Il Tiglio – A Welcome Return

‘Bentornato’ ‘Welcome back’ is a phrase ringing round the Sibillini mountains and the tiny hamlet of Isola San Biagio, in Le Marche, Italy. They are talking to Enrico Mazzaroni, who has been holidaying down at the coast for the last couple of years.

But it’s been far from a simple holiday. After sustaining damage in the earthquakes in 2016, Enrico and his team moved down from their mountain home to open a new seafood version of Il Tiglio – The Lime Tree, where the menu was fish based. And now, much to everyone’s delight, like a phoenix from the flames, he is back. To the tiny, unassuming mountain hamlet where Enrico’s family have lived for generations farming the land and producing the most amazing natural ingredients for this very special restaurant.

As we arrive in Isola San Biagio, just outside Montemonaco, tucked away in the little known Le Marche countryside, we wonder where we are heading. The tiny, rustic village in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by majestic mountains which seem to rise straight from the hamlet. We park and cross the road, spotting the beautiful new metal door with ‘Tiglio’ cut in style. We’ve arrived!

With great anticipation and excitement, we ring the doorbell and are immediately welcomed by one of the waiting staff. We pass through the restaurant, which has been designed in a wonderful mix of modern and rustic and is perfect blend for the old stoned walled building which houses the new Tiglio.

Our waitress shows us out to the terrance and immediately we are struck by the simplicity of the table surrounded by the magnificence of the mountains. The bright blue sky contrasting with the bright yellow broom or ginestra in Italian. Just stunning.

We start with a welcome prosecco, chilled perfectly for this hot summers day. A salute to the return of this special place and to Enrico who has worked tirelessly to carry on and make a success of his passion and his life.

Soon the wonderful food starts to arrive. With some tiny amuse bouche to start. A dark chocolate casing around a liquid truffle centre which just melts in our mouths. The most amazing sensation and flavour. Yes Il Tiglio is definitely back!

We delight our tastebuds with these tasty morsels. First a basket of oyster shells topped with open shells filled with a light mix of oyster, celery and cream. Wow. Accompanied by Ribona, a fresh, crisp Le Marche white. Well where else would it be from?

Next we try the toasted almond wrapped in lardo. The crunch of the almond mixed with the softness of the lardo is a great combination.

We stare at the little, perfectly formed golden ‘eggs’ sitting in front of us. Knowing our chef, Enrico, very often things are not quite what they seem, so carefully we bite into the crispy round spheres. Inside a surprise. A wonderful gooey Parmesan sauce oozes from within. Just sensational.

A tiny tart entices us from across the table. A thin crunchy case filled with the most intense roasted onion purée. So perfectly tasty.

And we haven’t even mentioned the bread yet. Simply the best brown bread with locally grown grains. A crisp crust encases a soft, warm interior. Served with lemon thyme butter. The perfect combination. The lightest, thinnest grissini and soft focaccia fills the basket. We know we shouldn’t eat so much as we have so many wonderful courses to come but it’s simply irresistible!

Our first official starter arrives, a wonderful steak tartare with cheesy pastry and light dressing.

Next the most stunning combination of softness and crunch. A crispy lettuce shell encases a slow cooked egg which just oozes to our delight as we cut them open. Topped off with tasty, soft lettuce picked straight from the orto, this really is a texture sensation.

And now to the carrot. THE carrot. The most tastiest carrot in the world we are sure. How anyone can pack so much intense flavour into one carrot is beyond us. A tiny miracle sitting in front of us waiting to tickle our tastebuds.

We move onto our funghi course. A mushroom lovers delight. Perfectly cooked porcini with a soft outer and a firmer middle bathing in the most tasty broth and served with tiny roast potatoes. Another wow!

Next to arrive is the first of our pasta dishes. Enrico brings us a delicious cherry Rosso Piceno wine to pare with simply the richest hare pasta we have ever tasted. The handmade pasta, made from locally grown wheat is again cooked to perfection and is perfectly combined with a creamy potato sauce.

Now tiny tortellini appear nestling atop a pine jus. Yes pine! Intense in flavour and definitely unique, Enrico once again goes for the wow factor. He certainly does not disappoint.

Our main course is lamb. Perfectly cooked and deliciously soft and moist, it is served with summer greens and a carrot purée.

And finally to the dessert. That dessert! A unique combination and we would never have guessed it. Enrico explains the lightest, chilled lemon foam sits next to a celery purée. Yes celery. And we were simply blown away. The combination of flavours work so well. Refreshing, simple, light and just the perfect ending to our most memorable dining experience.

But it wasn’t quite the end. A little silver tree arrives with glistening berries. Poached apple balls are surrounded by a raspberry gel. Simply stunning.

As now, as coffee is served, we reflect on a most memorable lunch, whilst gazing with full tummies at the wonderful Le Marche scenery.

Simple fresh flavours, the best homegrown produce, an intensely passionate chef in an unassuming hamlet with a charming rustic restaurant set under the majestic Sibillini’s. Bentornato Enrico and Il Tiglio team. You are back and we just know your are going to be a wonderful success.

We dined at Il Tiglio, Isola San Biagio, Montemonaco. The excellent value tasting menu is €38 per head excluding wine, water, coffee and cover charge.

Open every day for lunch and dinner.

Call 0736 856441, find them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/iltigliomontemonaco/ or message Enrico at ristoranteiltiglio@yahoo.it

We stayed at Il Nascondiglio The Hideaway farmhouse apartments and bed and breakfast, a pleasant 30 minute drive away www.thehideaway.eu

Flights available from the UK, with Ryanair to the nearby airports of Ancona, Perugia or Pescara, all less than a 90 minute drive away www.ryanair.com

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Thanks to Agostini Le Marche is among of the World’s Best Olive Oils Express Elation

It is the first time that we participated in the NYIOOC and we are so glad about this award and prestige that it give us at the international level, since in the last two years we are on the US market,” said Alfredo Agostini who won a Gold Award with Sublimis, that comes from an olive grove at 350 meters above sea level in the Marche region. “During the 2014 harvest, we had a 50 percent drop in quantity. This year we performed natural preventive treatments with copper for the conventional production since we prefer to avoid chemical products. But the olives were so healthy that no additional treatments were needed and this has given great results.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.oliveoiltimes.com

How fantastic to hear that one of our local olive presses has won The New York International Olive Oil Competition, proving our Marche oil is the best!

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

Secret Italy: finding perfection in Le Marche

The title of the Italian province of Le Marche literally means “the borderlands”, a neutral region neighbouring more important places. This makes a lot of sense when you consider that Tuscany lies to the north and Umbria to the south. Next to these titans of the tourist trade so beloved of the inglese, and hemmed in by the mountains and the sea on either side, you might call Le Marche something of a poor relation, rarely visited.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.independent.co.uk

What a great article about our stunning Le Marche area. Little known by the general tourist visiting Italy. Come and discover everything Le Marche has to offer this summer and book yourself a wonderful holiday at The Hideaway http://hideawaylemarche.com

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

The coastline of Italy: The Guardian Readers’ Travel Tips Featuring Le Marche

Along the coast of Italy our readers sidestep the tourist traps to find expansive beaches, pristine marine reserves, the freshest seafood and stretches the locals have been trying to keep to themselves

Source: www.theguardian.com

So great to see Le Marche’s stunning Conero National Park being featured in the Guardian today. Its really is worth a visit as is much of the Marche coastline.

Only 80 minutes from The Hideaway, you can dine on some of the best mussels in the world whilst watching the deep blue ocean surrounded by pine forests.

Do go and explore the Conero National Park – you certainly won’t be disappointed!

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

30 Reasons Why You Should Never Ever Visit Le Marche

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1. There is nothing at all to see or do here. It is all very dull and uninteresting.

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2. We have 2 National Parks and they are all very boring and full of scary butterflies. There are really hard hiking trails which may be too hard for you & not rewarding at all.

 3. We have 180 km of coastline, with uninteresting sandy bays & deep blue sea & wild mussels who live here because the sea is too clean.

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4. We have over 500 dreary piazzas which are very old and full of history.

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5. Our food is natural & very local – you probably won’t like it so better bring your own.

6. We have 200 churches which are mainly Romanesque architecture, so very ancient. There are also 183 religious shrines. Who wants to see these?

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7. We even have skiing in the winter where there may be lots of cold snow.

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8. We have lots of festivals which can be noisy & very colourful & people may have fun.

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 9. There are hilltop towns all over the place and they are historic and tedious.

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10. We are famous for our smelly white & black truffles & lots of them – yuk!  

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11. Our towns have steep cobbled streets & tiny alleyways to explore.  You may get lost.

12. There are mediocre mountain views around every corner. Don’t bring your camera, its a waste of time.

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13. Our delicious wine is far too cheap – you won’t like it. Our nasty Pecorino won the best in Italy 2014!

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14. You can find wild mushrooms in the hills but its much more fun queuing for them in the supermarket.

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15. In Autumn all the leaves go orange & brown & fall off the trees. You should miss this, it looks terrible, just like in America.

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16. Our delicious local pizzas are some of the best in the world & will make you put on weight.

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17. Our Sibillini National Park has a lake full of creatures you will only find here. Nowhere else in the world.

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18. We have over 1000 important monuments. Far too many too see.

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19. We have so much wildlife and beautiful creatures. You wouldn’t want to meet any of those.

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20. Our unspoilt, rolling hills are full of nasty yellow sunflowers.

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21. We have lots of cafes to relax in and waste hours of your precious holiday time.

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22. You can eat ugly looking seafood whist looking down on the stunning blue waters.

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23. We have many wineries serving our terrible Marche wine & you can go and have a tasting if you are brave enough.

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24. Our lakes are deep & kayaking amongst the peace & tranquillity can be scary.

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25. Our 72 historic theatres are usually small & intimate & don’t hold many people.  

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26. Our Churches are full of old crumbly paintings which have no historical interest at all. Who has heard of Crivelli after all?

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27. You would just hate to relax on one of our beautiful sandy beaches.

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28. The Sferisterio in Macerata has many screechy operas & world famous men in tights doing ballet. You may want to avoid this.

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29. If you have the misfortune of staying in the countryside, beware. The birdsong in the morning can be deafening. Make sure you bring your earplugs.

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30. Don’t even think of coming to peaceful, unspoilt Le Marche. Its very quiet & we like it that way & its bound to be much better else where. But if you do dare risk it, check out MarcheOwnersDirect.com, where you can book your dreadful holiday directly with the caring owners and they help you make the most of this awful place!

Written by HideawayLeMarche.com Those terrible Hideaway farmhouse apartments ran by Mark & Sarah, in a lonely green valley surrounded by noisy birds.

Living a Life in Colour: A guide to Le Marche

Le Marche is known for its lush green hills below the Sibillini Mountains, forests of oak trees, medieval towns, and its rocky coastline along the Adriatic Sea. […]

Source: www.livingalifeincolour.com

A lovely summary of beautiful Marche and all this wonderful region has to offer.

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

Magical Marche Moments near Montemonaco – Il Tiglio

For a truly unique experience, you can not get better than a very long lazy Sunday afternoon dining at Il Tiglio in Isola San Biagio near Montemonaco.

Upon arriving in this tiny unassuming village set high in the Sibillini Mountains, you really couldn’t begin to imagine what all the fuss is about.

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The Tiny Village of Isola San Biagio

Once you have found the front door, the first secret is to ring the bell and you will be warmly greeted. If you have ever been before the staff always remember a face and wish you ‘ben tornato’ or welcome back. At once you will feel at home.

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Stylish and elegant and even a stool for your handbag!

From the glitzy interior you might presume it’s all going to be a little ostentatious and over the top but far from it. The staff are attentive but unobtrusive, friendly, but not in your face. The cutlery and crockery is perfectly polished and the bathroom spotless (however slightly whacky).  A complimentary prosecco is served to get the experience underway and you relax as your Tiglio experience begins.

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Gold!

Soon the wine ‘bible’ is presented. It might take a while to browse through but and you can certainly choose from a well stocked cantina, including many local wines at reasonable prices.

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Now which wine shall it be?

Next the appetisers start to arrive and what a treat. We haven’t even got to the antipasti yet! A nest appears on the table with two ‘eggs’ perched neatly on top. Soon you realised that at Il Tiglio, nothing is quite what it seems. They aren’t eggs, but they do have the most perfectly cooked runny yolk inside, just amazing! The waiters explain the dishes and how to eat them.

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A nest appears with two fresh eggs – or are they?

Suddenly a tree was bought to the table with wafer thin seedy wafers hanging from the branches and angy red berries filled with a delicious creamy cheese.

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Cracker tree
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Seedy Wafers so light!

And then the richly smoked pork fat cubes served on a bed of pine branches, which just melted in the mouth. Such a rich, intense flavour you will never forget.

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What an intense, mouthwatering, smokey pork flavour.

Now for the highlight – the truffle – or is it? Neatly presented on a bed of pebbles, these little parcels of delight will amaze you. As you pop one in your mouth, the crisp white cocoa shell just melts away, leaving a delicious creamy cheesy truffly centre which tingles the taste buds!

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Truffles? Or are they?

The delight of the appetisers is now over and the antipasti begin to arrive. Warm winter salad sitting atop a orange sauce, just for starters.

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Warm wilted winter salad

Next is the most creamy baked whole leek – turn it over and scoop out the wonderful filling which can be spread on the warm herb bread.

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Oozing with delight!
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Open your parcel to reveal warm herby bread

Our antipasti just continues to come, with a perfectly baked potato topped with cream cheese, and almond ‘ash’ sitting on a bed of porcini mushrooms. The textures and flavours just amaze us every time.

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The poshest baked potato in Marche

Now for our favourite.  Would you expect to find parmesan, potato and passionfruit served in a mountain village in very rural Le Marche? Well at Il Tiglio, you will and the flavour combination is just perfect. Cut into the delicate parmesan shell and watch the warm parmesan mousse just ooze out.

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Simply the best!

The final antipasti is served and what a delicious combination. Baccala (salt cod), sitting atop an intense  rosemary reduction and topped with pine nuts. Once again the flavours are just stunning.

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Baccala or salt cod, flecked with rosemary.

Now onto the pasta course and one which will delight meat lovers. Homemade tagliatelle swirled with a rich wild boar ragu and topped with winter greens. Again the combination of flavours and the flavoursome  broth will be remembered for years to come.

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Wild boar tagliatelle. Amazing.

Our second pasta course is a homemade tortellini served with a rich broth and topped with delicate truffle shavings. The pasta perfectly cooked of course.

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Tortellini and truffles

Finally and with very full tummies, we move on to our main course and you have a choice here of 3. We were offered lamb, pork or venison and chose the venison, served with butternut squash puree and tasty red cabbage. So tender and soft, it almost melted in the mouth!

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Melt in the mouth venison.

Now for dessert – well not quite –  first a pre-dessert pallet cleanser. Creamy vanilla ice-cream topped with a almond cracknel and sitting on a tamarind sauce. Flavours mingle on the tongue once again.

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Crispy, tangy, creamy and light all on one mouthful

Our dessert is a chocolate lover’s dream. Layers and layers of different chocolate mousse sitting atop a moist cake base, dense but light, texturally perfect!

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Luxuriance on a plate!
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Guard your mousse carefully. It may easily be stolen.

We were almost coming to the end of our Tiglio extravaganza, but before we did, we were treated to a truffle tree topped with aniseed biscotti and cinnamon soil served with coffee.

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The Tiglio truffle tree.

Sadly our experience was drawing to an end, but Enrico the wonderful creative chef, made time to chat. So passionate about the food he creates, his customers and his surroundings and you can just tell. Asking which dishes were our favourite (all of them of course) and happy to know we have enjoyed our time with him.

The menu at Il Tiglio changes seasonally and there are three menus to choose from. The €33 tasting menu, which we experienced, the €35 vegetarian menu and the full blown extravaganza of €45, all excellent value for money (coffee and wine not included).

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Three types of truffle, pistachio, aniseed and almond.

Reservations are essential and you can call Enrico on +39 0736 856441 or mobile +39 335 8006190 or visit Il Tiglio website. The restaurant is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from September to May and everyday in June, July and August.

Go and try the Tiglio experience. You won’t be disappointed we are sure!

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The End!

Never Mind 50 Shades of Grey. Here is 50 Shades of Le Marche!

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Want to know why Le Marche is so special? Despite being little know outside of Italy, there is so much to see and do. Certainly something for everyone in this wonderful region. Unspoilt, full of history, the most friendly people and dazzling views around every corner, you will want to come back time and time again.

Here are just the top 50 of our personal favourites at The Hideaway.

1. Take a hike in the stunning Sibillini National Park 

2. Spend a lazy Sunday lunch at the wonderful Il Tiglio with chef Enrico.

3. Relax on the beaches of the Adriatic

4. Take a wine tour at the fascinating Murola Winery.

5. Go on an adventure in the forest with Marco and his beautiful donkeys of Smerillo.

6. Take a pasta making course at La Conca with the fantastic Mirela and dine there too.

7. Visit the local cheese farm and meet the lovely goats at Fontegranne, Belmonte Piceno

8. Have a look at some of the many tiny painted theatres in the area Amandola & Penna San Giovanni

9. Find out all about copper production & maybe buy a pan to last a lifetime at Tanucci’s Comunanza.

10. Take a ride on horseback round the beautiful San Ruffino Lake.

11. Visit the stunning Frasassi Caves – perfect for a rainy day!

12. Have a look at Bozzi pottery being made and maybe take a piece home for yourself.

13. Stroll round ancient Ascoli Piceno & look out for the inscriptions over the doors – there are over 200!

14. Whilst in Ascoli Piceno, enjoy a gelato at Yoghi Gelateria & visit the famous Piazza del Popolo

15. Go truffle hunting in the woods near The Hideaway or in November visit the Amandola Truffle Festa.

16. Visit the Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Rocca in Offida.

17. Take a guided tour of our nearby town of Amandola.

18. Go exploring  San Ruffino Lake by kayak!

19. Go on a pilgrimage to Loretto & the Santuario Della Santa Casa where you will find the house of Mary

20. Visit Fermo and the Cisterne Romane, underground cisterns dating back to Roman times.

21. Take a trip to the Conero National Park and be amazed at the beaches.

22. Whilst at the Conero, eat the freshest muscles ever on Portonova beach.

23. Visit the stunning Basilica di San Nicola in Tolentino.

24. Explore the fascinating Grotti di Osimo caves.

25. Eat pizza in our local favourite Bella Napoli in Amandola. You won’t find better!

26. Visit Le Senate, a new winery in the area and discover a small but perfectly formed vineyard.

27. Take in an opera at the Sferisterio in Macerata, perfect on a summers evening.

28. Sniff the aromas of award winning Perfero Caffe near Altidonna & see the beans being roasted.

29. Watch pasta being made & buy some at Campofilone where it has been made now for over 100 years.

30. Experience buying ‘sfuso’ wine like a local at Centanni near Pedaso,

31. Go to Mazzumaja (dialect for kids making a mess) a huge music event in Comunanza in July.

32. Visit Castello Pallotta in Caldarola. The most perfectly formed castle full of interesting articles.

33. Go factory outlet shopping to some of the biggest names in fashion including Prada, Tods & Armani.

34. Take a stroll & picnic amongst some of Marche’s oldest landscapes at the peaceful Abbadia di Fiastra

35. Laze by the side of the deep blue waters of Lago di Fiastra or take a dip in the cooling waters.

36. Ski at Sassotetto or Madelena – perfect for beginners and the more experienced alike.

37. Travel north and visit the wonderful town of Urbino, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

38. Visit the Casa Leopardi – the home of Giacomo Leopardi in Recanati.

39. Take a tour round the ancient site of Urbisaglia and the archeological park and castle.

40. Don’t miss Fabriano, famous for its paper making.

41. Visit the International Museum of Hats in Montappone and grab yourself a bargain.

42. Treat yourself to a Spa in the famous spa town of Sarnano

43. Wonder round the Museum in Amandola and find out about ancient traditions of the countryside.

44. Visit the ancient town of Gradara and its beautiful castle.

45. Stroll around one of the many town markets which are held nearly every day and pick up a bargain.

46. Hike up the Golla dell’Infernaccio or Hells Gorge and be amazed at the beauty and peace.

47. Whilst at Golla dell’Infernaccio, take a detour & visit Padre Pietro at the L’Eremo di San Leonardo.

48. Not strictly Marche, but in neighbouring Umbria – don’t miss the Fioritura in Castelluccio.

49. Get along to one of the many festivals and events held year-round and join in the fun.

50. Winning the award for best pizza maker 2012, visit Mamma Rosa, Ortezzano for a real treat.

Oh and there are just so many more to discover! So come on over to Le Marche and see for yourself.

Shopping in Italy by Amanda Brake, our Italian correspondent living in Le Marche

When I’m asked what it’s like shopping in Italy I realized that it’s quite a tricky question  to answer because shopping in Italy isn’t always an easy task. But before you yawn, there is information about this fantastic area that I have to share with you. Once a month we drive 20 minutes to our…

Source: www.frostmagazine.com

We love living by the seasons and look forward to each and every one. The best way to live! Looking forward now to the asparagus season which will  be arriving soon and scouring the banks along our peaceful lanes for the delicious morsels!

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

Best white wines for Christmas 2014 – Telegraph

Christmas isn’t just about red wine. These gorgeous bottles of white will see you through the festive peripd Source: www.telegraph.co.uk One of our Marche wines makes it into the Telegraphs top 10 this Christmas. Come next year and try this and many more. We have a large selection of wonderful cantinas offering tours and tastings and many delicious reds. Our neighbours produce great wine too. One of our favourites is Ipnosi from Biagi just down the road into Abruzzo. Rich deep cherries, chocolate and spices, perfect for Christmas drinkies. See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche