Taste the real Italy: The rural town of Sarnano is a world full of flavour and fun

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We discovered Sarnano in 2006. A friend had invited us to stay in his house close to this little-known but spectacularly beautiful town in Le Marche. ‘You’ll love it,’ he said, as we climbed through the Brunforte Arch, the only survivor of four ancient entry gates to this walled hilltown. We did. It was love at first sight.

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Italy’s Le Marche region is like a working Tuscany. Rolling hills are a patchwork of small fields, each of which seems to have a man on a tractor in it. Or an old lady collecting firewood.

And all in the shadow of the Sibillini Mountains, 30 peaks over 6,500ft, winter ski slopes that burst into a riot of colour when the sun burns off the snow and wildflowers arrive in the spring.

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