Exploring Marche’s Val d’Aso with Appassionata

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| Mon, 06/03/2024 - 05:36
Monte Rinaldo in Val d'Aso

Monte Rinaldo in Val d'Aso /  Photo: Appassionata

The Val d’Aso is the valley you’ve probably never heard of. That’s what makes it the ideal location for an Italian holiday home. 

Michael Hobbs with Appassionata has spent the last 15 years showing this valley in Marche to people who want to invest in an Italian holiday home and live an authentic experience through fractional ownership. Known as the “garden of Marche” for its position between the Sibillini Mountains and the Adriatic Sea and hills brimming with end-of-summer sunflowers, the Val d’Aso spans 43 miles, punctuated by hilltop villages. Hobbs picked the Val d’Aso for Appassionata when the region captured his heart, and has since grown a successful family-run business. 

“The smaller number of tourists and its proximity to the sea and mountains make it magical. The rolling hills, an abundance of medieval hilltop villages, and a focus on artisan products, food, wine, and warm hospitality made this region the perfect choice,” he says about selecting the Val d’Aso for Appassionata which now includes more than 60 co-owners for its Italian holiday homes. Since its launch in 2009, Appassionata has purchased, developed, designed, furnished, and sold fractional shares in six fully renovated and meticulously restored properties throughout the Val d’Aso.

Hobbs shares some of his favorite places in the Val D’Aso, from visiting one of Marche’s most well-known pasta makers to exploring summer festivals and staying in homes designed for embracing life at a slower pace. These are experiences along the valley that you don’t want to miss.


Casa Tre Archi Italian Holiday Home in Petritoli
Casa Tre Archi in Petritoli / Photo: Appassionata

A Borghi piu Belli d'Italia (Italy’s most beautiful villages), three arches with 15th-century turrets mark the entrance to Petritoli. The village made headlines in 2022 when it was announced that you could rent out much of it, including its castle, for large groups (up to 200 people), through private residents who would rent out their homes. But if you want an Italian holiday home for yourself, Appassionata has two homes in this vibrant village.  Casa Tre Archi shares a wall with one of the arches in a prime position to explore Petritoli’s history, and Palazzo Scarsini, a 16th-century palazzo, has been fully restored, exposing frescoed ceilings and creating a full spa under its15th-century vaults. Staying there, you’ll wake up in the medieval town, where you can linger along Largo Leopardi, watching the daily passeggiata while enjoying your morning coffee.


Campofilone’s modern-day pasta fame started at a trattoria in 1912, where Maccheroncini di Campofilone (which some say dates from the Middle Ages) was first served. In the 1960s, the town became a production hub for the dried version of the thin egg pasta. You’ll now see Maccheroncini di Campofilone for sale in markets throughout the Val d’Aso (and across all of Italy) and on restaurant menus, or, you can go to the on-site factory store at Contrada Molino 55/C in Campofilone. Made with pesticide-free valley-grown wheat and aged for six to eight months in silos for easier digestion, the pasta’s eggs also come from hens that graze on the edge of a forest in Monsampietro Morico surrounded by walnut trees and are raised without antibiotics. The National Festival of Maccheroncini of Campofilone PGI in August is an ideal time to try the pasta.


Lapedona where Appassionata has holiday homes
View from above Lapedona / Photo: Shutterstock Pio3

With just over 1,000 residents and a medieval walled castle with gates that are still access points to the town, Lapedona is rooted in history. Appassionata’s Villa Veneto is in the center of the village and even comes with an underground cantina that you can fill with local wines to try during your stay, or lay down for the future. Lapedona’s Musica in Collina festival in August fills its Piazza San Lorenzo with four nights of free classical music concerts. Also in the historical center, Didacus restaurant, which Hobbs recommends, is known for its menu of local recipes and sea views. 

Montefiore dell’Aso

Another Borghi più belli d’Italia, Montefiore dell’Aso extends over five hills— Menalo, Baraffio, Castello, Vittorino and Aspramonte — all with views of the Sibillini Mountains and Adriatic Sea. Its monastery of San Francesco from 1264 is now home to five museums, collectively known as the Polo Museale. The museums include the village’s history and contemporary works spanning cinema, sculpture, and jewelry design. With its museums and location, Montefiore dell’Aso, named for its dedication to the Cult of the Goddess Flora when the village was a Roman settlement, mixes village life with cultural experiences. 

The best way to immerse yourself in the villages is to take your time. Investing in a share in an Appassionata home is one way to extend your stay indefinitely, and move with the valley’s slower pace. 

About Appassionata's Italian holiday homes

On the terrace at Palazzo Scarsini Appassionata Italian Holiday Home
Palazzo Scarsini in Petritoli / Photo: Appassionata

Based in Marche, Appassionata has 15 years of experience, six luxury projects, and more than 60 owners who now own a holiday home in Italy. Through Appassionata, 10 or 12 people collectively and securely own each home. Visit the Appassionata website or email enquiry@appassionata.com or call (+44 (0)7711776440) to learn more.