I am quite a fan of “dear old Mr Santi”, as the art historian Kenneth Clark described him, so I was keen to go and see this picture on display in Senigallia as part of the exhibition “La Grazie e la Luce” (Grace and Light). [...]
When I first visited the Marche a dozen years ago, folk who knew about such things tapped their noses and confidently predicted that it was to be Italy’s ‘next big thing’. The British would tire of Tuscany and Umbria, they said, and would head in Boden-clad hordes further east. They said exactly the same thing when I returned five years later and yet again more recently. The invasion has yet to happen. Few of the top travel companies push or promote the Marche and the Brits have stayed wedded to Chiantishire. I really can’t understand why. After all, the Marche has everything that Tuscany and Umbria have. There are handsome medieval walled towns and enchanting hilltop villages complete with — so the Marchigiani like to boast — 500 squares, 106 castles, 37 fortresses and 15 strongholds; there are the remarkable Frasassi caves; there are the rugged Apennines on one side, with the cobalt-blue Adriatic on the other; there are secluded sandy beaches and the myriad islands of Croatia are only a few hours’ sail away; there is great food and great wine. I mean, what’s not to like?[...]
Whatever the woes of the Italian economy, the country still has immense pride in its cuisine. So much so in fact that an academy of cuisine in Parma has issued a list of rules for those who are unfortunate enough not to have been born in Italy.
Alessia Plutino's insight:
Audioclip in English providing an insight into italian regional cuisine and finally demolishing the SPGHETTI BOLOGNESE legend!
Surprise and delight your friends and family this Easter with a traditional Italian treat — colomba! "Colomba" means "dove" and is an important Catholic symbol. Follow this step-by-step guide and you'll have the aromas of Italy filing up your kitchen in no time! Thanks to Simona of Walks of Italy for letting us use her kitchen, and showing her family recipe. Buona Pasqua! (Happy Easter!)
No matter where you go you’ll always find coffee: italians can’t live without it. Whether you’re visiting a small town or a major city you’ll always find a bar around the corner. In Italy any time is good for “un buon caffè” and the favourite kind is without doubt the espresso: 25 ml of water that flows through 7 g of freshly grinded coffee in 25 seconds, at a pressure of 9 bars.
[Read the article to discover]
"Un Caffè” is an espresso“Caffè Americano”“Caffè lungo”“Cappuccino"“Caffè macchiato”“Latte macchiato”“Marocchino""Caffè shakerato"
“Cappelletti”, literally small hats, a type of stuffed pasta dumplings usually served in chicken broth during winter and a MUST of the Christmas meal. This type of pasta is a central Italian speciality , mainly from Emilia-Romagna and Le Marche, and it predates the most widely famously shaped tortellini. Let’s go back to the pasta dough sitting cling-filmed in a bowl. As we all know the pasta has to rest for at least an hour in the fridge Well if you want to make cappelletti just wait in the kitchen and prepare the filling for the cappelletti. Filling for 6 servings in a bowl mix
250gr beef mince250gr pork mince100gr Parmesan100gr buttersalt and pepper1/2 spoon of cinnamon1 egg yolk1/2 spoon of nutmeglemon peelDirection
Via Mariano Pallottini
The idea of having all types of fish is paramount for the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve — which is why my recipe from newly released cookbook Classico e Moderno is so fitting. The Brodetto di Pesce or Adriatic Style Fish Stew contains shellfish, fish and fish stock in one bowl and is incredibly warming for a cold winter night and extra luxurious for the holidays. This seafood stew combines a hodgepodge of finfish and shellfish. (The word brodetto means “short broth,” a reference to the quick stock traditionally made from the shrimp shells and fish bones, but this recipe calls for an already-prepared stock in- stead.) You can by all means vary the selection and proportions of seafood, but including a mix is essential to producing a complex broth that results in an alluring effect that I think of as a “symphony of the sea.”
Brodetto di Pesce, Adriatic-styl Seafood Stew Ingredients - Serves 10-12
2 tablespoons olive oil2 large garlic cloves, minced1 bay leaf, preferably fresh1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into small dice, or 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, preferably Italian San Marzano or organic, crushed by hand, with their juice 5 basil sprigs, 1 left whole, leaves removed from the remaining 4 and cut into chiffonade Pinch of red pepper flakes1 cup dry white wineSeafood Stock 2 pounds firm white-fleshed fish fillets, such as monkfish, sea bass, or snapper, cut into 1½-inch cubesKosher saltFreshly ground black pepperAll-purpose flour, for dusting2 tablespoons canola oil1 pound sea scallops1 pound large shrimp1 pound mussels, preferably Prince Edward Island, scrubbed and debearded1 pound clams, such as Manila or cherrystone, scrubbed¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley leavesExtra virgin olive oil, for drizzling10 to 12 slices fettunta (see page 11;1 slice per serving)Directions
Via Mariano Pallottini
Ancona is the regional capital of Le Marche with a population of about 103.000. It was founded around 400BC by Greek settlers from Syracusa in Sicily. The name is derived from the Greek language meaning “elbow” after the shape of the promontory to the north of the harbor. Ancona is an important port city, especially for passenger traffic to and from the other side of the Adriatic Sea and from Greece and the Orient. It is an industrial and service center with a big marine fishing fleet. The Maritime Fishing Research Institute and the National Association of Sea Fishing Cities are situated in Ancona and it also hosts the International Fishing Trade Fair. The following is an intro to some of the highlights in Ancona, all within walking distance from the train station and the port.
Piazza del Papa [...]Piazza del Plebescito [...]Clemente XII [...]Chiesa di San Francesco alle Scale [...]Assumption altarpiece by Lorenzo Lotto [...]Lunch at Enopolis Restaurant [...]Cattedrale di San Ciriaco – Saint Cyriacus [...]
Via Mariano Pallottini
400 Grams Large Pitted Green Olives150 Grams Very Finely Ground Beef (Minced 4 Times)4 Tbsp Breadcrumbs4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil1 EggExtra Bread Crumbs for CoatingA Little Flour for CoatingDirections
Via Mariano Pallottini
The city is famous for being the birth place of Matteo Ricci, a 17th century humanist and mathematician. Ricci was the first Westerner to visit Beijing in 1601, and would go on to translate various classics like Cicero and Euclid into Chinese. Macerata is a fairly wealthy city, whose economy is mostly based on agriculture. If you're in town, there are a few places you should visit. You should start with the Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia, [...]
The variety of grapes found in Southern Italy paired with the regional attachment to tradition, offers consumers real choice and true variety in a world increasingly devoid of the same. The adoption of modern cellar protocols should not be mistaken for the abandonment of tradition here as these wines still, for the most part, speak clearly of their origins. Perhaps more clearly and distinctly than ever before, and at this price point that is not only a discovery, but a true treasure! Along with Rosso Conero, the mainstay wines of the Marche in Central Italy, though different in their compositions with Rosso Piceno containing between 35% and 85% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo blended with between 15% and 50% Sangiovese, allowing for the additional inclusion of other black skinned varieties allowed in the region. On the other hand Rosso Conero is a minimum of 85% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo blended with Sangiovese. In both cases the Sangiovese is used to add red fruit and lighten the texture of the grapey, rich and slightly chewy Montepulciano, resulting in complex, fresh and yet deep wines that have plenty of fruit that tends to be paired with modest, ripe fruit tannins. The influence of new oak is popular with these wines.
Escape the January grey skies to the shores of Italy, with inspiration and ideas for your next Italian getaway in the new issue of Italia magazine. Property-wise we are mad for Le Marche, and with Fleur Kinson’s guide to getting the most for your money in this stunning region, you’d be mad to miss it too! Whether you are interested in restoration or finished properties, it’s easy to see the best of what is available in issue 111 of Italia. If you are thinking of relocating, you’ll find tips and advice from those in the know on what to look our for and consider when making the move to Italy.
The old centre of Iesi is surrounded by fortified walls that were build in the 14th century to replace the Roman ones. The famous white wine in this area is, of course, the fantastic Verdecchio dei Castelli di Jesi. The best place to taste the local wines is the Regional wine cellar (Enoteca Regionale di Jesi) situated in the Baroque palace of Balleani. The legend has it that Frederick II, the most powerful Holy Roman Emperor of the Middle Ages, was born in the public square, now named after him. [...]
Nice piece on Jesi highlighting historic background and providing a useful description of town. Not to forget a visit to the little gem BIBLIOTECA PLANETTIANA, you can book a guided tour with an enthusiastic member of staff with great knowledge who will show you around and show fantastic and fascinating old books and maps.
Christmas in Le Marche is always been traditional since the time Emperor Aurelian decreed in 274 A.D that the Nativity Feast should take place on 25 December to coincide with the pagan festivals surrounding the Winter Solstice.
The first nativity scene decorated the village of Greccio, 80km east of Rome and synonymous with 25 December celebrations throughout Italy. In 1223 Giovanni Vellita created one in Le Marche at the behest of St Francis of Assisi who held a mass in front of the nativity scene which established it as the holy symbol of Christmas.
The traditional Christmas in Italy revolves around the church, religious festivals, families and feasting. Indeed no festival is ever complete without the element of food. The Christmas season starts with La Vigilia (the vigil) on the 24 December and finishes with L’Epifania (the Epiphany) on 6th January, it encompasses Natale (Christmas) on the 25th, San Stefano (St Stephens) on the 26th, San Silvestro on New Year’s Eve and Capodanno on New years Day.
In Le Marche, La Vigilia on 24th December has an equal importance to Christmas, and is celebrated with a huge feast of at least 7 courses that usually includes fish. A typical Vigila dinner begins with antipasti of different fish dishes such as smoked salmon, lumache (snails in a tomato sauce), seafood and marinated anchovies.
The first course, primo piatto, consists of pasta or risotto with a fish sauce. Fish is also unmissable for the secondo (second dish). In relation with the territory around Le Marche, the family choose the fish of the tradition: baked trout, langoustines, stoccafisso (stockfish) or baccalá (dried salt-cured cod), eels, red mullet, or, fried whitebait. As traditional contorno (side dish), bitter greens such as Cicoria, especially sauted with oil and garlic represent a perfect choice for Le Marche Christmas Vigilia. In alternative there are seasonal vegetables or contorni such as Roast Fennel or Globe artichokes. As conclusion the unmissable sweet specialities such as torrone (nougat), panettone, pandoro, and exotic fruits plus a glass of Vino Cotto, a smoky flavour, sweet wine originates in Roman times.
Most locals go to mass at midnight to pray, sing carols and celebrate the birth of Jesus. This heart warming night is concluded with socialising, hugging and kissing as friends and neighbours exchange greetings and toast each other in the Piazza of the Church with a local wine or a warming punch, mulled wine or vin brule.
Christmas Day starts slowly and noisy as children wake to open the Christmas Gifts, conscious to have a better second chance with the witch delivery the day of La Befana, the epiphany (6th of Jannuary). All the family, with relatives from other towns, is now around the table for the Christmas lunch. Gorgeous anti pasti of cold meats, cheeses, pickled vegetables etc. give only an idea of the large meal that will follow. The first course is something "in brodo" (in broth) such as meat cappelletti or wild mushroom filled tortellini and then something baked "al forno", such as vincisgrassi, the famous Le Marche lasagna made with Chicken livers or Cannelloni, . For the main course, there is a range of meats cooked al forno or grilled "alla brace" on an open fire and even fried. Typically le Marche style is the great variety of meat used: leg of lamb, stinco (pork), and chicken, stuffed olives Ascolana Style. The main course is usually accompanied by side plates of roast potatoes and other seasonal vegetables, winter salad leaves. Then again the sweet specialities such as torrone, panettone, pandoro and, if the relatives were generous: Panforte di Siena, Cantuccini, Saporelli...
Every region of Italy has a special dish that is made for Christmas and in Le Marche this plate would be i cappelletti. It is the king of the table on Christmas day. The word “cappelletto” means “little hat” and it is what the pasta looks like. The cappelletti are a well loved tradition and for years they are prepared at home by the whole family so that they can be ready for the Christmas lunch on the 25 of December. They are “the cousins” to tortellini and are filled with meats, like mortadella and parmigiano with a dash of nutmeg. They are served with broth made from capons or they can be served with a cream sauce. [...]
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