I have spoken a lot about various cities that I visited while in Italy, but not so much about the smaller ones, the lesser known ones to tourists, if tourists have heard of them at all. Italy has so much to offer, whether you are in the larger cities or the smaller ones. For instance, the town that I stayed in during most of my stay, Macerata. Not known to tourists, Macerata is a very small town on the Andriatic Coast of Italy. It has a very old university there and a lovely park. Some times I would just wander down to the park on a lovely day and sit there, studying my Italian or reading a book. It was rather enjoyable. One of the things that appealed to me so much about Macerata, and the fact that it was off the beaten path, was that I got to really experience Italy, and the town as a local. As tempting as it was to travel every weekend, I really made a home for myself in Macerata. I immersed myself in all the city had to offer and saw the town through the eyes of a local. It is a very hard town to get lost in, mind you. One day, I made it my sole mission to get lost in the town center, but instead of getting lost, I popped out of the other side. There was this one bakery in particular that I always went to, Maga Cacao. That is death by chocolate if I ever knew a place. I mean, the cakes were as large as my head.
Here is a link to their website and Facebook page: http://www.cioccolateria.macerata.it/it/about
Civitanova was another city that was so nice. It was about a half hour train ride from Macerata. It was close to the waterfront, there was a beach, a little town and a little cafe. Sometimes when I wanted to get out of town or out of the city for the day, I would head to Civitanova for a bit and sit on the water, reading a book, or eating food. I even became friends with this one waitress at a restaurant that I went to quite frequently in Civitanova. I can’t even recall the name of it now. She was a British waitress, had moved to Italy.
Another place that was quite beautiful and picturesque was Ancona.