Sarnano Italy is a town in the Macerata Province, in the Marche Region, in the heart of Sibillini Mountains. This brick-built ancient city is a perfectly preserved medieval town that has been named one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. It curls around the hill like a snail and is surrounded by incredible views of the countryside. Sarnano is at the foothills of the Sibillini Mountains and not far from the line that separates Le Marche from Umbria. Despite its small size and its 3,000 residents, you can find so many attractions and things to do in this charming village: are you ready to discover it with me and some local friends?
Things to do in Sarnano Italy
Be back on time and discover the past of Sarnano, Italy
Imagine a city with ancient roots and a medieval past, where ancient walls surround an incredible sense of equality between their people.
Sarnano surroundings had several castles: Brunforte and Malvicino were just some of the most famous ones. Seeking another kind of society, inhabitants who escaped from these castles would have given birth to the Sarnano town.
The old center is still shaped like a round fortified village: round walls were built gradually, as the Sarnano population increased. It winds in concentric rings up to the Piazza Alta—the highest part of the city—and comes down via narrow alleys and small houses, forming a picturesque scenery where time seems to stand still.
I recommend you do this tour with a guide: the tour’s perspective will be completely different!
Visit Piazza Alta
Don’t miss the breathtaking views of the mountains and the countryside on the terrace in front of the church of Santa Chiara. Piazza Alta hosts the church of Santa Maria di Piazza Alta and three important buildings, seats of power in the past: Palazzo dei Priori, Palazzo del Popolo, and Palazzo Podestà. To guarantee a sense of equality and avoid society divisions, the population didn’t live in this area. Now, these historic buildings are exhibition spaces and museums.
Visit the Art Gallery and the Civic Museum of Sarnano
The museums in Sarnano include an art gallery and a civic museum. In the art gallery you can admire astonishing artworks of artists from the region or who worked in the region, as the Venetian painter Vittore Crivelli: he left indelible marks on the art of Le Marche. You can also see many incredible masterpieces from churches created by anonymous artists.
The waterfalls of Sarnano
Nature-lovers like me, you can’t miss the Sarnano Waterfalls. Not far from the historic center of Sarnano, you can reach three gorgeous waterfalls called “Via delle Cascate Perdute”, which literally means “street of the lost waterfalls,” as these natural wonders are hidden behind the vegetation. Wear comfortable dresses and hiking shoes and explore these wonders! The waterfall’s names are:
- Cascata dell’Antico Molino
- Cascata “de lu Vagnatò”
- Cascatelle in località Romani.
The waterfalls are connected by easy paths and it’s not difficult to get around.
Go hiking and enjoy outdoor activities
As you can see, there’re so many things to do in addition to art and culture attractions. Trekking, biking, and horsing are just some of them! In the area, you will find plenty of walking paths with incredible views to the Sibillini mountains.
Castrum Sarnani: enjoy a historical reenactment in Sarnano Italy
Every year the village of Sarnano recalls its medieval past with historical reenactments.
A competition between Sarnano’s ancient districts (Palio del Serafino) was a tradition and had evolved into an annual battle to win a painted palio. The medieval games include flag throwing, archery, climbing, and more.
During the month of August you can enjoy foods, crafts, and games of the Middle Ages. It’s a perfect opportunity to discover the ancient traditions that the inhabitants of the town proudly maintain along the time!
Discover local food producers and why their products are better
Local food is an important part of the Italian regional culture and is held in high regard by local communities. During your visit in Sarnano, you can’t miss a visit to one of the local food producers, talk with the owners and buy products directly from the local company.
In Sarnano Italy you can find delicious cheeses, ciausculo (typical spreadable salami exclusive from Le Marche), local fresh legumes and exquisite wines. It’s no secret that locally grown food tastes better and has a unique story! I’ve visited two of them: here I’m sharing with you my personal experience.
Cheese production: il Tesoro dei Sibillini
Two brothers, a proud grandmother, hundreds of white sheep and one mission: produce a special cheese. Il Tesoro dei Sibillini is a family-run company, where two young brothers Marica and Mauro decided to gather up the grandmother’s activity, a local cheese producer. This third-generation company faced many challenges, like an earthquake and a strong storm that damaged part of their structure. But their will was stronger than the difficulties and the result of their dedication is quite clear. You can buy their delicious sheep cheeses in their shops.
The paradise of salami lovers: don’t miss the ciausculo of Monterotti Pacioni
Image huge drying rooms with thousands of salami sausages hung on racks. The owners of Monterotti Pacioni proudly bring us to a room full of ciasculo, salami, prosciutto, and an infinity of cold cuts. The Monterotti salami factory has specialized for years in the production of cured meats derived from pigs reared in the Marche region, all characterized by excellent quality.
Fabrizio Monterotti explained to us the main differences of an industrial salami and their craftsmanship products. I’m not going to share details about it but believe me: I wish an eternal life to craftsmanship high-quality products like this! Their belief is: “Tasty yes, but always with a special care to health in such a way as to be able to use these whims of greedy daily”.
Wise advice, don’t you think? You can find their cured meats in many local shops, in a traditional Italian food truck in the city center, restaurants, and in their own shop. It’s delicious!
Sarnano Italy, the name’s orign
The origin of the name of Sarnano dates back to the Augustan period when Augustus gave this land to his war veterans. Probably the name derives from the name of the Roman army officer to which this territory was assigned.
Where to eat: restaurants in Sarnano, Italy.
To have a 360° experience in Sarnano, you can’t miss a gastronomic tour. Here you can find some great restaurants and pastry shops. Enjoy the Sarnano flavors, from the breakfast to the dinner!
Coccinella Golosa: breakfast and pastry shop
Breakfast is often called “the most important meal of the day,” and for good reason. Especially if you’re in Italy, in a coffee and pastry shop with hundreds of delicious things, and a stunning view! Coccinella Golosa is also a great place to buy some handmade cookies and give them as a gift to your friends! Owners are so kind! Exquisite experience!
L’Osteria Scherzi a Parte
Delicious dishes paired with a unique atmosphere creates an unbeatable recipe. Once the doors open at L’Osteria Scherzi a Parte, you’ll feel like you’re in a typical Italian osteria, where people get together to eat really well and enjoy the company of families, friends, couples, old and young. It is a lively atmosphere, and the delicious smell of authentic cuisine from Le Marche lingers in the air. There’s an open space perfect for the summer. The gnocchi with chestnut sauce is a must-eat! The owners, a nice couple, are kind and welcoming!
This brick-built historic restaurant in Sarnano is a must-visit. The typical local cuisine has one basis: it’s without doubt the use of excellent local products. Among the specialties you must try are oven-baked cheese with black truffles, homemade pasta dishes, and a delicious mix of entrees. The wine menu has a special emphasis on local wine varieties. The historic atmosphere is impressive, and the team is extremely welcoming and courteous!
Farmhouse La Querce
This farmhouse is famous for traditional homemade dishes and for stunning outdoor areas. This time it was not possible to visit it, but it’s on my wishlist. Local advisors highly recommend it!
Where to stay in Sarnano Italy
Now that you discovered so many places to visit and things to do in this charming village, you are probably wondering if I can recommend you a place to stay.
L’Antica Dimora is a special country house that offers the opportunity to experience great apartments, in an amazing rural contest in the heart of the Sibillini mountains.
It’s an ideal retreat to nourish the body and the mind. It’s a place where guests can enjoy the tranquility of an authentic rural life and reach Sarnano main attractions in just some minutes. The apartments offer fully equipped kitchens. In the outdoor patio there’s a swimming pool, a perfect area to chill out during the afternoon, enjoying the beautiful landscape of the surroundings. L’Antica Dimora is a perfect place to switch-off, relax and explore the territory!
Do you love camping, creative themes, and the great outdoors? L’Antica Dimora offers also a campsite, where you can find a special area with the theme “Alice in Wonderland”. Perfect for families and Alice’s fans!
About the owner, Brunella
Behind any place, there’s a personal story. Brunella, the “local friend” who showed us the best of her land, is the owner and the personality of the country house. An entrepreneur, a creative woman who loves cats. A person who loves what she does.
One of the best aspects of traveling is meeting local people, as they often challenge our perception about a place and help us learn something new about the world and ourselves. Thank you Brunella for showing your territory and for being our perfect “local friend and host” during the #RipartidaiSibilliniExperience3.
Riparti dai Sibillini Experience 3
Special thanks also to:
Nicoletta, @trinitychepassa on Instagram. Marchigiana, an unstoppable world traveler and my travel mate during the Sarnano tour.
Luca Terence for the whole organization of this great initiative to promote the Sibillini area and the Marche Region. Nadia, Racconti di Marche and Igers Marche were partners of this initiative.
This tour was organized before the new Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers (DPCM) in Italy and the people involved respected physical distancing rules and used masks.
Cover Photo: Thanks to Luca Tambella
- Places to visit in Le Marche Italy
- Gradara Castle
- Fermo Italy
- Loreto Marche: discover the Holy City
- Fano Italy
- Frasassi caves Italy
- Hotels Le Marche Italy
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Cover Photo: Thanks to Luca Tambella
About the author Juliana de Brito
Hi, my name is Juliana and It’s nice to e-meet you!
I’m an expat who decided to live in the Marche Region and I’m extremely passionate about it.
Would you like to know more about me and about what binds me to this region?
Just check out the video below.