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Our destination of the month: Le Marche

Our destination of the month: Le Marche | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Le Marche: our destination of the month

Every month ANDIAMO! Services picks a destination in Italy that we want to highlight to our readers. This month we chose Le Marche because in our opinion, it is one of the most beautiful but underrated regions in Italy. It is located in the north-east part of Italy and you will find here everything from culture and extensive landcapes to beautiful bleu coasts.

A region for wine lovers
So what makes this region so special? The tiny villages, the beautiful country side and especially many typical products, like fried olives! Those who want to have the chance to experience an unforgettable wine tasting, have to go to Le Marche! Visit Cupramontana, in this little village the annual grape-based festival called Festa dell’Uva is held in October, where you can take advantage of tons of stands and grab free samples of traditional Italian wines.

‘The pearl of Le Marche’
If you are planning to visit this ‘second Tuscany’, we recommend you to visit the pearl of Le Marche; The Cornero coast. This coast is untouched by tourist and is surrounded by restaurants which serve typical ‘Le Marche’ food and Michelin-starred restaurants.

If you are interested in planning a trip to this beautiful place, contact us and we will put together a proposal you can’t refuse. Buona vacanza!


Via Mariano Pallottini
Appassionata's insight:

Good to see others recommending a visit to Le Marche - 'Italy wrapped up in one region'

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Tom George's comment, March 24, 2013 7:34 AM
Amazing place Mariano
Mariano Pallottini's comment, March 24, 2013 7:56 AM
Hope you will get here soon
Le Marche - Appassionata Style!
Appassionata would like to share with you lots of interesting things about the wonderful region of Le Marche, Italy.
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Premiata FanFan SS2014, Do not call them slippers

Premiata FanFan SS2014, Do not call them slippers | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

It’s finally summer and your feet are screaming for a summer vacation! These floral printed slippers by Premiata would be the perfect summer shoes because they’re flat and not only super stylish but also super airy which means no sweaty feet on hot summer days. These shoes have their own personality, so don't call them espadrillas or slippers. Call them FanFan


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Le Marche Wine in the US Market | Blind tastings can become eye-opener for wine lovers

Le Marche Wine in the US Market | Blind tastings can become eye-opener for wine lovers | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

The fun part of a blind tasting is when the wines tasted and rated are then "unmasked" and we learn what we liked the most and the least.
I recently led two blind tastings of Italian wines that proved to be quite interesting.
Italian wines present enormous opportunity for value, but you just have to know where to look. Less appreciated is the potential for excellent value provided by lesser-known grape varietals.
Two wines that stood out at each of the tastings that prove the point were from relatively unknown grapes — the Nero D'Avola and the Lacrima Di Morro D'Alba.
More obscure is the Lacrima Di Morro D'Alba, a grape that virtually was extinct until 1985. Since then, production has increased dramatically as people have appreciated the unique flavor profile that this grape produces — a remarkable aromatic finish of violets that we never suspect would be provided by a red wine. With a smooth mouth feel and full body, this makes for an enjoyable wine (that finished in second place in each tasting). [...]


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Le Marche | Landscapes Painted By Greatest Italian Renaissance Artists Identified

Le Marche | Landscapes Painted By Greatest Italian Renaissance Artists Identified | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

The beautiful landscapes seen in the background of many Renaissance paintings, including those by Piero della Francesca, Raphael, and Leonardo Da Vinci, correspond to those of the Montefeltro area in the regions of lower Romagna and of Le Marche, according to two scholars conducting research to locate the landscapes. Rosetta Borchia, a painter and photographer, and Olivia Nesci, a teacher at the University of Urbino specializing in geomorphology, studied the hills, rivers and other natural elements in the paintings and concluded the artists were inspired by an area that include the provinces of Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, making up the Montefeltro area. [...]


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Mariano Pallottini's curator insight, May 12, 6:09 AM

The story begins by chance with a casual close-up on a series of pictures of Montefeltro's landscapes, which looked a lot like some of the landscapes painted by Piero della Francesca in the Diptych of the Duchess and Duke of Urbino exposed at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. It is interesting to note that, for centuries, those landscapes had been considered as purely imaginary.
From here begins the research and the surprising discoveries by Rosetta Borchia, artist and naturalist, and Olivia Nesci, a professor at the University of Urbino...


http://www.montefeltroveduterinascimentali.eu/en/index.html 

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Le Marche - Italy’s Undiscovered Jewel

Le Marche - Italy’s Undiscovered Jewel | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Uncover some of Italy’s most sensational scenery on this journey through the landscapes of Le Marche. Towns full of medieval art and architecture, ancient amphitheatres and Renaissance palaces await. Click on the photo


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Ancona: The Chocolate Province of Le Marche

Ancona: The Chocolate Province of Le Marche | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

The Province of Ancona in Le Marche is my favourite province for chocolate production because of its fabulous chocolate producers.

Cioccolato di BruCo - Jesi ANEnocioccogelateria Brunelli - Agugliano ANMiv cioccolata - Casine di Ostra ANDolciaria Marche - Monsano ANCioccolateria Vittoria - Ostra AN

What is the difference between a chocolate bar you find in a supermarket and chocolate made by a fine chocolatier?

Four major types of cacao are cultivated: Criollo, Forastero, Trinitario and Nacional.

The Criollo tree originates in Mexico and Central America and gives very high quality cacao beans and is mainly cultivated in South and Central America.

The Forastero is very much cultivated in Africa, but also in Central and South America and constitutes approximately 80% of world production of cacao.

The Trinitario is a crossbreed between the Forastero and Criollo, and is mainly cultivated in Central and South America and Asia. It has its aroma from Criollo and its resistance to disease and its productivity from Forastero.

The Nacional is mostly cultivated in South America west of the Andes. It is prone to disease and difficult to grow, but has an excellent aroma.

The flavor of the cacao beans is not only dependent on the variety, but also on the soil, temperature, sunshine and rainfall. It is now possible to buy chocolates made with cacao beans from one single region and thus compare the aromas; these chocolates are often called specialty chocolates, in contrast to ordinary chocolate which are made with mostly cheap cacao beans from several regions and with more than one cacao variety.

How do you determine if a bar is good?

To determine if a tablet is of excellent quality, you have to look at the percentage of cocoa and establish its provenance. A preparation with Criollo or Trinitario, will always be greater than one with only Forastero, even if this was achieved with very high percentage of raw material. Then a tablet with a percentage of 72% Criollo or Trinitario cocoa, will inevitably be better than one with only 85% of Forastero. It should not be too dark but a nice brown with shades of red mahogany possible. It should not be bitter, roasted sign of bad or poor quality of cocoa.


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Le marche Wine Review: 2011 PS Winery - Merlot - Marche IGT

Le marche Wine Review: 2011 PS Winery - Merlot - Marche IGT | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

PS Winery was founded in 2008 by Dwight Stanford, American and former surgeon and Raffaele Paoloni, Italian and ex-journalist. The two met at the University of Bra (sometimes referred to as the Slow Food University) in Piedmont where they both found out that they shared a common dream: Making “the best wines possible using sustainable and organic farming practices with minimal intervention in the winery.” The winery is sitting on one the scenic hills near the medieval town Offida. It has a size of just six hectares and the first harvest was in 2010 after the main building was constructed. Later that year a tasting room was built as well.
PS Winery produces eight red and two white wines – all in relatively small quantities. For example just 700 bottles of Merlot were produced in 2011.
2011 PS Winery - Merlot - Marche IGTThe 2011 PS Winery Merlot is made with 100% Merlot and after a 10-day fermentation in stainless steel tanks the wine aged for a year in barrique and tonneau. 16% was the label listed ABV. The wine is classified as Marche IGT.
In the glass, the wine had a deep ruby red color.
The nose was harmonic, quite spicy and very intense with aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, cocoa and marasca cherries. [...]


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Spiaggia delle due sorelle, Ancona among The Most Beautiful Beaches of Italy

Spiaggia delle due sorelle, Ancona among The Most Beautiful Beaches of Italy | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

After Greece, Italy is the country with the longest coastline in Europe. Every summer, hundreds of thousands of travellers from all over the world come to Italy to enjoy its spectacular beaches that border with the Tyrrhenian, the Adriatic and the Mediterranean Sea.
Wondering where to spend your next holiday? If Italy is on your travel list this summer, you should definitely spend some time discovering some of these remarkable beaches:

Berchida, Nuoro (Sardinia)Punta Prosciutto, Porto Cesareo (Puglia)Capo Vaticano, Vibo Valentia (Calabria)Rabbit Beach, LampedusaCala Violina, Maremma (Tuscany)Lido di Classe, Ravenna (Emilia Romagna)Chiaia di Luna, Ponza Island (Latium)Cala rossa, Favignana (Sicily)Spiaggia delle due sorelle, Ancona (Marche) -If you decide to visit the beautiful Riviera del Conero, stop at the port of Ancona. Hop on a boat and head over to the “Spiaggia delle due sorelle”, a secluded paradise located far from mass tourism sites. A mountain path will lead you to the bay; from there you’ll have a great view of the beach and of the two magnificent white rocks that emerge from the sea.Cala Bianca, Salerno (Campania)
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Elise Bakker's curator insight, March 22, 2:28 AM

I'd love to go there next time we visit Le Marche. 

Sarah Topps's curator insight, April 13, 12:50 PM

So many beaches to explore within a hour and a half of the Hideaway

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Markets

Markets | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it
Last Sunday we went to the market in Rubianello, a small valley town about 5k from Petritoli. The sun was shining and I wanted to buy another pair of cheap comfy trousers to keep me going until the...
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20 Uses for Olive Oil Including Tips for Home, Health and Body

20 Uses for Olive Oil Including Tips for Home, Health and Body | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Life without olive oil would be sad indeed. Since antiquity, this miracle substance has been revered for its wonderfully fruity flavor, but it’s so much more than a healthy topping for salad and a heavenly dip for fresh-baked bread. Olive oil has dozens of unusual uses around the house, not to mention its powerful moisturizing and healing properties on the hair and skin.  Check out 20 reasons why you should never be caught without it.


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20 wonderful things to do with olive oil......

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Sant'Angelo in Vado: Nothing goes better with truffles than...motorcycles & bikers!

Sant'Angelo in Vado: Nothing goes better with truffles than...motorcycles & bikers! | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

This year marks the 35th anniversary of what seems like an unlikely pair: truffles and motorcycles.   Every October in the village of Sant' Angelo in Vado (Le Marche) Italy they marry perfectly!  The cobblestone streets fill with hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of motorcycles from around the world, all converging on this tiny town to celebrate two things: bikes and white truffles! [...]


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Two of my favourite things... motorbikes and truffles! :-)

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Mariano Pallottini's curator insight, October 20, 2013 10:41 AM

Sant'Angelo in Vado is famous for the The Domus of the Myth, the greatest archeological discovery of this last fifty years in Central Italy. It is a Domus of 1000 meters squares with many rooms every one decorated with an elaborate series of two coloured mosaics and polychrome mosaics and everyone is different from the other one. 
Every mosaic is well preserved and the high quality and the wonderful decorations show a very refined, cultured commission and very specialized workers in mosaic.


http://www.domusdelmito.com/

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From America to Italy – Living the Expat Dream in Enchanting Le Marche

From America to Italy – Living the Expat Dream in Enchanting Le Marche | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Moving abroad, particularly when the destination is a long way from home, can be a daunting prospect. It can also be a way for families to achieve their dream of an inspiring new lifestyle set in a different culture.

For Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs and her husband Michael Hobbs, Italy’s Le Marche region represented everything they were looking to gain from an overseas move. Dawn and her family lived in Duxbury, MA, on the South Shore approximately 35 miles south of Boston. They arrived in Massachusetts in 1994, with three young children and a fourth on the way. Michael was working for Laura Ashley at the time and Dawn, as well as looking after their young family, worked part-time as an interior designer.

After three years in Boston, the family moved to England, as Michael had been head-hunted for a role there by the Sears group. They remained in England for several years before moving to Italy in 2007. Their son Sebastian and daughter India, along with India’s fiancé Charlie, went with them. Eldest son Tom was settled with his job in the UK and chose to remain there, as did daughter Camilla who was happy at her boarding school – although she looked forward to spending her school holidays in Italy.

Dawn, Michael and Sebastian – who has just completed his studies in Florence – live in the quiet town of Petritoli, with India and Charlie, along with their five-year-old son Lucas, just around the corner. Escape from Americaspoke to Dawn about what it was that motivated her to leave behind everything that was familiar and head off into the unknown for a new life.

Why did you choose Italy?

I fell in love with Italy the moment we first arrived here. The Italian culture, family values and way of life have always appealed to me, and as an interior designer Italy’s reputation for style and iconic fashion was also a major attraction. But Italy has so much more to offer – the food and wine are outstanding and the scenery in our part of the country is just incredible. Living in Le Marche is perfect. We are only minutes from the Adriatic Sea with its myriad sandy beaches, while in the distance we have views of the stunning Sibillini Mountains.

 

We chose Le Marche as we were looking for the ‘real Italy’ – not somewhere where we would find ourselves constantly bumping into tourists or other ex-pats. We wanted a peaceful, rural life surrounded by rolling hills, with vineyards and olive groves stretching into the distance as far as the eye could see. It seemed like a rather idyllic dream when we first began discussing it, but in Le Marche that is exactly what we found.  There is just something in the air here. Maybe it’s the combination of the sea and mountain breezes, or the scent of the lavender swaying gently under the sun. Whatever it is, it is simply intoxicating. We’ve travelled all over the world and lived in various places, but since moving to Italy we simply can’t imagine living anywhere else.

What did you do before moving?

My husband headed up Adams Childrenswear in the UK for a number of years, as well as holding chairmanships at several other companies. I worked as an interior designer and between us we also bought and renovated houses. Our careers were demanding and life was enjoyable but hectic. We yearned for a more peaceful lifestyle, where we could enjoy spending time outdoors with our family.

We still have business links with England and Michael has remained as the chairman of a specialist search company for the retail sector. We go back periodically both for work and to spend time with our family and friends, but Italy is where our hearts are firmly rooted now.

What do you do in Italy?

We moved to Italy with a plan to buy, renovate and sell houses, as we had done in the UK. However, our plans quickly changed. We spoke to a number of holiday home owners about their frustrations with having a second home abroad. Instead of spending their holidays relaxing in the sunshine, they spent the majority of their time in Italy working on their houses and gardens, which sat empty for long periods of time while not in use. No matter who we spoke to, their ‘holidays’ always followed a familiar pattern, beginning with a large-scale clean of the house, and followed by trying to find the garden from beneath the jungle that it has become.

That was when we hit on the idea of fractional ownership, where families share ownership of the property and each use it exclusively for a set number of weeks per year. We bought the run-down Estate Giacomo Leopardi near the hilltop village of Montefiore dell’Aso in Le Marche. When we purchased it, the estate consisted of five acres of land – mostly dead vines and out-of-control olive trees – and a cluster of ramshackle farm buildings. As soon as I saw it I knew we had found something special. I could see beyond the weeds, the broken windows and the crumbling walls, and I knew it was the place for us.

Michael quickly understood my vision for the estate, as did India and Charlie. We set up our family-run company, Appassionata (www.appassionata.com), and immediately got to work. The plan was to create two houses on the land, using as much of the existing buildings and materials as possible in order to retain their original character. The scale of the project was massive and our limited knowledge of Italian did create some initial barriers, but everyone we worked with was so friendly that we got things moving along quickly.

Casa Giacomo was the first house to be finished. It’s a four bedroom/three bathroom property that provides a quintessentially Italian space for comfortable living and entertaining. Split over two floors, the property features a combination of traditional building methods and modern amenities. We worked with local artisans to make bespoke pieces such as light fittings and stair rails, and I scoured Italy’s antique markets for authentic, unique touches to add to the design.

 

We worked on the estate’s grounds as well, replanting the vineyard and toiling for seemingly endless months to turn the sloping farmland into gardens, rockeries, terraces, swimming pools, a tennis court, olive groves, a lavender plantation and a truffle orchard.

Next we finished Casa Leopardi, which at 420m2 and laid out over three floors is just over twice the size of Casa Giacomo. It has five bedrooms and five bathrooms, along with its own private swimming pool. We kept up our emphasis on high quality interior design and luxury furnishings, as we want our owners to enjoy every moment of their time here.

We kept the outer walls of this property and were able to reuse most of the original terracotta roof and floor tiles, bricks and lots of lovely old pieces of wood. We weren’t able to save the original windows, but I managed to find a joiner who copied the original window and shutter. I have stored all the original ones and plan to make some cupboards out of them – I love to recycle and never throw anything away! We managed to raise the roof to create more head height on the third floor. The rooms up there have the best views in the whole house, over the gently undulating hills, down to the sea and across to the mountains.

With both properties we have maximised the use of outdoor space, creating pretty terraces surrounded by flowers, which are perfect for outdoor dining. We wanted our owners to enjoy the Italian sunshine and outdoor lifestyle as much as we do, so we designed every aspect of the houses with that firmly in mind.

How welcomed did you feel when you first arrived in Italy?

We spoke very little Italian when we arrived and didn’t know anyone in the area, so we did have a few last-minute nerves about our Italian adventure! Our son Sebastian was particularly nervous – he was fourteen at the time we moved and due to attend an Italian school where the teachers spoke no English.

Our worries evaporated when we arrived. The locals were so friendly and helpful and we will always be grateful for their early kindness in helping us to settle in and bearing with our clumsy attempts at communication. My efforts to buy antiques or to describe how I envisaged the shape of a particular lampshade I wanted designed for the house were often tricky, but with a combination of my terrible Italian, drawing pictures and waving my arms I somehow always managed to be understood, and the local artisans I worked with were extremely gracious in their attempts to understand me!

Sebastian’s teachers were wonderful. Although they didn’t speak English they went out of their way to make him feel welcome and to provide him with extra support. Five years later, he speaks fluent Italian and has just finished studying in Florence.

 

What advice would you give to others who are looking to share in the dream Italian lifestyle?

Think carefully about what it is you are looking for. If you are looking to Italy as the place for your second home then consider the advantages of fractional ownership before committing to buy a place outright. With fractional ownership your property and grounds are managed and cared for throughout the year, meaning you can relax as soon as you arrive.

 

Fractional ownership also means you can buy a much more luxurious property than if you are buying outright. Shares in Casa Leopardi are £185,000, for which our owners get exclusive use of the house for five weeks every year, as well as a share in the produce from the estate’s vineyard, olive groves, lavender plantation and truffle orchard. Not bad for a five bedroom/five bathroom property!

 

For anyone considering a permanent move to Italy, I would recommend committing some serious time to learning Italian before you get here, particularly if you are planning on living in a remote area. Every extra word you learn will make your life a little bit easier when you arrive.

Renting a property for a while before you commit to buying somewhere is also a good idea, as it gives you time to get a feel for an area and know if it is definitely the right place for you. If after six months of life in the countryside you find yourself craving the lights and noise of the city, then you can simply move on and rent somewhere new, rather than having to wait to sell.

I would also recommend a giant dose of patience and humour for anyone moving overseas – life will not always be what you expected and certain cultural aspects of your new country may seem strange at first, but life abroad will certainly be full of excitement, surprises and new experiences, whichever country you choose.

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Get Italian luxury at a budget price with fractional schemes | The Sunday Times

Get Italian luxury at a budget price with fractional schemes | The Sunday Times | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

When the entrepreneur Michael Hobbs and his wife, Dawn, an interior designer, swapped life on a farm in Leicestershire for a historic estate in Le Marche, in eastern Italy, they didn’t just buy a home; they bought the entire Italian package. At Giacomo Leopardi, their five-acre property near the medieval village of Montefiore dell’Aso, they are gearing up for the grape harvest later this month, which will yield thousands of bottles of their own montepulciano.

The olive-picking season is imminent, too — the couple produce their own oil, and have just harvested their lavender fields, ready to bottle the aromatic essence. They also recently planted a truffle orchard, where they will cultivate the sought-after — and expensive — black Périgord variety to sell to British restaurants.

They even own a pizzeria — which they bought for €54,000, rather by accident, and let out. “While we were renovating the houses on the estate, we bought a town house in nearby Petritoli to live in, built within the ancient castle walls,” recalls Michael, 52. “There was a mistake in the title deeds, which showed that some of our rooms belonged to the pizzeria next door, so the easiest thing was to buy that too.” His retail career has seen him acquire some rather larger shops, including the Adams Childrenswear chain: he orchestrated an £87m buyout from Philip Green in 1999, and became the chief executive.

Michael and Dawn are doing Italy in style, in a place she describes as “the whole of the country wrapped up in one region”. She loves having Adriatic beaches just down the road and skiing in the Sibillini Mountains less than an hour’s drive away. It’s the classic landscape of vineyards, olive groves, orchards and sunflower fields, but, Dawn says: “It feels real — not like Tuscany, which we found overpriced and overtouristy.”

“We had a gut feeling the moment we arrived here. Hardly anyone spoke English, and when we saw the hill town of Loreto, with its amazing cathedral and medieval convent, as we drove down the coast, we knew this was where we wanted to be.”

Rather than keeping it all to themselves, they are offering others the chance to share the experience by selling properties at Giacomo Leopardi as fractions. The idea struck them when they bought the estate as their family home, renovated the two farmhouses and put up new buildings where the old pigsty was — then realised they didn’t quite know what to do with it all.

“We started to meet holiday-home owners locally, most of whom were only using their property for a few weeks a year and worrying about it once they were back in Britain,” Dawn says. “The expense of buying the home outright, along with the annual running costs, seemed crazy — and their holiday was often spent cleaning the house and pool and weeding the garden. So that’s how Appassionata was born.”

Oil, wine, olives and truffles are produced on the estate run by the Hobbs familyShe’s referring to the hands-on, family-orientated fractional-ownership scheme that the couple have set up to sell the estate’s two farmhouses. The four-bedroom Casa Giacomo’s 1/10th fractions, allowing five weeks’ use a year, started at £90,000 when they were launched at the height of the European recession — and sold out within four months. “Half of the shares were bought by British people, the rest by Italians, other Europeans and Americans,” Dawn says. “Most of them have owned holiday homes outright before and say they’d never do it again.”

Five out of 10 shares remain in the five-bedroom Casa Leopardi, which has a gym and a private pool. Owners each pay a £3,800-a-year service charge, which gives them free run of the estate. They get a deeded stake in the property and an equal share of the fruits of all wine, olive, lavender and truffle production.

The family-run element is a big part of the ethos. The couple’s 22-year-old daughter, India, and her husband, Charlie, deal with management and maintenance. They live on the estate full-time with their five-year-old son, Lucas, and baby, Millie.

Dawn and Michael also spend six months of the year in Le Marche. (Two of their four children, Thomas, 29, and Camilla, 18, live in Britain, while Sebastian, 20, is studying in Florence.) They encourage owners on the estate to share in their lifestyle, whether it’s riding Dawn’s horses or joining the couple for dinner at their village house.

“We love Italy because it’s family-orientated, and our owners are the same — they come with parents, siblings or grandchildren and use the house as a meeting place,” Dawn says. “There isn’t a concierge service, it’s just us recommending where to eat or places to go. It means buyers actually meet the people who created the place, which is unusual with fractional ownership.”

For people who want a place abroad, but can’t justify the cost of running a property they will visit for at most a few weeks a year, the fractional concept has distinct benefits.

You pay for what you use, which means partial costs and none of the hassle of a full-ownership home. It makes sense for Britons, judging by the results of a recent survey carried out by Schofields, a holiday-home insurance provider, which found that those of us who own properties abroad use them just twice a year on average.

“Owners want to say they have a house in Italy, which they can with this,” Dawn says. “They want somewhere to start the holiday immediately, with food and wine in the fridge and a clean pool and house.”

Yet fractional ownership has always had an image problem. It’s often confused with timeshare, although it’s a different proposition, with investors buying a tangible share in the property, not only holiday weeks. There can also be a question mark over how easy it is to sell your share, which will attract a far smaller market than a fully owned property for sale. In Appassionata’s case, Dawn and Michael will act as sales agents — “We’re the best people to do the marketing,” Michael says. “We’re not trying to sell anything else.”

To build their “affordable luxury” family brand, they stayed in other fractional developments around the world, including Italian projects such as Borgo di Vagli, a restored hamlet, and Castello di Casole, a large, high-end scheme owned by Timbers Resorts. “We also saw some huge, horrendous ones in California,” Michael says. “Many of the projects we looked at felt sanitised, offering a cookie-cutter solution. We wanted real Italian lifestyle, not just a luxury product that could be anywhere.”

The couple have even turned down potential buyers looking purely at the rental potential. “It’s not for them. It’s a lifestyle purchase. Our owners could cover their year’s expenses by renting out the house during one of their weeks — or they can exchange them for weeks at other properties through fractionalexchange.com — but they all choose not to. They just want to come here.”

The interior design is done by Dawn, who has been renovating houses since she bought one in Nottingham, aged 19. She has since completed 16 properties while bringing up the children. Her eye for detail in every element makes Appassionata a personal project — she can spend up to two months simply tracking down the right lamp. “I know exactly how the room should look as soon as I see it. Then I have to find the things I need.”

The fractional-ownership scheme has a personal touchShe works with local blacksmiths, potters and other artisans to produce one-off items. “I’ve learnt that if you see something old and gorgeous, buy it — which is how I ended up with five chandeliers one day, which are now all in Casa Leopardi.”

The model seems to suit everyone involved. Buyers get Italian luxury at a budget price — and without the exorbitant management fees that large fractional developments charge. (Owners at Appassionata can see an open book setting out all the running costs of the estate.) Local shops and restaurants benefit from people staying in the houses 52 weeks a year. And Michael can sell his properties in a tough climate, with a business that means he and his family can enjoy Italian life together.

“We would get our money back far quicker if we sold the properties as standard full-ownership homes — but there aren’t many people prepared to pay €3m, which is what each house would be worth,” he says. The couple plan to “fractionalise” more properties, including a listed 14th-century palazzo they are renovating in Petritoli, as well as their town house there.

The family-run fractional scheme has certainly changed a few opinions. “Since we set this up,” he says, “friends of mine have gone from saying, ‘I wouldn’t bloody do that,’ to coming out and saying, ‘Now I get it.’”

No doubt a big part of the appeal for newcomers is the knowledge that so much at Appassionata, from the wine on the dinner table to the lavender spritz on the pillows, has been made in famiglia.


00 39 073 465 8775, appassionata.com

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Really pleased the Sunday Times decided to write about our story! 

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Map of Italian Wine Regions | Wine Folly

Map of Italian Wine Regions | Wine Folly | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it
See an easy-to-understand map of Italian wine regions and major wine varieties. Learn about the 20 Italian wine regions and which ones to try first when delving into Italian wines.
Marche (~3% DOC production)

Try refreshing and aromatic Verdicchio white wines
 
Marche (Mar-kay) is known for their aromatic white wines. Verdicchio is definitely the most common but Pecorino (the white wine grape, not the cheese) is an extremily special find.

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A lovely map of the italian wine regions ......... so many places to visit :-)

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The Retreat's curator insight, August 16, 2013 1:41 PM

So many good drops still to sample....

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Meet the woman from Le Marche who deals truffles to NYC's top restos

Meet the woman from Le Marche who deals truffles to NYC's top restos | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Sparvoli, 37, isn’t selling anything illegal. She’s selling truffles — specifically black Italian summer truffles and black winter truffles from Australia (a burgeoning growing region for the fungi given its opposite seasons) — to Pierre Schutz, the executive chef at the Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges.
Francesca Sparvoli wheels around an insulated bag filled with about $6,000 worth of black truffles. She sells the pricey fungi to top chefs around the city and is on call 24/7.
Two years ago, Sparvoli, a native of the Marche region of Italy and a former journalist, moved to New York City with her then-boyfriend, now-husband, businessman Marco Bassi, to break into the NYC truffle trade. She and Bassi had always wanted to move to the city after visiting several times to run marathons, and the truffle business is in her blood — her family has been dealing truffles for three generations, and Marche is a major region for the fancy fungi.


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Appassionata's curator insight, June 18, 11:40 AM

Meet the woman from Le Marche who deals truffles to NYC's top restaurants

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Franceschetti SS14 campaign: photoshooting in Ascoli Piceno

Franceschetti SS14 campaign: photoshooting in Ascoli Piceno | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Franceschetti, a Le Marche shoe brand, for SS14 campaign the location chosen for the photo-shooting is Ascoli Piceno, elegant city that owes its architectural harmony to travertine, local stone used for the construction of houses, palaces and churches.
This perfect harmony matches completely with the Franceschetti shoes , timeless and linear, but characterized by an avant-garde design. For the shooting , no specific locations have been identified , but the expert eye of photographer Edoardo Catini, he also from Marches, identified the most exciting views, walking around the city of the “Hundred Towers” between tiny streets and squares. [...]


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Filotea: the good pasta from Le Marche

Filotea egg pasta is made according to an ancient recipe from Marche and carefully following the same preparation methods that our ‘grandmas’ once used.
The best eggs and flour guarantees a genuine product. 
This slow drying process with low temperatures gives the pasta the authentic flavor typical of homemade pasta.
This patient, artisan preparation generate an incredibly light product, easy to digest and with a textured surface able to capture the sauces in every preparation. [...]


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Eataly: Discover the tastes of Le Marche

Eataly: Discover the tastes of Le Marche | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

@As you may have read here on the Eataly Diaries, Eataly is partnering with Select Italy, an agency specializing in Italian travel, to bring you the 20 steps to becoming an Italian foodie, one region at a time.

This week, Select Italy introduced Le Marche, a central region whose mountains slope to meet the Adriatic Sea on the eastern coast of Italy. While Le Marche is celebrated for its stunning beaches dotting the coastline, the hilly inland is also rich with ruins, historically occupied by various peoples since the BC era of the Gauls. The regional cuisine varies as much as the scenery: Fresh seafood is the ingredient of choice in the capital seaport city of Ancona, while the landlocked, medieval town of Urbino specializes in meat-focused meals.
When Select Italy asked us about typical dishes from Le Marche, we wanted to capture the two contrasting sides of the region. To represent its coastline cuisine, we recommended Moreno Cedroni Mustard Sauce, a delicious condiment from the seaside city of Senigallia that pairs well with grilled fish. Typical of the region’s hilltop towns, Pasta alla Marchigiana is a favorite dish served at La Scuola di Eataly, our culinary school. We shared the below Eatalian recipe and the key ingredient: guanciale, cured meat from pork cheeks. [...]


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Why Invest In Le Marche

Why Invest In Le Marche | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Property sales and property investment in Le Marche, Italy. Le Marche is fast becoming the destination of choice for those seeking an Italian property. le marche le marche immobiliare, le marche italy, le marche real estate, le marche villas for sale, property for sale in le marche italy, properties for sale in le marche, villas in le marche italy, property investment in le marche, le marche property [...]


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Mariano Pallottini's curator insight, April 11, 3:24 AM

We have

  • 19 of the '200 of the most beautiful villages and small towns' across Italy
  • 15 of the towns and villages listed in the 'Orange flag towns in Italy
  • 180 km of Adriatic coastline with superb beaches
  • 500 piazzas
  • 1000 important monuments commemorating the rich Italian history
  • 34 archeological sites where well preserved Roman ruins can be found
  • 315 antique libraries
  • 72 historic theatres
  • 200 churches, many of them Romanesque
  • 183 religious shrines
  • 342 museums and galleries 
  • 2 stunning national parks (Monti Sibillini, Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga)
  • 6 stunning regional parks (Conero, Sasso Simon, Simoncello, Monte San Bartolo, Gola della Rossa, Grotte di Frasassi)
  • 5 major nature reserves (Abbadia di Fiastra, Gola del Furlo, Montagna di Torricchio, Ripa Bianca and Sentina)
  • 26 cities facing the Adriatic Sea
Elise Bakker's curator insight, April 12, 2:08 AM

I can fully acknowledge all of it since we have a lovely second casa near Sarnano (MC). When anyone considers buying a second home or want to settle in Le Marche, get in touch with me. I'll connect you with the right people who can help find you your dream house: info@capriola.nl Ciao!

Sarah Topps's curator insight, April 12, 9:13 AM

We couldn't agree more - Le Marche really is such a wonderful area to live. www.hideawaylemarche.com

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Arquata del Tronto, the Queen of the two parks

Arquata del Tronto, the Queen of the two parks | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Alpestrine landscapes and green valleys are the frame of the unique Municipality in Europe, which is shared between two National Parks: that of the “Sibillini Mountains” in the North and the “Gran Sasso-Monti della Laga” in the South.

The fortress of Arquata, compact and austere, rises up with its castle in the heart of a rich and savage land, steeped in exotic fantasy, dreams and hopes. [...]


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Le Marche Wines

Le Marche Wines | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Le Marche (The Marches) is located on the Adriatic coast toward the top of the Italian peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Ancona. In the wine world, Marche is best known for white wines made from Verdicchio and perhaps for Montepulciano-based red wines like Rosso Cònero and Rosso Piceno. It has 5 DOCGs, 15 DOCs (see map), and 1 IGP. In 2012, Marche produced 920,000 hl (10.2 million cases) of wine.

The region’s primary grape varieties are  Sangiovese  (22%),  Montepulciano  (20%),  and Verdicchio (14%).

 

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Appassionata's insight:

Great insight to wines from Le Marche.

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Appassionata's comment, March 18, 10:21 AM
Great Article :-)
binNotes's curator insight, March 22, 9:02 AM

Salute!

 

 

 

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Celebrating 750 years of Fabriano

Celebrating 750 years of Fabriano | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Founded in 1264, Fabriano remains the European leader in paper production

It is undeniable that “very few companies can claim a longer or distinguished heritage than Fabriano”. This extraordinary Italian paper mill was founded in 1264, at a time in which its fine arts papers were used and praised by the Renaissance icon Michelanglo Buonarroti. However, Michelangelo was not the only celebrity with a weakness for Fabriano paper. The German composer Ludwig van Beethoven was also a great fan of Fabriano [...]

To celebrate its 750th birthday, Fabriano just published a new book “Cotone, Conigli e invisibili segni d’acqua. 750 anni di storia della carta Fabriano” (In English, Rags, Rabbit Skins and Invisible Watermarks. 750 years of papermaking in Fabriano). The book, edited by Chiara Medioli, whole reenacting the history of this prestigious paper mill, puts a lot of emphasis on materials and technologies involved in paper production. Indeed, “Cotone” reminds about the materials origianlly used to produce paper; “conigli” about the special glue Fabriano experts created using rabbits’ skin to strengthen paper resistance, and “acqua” about the fact that we can’t have paper without water.


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Appassionata's curator insight, March 6, 1:59 AM

Fabriano, an amazing paper products company... such history and based in Le Marche.

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Wine For Beginners (Infographic) | Wine Folly

Wine For Beginners (Infographic) | Wine Folly | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it
The wine for beginners infographic has the answers you're looking for. Learn the different wine styles, wine glasses and tips on tasting like a wine connoisseur.
Appassionata's insight:

Great graphic explaining the joys of wine....

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Le Marche's in New York | Month of wines from Le Marche at the Eataly Wine Shop | Eataly

Le Marche's in New York | Month of wines from Le Marche at the Eataly Wine Shop | Eataly | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

Discover The Wines of Le Marche Italy at Eataly Wine Located on 23rd Street


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Le Marche's in New York | Month of wines from Le Marche

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Appassionata in the news again ..... the Sunday Post

Appassionata in the news again ..... the Sunday Post | Le Marche - Appassionata Style! | Scoop.it

As an interior design expert, Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs has an eye for things of beauty. And she admits she was instantly hooked by the delights of Italy during a visit there, Now Dawn and her husband Michael — who was brought up in Drymen, Stirlingshire — have followed up on their passion with a property project that's winning admirers, "The first time Michael and I went to Italy over a decade ago we completely fell in love with it," Dawn told The Sunday Post, " It was the food, the wine, the people and the design. "We pretty much made an instant decision that was where we wanted to be and create something,

"We started looking in Tuscany but unfortunately I think that has been spoiled a bit by mass tourism. "A friend told us about a region we'd never heard of called Le Marche, It's in central Italy — near Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio — over-looking the Adriatic Sea, "It's full of lovely hilltop medieval towns with olive groves, lavender plantations and vineyards,"

Together Dawn and businessman Michael — who bought the Adams childrenswear chain from Sir Philip Green in an £87million buy out in 1999 — snapped a five-acre estate near the village of Montefiore dell'Aso, The stunning property boasts its own olive groves and vineyards, Then the couple began meeting holiday home owners in the area, " Most of them were only using their properties a few weeks a year,"

Dawn explained, "They spent most of their holiday time tidying the garden, dusting down the house and doing running repairs," An idea began to brew, After going to a "fractional ownership" seminar in San Francisco, the couple decided they could do an Italian job on it, Fractional ownership was originally developed in the world of corporate aviation — where businesses bought shares in jets rather than incur the expense and running costs of buying a plane outright, Dawn and Michael have imported that concept to their Italian dream, "I think fractional ownership is the wise man's way of owning a property abroad," explains 53-year-old Dawn,

"You can buy into a property of a much higher value than you would by buying outright. "With timeshare you are buying time, here it's like buying a share in the company. "As the property prices go up your share price goes up," The pair have set up a company, Appassionato, to administer two properties on their Giacomo Leopardi estate, Each haslOowners who take five weeks share apiece, The first property has four bed-rooms, the second, the original old farmhouse, has five, Current prices start from £105,000 with an annual service charge on top, "I did all the interiors and it was great working with local craftsmen," added Dawn. "An artisan created elegant hand-made wall lights and the blacksmith made stair railings, So we helped local trades stay in business." • FOR more visit www.appassionata.com

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Another great article in the papers again, this time Scotlands Sunday Post

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Italian Flag-Wavers Championship | Ascoli Piceno - Palio degli Sbandieratori 2013

Immagini di Mario Granatiero

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Absolutely fantastic skill, what a spectacle. Truly Italian!

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Mariano Pallottini's curator insight, September 8, 2013 12:13 AM

In Ascoli Piceno is taking place an amazing and really beautiful event, a "must" for every photografer and videomaker: the Italian Flag-Wavers Championship. This event has a specific name that reminds us the contests of the middle age and renaissance,"Tenzone Aurea". The flag wavers are expert in the art of handling the flag. Using the ancient medieval costumes, from which this discipline descends, the flag-wavers from every part of Italy, work hard during the year in order to create a beautiful exhibition displaying colorful costumes and proposing Renaissance music and rhythms. The victory of the title can guarantee the most significant compensations and performances around the world, so the spirit of the contenders is the same as their ancestors.
This sunday at 20pm (time of Rome) there will be the final but you can follow the event here http://www.livestream.com/fisbtv