Lake Fiastra in Sibillini National Park, Le Marche, Italy. The mountains are named after the Sybil who lured people into her fairy cave for evil purposes and the area is filled with Devil’s grottos and ‘witches’ streams. The lake is deliciously cool, trimmed with green trees and white chalk beaches. There is an area of green grass (Le Marche is verdant with clover fields that remain lush even in the heat of the summer) where you can rent umbrellas and sunbeds for a few Euros which seemed surprisingly free of crowds of people. We spent a glorious afternoon reading, chatting and playing with the kids.
We stopped to buy salami and ham on the way home. The mountain air contributes to the wonderful cured meats of the area – pork loin hams, coppe and capocolli, salamis. Other local delights include: Pecorino Di Grotta (matured in caves), truffles, wild mushrooms, chestnuts, lentils, chickpeas, and ancient apple varieties; not to mention the peaches, which are so perfumed I practically swoon when I eat them.