Wednesday, April 30

Spring in the country-

Le Marche is just lovely in the spring - enjoy the pics!

The main house- Agriturismo Ca'Camone

Cherry blossoms on our fruit trees

A field of poppies

Flower market in Urbania

Furlo - the gorge

Slow Food Salumi Festival in Cagli

Welcome to Cagli & Distinti Salumi hosted by SlowFood!
We headed to Cagli last weekend, only a 20 minute drive from our Agriturismo, for the annual Distinti Salumi, the National Review of Salume (Salt Pork), the most famous meeting of Taste dedicated to the national handicraft of cured pork meats of quality.

We sampled the day away!
Guests/good friends staying with us from Washington State - Patti & Ben (along with
her sisters family) joined us for the afternoon for the pork fest.
We sipped local wine (not for sale, just for friends), ate tons of pork fat & even saved room for a little gelatti! Jason enjoyed the museum of antique meat slicers, grinders & scales!

There were "workshops of taste," a "courtyard of salt" and a "square in feast!"
Next year mark your calendar for your chance to taste many artisan meats, choose your favorite salumi from all of Italy in this little town of Cagli!

Monday, April 21

Networkn' with people passionate about Italy

Modern Italian Network is a great place to meet like minded lovers of all things Italian! Share stories & pictures of your trips, favorite recipes, learn about Italian politics & culture, even RSVP to events in the States that you can participate in! They have a great monthly newsletter sent via email as well to keep you in the loop. Check out the shout out to us on their April newsletter!
Join the Modern Italian Network today!


Another fantastic day trip from our Agriturismo Ca'Camone in northern Le Marche is Mondavio.  Take the Via Flaminia to Mondavio - you will pass through delightful rolling hills & medieval towns like Fossombrone!

The striking fortifications (above) stand out from miles away.  You will start to recognize this architecture in northern Le Marche (Cagli, Mondavio, Sassocavaro, etc.) all built by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, one of Italy's most celebrated Renaissance military architects. 
 The fortress now houses a slightly creppy/funny "living museum" with wax dummies portraying life when the Rocca was built at the close of the 15th century for the family of Duke Federico da Montefeltro.

Check out the super cool trebuchets or catapults - you can even move them & climb into the buckets!
It won't take long to stroll around the town, enjoy a drink, gaze out at the view & wander to the shaded park near the square, it feels like its straight out of a movie!
And return back to Ca'Camone just in time for dinner!

Tuesday, April 15

Baffi (Whiskers) and her fat belly...

I have to start this off with a bit of disclaimer - I never was a cat person before always preferred dogs-big funny dogs, but you can always change right?!  
We decided to start adding animals to the mix recently. Neither one of us has ever had a cat, but since they are outdoor animals here, we thought what the hell a cat is a simple start - or so we thought...
We went into Piobbico 6 days ago looking for a vet or a cat shelter & we met a man on the street who took us to the pub & introduced us to Maurizio (this man is hysterical with the wildest eyebrows & ear hair I've ever seen!) "He is the man with many cats" we were told. Once hearing we were interested in one of his "gatti" he lite up & told us to get into our car & follow him to house - so we did!  He cooed over her - "bellissima gattina, i lunghi baffi, ahhh bellissima e grasso!" (beautiful little cat, long whiskers, ahhh beautiful & fat!" And she was! We took home our little white fluffly fat cat (not much older than a kitten).
We kept commenting on her tummy - is she fat? I liked it! Meagan didn't think it jiggled the way her super fat cat's belly does & Jason was convinced she was preggers!
Well yesterday everything was answered (except who's the baby's daddy)- and Jason was correct! Midafternoon she got into a basket in the outdoor kitchen & started giving birth- Four kittens were delivered in all (sadly one was stillborn). But the other 3 are doing fantastic! We kept thinking - one day we need to get her a friend - well now she has her hands full with kittens!  I must say it was pretty incredible for us to watch her give birth - We had no idea what would happen next - so I'd run into the house & google search "cat labor what to do", run back out & report to the troops! The mamma did so well, for a teen pregnancy she was a pro!
So the family grows.....spring is in the air!

Sunday, April 13

Citta di Castello

We took a trip into Umbria recently to visit Citta di Castello after many recommendations from friends.  A nice drive only about 35 minutes through the Appenines & into another Region.  
The town is surrounded by a huge wall from the 16th century.  
Citta di Castello sits in the Tiber Valley, with a long history, as it's where the Romans founded the township of Tifernum Tiberinum.

A wonderful spot for a day trip from Agriturismo Ca' Camone & a nice evening stroll! 

Wednesday, April 2

Frog Race with Wheelbarrows - Palio della Rana

This is hysterical! Every year, the Sunday after Easter Fermignano celebrates its independance from Montefeltro in 1607 with the Palio della Rana - Frog Race. Everyone is dressed in classic medieval costumes - they all look incredible!
There are falconers, music, fireworks, tons of food, ancient craftsmen and a parade through town with lords & ladies, knights, flag bearing attendants & dramatic drums!
- there is even an air show!

Young men run wheelbarrows through town each with a single frog on it. The runners represent the five districts of the town.

If the frog jumps off, you must stop pick him up & keep on running.
There is a town medical specialistic that examines the frogs before & after the race to make sure they have not been tampered with. Oh yes- this is taken very seriously!

During the race fried & porchetta-style frogs legs are available to munch on!
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