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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Come and Explore Magical Marche ….

and everything our beautiful region has to offer. From poetry to paintings, opera to osteria's, hilltop towns and villages, markets and museums. Something for all the family. Have a look at this wonderful Le Marche Video to learn more!

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

Marche Owners Direct Special Spring Offers for Your Marche Holiday

Look for your last minute special offer to the beautiful Le Marche region and then book your holiday with confidence direct with the owners.

Source: marcheownersdirect.com

Marche Owners Direct are pleased to offer you some great opportunities this spring for your holiday to Le Marche. The group of holiday home, hotel, apartment and bed an breakfast owners work together to bring you the very best accommodation in the region. With years of experience between them, they can guide you and provide lots of information to make the most of your stay. Have a look today http://marcheownersdirect.com/specials/4583937750 ‪#‎destinationmarche‬

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

The Sibillini National Park, Le Marche. One of the top 10 national parks in Europe: readers’ travel tips

Our article on Europe’s less-well-known national parks caught your attention and prompted hundreds of you to submit tips and suggestions for more areas to explore in the article’s comments section. Here is a selection of what you liked best …

Source: www.theguardian.com

How exciting – Marche’s very own Sibillini National Park featured in The Guardian. We are so lucky to live and work right next to the stunning Sibillini National Park and enjoy the views of the mountain range every day. This really is a very natural special, unspoilt place, in fact very few people have even heard of it. There are so many excellent agriturismos and restaurants in the area, which are not expensive. For a real treat, take a trip to Il Tiglio and you will be amazed. Hidden in a tiny hilltop village in the Sibillini Mountains, you will be treated to course after course of beautifully prepared food by Enrico the chef. This place certainly does deserve a Michelin Star! If you are looking to stay in the area, check out Marche Owners Direct, a new group of holiday home owners have come together to form a co-operative. They have a large selection of villas, farmhouses, apartments, bed and breakfasts and hotels to suit all needs. Their years of experience between them, provide you with an invaluable guide to the Sibillini Mountains, from truffle hunting to trekking, dining out to wine tours. If you do visit this summer, we are sure you will not be disappointed!

http://hideawaylemarche.com

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

Magnifica Italia: Marche, in video

Ha poco più di un anno e ha fatto parlare di sé e dei suoi difetti. E’ il video della serie Magnifica Italia dedicato alle Marche. Criticato da pochi per aver omesso alcune importanti realtà Regionali, il video, in effetti, è passato quasi inosservato. Merita di essere diffuso, più blasonati progetti hanno comunque mostrato lacune.

http://www.video.mediaset.it/

Source: www.youtube.com

A wonderful film all about beautiful Marche and all our stunning area has to offer.

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.

Le Marche Mountain Cicada: New Insect Species Discovered in Le Marche and Switzerland

A multinational group of entomologists has discovered a new species of singing cicada that occurs from southern Switzerland to central Italy.  The newly-discovered species has been named the Italian mountain cicada (Cicadetta sibillae).

“The species name ‘sibillae’ is genitive of ‘sibilla’, and is derived from the locality name Monte Sibilla in the Monti Sibillini mountain group (Marche Region). […]

Source: www.sci-news.com

How fascinating. Scientists discover a  brand new species of  cicada right here in the Sibillini mountains. Well they certainly picked a beautiful  area to live in.  Via  Mariano  Pallottini  @Mariano PallottinicheBreaks

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

What to Do When on Holiday in Amandola

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Hiking in the Sibillini Mountains

Luckily enough at The Hideaway, we are very near to Amandola and therefore we are close to The Sibillini National Park and the start of many amazing walks to suit all levels. From 2 hour circular walks, to hiking up Hell’s Gorge, to climbing over 1000 meters to Pilate’s Lake, there are so many interesting hikes. Afterwards relax in Amandola with a gelato or coffee, watching the world go by and reflecting on the day.

Some of our favourites walks include:

Gola dell’Infernaccio – a stunning walk suitable for most levels which is especially great during the summer as you are walking by the river Tenna, waterfalls and through shaded beech woods. Slicing through limestone cliffs, you can take a side path up to the San Leonardo Church, the perfect place for your lunch stop. Originally the church was built by a group of Camaldolesi monks in the 9th centuary, before it was abandonned in the 1500’s.

Then in 1960, Padre Pietro a Cappuccian monk made this his hermitage and started building his own gothic church once more. The church is beautiful but simple and surrounded by nature, this has been his mission for over 40 years and you may even be lucky enough to meet him working on the shurch or growing his own veggies.

Lago di Pilato – slightly more difficult (and you might just ache a little the next day, but it is certainly worth it!) amazing views all round and the most rewarding part of the 1000 meter climb is when Pilates Lake comes in to view. You will pass through beech woods and plateus and make sure you make an early start in summer as it can get quite hot up there.

However, be careful you are not tempted to take a dip in the waters though as they are protected, being the only home in the world where the tiny fairy shrimp Chirocephalus Marchesonii live. The coral coloured shrimp swims tummy up and you may just be able to spot them. In the middle ages there were rumours that devils and ghastly spirits lived up here.

Dogana Loop – further away but well worth the drive – a long (15.5 kms) but easy walk with stunning views over Castelluccio, Monte della Laga and the Piano Grande. Halfway along the walk is the rifugio Colle Le Cese, where you can be refreshed or eat your lunch. Part of the walk is on the Grande Anello dei Sibillini and you will be rewarded at every turn with a new vista. A really beautiful walk with only one slightly steep climb just near the end.

Lama Rosse or Red Blades – take a hike up to these wonderful creations being eroded by the elements into cliffs and pinnacles. You will walk through thick shady woodland and may be mistaken for thinking you have wondered into the Middle East. The walk starts by the beautiful blue Fiastra Lake where you can bathe in the designated swimming areas. Dammed in the 1950’s the lake provides hydro-electric power.

From the Lama Rosse, you can also continue to the Grotta dei Frati, a small cave hidden away in the rocks.

Our favourite publication is Italy’s Sibillini National Park by Gillian Price, a very well written book which is clear and easy to follow and in English!

Walks can also be completed on showshoes, on mountain bikes or horseback.

Skiing & Stunning Sunsets Over The Sibillini”s

sunset2 We are so lucky to be experiencing the most amazing sunsets this winter. After an afternoon skiing, there is nothing better than driving home to these views.

The ski slopes of Maddalena and Sassotetto are really excellent for beginners and the larger run provides fun for the more proficient skier.

There is a carpet lift for children and beginners which is lots of fun for all the family.

Prices are very reasonable too:

For a morning during the week €10.00 or at the weekend €20.00

For an afternoon from 12.30pm €8.00 during the week or at the weekend €18.00

For a full day during the week €15.00 or at the weekend €23.50 And there are reductions for children too!

The carpet lift for beginners is just €5 per day, so perfect if you have never skied before and just want to give it a go!

Ski’s and boots can be hired up at Maddalena or in Sarnano before you go up the mountain. Have a sneaky prieveiw at the live webcam here For more information check out the Sarnanoneve website. For accommodation in the area just ask us here.

Hope to see you soon on the slopes!
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Maddalena Ski Lifts and Piste
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Looking Down From The Top!
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The Restaurant & Bar at Maddelana
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Having Fun on the Slopes
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Looking Towards Amandola
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The Sibillini’s at Sunset
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Just Stunning!