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Entries about marche

travels through Italy = the highlights

Sardinia, LeMarche, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna,

How to HIGHLIGHT the five most memorable experiences on this amazing journey, its nearly impossible as our journey was packed with highlights.
In Sardinia it was a combination of the visit to Morgonongiori where we visited the traditional pasta making business and then experienced a truly amazing lunch at the Agritourisimo SaMatta Frisca. Maybe because it was our first traditional presentation of local , totally local , cuisine, presented in its true rustic charm, but it blew us all away. . This made the cooking class we took the following day all the more special as it was all explained by our gorgeous hostess Angela from Sardinia Flavour http://www.sardiniaflavour.it/ who really must be contacted if you want the best advice on all things in the food & wine arena of Sardinia.
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Le Marche . this one was easy for me, whilst staying at Ascoli Piceno we spent a day with the Staffolani family, Truffle farmers extraordinaire, and for me it was the total experience, the education into how and why the truffles grow , how they are harvested, the family involvement, the marketing , and the many ways this incredible flavoured tuba is used in food preparation . . Bosco D'Oro http://www.boscodoro.com/ is a must for food and wine lovers. For me, probably the best "total experience" of the 2 weeks travelling around Italy. and for those that want more information , especially in Australia contact www.benfatti.com.au both for future tours and also information on their amazing truffle product range. By the way, the accommodation in Ascoli, Palazzo Guilderocci, is a great choice as a base when touring in this region.

http://www.castellodimonterado.it/en/, very, very special.

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Emilia Romagna, a real surprise packet. for food & wine experiences, this was a tough decision, and again it was the combination of tastes and flavors that made one day stand out.
The visit to Hombre & the Panini family business to see how the organic Parmigiano Reggiano is produced was quite extraordinary, and then topped off with a visit to the Pedroni family one of Modena's most highly prized & boutique producers of Balsamic Vinegar D.O.P.

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Then there was Tuscany, with our base for 4 nights just outside Arezzo at the gorgeous Relais La Torre, with the Marcelli family.The time at this Agritourisimo was really living the dream in Italy, and everything we did had a reason, our bonus being the completion of vintage and the celebration that goes with that. Menus inspired by seasonal produce, its been done for decades and they are passionate about what they eat and how its presented.

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Also special to me was the opportunity to experience Montepulciano, and meeting Andrea Contucci and sharing some of his family's history, and his wines.

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Its a very hard task to pick the best of what was a wonderful 2 weeks of special experiences. We would, no we will, be going back to spend more time in each of the regions we touched on, to be immersed in what is , in my opinion, one of the best lifestyles in the world. They may be struggling in a poor economy, but they know how to balance life, and food has a central place in that lifestyle.
For now we have the opportunity to relaunch our Italian Restaurant here in Bali to promote the cuisine of each of the regions we were educated in.

Posted by Bruco 05:06 Archived in Italy Tagged food in italy marche wine le tuscany montepulciano sardinia agritourisimo Comments (0)

A wine & local food festival in Monterado,

Wines Olive Oils, and and lunch in the Olive Groves

Our stay at Castello di Monterado in Ancona coincides with a wine and food tasting in the historic cellars of the castle. A perfect opportunity to taste the best the of the regional produce. We see the wonderful folk from Terre di San Ginesio , who produce the delicious Sapa , made purely from grapes and continuous boiling of the must to produce a sweet viscous drop that can be used to dress cheese, fruits, icecream, or salads. Quite different, and seriously delicious, and available through Benfatti in Brisbane. They also make a great range of wines, all tasted tonight. If we get back we will definitely visit the family Baleani.
The evening is spent tasting Salami's, local beers ( with hops from the USA ?? strange ), wines, truffles, truffles and chocolate, olive oils, more wines, honey,and learning just how much amazing product comes from Le Marche.

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We were then invited by the producers to join them for dinner at a nearby Trattoria , and a fantastic evening was had by all, making new friends, planning next visits, and consuming copious quantities of wonderful wines.

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Then a quick stroll back to a castle on the hill , some research on the local Olive Oil industry as tomorrow we attend an Olive Oil workshop. Sounds serious, and looking forward to it , starts after breakfast so a chance to try the freshly baked pies they make each morning.

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Posted by Bruco 06:37 Archived in Italy Tagged castles italy marche wine le oil olive Comments (0)

Truffles - Honey - Caves & Oil

traveling from Ascoli Piceno to Monterado

After the incredible day of the Truffle we gather in the main Piazza in Ascoli for dinner at possibly the most famous Cafe Meletti, hosted by the Staffolani family.

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Its another festive night with entertainment provided by local musicians. Just some light platters of delicious food and a selection of local wines including a local Prosecco. Cafe Moletti sits on one corner of the main piazza in the old town,Piazza Del Popolo a beautiful setting, its a bar and cafe downstairs, with a great wine list, all local, some interesting beers, and a very good menu. Definitely worth a visit, day or night, very traditional, great for people watching.
A good walk after dinner as the night cools down. Early night before an early start.

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We are up and away after 30 minutes delay to extricate the cars from a packed car park.We head north down to the coast and back inland to visit the famous caves of Frasassi Le Marche. 30 klms of majestic caves only discovered some 50 years ago.

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After two hours with a guide through the caves we are back on board and heading to meet Giorgio Poeta, at Punto Vendita, who makes honey aged in Barrels.
We are hosted a memorable lunch in his new headquarters which featured dishes finished with honey, cheese with honey meade , both dry & sweet, the ricotta drizzled with honey was amazing .

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Another hour heading north again, this time to our own castle accommodation in Monterado, Castello Monterado.
Located 20 minutes inland from Senigallia the castle dominates the landscape in the hilltop village of Monterado. Outstanding property. It has recently been opened to the public with the main Castle offering about 7 rooms, massive in size, as well as 6 beautiful houses in the town centre right beside the castle
Taken from their website http://www.castellodimonterado.it/ This ancient residence is perched on top of one of the many hills characterizin the Marche, it is surrounded by an Italian-style garden and a vast wood. The views are truly charming, they extend over the Cesano valley, stretching from the Appennines to the Adriatic sea. We are delighted to invite you into our lavish halls and suites, adorned by the exquisite nineteenth century frescoes of Corrado Corradi, one of the most renowned artists of our region.
Here, in this noble castle, Prince Maximilian de Beauharnais, nephew of Napoleon the first, chose to spend his honeymoon after the celebration of his marriage to the daughter of Czar Alexander of Russia.
The inside of the palace was decorated, upon his order, for the important occasion.
The former cellars, built within the bastions of the castle, consisting of spacious galleries with vaulted ceilings, open up to the garden. These refined and impressive surroundings have been restored to bring them back to their ancient beauty.

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We have a couple of hours to explore the village and the Castle its self, not enough time but tonight we will be in the cellars where 20 + local producers are coming in for a Wine & Food festival , held once a year, and guess what , we are invited. Cant wait.

Posted by Bruco 05:26 Archived in Italy Tagged food and of italy marche wine le oil olive monterado Comments (0)

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