Last Sunday, I went to a Lavender Festival which was held for the first time in the imposing 14th century Rocca Montevarmine,situated 4 kms from Carassai and one of the few examples remaining of a Piceno fortified farm. It has some 800 hectares of land (a VERY big farm for the Le Marche region) and about 42 houses situated on that land. When the invading Moors and Saracens landed on the coast, the farmers would move into Rocca Montevarmine whose high tower, with its battlements equipped with archers, offered protection.
The courtyard of La Rocca was filled with various stands selling organic wine and fruit, lavender products including essential oils, soaps and honey, herbal teas and chestnut flour. Inside the building, our friend Tiziana from Tomeo bags was doing a roaring trade with her creative fabric necklaces and bags whilst Loredana from Arte Idea was selling painted porcelain and jewellery.
During the course of the day, there were workshops on the various uses for lavender, a tasting of herbal teas and a talk on Lavender and Rural Tourism. The festival ended with a candlelit harp and flute recital. Sadly, I was too tired to last out until the end so I missed the music.
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