An Italian journey through beauty and food

When we landed in Le Marche we were met by this sign, it made me smile as 2 good friends just moved out there, bought a farm house and the longer we stayed the more true the sign seemed, and perhaps this is right..

The landscape is breathtaking, like something out of a movie, great time of the year to come as green hills and mountains meets the eye. Grapes growing on the wine, olive groves full of green trees with the promise of a good crop, broadbeans and peas not too far off. All sun-kissed in Italian heat willing everything to grow in an abundance. However it was the light that struck me as so amazing, softer still brighter and should invite painters to try to capture the landscape. There are mountains everywhere with walled towns clinging to almost every peak, each one with its own structure, butcher, barber, baker, bars – anything you need for your every day life.

Within 20 minutes you can be in the mountains and on the ski slope, 20 minutes in the other direction takes you to the Adriatic sea with long sandy beaches, perfect for a day at the sea

 

The house that they bought reminds me of the River Cottage in Dorset, embedded in a valley on a slope, embraced by green pastures with fluffy sheep happily grazing, kept under a watchful eye of the shepherds.

The food is no less stunning, excellent produce with wonderfully complex flavours but is cook with a delicious simplicity that allows each flavour to come through,

The economy is like a micro economy, everything is locally produced and locally sold, most of the people we meet has their own little olive grove and after having taken the olives to the local olive press they have a supply that will last them to the next harvest. The same goes for tomatoes, making your very own passata and fill bottle after bottle that will bring the taste of summer even in the coldest winter evenings. Food is at the centre of everything and there is nothing better than to gather around a leisurely long lunch. Even at the coffee shop there is room to eat a tiny cake or a fluffy croissant, wonderful

We made our own pasta for lunch, bought wonderful pecorino cheese from a lady who did them herself in a part of the house, and yes it was possible to smell the cheese even down the road! But the taste was just wonderful. We bought local salamis, ham, freshly made mozzarella, lemons, made limoncello so strong just smelling it was intoxicating!

Should you  go to the Marche region? It is Italy without all the tourists, stripped genuine where life is not about reading the last e-mail the same second it comes through, keeping up with the 260+ people you are following on Twitter, your friends on FB, this is about life, taking everything as it comes, drive an hour to see a friend for lunch as it is too hot to work anyway. A place to enjoy life, a place to eat!

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