage and the caves, or the second option is to continue on following the route along the stream. Following the signs for San Giovanni, you can enjoy magnificent views of Mount Murano, then reach a small settlement of houses. The path will lead you back around to your starting point in the parking lot. 

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