CiaspoLOVERS — Snowshoes walks in Sibillini & CO.

ciaspole umbria le marche abbruzzo

Good-winter-morning!

Time to check the wardrobe for snowy outfits & … CIASPOLE!

Yes, I mean…we are ready for some winter sport with SNOWSHOES, a camera and a hot spiced wine glass (funny kind of phisical activities mines!)

Sibillini mountains are finally snow covered so there is no better time of the year to enjoy our central Italy mountain-side 🙂 through Le Marche and Umbria.

Choose your itinerary or (why not??)… let’s do them all!

ciaspole - snowshoes- sibillini1. ON APPENNINI ROOFTOP

A snowshoes walk (CIASPOLATA, as we call it) above Castelluccio di Norcia (PG) upland, from Val Canatra’s woods to Pian Piccolo severe glimpses. Million of different itineraries and views to choose, depends on the level of snow, weather conditions and … day-mood!

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 ciaspole- snowshoes- Le Marche  2. CIASPOLATA UNDER THE STARS

At deepest night…counting stars…in Castelluccio di Norcia.

Actually, an experince beyond emotion.

castelluccio di norcia umbra le marche

Senza titolo-2c     3. WALKING IN SNOWY WOODS

“La Macchia Cavaliera”, a legendary name for a mistic and beautiful forest, above Pian Piccolo and Castelluccio’s landscape… are you up for adventure? 🙂

sibillini - umbria - marche

ciaspole in sibillini   4. SNOWSHOE WALK IN USSITA

A walk through idyllic landscapes and cocoon-like forests, till Monte Bove’s 500 mt side. With a hint of luck you could also see chamois and eagles.

ussita - le Marche

ciaspole - snowshoe walking    5.ON WOLF’S TRAIL

Animal lovers…who’s afraidof the wolf?! Here is the perfect itinerary for those who enjoy following footprints with snowshoes. This time through Ragnolo fields.

WOLF FIASTRA MACERATA

ciaspole - snowshoes- sibillini  6. PRATA PEAK, SIBILLINI’S BALCONY

A balcony on the heart of Sibillini mountain chain. Breathe pureness and enjoy the amazing view on Monte Vettore group, central Appennini and Castelluccio. (Remember to take a picture!)

monte prata

ciaspole in sibillini   7. SUNSET ON RAGNOLO FIELDS

OK, stars or sunset..breathtaking anyway 🙂 A different saturday night, walking through snow covered Ragnolo fields accompanied by first stars.

RAGNOLO SUNSET

ciaspole- snowshoes- Le Marche  8. CIASPOLATA ABOVE THE MOUNTAINS

An ring-shaped itinerary and you don’t need to be an expert to survive! You will reach Monte Coglia and the amazing view on Fiastra lake (from above!)

fiastra - le marche

ciaspole - snowshoe walking    9. SEEKING LENTIL

There is a big treasure hidden in Castelluccio’s upland… We are determined in discovering and then eating it! Let’s join the expedition!

LENTIL IN CASTELLUCCIO DI NORCIA

Enjoy snowy weekends in Central Italy!

Keep Following °v°

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 🙂

ancona

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

candelara

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/

fermo

6 DECEMBER- 6 JANUARY, FERMO

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

gradara

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/

macerata

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/

urbino

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

4-5-6 JANUARY, @ SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO

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 🙂 )

osimo

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

tavern

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!

Umito-Marche-Italy

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

Umito-Marche-Italy-woods

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.

Umito-Marche-Italy

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°

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).

eating

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!

pumpkin

threebicycles

The taylor’s bicycle…

taylor

The cooper’s bicyle…

winebicycle

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

barberbicycle

We end with the roast chestnuts’men…

chestnut

… 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/

leguminaria

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 sautĂ©e with olive oil and onion. Now pour the pork rind in the sautĂ©e, 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!

lentils

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”.

roccaccia2

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

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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.

roccaccia6

By the way… we haven’t seen her!

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

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roccaccia8

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)