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Marche Madness: Learning Italian, Opera, and being Ugly in the land of the Dukes
Sunday July 29, 2007

If you think all there is to see and do in Italy can be found along the trodden-to-death path that goes from Rome to Florence to Venice, it's time to rethink your mistaken notion. I've just visited the northern Marche region of Italy, where I've seen Opera students perform arias inside the 16th century bishop's palace (to a wine bottle yet!). I've eaten the Marche's famous truffles on top of a delightful summer salad; I've stayed in a country house called Parco Ducale that's a stone's throw from the Duke's elaborate hunting lodge called the Barco Ducale and I've visited a language school called Scuola Italia that specializes in teaching Italian in small classes and integrating students into the community. Guess what? I didn't have to leave the town of Urbania to do all this.

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