"Carassai - Ascoli Piceno Province - Marche Region" Carassai by Muffsdaddy
Carassai Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 15 photos
Carassai is a small town that offers a great experience, unique in the whole of the Piceno.
The town, with its 1,300 inhabitants, is placed on a hill between the river Aso and the torrent Menocchia, at 365 m above sea level; it is 18 km circa far from the sea, 50 km far from the Sibillini Mountains and 17 km far from the highway A 14. It is reachable from the National Road 16 leaving from Cupramarittima towards the Menocchia valley and from Pedaso towards the Aso valley.
The town of Carassai has changed name several times: in the Middle Age its name was Castrum Guardiae, but the population called it Carrascale or Carnassale. The Castle of Carrascale was cited in the documents together with the Castle of Camporo; both were destroyed in the first half of the 14th century for rebelling against the dominion of the Pope. Some years after, only Carrascale was recognised.
Presently, two ancient cores are evident: one of feudal origin, called the "Old Castle" and one of medieval origin, called the "New Castle", built in the 15th century by initiative of the population of Fermo and later annexed to the feudal town. The Old Castle is the most ancient inhabited core, characterised by tortuous streets, and has its religious reference in the Renaissance bell-tower of the Church of St Lorenzo.
The New Castle is, instead, characterised by larger and straight streets and it has as reference the secular clock-tower, recently rebuilt. Near the New Castle are the rests of the 14th and 15th centuries fortified walls: the so-called MILITARY TRENCHES.
The Medieval Castle of Rocca Montevarmine
“Rocca Monte Varmine”, a fully preserved castle like you have probably seen only on cinema sets! Its impressive abdstone walls and the tower with the swallow-tailed merlon, still armed with loopholes and machicolations.
It is placed 4 km far from the city of Carassai and dates back to the 14th century with rests of the 10th century; it features strong walls and a tall tower with ghibelline battlements, archer and machicolation. Inside the walls we find the courtyard and the Church of St Pietro. The castle was once a big fortified farm, a guarding castle, not a noble house. This castle of Rocca Montevarmine is the only castle in the Piceno region that is entirely as it was in the past, and for that reason it is of particular historical interest. In the last century, in this castle was found the “bombardella manesca” (dating 1341): the first handy fire weapon.
The Church of St Lorenzo Martire
It is placed inside the Old Castle (which houses the bell-tower) and was constituted in 1424. Inside we find a table by V. Pagani di Monterubbiano (1490-1568) and a painting by the Pomarancio art school of the 17th century, both have been recently restored in Urbino and now are exhibited in the Church of St Maria del Buon Gesù
The Collegiate Church of St Maria del Buon Gesù
It features three naves and was instituted in 1788 through the reunification of the Parishes of St Lorenzo and St Eusebio. The church was, however, first erected (and of reduced dimensions) in the 15th century, probably due the influence of the predication by St Giacomo della Marca. In 1853 the octagonal and so-called “Big Chapel” (or Chapel of the Madonna of the Misericordia) was annexed to the church. The church features Renaissance and Baroque art styles. Inside we find a painting by Boscoli portraying the Crucifixion (1601); frescoes by the same author and by Ripanelli; a wooden sculpture of Abruzzese art displaying the Virgin with the Child (15th century); a precious wooden choir-stall with pipe organ and walnut choir; a wooden baptismal font, half-hexagonal, with engravings by G. Morelli di Montegiorgio and golden decoration by Contadini di Macerata (19th century).
The facade portal of a noble palace
According to legends and traditions, this is the home of Boffo di Massa, Lord of Carassai between 1382 and 1387.
The St Monica Oratory
It is placed in Matteotti square since 1699; it features a late Baroque style and a six-pointed star in the upper half of the facade.
The Civic Archaeological Museum or Antiquarium
It houses findings that were collected, through the years, in the municipal territory.
Carassai’s main activity is represented by the production of wine, olive oil and fruit.
Carassai has not only preserved its landscape, art and history, it has also jealously guarded the secrets of an ancient culinary tradition, based on simple and natural ingredients: legumes, grains, vegetables, olive oil and pork for flavoring, sausages, various salami as the famous “lonza”, Rosso Piceno or Falerio red wine, cakes, pastry and mushrooms.
Carassai overlooks a valley whose forte is its fruit and vegetable produce.
After years of excellent harvests followed by a crisis due to competition from foreign markets, the peach from the Val d’Aso, is now regaining popularity thanks to organic farming.
Its handicraft boasts the production of local artistic ceramics, the manufacture of gold and the restoration of wood and iron.
With the vincisgrassi (pasta baked in the oven), or rich lasagna of the Piceno area, perfection is reached in Carassai.
Tajuli and taccu are made with the humble pastry, without eggs, served respectively in broth and with vegetable, pork, sardine or dried cod ragù.
The cuisine of Carassai offers delicious Pappardelle al ragù d’oca, fried creams and olives all’ascolana.
Fistringo is the Christmas cake made by the housewives of Carassai: the ingredients include dried figs, almonds, walnuts, flour, sugar and cocoa.
- Pros:Nice position in exact central italy
- Cons:A bit boring but good to relax
- In a nutshell:"Carassà, Carassà, pijace moje nen te ce marità"
The farmhouse Cinghialino is situated in open countryside in the charming town of Carassai in the heart of Marche, the... more travel advice
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