Le Marche, a small region in Central Italy, is a land to be discovered and to marvel at. From the backbone of the mountain range the land gradually and gently slopes down towards the sea; the visitor is taken in by the charm of a landscape that sweeps serenely and beautifully over a wide spectrum of rolling hills. Along the way, dotting the countryside or standing guard along the hillcrests are ancient hamlets and Medieval fortresses that have been perfectly preserved; you’ll fine wondrous works of art in the many museums chock full of history, you’ll be amazed by the numerous 19th –century theaters. The secrets of these people, who live simply and love all that is natural, are revealed in their day-to-day fare: wine, olive oil, pasta, cheese, excellent fish, the multitude of food and wine excellencies! Verdicchio & Conero News is now entering into its fourth year of existence and is ready to open a new page dedicated to promoting food and wine tourism along with cultural tourism in the land of Verdicchio and Rosso Conero. We are ready to begin and happily looking forward to facilitating and supporting any requests coming from either single individuals or organized groups, both nationally and internationally. What we have in mind can include visits to producers, tasting sessions/classes, an introduction to our best food products, short cooking courses, seeing how top quality products are made in an olive oil mill or pasta-making facility, cultural events, itineraries of various kinds to Medieval towns, art and architecture tours and different combinations thereof. We can offer special, tailor-made packages to satisfy specific interests, tours that go beyond the ordinary tourist itinerary, to allow you to get a real feel for the most authentic aspects of our territory spanning from the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea, by way of the marvelous hills in between. For additional information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The new Florida? Le Marche
John Williams came to our region with Catherine and their two children for a vacation. They fell in love with the place, bought an old farmhouse in the hills, complete with olive grove, and decided to stay. Now, Williams has told his story to AARP The Magazine (www.aarp.org) and they’ve just published an article in the current issue that singles out the Marche region as one of the five “best places to live abroad”, a nice spot to live a quiet life. He had this to say: “The Marche region has everything: coast and mountains, vineyard-clad hills, theaters, valuable works of art and architecture, open-air opera festivals in the summer, good healthcare facilities, a moderate cost of living, and excellent food”. Then he concluded his description of the Marche, musing that the region could become a retirement destination, sort of a new Florida. Just a few months ago, actor Dustin Hoffman was chosen to promote our land through the verses taken from Infinito by Giacomo Leopardi, poet and native son of the Marche region. Like so many others, Hoffman, too, was mesmerized by our Medieval hamlets and villages so perfectly preserved, enchanted by the city of Urbino, considered a ‘pearl’ of the Renaissance, smitten by the tidy patchwork of cultivated fields and rolling landscapes of hills gently tumbling from the mountains to the sea. Our people have been accustomed to working in silence for centuries and we know that, at times, it would seem that they are parsimonious even with words so as to seem somewhat harsh of character. Actually, the Marchigiani reveal a great richness of character instead, in their very honest, simple and spontaneous nature which is generous and without pretence. In recent years we have seen a steady flow of foreigners who have chosen to live here in the Marche, people who have come from Northern Europe; now we wonder, is it the Americans’ turn? Well, then welcome! Our people generally don’t go looking for the thrill of new things, preferring to remain anchored in the security of daily life, continuing to prepare their food by hand, hanging on to those small cottage industries… but, certainly, are always ready to open their doors to offer their hospitality.
Direct line: Tokyo – Marche
The group arrived in late summer, expecting to find cooler, pleasant Autumn days, but they were greeted instead with still very warm and sunny weather, an extended summer season. The direct Tokyo – Marche line, inaugurated several years ago, continues to be popular and the transnational relationship is becoming ever more familiar and friendly. The visitors, accompanied by our collaborator Urala Oba, included people who are not only passionate about good food and wine, but who also love to work in the kitchen and learn how to prepare some of our most typical dishes. The tasks include learning how to make hand-rolled egg dough pasta and fashion tagliatelle noodles or filled ravioli, orecchiette from Puglia or passatelli from the Marche; they might also learn the secrets of stuffed, breaded and fried olives Ascoli-style or of the Tuscan pappa al pomodoro soup and much, much more. In the past, these groups have been able to participate in the olive harvest; this time, in addition to the not-to-be-missed trip to Portonovo for a taste of the local specialty, fresh mòscioli mussels, they also went to the area of Acqualagna. Here, they got themselves properly outfitted for a mountain trek into the Apennine forests to take part in a truffle hunt with specially trained dogs. Then, in the evening, the group came down from the hills to sit together at a table where they were served a steaming plate of tagliatelle, just waiting for a dusting of freshly grated truffle on top! Isn’t this the epitome of ‘Italian style’? Isn’t this the real image of our land – offering natural and artistic beauty right along with the “treasures” of Italian food and wine. Why don’t you try this, too, some time and you will immediately understand that this is what tourism of the future will be all about.
In the last decade they've arrived from England, Holland and Germany and they've settled in the Marche; they have come to be part of our world. They bring new ideas and, as there are more opportunities to get to know one another, new friendships are forged. Here is their story.
Thomas and Kirsten (Germany)
“We came to the Marche in 1997, looking for the right place to bring to fruition our idea of setting up our own winery in Italy. Some friends of ours had spoken to us about this region: ‘go and see it, you'll love it', they said. And so it was, we liked it here from the very start. Why do we feel so at ease? Obviously, the landscape is marvellous as there are mountains, hills and coast. Seaside resort life, agriculture, tranquillity… everyone can find what they are looking for here. There are small towns and ancient villages everywhere that are full of atmosphere and history; it is rare to find touristy kitsch. The cultural activities are infinite, on a small scale, perhaps, but quality offerings and people take part in their planning and creation. Maybe the secret lies in the human factor. It is visible everywhere: the towns are small, the businesses local and family-run, agriculture was and remains limited in size. What strikes us is the very strong tie that binds the people feel to their land. They enjoy the beauty and quality of life in the Marche and don't dream of finding a paradise elsewhere. Perhaps this is why you come across people who are open and friendly and who, not infrequently, surprise you with their poetic and philosophical streak”. www.serrasanmartino.de
Pieter and Susanne (Holland - Germany)
“To leave one's country is quite a challenge. Many Italians did so in the Sixties to find work in order to support their families at home. We, however, did have work in our country, interesting jobs in multinational companies. We came to Italy because we like all the things the native Marchigiani are so proud of, all things they call ‘nostrano', home-grown, from the food to the countryside, from the culture and climate and, last not least, the people, la gente. And the greatest gift for the two of us is to work and live together, day in and day out, and to be able to pass on our admiration for Le Marche to the many international tourists we welcome here at Borgo Belfiore. It has been four years now that we are in Montefortino, where we keep on learning and curiously experiencing cultural differences in daily life. We became acquainted with a lot of friendly local people, all willing to help and make our venture a success.
Come and see for yourself that the challenge was more than worthwhile –we stay put!” www.belfiore-italia.com