Trattoria Vino e Cibo

This little hidden Trattoria and the meal we had there, wasn’t just a highlight of our recent trip to Italy, it was the best fish place I ever visited so far. Had we not been taken there by our dear friends we wouldn’t even have found it, let alone tried it. But we were so glad we visited this place, because here is where we had our best food moments.

Trattoria Vino e Cibo turns out to be a delightful tiny restaurant (very few seats) where you can taste the real cuisine of the Marche. The décor of this place is nothing out of the ordinary, even a bit tired. But don’t go there for the interior, go for the cooking and great wine!

The menu is unique and varies day to day. It all depends on what is caught at the nearby harbour. There’s no table top food menu, instead the owner comes over to the table with an A frame board, where you get to read the days creations. (Talk about locally sourced produce and reducing your carbon footprint! Seems they’re doing it right in Italy, you catch what you catch and eat what you catch. They’re not trying to meet quotas for supermarkets)! Ambiance is very cozy and the service is splendid and friendly.

We also had a local white wine, which we all loved, completely different from anything we’d ever tasted, so many different layered flavours. Often wines we buy in the UK will make me sneeze, like an allergic reaction, maybe because of certain sulphites or preservatives. This Italian wine, nothing!

We trusted our Friend who is local to this area with the food choice and everything he choose was amazing.

Pane e scombro

Pane e scombro

Tartar de Tonno

Tartar de Tonno

Cannocchie limone e rosmarino

Cannocchie limone e rosmarino

Seppioline ripiene al forno

Seppioline ripiene al forno

Rombo al forno con pendolini, olive e basilico

Rombo al forno con pendolini, olive e basilico

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Trattoria Vino e Cibo

Via Fagnani, 16

Senigallia, Italy

Monastero di Fonte Avellana

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We’ve just come back after short but lovely break to Italy. Without mentioning the food, one of the highlights for us was a trip to Monastero di Fonte Avellana, a  Roman Catholic hermitage in Marche region. It is truly a peaceful place with a few well preserved buildings and the natural surroundings are beautiful and tranquil.

The location is a bit remote and, I have to say, driving on the road up to the monastery was a bit adventurous and not very enjoyable. Both my sister and I felt a bit ‘fragile’ after reaching the top, however, soon after we were rewarded with the most stunning views, spectacular surroundings and authentic hospitality.

Apparently, you can stay there over night on a sort of B&B basis, but some people (like us) are coming here for hiking in the mountains, especially this time of year it is absolutely beautiful.  The only regret we had is that we could not stay longer.

I loved the harmony and peace of Fonte Avellana and thought that we must come back to explore more hiking trails in the area, breath the clean mountain air and listen to the silence.

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Mark’s highlights included catching multiple Italian grasshoppers, a lesser seen green spider, and a very speedy lizard.

Before leaving we visited the store where you can buy different goods produced by monks whom live there, including herbal teas, bitters, sweets, creams, soap, and for more adventurous their honey liquor, which  has 90 percentage of alcohol!

We tried this bright yellow ‘paint stripper’ on our last night after a proper Italian meat feast. If you like Pernod Anise, maybe you’d like this. Very fragrant, very yellow and very very strong. The best way to kill off any seasonal cold germs!!!

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Secret Well

Hello, Dear All!

After a rather long break, I am hoping to recommence a regular service.

I was back in Italy for a while and lucky to visit some not very well known but extraordinary places, which I can not wait to spread the word about.

Not many people may know about the small but absolutely beautiful town of Corinaldo, located in the Marche region of Italy and province of Ancona. Maybe due to the fact that it’s tucked away behind an impressive and imposing 14th century city wide fortification?

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It is known for the birthplace of St. Maria Goretti and every year a festival is held to commemorate this occasion.  Also it is very popular during Halloween with the festival held every October. However, I was more intrigued about another story which brings fame to this place… The Well of Polenta.

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GB Bernardini, Editor of the Italian note book explains!

A local story from the 15th century tells of a peasant who was returning home after a hard day in the fields, carrying a heavy sack of corn meal on his shoulders. Upon reaching the top of Via della Piaggia, which is your typical hilltop town “street” consisting of 109 long steps, he rested the sack atop the well to catch his breath.

While he rested, the sack of cornmeal unfortunately toppled over and flew down into the well. The sack was big enough that he would have been able to feed his entire family for a long time with it, and so in despair, he lowered himself into the well to see if he could…

…well, here the story changes depending on who in town is telling it. Some say he tried to gather up the now wet polenta, some say he waited for it to swell up with water and then began eating it right then and there, some say he simply moped about at the bottom of the well. All agree he spent quite some time down there, and many add all sorts of fun endings such as much of the town lowering themselves down there too, out of worry for him, and joining him in the impromptu feast.

The story quickly became the starting point for the annual historical re-enactment of the Cinquecento “The Contention of the well Polenta” that now in its thirtieth year, is held the third Sunday in July and is the oldest historical re-enactment of the province of Ancona .

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