Ascoli Piceno, Le Marche
This hilltop town's primary claims to fame are its elegant architecture in travertine marble, and the stuffed and fried olive ascolane. "To have a glass of prosecco and sit on one of the most beautiful piazzas in Italy, eating a bowl of those olives and then going on to dinner — it's really a great evening," So says Frances Mayes, author of "Under the Tuscan Sun", to USA TODAY's Monica Hortobagyi. italia.it
For those who know Ascoli Piceno a little better, there is so much more to it than the travertine marble and the stuffed olives. For example, La Quintana - the medieval pageant and jousting - held in mid-July and August every year.