Wednesday, July 20

Podcast from Italy: Dirty Laundry, The Full Story of How They Fled the Country!



You asked for the whole story - so hear you go! In this very personal podcast, Jason & I share the unbelievable true story of selling our cooking in Italy. Two days after all the documents and contracts were signed at the notary (and legally binding), the “new owners” of La Tavola Marche fled the country on a plane back to the good ol’ U.S of A.!! They lasted 6 days in Italy. We were in total shock - not only did they leave without telling us but without paying either! It’s the stuff movies are made of.

We are back to share with you the trials, tribulations and joys & laughter of running a farm, inn and cooking school in rural Le Marche. To read more about this crazy story visit our blog: When life gives you lemons...Make the BEST damn Limoncello!

Listen on Podbean or download on iTunes: PODCAST FROM ITALY

Thursday, July 14

{VIDEO:} The Golden Fields of Le Marche, Italy


Here's a short little film I made along our country road outside of Piobbico in Le Marche - The golden fields are full of rapeseed or canola flowers. I hope you enjoy this lovely postcard of the Marche countryside:
(Be sure to watch in HD!)



Next up - the fields of sunflowers...


Saturday, July 9

Fall Gourmet Getaways to Italy: Craft Beer Tasting + Cooking Class + Market Tour + Mushroom Hunting



Spend a few nights this fall in the Italian countryside foraging for mushrooms, cooking by the fireplace in our rustic 300 year old kitchen, visiting the local Truffle festivals and drinking gorgeous reds from the region! Autumn is the perfect time to visit Italy, the crowds are gone and kids in school yet the harvest festivals are just underway! Here are a few of our popular 'gourmet getaways'- you can always stay longer! Hope to see you in the kitchen -


3 Night Gourmet Getaway

Arrive to our five course feast, the next day join the Chef & feel like a local on a tour of the hidden meat & cheese market of Apecchio (with a little porchetta along the way), a craft beer tasting & tour followed by lunch at the ‘hunter’s hideaway’ and on Saturday enjoy a half day cooking class including wine, meal & our custom hand-made apron! Includes accommodations. Price based on PESCA apartment (double occupancy). *Add extra nights if you'd like!!
SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER Arrive any Thursday departing on Sunday
 from 750 Euro/COUPLE




3 Nights & Fall Foraging

3 nights accommodation with breakfast, five course dinner with local wine, wild edibles walk & mushroom hunt followed by apertivi and half day cooking class (class includes meal, wine & gift apron). Includes accommodations. Price based on PESCA apartment (double occupancy) *Ask about including a TRUFFLE HUNT!!
SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER from 360 Euro/person

Don't forget about our 6th Annual Forage Slaughter & Butchery Course 25-30 OCTOBER 2016!


CONTACT:
info@latavolamarche.com



Monday, July 4

Set in the Forrest, A Fairytale-like Gathering for the Madonna of Peace | Local Italian Traditions


We have lived along this dusty, suspension testing 'strada bianca' for nine years now, 6 km of 'threading the needle', keeping a watchful eye out for jack rabbits, porcupines, boar and deer (and even one year a pack of roaming wolves), passing more ruins than cars and literally going over the river and through the woods to get home. However, this stretch of hole-ridden crushed rock or  breccia has taught us many things - from where to forage, how to change snow chains like a Formula 1 Pit Stop Crew, to making our world smaller when refugees moved in and then there was my brush with death (rolling the car off the road) that taught me to be so thankful for everyday we live here! But I think the most profound lesson has the meaning of neighbour & feeling part of the community - no matter how far along via Candigliano they may live, we share it's common bond & the bizarre bragging rights that come with it.  


So I was incredibly excited that for the fist time in all these years I was able to attend the very special and sacred festival celebrating - what I call La Madonna di Candigliano. Tucked away behind one of those quintessential Italian countryside ruins, follow the worn path into the woods and you will find the sweetest surprise -



I have visited here many times before walking our neighbours dog, hiking with friends and even showing brides locations for possible ceremonies. I've always been drawn to this spot - it makes my imagination go wild!

Passing five stations or stories along the way, as a close-knit family we made our pilgrimage to the holiest spot along via Candigliano.






This year celebrated 20 years since the discovery of the ruins that marked a forgotten madonna. A young couple while wandering in the woods found the remains of the holy spot marked by soldiers in 1947 who returned home from WWII thankful to be alive and living in this beautiful place. They named it Madonna all Regina della Pace - the Queen of Peace. (I call it Madonna of the Candigliano Valley). Each year, the numbers grow as locals venture down this long dusty road. They gather to pray under the shade of old oak and acacia while babes sleep in their fathers arms, sheep baa and hymes are sung in accapella with the cicadas on percussion.

Passing five stories of miracles along the way, as a close-knit family we made our pilgrimage to the holiest spot along via Candigliano.



Like a scene from a fairy tale set in a magical forrest, the colorful handcut flags fluttered gently above the farmers & country folk..it was so peaceful. I grew up a good Catholic girl but have not gone to church religiously since I was in school - but let me tell you, if every mass was outside, under the trees immersed in nature - I would seriously reconsider. It was a beautiful thing to be part of.


And in classic Italian tradition - when we gather, we eat! It was a shmorgusborg-potluck of homemade crostata (jam tarts), home-cured prosciutto, homemade pecorino cheeses and local wine served on a long makeshift table in a clearing of the trees.


 I could hear whispers as I passed "Ca'Çamone"(the name of our house)..."L'Americana"... "Ca Camone"... it made me so happy to finally get a chance to celebrate this beautiful spot with those that it means so much more to than I could imagine. These are good people that were born in this town, will live here simply for their lifetime without wanting any more, and will happily passaway in the very same village where it all began. I would easily say 40%+ of these people here were related - cousins, siblings, great aunts, grandchildren - it's comforting in a way. I like traditions. And yet again, good old via Candigliano has brought me closer to my neighbors & deeper connected to this beautiful land.



Editing a short film about it all now...!!

Tuesday, June 28

Summer in Italy: Pizza Night, Cooking Class, Market Tour & Craft Beer Tasting


Take advantage of the Euro-Dollar exchange and book your last minute trip to Italy this summer! Join us at our farmhouse for 3 nights and a real taste of local life!

Arrive to our legendary Thursday Pizza Party, the next day join the Chef & feel like a local on a tour of the hidden meat & cheese market of Apecchio (with a little porchetta along the way), a craft beer tasting & tour followed by lunch at the ‘hunter’s hideaway.' Saturday enjoy a half day cooking class including wine, meal & our custom hand-made apron! 


The Details:
Arrive any Thursday departing on Sunday
 until the end of August. = from 720 Euro/COUPLE
Includes accommodations. Price based on PESCA apartment (double occupancy)

Book Now: www.latavolamarche.com or contact info@latavolamarche.com

Enjoy a bit of that mouthwatering porchetta...Here's a look at where we stop!

Saturday, June 25

When Life Gives You Lemons...Make The Best Damn Limoncello!



Ciao tutti - It’s Ashley and Jason, your friends from La Tavola Marche. Mamma mia, we’ve got a story for you!

Well, that was quick! Two days after all the documents and contracts were signed at the notary (and legally binding), the “new owners” of La Tavola Marche boarded a plane back to the good ol’ U.S of A.!! (Seriously.) They lasted 6 days in Italy. We were in total shock. It’s the stuff movies are made of. Obviously there is a LOT more to the story but the bottom line is:


When life gives you lemons, you make the best damn limoncello! Jason and I did not want this to be the end of La Tavola Marche. So the choice was easy - we are proud to continue the farm, inn and cooking school we founded in 2007. If anything, this process has rejuvenated our passion for sharing with you the good life we have cultivated here in Le Marche!

We are filled with ideas for new classes and events- a food & photography workshop is already in the works!

The sad part is we thought we found a couple that shared our work ethic, passion, entrepreneurial spirit and integrity to continue what we started; unfortunately that was not the case. We definitely learned a valuable lesson naively thinking we could trust a handshake deal made while sitting at our kitchen table.

Owning a B&B is not a holiday, it’s a life of quality that comes with a lot of hard work. It can be risky & scary at times, and not for everyone. Moving to a foreign country can turn your world upside if you are not prepared. More than physically, you must be mentally strong.


This big old farmhouse has been good to us for the past 9 years - we’ll keep her happy and do our best to keep her filled with happy & hungry guests!

It’s time to unpack the aprons and sharpen the knives because we are back and ready to rock it again!

Home Sweet Home!


Visit the updated website - we hope you join us in the kitchen!

info@latavolamarche.com 

*****

And just incase you were looking for the Best Damn Limoncello Recipe - 
here you go!







Sunday, June 12

The BEST Gelato in Italy: Maki



Congratulations to our friends Paola & Antonio at Gelateria Maki - they have won another big artisan gelato competition in Italy, Gelato Artigianale Festival di Agugliano! Featured in almost every top international travel, food and even fashion (Vogue Italia!) magazines - this is not just any icecream!

 



 Gelateria Artiginale Maki is a darling gelato shop in the heart of Fano (a quaint fisherman's village along the Adriatic) where it's owners passionately and at times painstakingly churn out handmade gelato in the most innovative and delicious flavors! This is not a fussy fancy place where they try to outdo themselves with strange concoctions just to be different or hip but a family run business that enjoys challenging themselves and using local traditional recipes like ricotta and viscole (a local cherry) alongside exotic flavors of cardamon and curry. And amazingly it all works - even their beer sorbet!

It's light & clean - meaning you don't need a glass of water after - it's made the way gelato should be, absolutely perfect!


Gelateria Artigianale Makì 

Piazza degli Avveduti, 1
Fano
(Le Marche) ITALY


Monday, March 7

Podcast from Italy: Interview with Villa Cappelli in Puglia


 We always joked that we live 'off the guidebook grid' here in Le Marche and if that's the case - then Puglia is the Wild West, yet to be discovered! 

This week's podcast is an in-depth interview with Villa Cappelli owners Steven & Paul. Away from the tourists in one of the most beautiful undiscovered Regions in Italy, we hear from two American expats about life in Puglia, their favorite local recipes and restoring a centuries old villa! 

 
The property is just stunning especially how they have paid homage to the history of the house. Getting married here would feel like you a straight out of an old film, tucked away in your own little borgo (village) and swept away by the old world charm of it all!
 
 The couple also produces olive oil and wine and we delve into the infamous olive oil scandal happening in Italy!! (Do yourself a favor and hop over to their site and pick up a liter or two of their beautiful Extra Virgin Olive Oil - it's the real deal!) 

 
For more on Villa Cappelli listen to Paul & Steven's podcast - Living Villa Cappelli - available on iTunes.  www.villacapelli.com

 
Thanks for listening!!!
 PODCAST FROM ITALY: #88-Interview with Villa Cappelli
available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Wednesday, February 17

Introducing the NEW Owners of La Tavola Marche




Drum roll please....we are excited to finally announce the NEW owners of La Tavola Marche (farm, inn & cooking school), Tony & Danielle.  Jason and I have no doubt that you are in good hands - from their kind hearts and big smiles to the amazing food they will share & more than just being 'hospitable' they instantly make you feel like your hanging out with old friends, lingering at the table long into the night!

2016 will be a year of exciting changes not only new owners but a NEW location in Le Marche as well!! Jason and I will be working closely with Danielle & Tony to help ensure a smooth transition from sharing recipes to painting walls and starting a new garden - we'll do it together and share the journey with you here! You will see still a few posts from me here and there thru 2016 but soon Tony will take over and you'll get a chance to read their story of moving to Le Marche and the local traditional food they will cook.

Get to know the new owners...
Tony and Danielle came together with a shared love for adventure in travel and an appreciation for the people, customs and the foods that are unique to the places they visit. One of those places was Le Marche, Italy and together they have decided to become a part of the fabric of this region.

Danielle’s passion for cooking comes from her father who loved preparing food for family and friends. As a chef and a teacher, Danielle has been involved in the kitchen, catering and event planning for 15 years. Her engaging, warm hearted, happy nature allows for Danielle to connect with others and share all her experiences through food.

Tony grew up in London and moved to the US to play soccer in college.  Living two such diverse cultures at a young age, Tony found it enjoyable to welcome new experiences.  Throughout his career over the past 25 years, Tony has been able to connect with new people and places.  During these travels, he has grown a love for wines and the artisans who create them, and continues to learn about their varieties around the world.  Combined with his magnetic and easy going personality, Tony is always the perfect host with a great sense of humor!

Danielle and Tony are excited and ready to welcome everyone as they embark on their new chapter at La Tavola Marche. Send them a note to say CIAO! and welcome them to the family info@latavolamarche.com 


 


Monday, February 1

Innovative Study Abroad Program for Filmmakers & Photographers


I was asked to share a bit of information about this incredible study abroad program and couldn't help but want to go myself!


Alt Studio is pleased to announce the inaugural year of its alternative study abroad experience. Taking place this summer in Lucca, Italy, this intensive five-week study program will allow students to learn photography and film making from leaders in the field; all while using Tuscany’s culture and beautiful landscapes their muse.

Focusing on still and moving imagery, Alt Studio Tuscany features one-on-one instruction in an intimate group setting limited to just thirty students. With weekly classes, critiques, screenings and travel to nearby Tuscan destinations, students are completely immersed in Italian culture, enabling them be immersed in the rich and timeless surroundings of timeless beauty. Courses include digital video, photography, sound for video, and Italian Cinema History. Each Friday students will travel to destinations such as Siena, Florence, Bologna, The Gori Collection, and Rome where they will document their experiences as part of their coursework. Sounds incredible!!





John Murphy, the program’s creator hopes to transform the participants, "I want to share with my students an experience unlike any other: to work and create in Tuscany. Through Alt Studio, participants will be able to learn from my dear friends, who happen to be exception l professionals in their fields, while completely immersing themselves in Italian culture. Living and working in Lucca, and exploring and documenting Tuscany will be one of the best summers a creative young person could ever have. To spend time, a small part of one's life, shooting in this charmed land will change any artist forever. I know it changed me forever.”

In addition to being inspired by living and working abroad, students will have the opportunity to learn
from accomplished working-professionals in relevant fields. AltStudio’s faculty have been nominated for Academy Awards, worked on projects for The Discovery Channel, History Channel, A+E, and have had work published in New York Times, LIFE Magazine, and The London Sunday Times. 

The Details; 
ALT STUDIO
The program will start on May 31, 2016 and end on July 10, 2016.

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