Central Italy travel articles
The sea off the Marche coast is especially rich with crustaceans and all types of squid, shrimps and cuttlefish. Brodetto is the most typical dish and, as the name suggests, is a type of soup made from the left overs and unwanted scraps that couldn't be sold in the market.
Traditionally, it was the daily meal for many workers in the ports and was considered a complete meal. There are four types of brodetto corresponding to the different fishing localities in the region - 'Ancona', 'Porto Recanati', 'Fano' and 'San Benedetto del Tronto'.
Essentially, the main fish caught in each town is the prime ingredient in the local brodetto. We have been informed of a new fifth version called 'brodetto delle Marche' which has aspects of each of the other four. If you are wondering where the best brodetto originates from, then Porto Recanati claims to be 'king of brodetto', but locals will differ.
In the UK there is a tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent begins. According to the BBC’s food page, the custom originated in order to use up ingredients, particularly eggs, that were given up for the Lenten fast. In Italy Carnival is the pre-Lent celebration with feasting that goes well beyond pancakes. For the rest of the year, the Garfagnana is the place to go for pancakes, which are usually cooked over a fire between testi, two circular plates of steel. Necci are made from chestnut flour, water and olive oil and cooked between flat ceramic ‘stones’ or testi.
'Dove la natura è spettacolo' or 'Where nature is a spectacle' is the hook used by the local Abruzzo tourism authorities to promote the territory around Scanno in the province of L'Aquila. The area is practically all the Alta Valle del Sagittario and is topped off by the Lago di Scanno at almost 1000 meters above sea level. Two small towns are located either side of the lake; Scanno itself and Villalago.
A short history of Abruzzo should first make it clear that the region is located at the extreme north of the south of Italy. It has always been a wild land and suffered from constant instability due to its geographic position. The original inhabitants were the Sabines and Piceni in the north, the Equi and Vestini in the centre, and the Marsi, Peligni and Frentani in the south.
La Tuscia is full of Etruscan rupestrian tombs. There are so many that local archeologists feel it is safe to say that this zone was probably the centre of the Etruscan civilization when at its height. Compare this to the geographical center which many have pinned to Murlo in the province of Siena, Tuscany. You may have visited the Necropolis of Cerveteri, but we especially like Castel D'Asso a short drive from the Termi dei Papi near Viterbo.
Located in a country famous for its coffee culture, Rome offers some of the best cafés in the world. If you find yourself in the Eternal city any time soon, be sure not to miss some of our favorite local places to get a caffeine fix.
Via dei Condotti, 86
No visit to Rome would be complete without a visit to the famous Caffé Greco, renowned for its reputation of attracting artists, intellectuals, poets, and musicians since the days of the Grand Tour. The décor of this elegant café reminds one of a Viennese tea room, while its romantic history will conjure up images of penniless bohemians endlessly scratching away in a corner. Before going, be sure to take some time to glance at the café’s website, which offers a more in-depth description of the many prominent figures that often frequented the café, including Keats, Shelley and Byron, among many others.
This dish featured in the 'Chef Secrets' activity of Taste of Roma and we were invited to try it ourselves in the company of Chef Daniele Usai of Ristorante Il Tino, Ostia near Rome. It was a fun hour of cooking in a show set up. The image above is the final product by Chef Daniele himself, while you have to get to the end of our short video to see how it turned out for us. It may not look the same, but it was just a delicious!
Tenuta Lupinari is a country house, luxury bed and breakfast, self catering holiday apartments and working farm, all set in an enviable panoramic corner of the Val d'Ambra in Tuscany.
If you haven't heard of the Val d'Ambra, then that may be because it sits in the province of Arezzo, just 4km outside of the formal Chianti wine making zone and home of the black rooster. It is, however, a zone preferred by some of Italy's most illustious names and boasts one of the regions best Polo Clubs.
Maison Petrosa is cozy and rustic bed and breakfast accommodation near Caramanico Terme in the National Park of the Majella. The exact location is the tiny hamlet of Riga which overlooks this wonderful thermal spa town in Abruzzo just 4 kilometers away as the country road winds its way to Demetra.