I’m not going to pretend like I never curl up in bed and watch pirated Netflix for hours and hours, because I absolutely do. But my #1 guilty pleasure is taking a weekday off to go exploring small Italian hamlets.
With only one thing on our itinerary (wine), we had the freedom to meander as we pleased.
The village grew from several castles that were built in the area in 578. Located in Le Marche, Offida is surrounded by rolling green hills of olive groves and farmland.
On a drizzly October Friday, it felt nearly empty.
We were so caught up in thoughts of wine tasting and aimless exploration that we had to hurry to grab lunch before the whole town really did shut down.
We did make one detour from thoughts of food because we were told that we could not miss the most famous landmark – the church of Santa Maria della Rocca.
A donation of 2.50 euro is required to visit the church, but the ticket price is worth it.
Climbing a narrow, twisted staircase will bring you to the main church — full of exposed beams and crumbling frescoes.
But if crypts are not your thing, there is wine to be had. (Did I already mention the wine?)
Ciù Ciù is an organic winery set in the Piceno hills, but with a lovely tasting room in the absolute center of Offida.
We stopped in for tagliere misto – a plate of salami, prosciutto and cheese, with bread and their very own Ciù Ciù olive oil.
The tasting includes a sampling of sparkling, white and red wines.
The reds were far and away my favorites. I came home to Rome with a bottle of Piceno and Gotico, and I am already regretting that I did not buy more!
The beautiful wines and the tasting in Offida comes at an incredible value — just 5 euro for the tasting, and bottles for around 4 to 15 euro depending on your selection.
If you are a fan of the autostrada and have a car at your disposal, Offida is a doable day trip from Rome.
However, from Rome it is probably better as one stop on your way around Abruzzo or Marche, or as an overnight. This is especially true if you decide to travel by train. The train trip requires a switch and will take about 5 hours from door-to-door.