Generally I don’t have bookings for guided tours in February: for me, February is dedicated to making videos, writing on my blog and exploring Italy. When Pino must head off somewhere to view a restoration project he might possibly take on, I join him.
Stunning landscapes are guaranteed on any jaunt – as well as a tasty lunch of local cuisine (which varies all over this peninsula). I often explore the nearest town, visiting historic monuments, while Pino inspects the prospective job site.
A recent destination was Sarnano, a charming Marches town we’d visited many times before. Along our route, the majestic, powerful Sibillini mountains spread out in the distance….
, ….and small, medieval towns clung to hillsides, their church bell towers rising like sentinels:
Before meeting the technician and inspecting the prospective job site, we headed to a favorite area restaurant, La Marchigiana, for lunch.
Just outside of Sarnano, the restaurant flanks a hotel and conference area and the owners also have other hotels in the town of Sarnano.
As we headed to our table, we passed other diners enjoying the goodness.
Many were enjoying the grilled meats cooked in the huge open fireplace, a specialty of La Marchigiana:
After taking our order, server Aisa opened the local wine Pino had ordered, while young co-worker Flavia, armed with tongs, grilled meats in the open fireplace just behind us:
Our oldest son, Keegan, met us in Sarnano (and would be checking out the building project with papa’) and the two of them chatted about the project as we lunched:
Keegan opted for the coratella for his antipasto: a favorite central Italy antipasto of lamb innards….
…while I chose the roasted potatoes…
Pino ordered the antipasto misto which includes various brushchette
…as well as that marchigiano specialty, olive ascolane (“olives in the style of Ascoli Piceno”, i.e, stuffed large green olives):
For my primo piatto, the ravioli stuffed with a cream of chickpeas and topped with slivers of pecorino (sheep’s milk cheese) intrigued me and simply had to be my choice.
…and Keegan chose homemade fettuccine with a sauce of wild boar:
Pino preferred a secondo rather than a primo: a variety of grilled meats roasted in the fireplace.
(You’ll see more of Ristorante (You can view our feast – and meet the people – at La Marchigiana on the video I made).
After lunch, we headed to nearby Sarnano:
Pino and Keegan went off to view the prospective job site while I enjoyed a read in the small park near the entrance to this gem of a marchigiano medieval town:.
Magnificent views all around:
As I strolled the park, a colorful peace sign caught my eye:
As I drew cioser, I saw that it had been formed by dozens of mlti-colored crocheted squares, all sewn together.
Who had made it?
Just behind the peace sign – knitted white doves of peace perched in the center – I noted the huge hotel bordering the edge of the park,…..
….and as the hotel door was open, I headed over there to ask about the origin of the colorful “peaceful creation”…
The hotel – Hotel Le Terme – was one of five owned by the family proprietors of the restaurant where we’d enjoyed our lunch. . I went in and asked the young woman at the reception desk about the pax (peace) outside the door, across the road.
She told me that during COVID lockdown, the woman of Sarnano had symbolically united, sewing the colorful squares.
One knitter’s chirpy dove of peace with orange beak and claws will be a cheery welcome to you on your visit to Sarnano.
Do head there soon,
See my video on Meriggio, also in the Marches region,
Read here about olive ascolane – and how to make them
Click here for a coratella note – and recipe.
Read here about another Sarnano trip
Read here about nearby San Ginesio, another Marches region gem.