The nature is on show in Genga. It is a village spread with tiny districts all gathered around the thick forests of the Esino valley within the Medieval castle’s walls. It was once the area of Hannibal of Genga who was the Pope from 1823 to 1829 with the name of Leo XII. Nowadays it belongs to the regional natural park Gola della Rossa and Frasassi and it is well-known because of the Frasassi caves that are famous in Italy and in the world. You can visit the caves in this tiny village in the heart of Marche where you’ll experience the magic of nature and you’ll discover its historical wellness facilities where you can relax and enjoy the pleasure of the thermal baths and beauty treatments with the water and the mud. If you’re fond of the art and the culture Genga will teach you its history through its historical buildings, its churches and its museums. If you like good food and good wine you’ll be spoilt of choice since all the courses will be perfectly matched to the great local wine.
Passatelli and Verdicchio
The tastes of the typical dishes that are served in Genga’s restaurants and farmhouses are strong. You can taste the passatelli and the soup of maccheroncini as first courses, the spelt soups, the potatoes gnocchi with the duck, the tagliatelle with the asparagus sauce or the mushrooms from the forests and the vincisgrassi, the traditional lasagne from the region. If you prefer the main courses you can chose the snails, different types of raw vegetables, the pork’s guts, the stuffed pigeons and the lamb with the wild fennel. If you prefer the salami you can have lunch in one of the several farmhouses that are spread in this area where you’ll be delighted by the ham to be tasted with the dark bread that is produced from the local wheat. The best-known wines of this area are the Esino from the areas of Ancona and Macerata and the well-known Verdicchio both awarded with the Denomination of Controlled Origin label (DOC).
The Roman style in the Marche
The Xth century castle, the ancient palace of the Earls of Genga and the church of San Clemente together with a few houses represent the historical centre of the village. At the bottom of the main street that crosses the historical centre there is the former Church of San Clemente which dates back to the Middle Ages where you can visit the Sacred Art Museum that keeps some furnishings and sacred objects that belonged to Leo XII, a marble statue belonging to Antonio Canova’s school that was wanted by the Pope Leo XII in 1828 that was kept in the octagonal little temple of Valadier and a tryptic dating back to the XVth century by Antonio da Fabriano. You can’t miss a visit of the Roman abbey of San Vittore delle Chiuse near the Baths that were built by the Longobards towards the end of the Xth century in the middle of a Roman amphitheatre, one of the best examples of the Roman style of this region. In the ruins of the ancient Monastery there is the palaeontological and archaeological museum where a fossil of an ichthyosaurus and a few funeral urns are exhibited.
The Frasassi caves represent one of the most extraordinary natural areas of Europe, they are a group of amazing underground caves. They are a great tourist attraction, they can be partially visited and there are different tracks at your disposal, the easiest ones and the most adventurous ones that are appreciated by the skilled speleologists. Your senses will lead you through this journey and you’ll have the opportunity to see a number of different environments like the Ancona Abyss, the huge cave that is more than 200 metres deep, 120 metres wide and 180 metres long, the Room of the Two Hundreds, the Grand Canyon where you can cross a number of cracks over some caves that are fully submerged, the Room of the Bear and the Infinity Room. The crystallized pond is a very charming landscape, it was formed by the saturation of a water basin with the calcium carbonate, the Niagara waterfalls that is a fall of pure calcite, the castle of the fairy godmother that is featured by the spires and the Giants, a group of huge stalagmites that have a diameter of 5 metres and can be 20 metres tall.
Royal eagles and cave salamanders
The natural park of Gola della Rossa and Frasassi is an amazing speleological area and a combination of different natural landscapes that combine the water, the mountains and the forests. The Scappuccia Valley is crossed by the river and it’s one of the best naturalistic destinations in this area since there are different types of natural environments that coexist. The area of the calcareous walls that is featured by different types of bushes is near the watercourses where you can find the willow trees, the poplars and the southern edge vegetation which is featured by the presence of the thermophila. The area of Pontechiaradovo is the destination for the hikers and it is the starting and the arrival point of a number of naturalistic routes. This area of the Apennines is wild and dry and it’s a typical Carsic area where the royal eagles, the kestrels, the owls, the buzzards and the carrion crows find their best environment together with the hares, the rabbits, the foxes and the badgers. The cave salamanders, the vertebrate without lungs that lives in the humid environments is present in the Frasassi caves as well.