Of a love story & a Monsters’ Garden in Bomarzo

bomarzo crooked house monsters garden

“There was a rich man, a very rich lord, living in a big house surrounded by green woods just outside little village of Bomarzo (Viterbo province).
The rich man had a fervent imagination and used to make long walks in the garden near the big house bringing with him adventures’ books of nymphs and mermaids, of dwelling giants and horrific marine animals, of far away lands, so far from the big house and unknown to him.

bomarzo parco dei mostri theatre

The rich man had a wife, a very beautiful lady, who loved gardens and flowers. He loved her so much. Unfortunately, one day she got sick and died.
The rich man was inconsolable and a veil of sadness covered the big house till he stopped crying and decided to honor his beloved in the only way he knew: with fantasy. The rich man decided to turn the big house in a “Wonders’ Villa”.

ogre bomazo monsters park
He called the most important sculptor of the region and ordered him to full the house’s park with statues from imaginary worlds and bizarre constructions never seen before. Once the artist finished the work, the rich man addressed the unreal garden to his wife and kept walking across the park remembering her with nymphs and goddesses.”

bomarzo nettuno parco dei mostri

I think handkerchiefs are needed at this point!

Actually no one knows a lot about the inventor of Bomarzo marvellous park, prince Orsini, but for sure, only a beautiful love story as this one could have brought to life this unique and unreal garden, the Monsters’ Park of Bomarzo (or Sacro Bosco).
It actually seems a nineteenth-century version of a fun fair! Despite the fact that instead of roller coaster we have the crooked house, and in place of horror houses there are giant monsters here and there! Not even water games are missed! Fountains, small lakes and streams flow all over the garden guarded by nymphs’ statues.

dwelling giants bomarzo garden

The prince actually succeeded in living us gobsmacked for astonishment!
A surreal place where, asleep under the musk, among climbing ivy, animals and mythical creatures seem still alive, like petrified from a spell, waiting to be waken. And stories tell also ghost of prince Orsini uses to come back here for a walk among his imaginary friends.

dragon bomarzo giardino dei mostri

Look a lot like Xmas!

christmas markets in Le Marche

Santa’s almost at the door (or fireplace!), snow has already whitened mountains’ peaks so… Xmas season has finally come!

Time to get ready! Wrapping presents in gold paper with big velvet ribbons, print the labels(here’s our favorites…and free: http://www.threelittlemonkeysstudio.com/santas-special-delivery-printable-gift-tags/ ), writing festives wishes while “jingle all the way”‘s playing…

But…WAIT! We just miss a thing…PRESENTS!!

Keep calm! Here’s a list of Xmas markets you could not miss, where to find dreamy-cutie-useful-original-handmade-perfect Xmas gifts!

So put on scarf & gloves, arm yourself with a take away mug of hot chocolate and chose your perfect Xmas itinerary in Le Marche region! In our map all the appointments you could not miss, keep reading below for more infos 🙂


6-24 DECEMBER (from 9 am to 10 pm), @Piazza Pertini (ANCONA)

Find the traditional Xmas market in the heart of the city. Even if you’re  a Xmas presents’ latecomer you can make last minute shopping on Xmas’ Eve! Looking for something special? Visit the VINTAGE market open from 20 to 24 December in Piazza Roma.

27-28 DECEMBER, @ Corso Garibaldi (ANCONA)

Antiques lovers’ this is the last appointment of the year…Time to make a present for yourselves 🙂 and , (why not?) find amazing vintage accessories for New Year’s Eve.

More info here: http://www.anconatoday.it/eventi/natale-in-ancona-6-dicembre-2014-4-gennaio-2015.html


One of the most evocative Xmas market in Le Marche, province of PESARO-URBINO.

The little town of CANDELARA hosts till 14 DECEMBER a candles’ festival, switching off artificial lights in alleys (at 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm), creating a unique, intimate and very old-time atmosphere. Of course there’s a candle & Xmas’ stuff market through the medieval center… breathe Xmas magic 🙂 For kids also Santa’s laboratory and the snowy alley!

Find out more http://www.candelara.com/



Welcome in Le Marche Xmas town! A whole events’ calendar for all Xmas tastes which includes markets, concerts, shows…Have a look here and find your favorite: http://issuu.com/fermoturismo/docs/fermo_citt___natale?e=14469716/10345756


Is there a best place to enjoy a romantic Xmas rather than Paolo & Francesca’s castle in GRADARA (province of PESARO-URBINO)?

For these holidays (from 6 DECEMBER to 6 JANUARY) the medieval town turns into”Little Santa’s elfs village”: winter tastes such as vin brulè and chestnuts, tombola for adults and kids but the best part is ( hold on tightly literature’s lovers!) a walk through the village and the castle with live actors playing Paolo & Francesca’s drama ! Book the walk and find more info here: http://www.gradara.org/

For those who do not know Paolo & Francesca dramatic love story: http://www.gradara.org/storia-di-gradara/paolo-e-francesca/


A various Xmas market: from handmade, to vintage, through decorations! 14 and 21 DECEMBER, @MACERATA (http://www.ilbarattolo.com/mercatinodinatale.html)

Santa’ll be waiting for kids to mail their letters in Borgo Ficana @ Santa Village! Do not be late! http://amanuartes.jimdo.com/


Till 6 JANUARY 2015 (every week end) in URBINO, is the perfect occasion to shop at the Xmas market and also visit this beautiful city that’ll also host @ Palazzo Ducale, Leonardo da Vinci’s paint “The beautiful princess” (“La bella principessa”). Tickets and info: http://www.labellaprincipessa.it/

s benedetto


First appointment of the year with art & history, addressed to all antiques’ lovers! It’s gonna be a sweet Befana (even though you’ve received coal 🙂 )


After hot chocolate, shopping, chestnuts and god-knows-how-many-others-sweets…time for sport! In OSIMO center the iceskating rink is waiting! So put on silver skatings (times and cost at http://www.comune.osimo.an.it/absolutenm/templates/?a=1578&z=4) and if it’s not enough….more events here 🙂  http://www.comune.osimo.an.it/absolutenm/templates/default.aspx?a=1543&z=49

Have a holly jolly Christmas & see you out there (I’ll be the one with hot-something in hands!)

Cicerchia please! (more about “Le Marche in legumes”!)

At the beginning there was my grandma…”

All stories about our territory traditions almost start all alike, also this one, talking about a poor legume, “La Cicerchia”, tasty but with a hard peel, survived through years in this Marche area, in province of Ancona.

Ok, if you do not have idea of what “cicerchia” is, my suggestion is … just taste it!

Mix it with a hint of medieval atmosphere inside the walls of Serra de’ Conti town (Province of Ancona), add some traditional music played by street musicians…and this wonderful plate is ready to be served!

serra dè conti

The inhabitants of the town set up a festival, opening all cellars and basement in the medieval alleys, introducing this legume in a huge variety of recipes and (no need to say!) accompanied by a glass of new wine!

traditional music


No way to miss this event! We were there to catch the atmosphere and collect some recipes for you! Be aware: try them with the “real” cicerchia, the tiny and tasty one, not the big and insipid variety you usually find in supermarkets. For more info about where to shop go at http://www.labonausanza.it/

recipe cicerchia and mushrooms

Ingredients (for 4): 300 gr tagliolini (long fresh pasta, similar to “tagliatelle”), 200 gr cicerchia, 250 gr mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, pepper, onion, parsley, celery, smoked bacon, salt.

Preparation: boil cicerchia in hot water with onion, parsley, celery and salt. Dry it from water and then pass everything in the vegetable mill to obtain a mash (purèe). In another pot, sauté mushrooms with garlic and pepper. When they’re almost ready add smoked bacon in pieces and pan-fry for a minute. In the meanwhile, cook in boiling water “taglioni” pasta, drain them and mix with cicerchia and mushrooms. Mmmmmm!

serra dè conti

recipe cicerchia salad

Ingredients (for4): 160 gr cicerchia, 1 onion, 1 carrot,1 celery, “santoreggia” leaves (an aromatic plant you can substitute with thyme leaves), salt, pepper, olive oil.

Preparation: first soften cicerchia leaving it in cold water for at least 8 hours, changing the water 2 or 3 times. Then take away the peels from the legume. Boil it in hot water for 40 minutes. in the meanwhile cut into julienne strips carrot, onion and celery and dress them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add some thyme or “santoreggia” leaves. Drain cicerchia and, till is still warm, put it on the salad and mix the vegetables. Easy&fast!

Write & comment for any question!

Keep following picus °v°

Le Marche through the curtains of the waterfall!


We started our journey at the borders of Le Marche region (Italy) looking for “Volpara falls” early in the morning with 3 degrees…BRRRRRR!!

But it totally worth it! So…follow the arrow this way!

Umito-Marche-start In the heart of “Gran Sasso & Monti della Laga” National Parc, from the little town of Umito, we followed a path thrown into a “Lord of the Ring” scenario with green moss on big rocks and red leaves’ carpet. Seems only white elfs where missing (or maybe we haven’t noticed them!). volpara falls marche


Getting deeper into the beech forest you find lots of little rivers and falls easy to ford (and very very adventurous!), or abandoned caverns from local sheperds who also used to make traditional woodpiles at path’s borders.


woods-Parco nazionale del Gran Sasso e dei Monti della Laga-Italy volpara-falls-marche Here we are! Volpara falls and their tipical sandstone slipways…mind the wet flor & have a nice (and earned!) pic nic! Keep following Picus! °v°

“Tagliere” sweet ‘n sour!

pickin' upAutumn doesn’t mean just chestnuts&leaves, that’s why today we talk about persimmons! We made a huge harvest this year and now we’re ready to make a super APERITIVO sauce!!

Get a glass of white wine, cheeses on a wooden cutting board (“tagliere”) and prepare this quick and easy sauce!

Ingredients: 2 persimmons, extra vergin olive oil, a hint of chili, salt.

persimmons' sauce preparation

Now you’re ready to taste it…and spread it among your friends! Yummy!



When we were going to work by bicycle…

Take a fall weekend,montefano

take a little medieval town in central Italy,

take lights, cobs, oranges and pumpkins everywhere… and good food (…we could never miss!)…

and welcome at “Autumn tastes’ festival” (Sapori d’Autunno) in Montefano (MC, Italy).


We have eaten as many chestnuts as we can (here’s a proof!),  and drunk a lot of Vin Brulè (hot spiced wine) plus a lot of local specialties while walking through an amazing show of old professions’ bicycles.

When there where no cars, each artisan must use his full equipped byke to ride through the town offering his services!   Barber, taylor, cooper … just chose yours!



The taylor’s bicycle…


The cooper’s bicyle…


and now the barber’s and the doctor’s ones..


We end with the roast chestnuts’men…


… And we hope you enjoyed the ride!  °v°

Legumes’ nights!

Who loves legumes?!appignano

Here find some recipes from Appignano, Marche legumes’ town, that last weekend hosted Leguminaria (“Legumes in the air”), a festival to rediscover this rural area’s traditional foods and professions. Legumes, a poor food that farmers and artisans use to eat in this region, are the protagonist of this 3 nights’ festival.

We walked through cellars, tavern and tiny alleys eating lentils, beans and chikpeas in handcrafted ceramic bowls (“le cocce“) made by local artisans. (…the best part is that you can keep them with you at the end!)

le cocce

Take Marche’s taste at home trying these traditional (…and easy…and good!) recipes we collected for you!

Find out more at http://www.leguminaria.it/


recipe beans and pork rind

Ingredients:  onion, pork rind, salt, celery, carrot, olive oil, beans previously soaked in water (at least for 15 hours), tomato puree.

Preparation:  soaked the beans in water for at least 15 hour, wash them up and boil them in hot and salted water. Clean and wash carefully the pork rind, then boil it in hot water till it becomes tender. In the meanwhile prepare a sautée with olive oil and onion. Now pour the pork rind in the sautée, add 2 or 3 spoonful of tomato puree, celery and carrot in bits. Salt and let it cook till it becomes a dense soup. Finally add the beans and let them cook for anoher 10 minutes. Serve it hot, pouring a drizzle of olive oil and toasted bread…Enjoy!

soup in coccia

recipe lentils' soup

Ingredients:  onion, pork sausage, salt, celery, carrot, olive oil, lentils previously soaked in water (at least for 2 hours), tomato puree, garlic, a white wine’s glass, pepper.

Preparation:  chop up onion, garlic, carrot, celery and sautè them with olive oil. Then add sausage and lentils previously soaked in water (at least for 2 hours), salted and boiled for 20 minutes. Cook it up, mixing and adding white wine. When wine will be evaporated, add tomato puree and water in the pot till the lentils will be covered up. salt znd cook for an hour keeping the pot covered. Finally, if you want, raise the flame so that the soup will become more dense. Add an handful of pepper, a drizzle of olive oil in each plate and serve with toasted bread…Buon appetito!


chikpeas brothIngredients:  onion, rosemary, salt, olive oil, chikpeas previously soaked in wa

chikpeas brothter (at least for 15 hours).

Preparation:  soak the chikpeas in salted water, at least from the night before (15 hours). Drain them and put an hint of bicarbonate.  Then beat them carefully, immerse them in a pot with lukewarm water and rinse them. This operation must be repeated at least twice. Cook them in anotehr pot with clean lukewarm water adding garlic, salt and rosemary. Serve with a little branch of rosemary in each plate, a drizzle of olive oil and toasted bread…Gnammy!

For any question or curiosity….comment below! °v°

Wandering at fall’s beginnings

A perfect afternoon itinerary … THE Perfect Afternoon itinerary!

10 minutes from Treia (MC), in the heart of Le Marche, there’s an easy panoramic path to the castle’s ruins of “La Roccaccia”.


A tower and few walls … enchanted deep green and red surroundings in this period of the year!



An air of mistery lingers in these ruins … the bloodthirsty master of these lands, Grimaldo di Aurelio, used to plunder and fire these lands, kidnapping the poor farmers in the castle’s basement.

roccaccia5That’s the origin of a lot of legends like the one  talking about a mysterious weaver and her gold loom in the castle’s dungeons.


By the way… we haven’t seen her!

Only birds, an astonish view and the first autumn colors! °v°



Wrapped in lace

A silent place.

An empty one. Where you can see dust through sunlights from the spare windows.

And lace evrywhere, when you look up…like those women’s dresses in old family portraits.

Tiny but full of beauty: the altarpiece, portraying “Cardinal Gallo”,one of the many cardinals the city of Osimo gave to the Vatican State under its supremacy, painted by Giuliano da Fano.

The “SS. Sacramento Church” ought its name to the same Cardinal Gallo, who decided at the end of XVI century, to move here the namesake “Sacrament Confraternity”.

Enjoy this silence…

ss.sacramento church (2)

ss.sacramento church (1)