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The new Florida? Le Marche

Luigi Silvestri

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John Williams came to our region with Catherine and their two children for a vacation. They fell in love with the place, bought an old farmhouse in the hills, complete with olive grove, and decided to stay. Now, Williams has told his story to AARP The Magazine (www.aarp.org) and they’ve just published an article in the current issue that singles out the Marche region as one of the five “best places to live abroad”, a nice spot to live a quiet life. He had this to say: “The Marche region has everything: coast and mountains, vineyard-clad hills, theaters, valuable works of art and architecture, open-air opera festivals in the summer, good healthcare facilities, a moderate cost of living, and excellent food”. Then he concluded his description of the Marche, musing that the region could become a retirement destination, sort of a new Florida.

Just a few months ago, actor Dustin Hoffman was chosen to promote our land through the verses taken from Infinito by Giacomo Leopardi, poet and native son of the Marche region. Like so many others, Hoffman, too, was mesmerized by our Medieval hamlets and villages so perfectly preserved, enchanted by the city of Urbino, considered a ‘pearl’ of the Renaissance, smitten by the tidy patchwork of cultivated fields and rolling landscapes of hills gently tumbling from the mountains to the sea.

Our people have been accustomed to working in silence for centuries and we know that, at times, it would seem that they are parsimonious even with words so as to seem somewhat harsh of character. Actually, the Marchigiani reveal a great richness of character instead, in their very honest, simple and spontaneous nature which is generous and without pretence. In recent years we have seen a steady flow of foreigners who have chosen to live here in the Marche, people who have come from Northern Europe; now we wonder, is it the Americans’ turn? Well, then welcome! Our people generally don’t go looking for the thrill of new things, preferring to remain anchored in the security of daily life, continuing to prepare their food by hand, hanging on to those small cottage industries… but, certainly, are always ready to open their doors to offer their hospitality.

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