Province: Ascoli Piceno
Name inhabitants: offidani
This beguiling hill town is one of the southern Marche's smaller gems and belongs to the association The most beautiful villages in Italy. The triangular main piazza is dominated by the beautiful Town Hall, one of the finest examples of 15th century civic architecture in the Marche. The building's lovely upper loggia and swallowtail battlements give the square true class. The nearby Theatre del Serpente Aureo is a beautiful 18th century theatre , decorated with stucco and gilded carvings. The most remarkable tourist attraction is the church of Santa Maria della Rocca, that stands a little way from the main piazza. The Romanesque -gothic church is one of the area's most important examples of Piceno monastic art. The building began as a Longobard castle before being passed to the Abbey of Farfa around 1000. The present building dates back to 1330 and provides clear evidence of the peculiarity of Piceno monastic style. Offida is well known for hand-made lace. Lace making is one of Offida's most common crafts. Women can still be seen, seated at their doorways in old town passageways, working intently with bobbins, threads of white or grey yarn and pins on designs of flowers and animals. Offida also boasts the bobbin lace museum (which has a separate path for blind people), housed in the nineteenth century De Castellotti - Pagnanelli Palace; the Palace also houses the "Archaeological Museum "G. Allevi ", the "Popular Traditions Museum" and the Municipal Art Gallery. Offida is also an important wine-making centre: Terreni di Offida and Pecorino are the two typical wines. The former convent of San Francesco now houses one of the two sections of the Enoteca Regionale (Wine Bar), important centre for the promotion and tasting of Marche’s wines and typical products. .The specialties of the village are: chichìripieno (a flat bread with tuna, anchovies, capers and peppers) and the so-called Offida’s "mushrooms" (anise-based sweet cakes ). The most important events taking place during the year are: he traditional Carnival of Offida (January, February), Offida Opera Festival (September) and Di Vino in Vino (September).