Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Main Drags: Via Flaminia, Via Pianacce, Via Furlo
Main Sights: Truffles (mushrooms) and dogs, Abbey of S. Vincenzo, Candigliano Fortress, Gola del Furlo (Glen of Furlo), ancient remains near Via Flaminia
Tour Acqualagna, Italy
For Good Food, Consider Eating at These Restaurants (enjoy truffles with cuisine):
La Ginestra - Located in Furlo, tel. 0721/797.033, www.ginestrafurlo.it, Closed Mondays, hotel/restaurant.
Il Tartufo - Via Risorgimento 3, tel. 0721/797.195, Closed Mondays
Il Vicolo - Corso Roma 39, tel. 0721/797.145, Closed Tuesday evenings
L’Osteria del Parco - Via Mochi 11-13, tel. 0721/797353, Closed Tuesdays.
Gipsy - Via Case Nuove 10, tel. 0721/700.035, Closed Tuesdays.
Birra al Pozzo - Via Pianacce 12, Acqualagna, Closed Wednesdays.
Furlo - Via Flaminia 66, Furlo, Tel. 0721/700.096, www.anticofurlo.it, Closed Monday evenings and Tuesdays.
Typical Products of Le Marche - Where to Go Shopping
Urbani Tartufi - Via Risorgimento 1, Acqualagna, tel. 0721/797.195. Name says it all, truffles and the like. Closed Mondays.
Maria Gabriella Truffa - Via De Gasperi 55, Acqualagna, tel. 0721/798.634), Truffles, pasta, polenta, oils.
La Bottega di Pietro Sorcinelli - Via Marconi 18, Acqualagna, tel. 0721/798.218. Preparation of three types of proscuitto, cinghiale (wild boar), and blend of cinghiale and pork. Assorted fresh pasta, local specialties.
Ghiottone - Corso Roma 89, Acqualagna, tel. 0721/797.095.
Latte e Formaggi - Corso Roma 60, Acqualagna. Rich assortment of local cheeses.
Oleificio Teresa Contardi' , Purveyor of Fine Olive Oils - Via San Biagio 93, 61045, Pergola, Pesaro-Urbino, tel. 0721/778.295.
Wine - Agriturismi (Where two addresses are listed, I believe the first address is the vineyard/grounds, second is the cellar. Contact owner to verify. "Frazione" is the territorial subdivision, or a smaller town, hamlet.)
Villa Ligi di Stefano e Francesco Tonelli
Frazione Montevecchio, via Montevecchio 119. Via Zoccolanti 25, Pergola, Italy, Tel. 0721/734351, e-mail: email@example.com. Produces Vernaculum, red light-med wine; 2 types are Vernaculum Grifoleto and Vernaculum La Rossa. Hints of strawberry and plum. Soft on the palate, although wine in the evoluntionary stages. Couples well with warm crostini and truffles, salami, proscuitto, tripe alla Marchegian, and even young fossa cheese.
Via Montesecco 123, Madonna del Piano, 61045 PERGOLA (Pesaro-Urbino), Tel. 0721/775252 - 0731/982182 Cellulare: 3358217475 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.agriturismoippocastani.it
Hotels (Alberghi) in Acqualagna (or nearby)
ALBERGO RISTORANTE BIRRA AL POZZO - Via Pianacce, 12 Acqualagna, Tel. 0721/700084.
ALBERGO RISTORANTE LEON D'ORO - Via Flaminia, 213 Acqualagna TEL: 0721/798164.
ALBERGO RISTORANTE LA GINESTRA - Passo del Furlo, Acqualagna TEL: 0721/797033.
ALBERGO RISTORANTE LA CAPANNA - Via Canfiagio Acqualagna TEL: 0721/708127.
ALBERGO RISTORANTE SHINE - Via Aldo Gamba, 56, Acqualagna TEL: 0721/797487.
AFFITTACAMERE - Via Candigliano, 3 Acqualagna TEL: 0721/798720.
BED & BREAKFAST - Via Pianacce, Acqualagna TEL: 0721/700016.
BED & BREAKFAST - Viale Risorgimento, Acqualagna TEL: 0721/798674
BED & BREAKFAST - Strada Frontino, Acqualagna TEL: 0721/708196
Read this info on "affitacamere" first.
Other Helpful Sites:
Montefeltro Tour - Famous Duke of Pesaro-Urbino region, has good info on Acqualagna and other towns
Map Acqualagna - Street or region map
Acqualagna Comune - with additional links
Acqualagna Truffle Festival - Held in Autumn, Late October-Early November
Gola del Furlo - Hidden gem near Acqualagna
Acqualagna Parks and Sights - Info from Italian Nature & Parks
Monday, April 17, 2006
Another dish that is particular to Le Marche is Vincisgrassi, which I was unable to sample. It's similar to lasagne with meat sauce.
Le Marche Recipes
Olive all'ascolana - Version 1
Olive all'ascolana - Version 2 (Italian)
Olive all'ascolana - Version 3
This last version (#4), is from a cookbook I have. I haven't tried it, but I'll post it because I LOVE eating stuffed olives!
Olive all'ascolana (stuffed olives alla Ascoli Piceno) Recipe
1 cup stock
1/4 lb. (100 g.) bacon, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 lb. ground pork
about 6 oz. (150 g.) beef
1 tablespoons tomato paste
3-4 (50 g.) chicken livers
3/4 cup (50 g.) parmesan cheese, freshly grated
salt and pepper
approximately 50 large, green olives in brine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 eggs (to coat)
oil for deep-frying
Directions: Soak 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs in stock. Fry the bacon in olive oil, add the pork and beef, and fry these as well. Dilute the tomato paste with lukewarm water and add to the meat. When the meat is tender, add the chicken livers and fry for a further 5 minutes. Then grind all these ingredients in a food processor. Add the egg, parmesan, and soaked breadcrumbs to the meat and mix well. Season to taste with cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pit the olives and stuff with the mixture. Coat in flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs, and deep-fry in plenty of hot olive oil until crisp. Drain on kitchen towels and serve hot.
More links to recipes from Le Marche
Food and Wine Mag
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
- Marche Voyager - Terrific Introduction to Le Marche Region and its Provinces (Ancona, Pesaro-Urbino, Macerata, and Ascoli-Piceno)
- Ancona Province - Tourism Info. on Ancona, which has a sizable expat community
- Pesaro-Urbino Province Tourism - Major towns are Urbino (birthplace of Raphael), Pesaro, and Cagli
- Macerata Province - Along with Macerata, it is home to Mt. Sibilini
- Macerata Province Tourism Portal - Tourism in Macerata
- Ascoli Piceno Province - Major towns are Ascoli Piceno and Fermo
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Have you ever considered a study vacation? Improving your lexicon beyond “pizza,” “grazie,” and “ciao”? What better way to become part of Italian society and learn the language while on an extended vacation! The government of
I fell in love with
I decided not to study in
Already, I started to ask myself all these rhetorical questions: What was I getting myself into? Why did I choose not to study in
Other than that all my flight connections were delayed and rerouted, and I arrived a day late, I think everything went fine! No plane crashes, no plane malfunctions, no mean airline staff, etc. I don’t want to dwell on the past, I mean they could have bumped me up to first or business class, but hey! Anyway, I did enjoy
(If it hadn’t been for the fact that I was “living” in
Anyway, after being rerouted a couple of times, I finally arrived in
To this day, I still recall the communication between the driver and me, as my Italian was pretty limited back then. I had asked him to drop me off at a mid-priced hotel, not too expensive, but I don’t think he had understood; perhaps he had confused me as some rich single tourist and drove me to the most expensive hotel in
Usually I dislike staying in hotel rooms, but after being cooped up in airplanes, trains, buses, and taxis, this warm and toasty hotel room was paradise. Each section of my room in Hotel Gala was heated; it was such utter perfection, especially during the cold month of March near the Adriatic coast. (...to be continued)
DETAILS (NOTE: Italy's Country Code is 39)
Centro Studi Italiani
Via Boscarini, 1 - 61049 Urbania
(Pesaro e Urbino) Italia
Hotel Gala ***
Viale Trieste, 49
61100 - PESARO (PS)
My review of Hotel Gala
(Update: Contact your local IIC for the scholarship application.)
Monday, February 20, 2006
For a brief overview of the Le Marche (pronounced "lay mar-KAY") region:
Geography: The region lies on the eastern side of central Italy, between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine mountains. It borders Emilia-Romagna to the north and Abruzzo to the south. And it borders Umbria and Tuscany to the west. The highest point in Le Marche is Monte Vettore in the Sibillini mountains at 2,476 metres. The coast has long sandy beaches popular in the summer; apart from the limestone Conero peninsula, it is virtually all flat.
Cuisine and Wine: Did you know that this region is home to truffles? (Not chocolates, but the very expensive mushrooms.) This region produces many fine wines. My particular favorite is the red, Rosso Conero or Rosso Piceno. Also worth tasting is the regional white, Verdicchio. To take a Rosso Conero-inspired tour, click here!
Transportation to Le Marche: You can fly into Ancona or another airport and take a train, bus or drive to your final destination. For more info. on travel to Le Marche, read this.
Transportation within Le Marche: Unless you have rented a car (your best option), you will probably have to take the bus. (Bus schedules vary daily, especially weekend and holiday service. Check with the ticket office, which may be the local caffe' or newsstand agent who sells the tickets.) Train service is usually limited in these small untrampled towns. For more info. on travel within Le Marche, read this.
The main towns of Le Marche are Urbino, Pesaro (that comprise the Pesaro-Urbino province), Macerata, Ancona, and Ascoli Piceno. Each region and provincial town has its own flavor, while maintaining marchegiani integrity. Urbino, a small hilly town, reminded me of Assisi and its namesake San Francisco. But at the same time, it has a vibrant university community which infuses young life that distinguishes it from the other towns.
Even Urbino and Urbania are quite different from each other, and they are only 17 km apart. The former is an Italian town of probably 20,000 or more inhabitants, with many businesses (hotels, restaurants) and a university. The latter is a small hamlet of only 6000-7000 people (granted there are less populated towns in Italy), and lacks a university. When I was there, there were only 7-9 restaurants, 3 hotels, a few agriturismi, a couple of caffe's (Italian bars), an underground pub, and several supermarkets, greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers, dry cleaners, a library/Internet cafe, a movie theater (that shows movies only once a week) etc. You get my drift, I think I patronized most of the businesses during my month-long stay.
But there was something about living in Urbania. Ok, after the first 2 weeks and settling into the groove. However, when people started recognizing you (of course they would, I'm not Italian!), and say "buonasera! -- it starts to feel like home. And cities, like Urbino begin to feel large. Imagine that!