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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Our beautiful Amandola and all she has to offer. If you haven’t visited yet, then here is a glimpse of our stunning area. Something for everyone to enjoy. From horse riding to hiking, yoga to fishing, skiing to sun set watching. You really don’t know what your are missing!

Amandola Theatre – Teatro La Fenice Through The Eyes of Baldhiker

In a previous post I showed you a wander through the beautiful streets of Amandola, Le Marche, Italy. Well it was time to take a…

Source: snip.ly

Our tiny theatre in Amandola is just one of the many beautiful theatres in the Le Marche region and throughout the year hosts a variety of events. So why not come and stay at The Hideaway this summer and treat yourself to an evening out. Thank you for the wonderful photos Baldhiker! http://www.amandolateatro.it/wordpress/

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

Amandola seen through the eyes an avid hiker

It was time to visit Italy again.. but away from the usual hotspots you hear of, it was time to head to a beautiful area in the mountains of the Region of Le Marche. A home from home for me, great open countryside, and a perfect greeting of snow tipped mountain tops with lush green and quiet valleys below. […]

Source: www.baldhiker.com

Our local town of Amandola explored by Paul Steel, a blogger who came to visit last weekend as part of the Pensieri Fatti A Mano event. Lots of great experiences and demonstrations and a good turnout.

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.

Marche Owners Direct – Property of The Day – The Hideaway, Amandola.

Today’s property of the day is the very gorgeous The Hideaway – a bed and breakfast and self catering apartment set up – ideal for couples or smaller family groups close to Amandola in Southern Marche. Run by Sarah and Mark who will bend over backwards to help you have a fabulous holiday, hugely family friendly too with a lovely pool we really recommend checking it out. It’s gorgeous! http://marcheownersdirect.com/il-nascondiglio/4583779799

Source: www.facebook.com

So lucky to star as Marche Owners Direct featured property of the day. We love being part of this great new scheme  – where you, the holiday maker can book direct with the knowledgable owners, with no commissions or hidden costs. For more information, why not check out our website http://hideawaylemarche.com

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

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

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.

The Beautiful Donkeys of Forestcamp – Smerillo

For the most wonderful experience for all the family, why not come and have a day out with the beautiful donkeys and knowledgeable Marco in Smerillo. Here you will explore the forest and get to find out all about the fossils hidden away. Be at one with nature and your surroundings.

Marco is passionate about his donkeys and the area and is full of interesting information.

You will bond with your donkeys, learn how to look after them and become immersed in the peace and tranquility for the day. Great fun for children and adults alike (but if you are small you get to ride the donkeys!).

There are 3 different trips –

EXCURSION BASE: Walk through the woods and medieval village, you will learn the basics on donkeys, we discover the fossils of the Pleistocene, we explore some trails of the forest and you can learn a bit ‘of history of the area.

ONE DAY TOGETHER: Hike from Smerillo to Montefalcone and return, through the woods and the various environments that make it up, with the possibility to spend a whole day with our friends donkeys for a deeper mutual understanding. Stop at a nice picnic area. Packed lunch on request.

SUNSET HIKE: Easy tour, with a stop in one of the most scenic terraces on the Sibillini to admire a dazzling sunset behind the magical mountains, in the company of the donkeys, peaceful grazing. Return in the dark.

For more information contact Marco on 347 6820066 or visit the donkey website www.forestcamp.it or for further details see http://www.forestcamp.it/images%203/PASSEGGIATE2015-Final.pdf

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Carnevale Chaos in Amandola

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For a wonderful way to brighten up those winter days, come along to Carnevale. Watching the floats climb the hill to the piazza, the colours, costumes, confetti and carrelli all add to the fun.

Stopping part way up the hill to perform, we were entertained by all sorts, from lots of little chickens and a fox, Pinocchio and puppets, martians and spacemen, cancan dancers from the Moulin Rouge, immigrants, and even a Blues Brothers band. All in good fun!

As the judges mark the acts, the floats proceed up to the piazza for dancing and capers, for the children this includes more confetti and silly string and shaving foam. This is the time for the kids to have some fun and the adults to enjoy a glass of wine or two.

Dancing went on until dark, with the little chickens performing perfectly to each song, whilst we await excitedly to hear who had been announced winner of Carnevale 2015!

Looking forward to next year already.

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