CIOCIARIA: ‘SECRET’ ITALIAN REGION OFFERS LUXURY STAYS by Silvia Marchetti

For centuries, it was a no-man’s kingdom at the boundaries of the rich papal state — a poor and outcast region roamed by bandits, saints and pilgrims. But today it’s enjoying a renaissance thanks to farmers, breeders and shepherds who’ve made a fortune with pigs, cured meats and mouthwatering cheeses.   They’ve opened rural resorts and gourmet restaurants. Their lavish villas dot the landscape amid medieval sanctuaries, healing fountains and pilgrimage sites rising from the ashes of pagan temples.

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