Today, Visso is the headquarters of the Sibylline Mountain National Park and is an architectural gem set among wooded hills at the convergence point of five valleys and as many rivers.
The house is at the top of a private road and so it is a peaceful haven with no sounds of passing traffic and, as we are about 607 m above sea level, the air is pure and healthy. Although there can be many sunny days, January to March is usually dry and chilly with a heavy snowfall in early January. (Frontignano, the nearest ski resort, is only a fifteen-minute drive away.) In April, May and early June, there can be rainy days but Spring is a fantastic season - fruit trees blossom, the sun frequently shines, wild flowers blanket the fields and verges, the birds sing and, at night, the fire-flies glow. From mid-June to early September, it is normally warmer but still fresh, sunny and dry. Autumn, with its burnished and russet foliage, is a magical time. It does sometime rain and, as the days shorten, it becomes cooler. It is the ideal time for walking and exploring.
Local Wines and Food: The best known regional white wine is Verdicchio, produced mainly in Matelica (30 kilometres away) and Castelli di Jesi. It varies from the cheap and cheerful to superb vintage wine. Local red wines, named after where the wine is made, are Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno. A famous local, sweet, sparkling wine is Vernaccia di Serra Petrona. Produced in Camerino and other nearby towns is a superb aniseed spirit, called Mistrà, that is delightfully used to 'correct' a coffee. In Visso there is a nice and fully supplied cantina 'Belisario' in which is possible to find and taste all these famous wines and other spirits & liqueurs.
Local foods include 'ciauscolo' (a spreadable salami), which is produced only in Visso and exported all over Italy and abroad. In Visso is possible to visit the laboratories (Pettacci, Calabro', Vissana Salumi) and watch the production of this salami and other typical local foods.
Among local dishes , 'lentil soup', also with sausages, 'coniglio in porchetta' (rabbit stuffed with pork and wild fennel), 'polenta' (a solid pasta made from maize flour on top of which is meat or vegetables) and 'vincisgrassi' (a superior lasagna), fresh trouts , grilled or 'in salmi'. Local cheeses include 'pecorino' (from sheep's milk) and 'ricotta' (from the remaining whey). Excellent honey and olive oil are also produced in the area.
Eating In and Out: at a few meters of the house (five minutes by foot) in the village centre there are all kinds of shops : groceries, butchers , greengrocers, local specialist bakers, mini markets, selling a wide range of foods that includes local and regional specialities. It is, therefore, very easy to buy locally almost any food required - apart from some exotic ingredients for Indian and Chinese food!
Close by, there are several unpretentious restaurants and pizzerias, serving good and inexpensive meals. At some of them, it is possible to eat outside in summer. The nearest are 'Taverna del Ponte' (pizzeria) 20 mt., 'La Filanda' (100 mt) typical restaurant and pizzeria, 'Wanted' (100 mt.) restaurant&pub, 'Osteria Richetta' (200 mt) typical restaurant . Within a ten-minute drive there is the 'Trattoria del Pescatore', probably the best of all, restaurant and pizzeria, where 'il Nido del Ghiro' clients are welcome and have a special discount.
All guests are provided with a list of local restaurants and we are very happy, if required, to provide advice and make any required bookings. At weekends in summer and on feast days, it is normally essential to book in advance.
Ski: about a 15-minute drive away, you can ski in the spectacular scenery of the Sibillini Mountains. The nearest ski resort is Frontignano di Ussita . Then there is 'Monte Prata' ski resort, near Castelluccio and at the feet of Vettore Mountain (2480 mt, the highest of Sibillini group). A few kilometres away, at a height of 1070 meters, is Pintura di Bolognola, where there are seven ski lifts taking you up to 1845 meters that have a run of 5 kilometres. A little far away there is also Sarnano - Sassotetto ski resorts, which is also well equipped with chair-lifts and ski-lifts. The resorts are generally unsophisticated but never overcrowded and with no queues for the ski lifts. It is also unusually cheap! The ski season is normally from mid-December to the end of March.