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Camerino is our nearest town and is about 10 minutes’ drive away. It is a university town of approximately 8500 inhabitants, perched on its hilltop at 670 metres. It has a pleasant centre and a very attractive relaxed atmosphere, with narrow paved streets, wooden-shuttered old houses, small piazzas and a handful of medieval churches and courtyards, as well as the remains of a rocca (fort) built c.1500 by Cesare Borgia who ruled here briefly.

The town has all amenities including a good baker, fresh pasta shops, delicatessens and a weekly market. There are several banks and a main post office. Outside the town centre are a couple of good, small supermarkets, and there are other, very large ones, about 20 minutes’ drive away. There are several restaurants in the town centre or just outside, and lots of excellent eating places in the surrounding area – we have in the past couple of years benefited from an various agriturismi opening nearby, which offer really good food made from local, seasonal ingredients (often organic and/or home-produced) at amazing value for money.

Camerino’s major festival, ‘La Corsa alla Spada e Palio’, takes place in May over two weeks and incorporates various ‘medieval’ processions and events such as jousting and archery, and culminates in a foot-race through the length of the town. There are also classical music concerts throughout the year in the town’s extremely well-restored 19th-century theatre, including an international chamber music season in the summer. Camerino has an impressive swimming-pool complex with a 25m indoor pool and an outdoor pool complete with bar and sun-loungers where those with children can very happily while away an entire day. There is also a spectacular mountain lake 20 minutes’ drive away, our favourite place for a picnic and a swim.

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