Spring clean

Spring clean

The clocks have gone forward an hour, our evenings are longer and lighter and the air feels different, it smells of summer. This is the time of year to de-clutter and spring clean, both at home and work!

le marche (1)

Le Marche

The last few weeks here in Le Marche (where? I hear you say… on the east coast of Italy about half way down the boot), my husband is relieved that I am no longer sneaking the thermostat up on the central heating! I’m actually going around the house and throwing open windows, letting the blend of mountain and sea air float through the rooms, bliss.

In our house I have to admit that every month a ‘Spring Clean’ has to take place. With two small children, a dog and my husband, there is a constant trail of mess! I turn my back for a few seconds after cleaning one area to find that Millie-Mary, our young daughter, has decided to tip up the bag of toys I’ve just packed away! Cornflakes are found in the bath, the dog’s water bowl has been tipped over again, and the neatly stacked pile of clean laundry has been thrown around the lounge! It’s a never-ending game…

However, in my business life things are different. When a Spring Clean takes place at Appassionata HQ, it really does happen, and we can step back and be proud of what has been accomplished and really see and feel the change.

During the past week on Estate Giacomo Leopardi, Charlie and his team have been very busy. The exterior of Casa Giacomo has been painted, the main gates stained and all the plants (including hundreds of lavender) have been pruned. It looks wonderful- all fresh and clean, neat and tidy. Over the next couple of weeks similar work will be happening in Casa Leopardi.

Casa Tre Archi 2

Casa Tre Archi

Casa Tre Archi, the house we are currently marketing, now has all its garden furniture out on the roof terrace. With newly potted plants on both the roof terrace and the decked garden area, its now ready for owner’s to sit outside, relax and enjoy their surroundings.

Most exciting of all is the big ‘Spring clean’ on our website. After 3 years we thought it was now time to update and de- clutter our old site and go for a cleaner, slicker and more elegant site.

We have grown and matured over the last few years and so to reflect this we are creating a more sophisticated website. Colors, fonts, images and style will now reflect the business Appassionata is today.

Having just completed a two day intensive course in London with e-consultancy (highly recommended) on digital marketing, I now have a real understanding around the value of a website to a business. The importance of making your website work for you and getting as much traffic to your site as possible.

I found it very interesting and learnt so much- and I’m sure the information I have gained will be a huge help as I move forward in helping to grow our business over the coming years.

Having recently been handed the reins to the Appassionata’s social media accounts including facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest etc, it’s amazing to see what grabs people’s attention and what doesn’t. We are delighted to have welcomed many new followers throughout our social media channels and we hope you will all enjoy watching us grow.

Exciting times ahead for the Appassionata Team. Keep a look out for our new website coming soon…..

Ciao,

India

This very special place we now call home…..

This very special place we now call home…..

Petritoli, Le Marche. Italy.

Petritoli, Le Marche. Italy.

Are you amongst the many people who are put off the idea of looking at something you know you like, and think you’d be interested in buying, because you don’t want the usual spiel that many sales people bore you with?

Take me, I travel fairly frequently and like to purchase things, like many women do, in duty-free. However, if one of the overly smiley and falsely jolly shop assistants comes over, and starts pestering me about how my trip was, where I am going to now etc. at 7am as I’m browsing, I will often just walk out, as I want to decide, in peace, which perfume or lip gloss I want to buy, without any pressure.

I like to take this into account when I have clients coming over to view our properties in Le Marche, where we sell fabulous homes as fractional ownerships. A slightly bigger purchase I know than a £60 perfume or £25 lip gloss, but still these things matter.

We want people to immerse themselves into the beautiful region of Le Marche, to discover the place we hope they will decide to call home in Italy.

As they drive along the coast road and inland to the rolling hills, scattered with vineyards olive groves and stunning towns quite literally perched on top of hills, many of our visitors drive with the windows down, as fresh, sea air meets mountain air, and we know it’s hard to do anything other than relax.

As you drive up into the medieval town of Petritoli, you’ll see the locals, who will be curiously looking at what’s happening; for many of them, this has been home for… well forever. A trip down to the coast, just 20 minutes away is as far away as they’ve ever been.

Pulling in front of the ancient three arches, an unmistakeable gateway to the town, you will feel like you are stepping back in time. Walking along the narrow cobbled streets, dotted with cafés, bars and restaurants you will feel the warm, yet curious, welcome of the locals.

We will be here to meet you, and show you around our unique property, Casa tre Arche. But don’t worry, there will be no power point presentation, or heavy, pressured sales pitch. Far from it, we are here to show you the treasures that lie within, and to answer any questions you may have, usually over lunch or dinner, with you as our guests… a very Italian experience.

Where possible, and if Casa Tre Archi is available, we love our prospective clients to be our guests for the night, so that during their discovery trip they get the best possible chance to see and feel what a special place this really is.

Buona Giornata,

India Hobbs-Mauger

http://www.appassionata.com/urban.html

http://www.appassionata.com/visit.html

www.appassionata.com

ifh@appassionata.com

Stunning views from the roof terrace of Casa Tre Archi.

Stunning views from the roof terrace of Casa Tre Archi.

Terre di Piero – in the step of the traveling master – Piero della Francesca

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This is an invitation to the voyage. In the steps of Piero Della Francesca: humanist painter, Renaissance intellectual, master of light, symbols and perspective. Across a changing landscape of isolated churches, medieval towns and gentle slopes that Piero admired and immortalized during his pilgrimages in central Italy.

Inside Malatesta’s, Medici’s and Montefeltro’s palaces, which once hosted him and still guard his masterpieces, untouched by the passing of time. An opportunity to discover a breathtaking itinerary made of art, territory, history, culture and traditions.

Don’t hesitate. Let’s go.

A guide to Le Marche Museums and Art Galleries

A league table of the most important museums and art galleries in the Marche, giving three stars to the most important places, two for those worth a visit, and one to those places worth seeing if you happen to be nearby.

In general all but the biggest are open only in the morning until 1 or 2pm. Monday is the usual day when they are closed (except Urbino’s Palazzo Ducale which is open 7 days a week). Note that the local museums in smaller towns are apt to have erratic opening times – sometimes you may even have to hunt out the key.

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  • Urbino – The Palazzo Ducale – the Voyager favourite. World class Italian renaissance art, including two of Piero della Francesca’s finest pictures and a gorgeous portrait by Raphael, in the spectacular setting of the Ducal Palace. The palace also houses a fascinating archeological collection mostly of Roman tablets. Best of all it now boasts extended opening times – 9am to 7pm Tues-Sun, and 9am to 2pm Mondays.
  • Raphael’s House, also in Urbino, has been preserved much as it was when he was born here in 1483. But you will only find one work, with a dodgy attribution, that might have been by the young artist – a fresco of the Madonna.
  • Jesi – The Pinacoteca Comunale in Palazzo Pianetti. A quirky choice this gallery is housed in a florid rococo palazzo. The outstanding treasures are a handful of pictures by Lorenzo Lotto, the Venetian painter who spent much of his working life in the Marche.
  • Fabriano – Museo della Carta. Fabriano is famous for its paper and this specialized modern museum is surprisingly fascinating. You can even see demonstrations of hand-made papermaking.
  • Ancona – You will find the best collection of the Marche’s archeological heritage at the Museo Nazionale Archeologico.

Madonna col Bambino Carlo Crivelli  1480 Ancona

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  • Ancona – Alongside paintings by Crivelli, Titian, Andrea del Sarto and Il Pomarancio, are works by outstanding Marche painters such as Barocci and Guerrieri.
  • Ascoli Piceno – A rich collection mainly by painters who lived and worked in this part of the Marche (including Crivelli) but also works of Titian, Tintoretto, Guido Reni and Guercino.
  • Recanati – Villa Colloredo-Mels, on the edge of town, houses a handful of Lorenzo Lotto’s finest pictures including a haunting Annunciation.
  • Pesaro – the Museo Civico has two delights: a beautiful altarpiece by Bellini and a remarkable collection of painted Renaissance ceramics.
  • Also in Pesaro is the house where Rossini was born with a growing collection of memorabilia.
  • Loreto – The Museum of the Holy House, as well as plenty on the traditions of Loreto, also has some pictures by Lorenzo Lotto – the artist spent his last years here.

Mystical marriage of Santa Caterina, 1400 Lorenzo Salimbeni

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  • San Severino – In the Pinacoteca Civica are some sparkling pictures by the Salimbeni brothers, the Marche’s under-appreciated early Renaissance painters.
  • Macerata – The Museo del Risorgimento is the best in the region dedicated to the Unification of Italy.
  • Fano – The Malatesta Museum and Gallery has some nice surprises for such a small local collection. Great building, as well.
  • Fabriano – The town was one of the great centres for the International Gothic style of 14thC painting and the Pinacoteca Comunale has some good examples. None however by the town’s greatest master, Gentile da Fabriano.
  • Urbania – A pleasing collection in the museum in the fine old Palazzo Ducale including great examples of the 15thC maiolica ware for which the town was famous.
  • Castelfidardo – The Museo Internazionale della Fisarmonica is dedicated to the accordion.
  • Mondavio – the waxwork museum in the fortress gives a waxen idea of daily life in medieval times; great for the kids.