Thursday, July 31

A Slightly Smaller Footprint in Flight

Airplanes produce some of the largest amounts of CO2, but here is a way to make your next flight a little greener...

Carbon neutral flights entail spending money on carbon offset programs to make up for the carbon emitted into the atmosphere during your flight. These projects help offset your/our unavoidable emissions. Sites also included carbon emission calculators & carbon neutral programs for the home, your car & travel.  It's kinda cool & scary!

Visit a site like & help offset the carbon emmissions from your flight - it's simple & really not expense only a few extra bucks. For example a flight from London to Ancona in Le Marche will cover 2,936 Km and produce 0.4 tonnes of CO2 or from New York to Rome 7,483 km & 0.8 tonnes.  You can then donate to different charities, new technologies or other projects and save the same amount of CO2 as your flight produced!

A great carbon calculator and travel carbon camparison guide can be found on TerraPass. TerraPass carbon offsets fund clean energy and other projects that result in direct, measurable reductions in carbon emissions.

Other carbon calculators: (and there are tons more sites out there - just google it!)

Carbon Neutral

Green Awards

Despite all our best efforts we will all still emit some Co2.  By supporting these projects you remove Co2 from the energy cycle, and help to create sustainable development for local economies. Just trying to become a more responsible traveller & citizen, we can all do our part.

Monday, July 28

A Medieval Celebration

In the medieval village of Piandimeleto, the noble family Oliva used to celebrate the glorious knights returning from valiant battle with sumptuous banquets, performaces of acrobats & skill competitions among archers, who, before their Lord competed with pride for the honor of the Palio flag.

Each year the town celebrates and fills the streets with merchants, artisans, musicians, artists, comedians & of course food! The scents, colors & flavors of history fill the air to make for a wonderfully magic celebration!

The artisan vendors in medieval costumes lined the hay covered streets selling handmade goods from baskets, shoes, spices & linens to hand blown glass (they were firing & blowing glass right there on the street - we had to buy one!)

The royal court watches over the festivities - fire eaters, medieval fighters (with swords!), court jesters, merry music makers & then there were the horns & drums - ahhh the drums - that sound - you think of Robin Hood (or at least I do), ancient battles... it just makes your imagination go wild, because as much as costumes & re-enactments are fun - you know they are townsfolk of today - but there is something in the music that has not seemed to changed, as if it were the same today as it ever were-marching you straight into battle or celebrating a victorious return!

We made a huge-small mistake before we left the house - and ... we ate dinner! This turned out to be a mistake because the smells of 'the medieval table' wafting through the summer night smelled ohhhh so good, we weren't hungry & Jason was totally pissed at himself. We'd see others passing with huge trays heavy with food...not to worry - we just ate 2 dinners! Crostolo con salsicce - A type of flatbread with grilled sausages (so simple, so perfect) and a cold beer hit the spot!

It was a magical night (what?! - it was! complete with fireworks) - reminding us of times forgot - or those only in the movies.....

Tuesday, July 22

Truffles, Mushrooms & More - Oh My!

It's not too late to book a totally unique & memorable holiday for the fall & you've come to just the right place! La Tavola Marche is proud to announce our Truffles, Mushrooms & More Package.

4 Nights/ 5 Days 
23 - 27 October 2008
30 October - 3 November 2008

The juicy details:

-Head into the woods for a truffle & mushroom  hunt (tartufi e funghi) led by a local & his prized dog, on our truffle rich property - both the black (nero) & the famed white (bianco) truffle are found here as well as numerous other species of mushrooms! 

-Cooking classes with lunch & wine- Master tiramisu, roll pasta dough into thin sheets by hand for ravioli and we will stuff our own sausages with the perfect combo of pork, wild board, salt & pepper - so simple yet perfectly delicious!

-Parli Italiano? Learn the basics, or at least how to order, with an Italian language lesson

-Four course feasts at La Tavola Marche with vino & dinner out at other fantastic local osteria's & trattoria's.

-Breakfast daily

- Aperitivo's in the afternoon!

-Truffles! Truffles! Truffles! We will meet in Sant'Angelo in Vado at the National White Truffle Festival.  Specializing in the promotion of the precious white truffle. tastings, stands, arts & crafts, music, exhibitions & more - a lively affair!

All while staying in your very own apartment in our rustic country farmhouse!
For full itinerary click here.

Total per person 900 Euro
Based on double occupancy. Includes accommodations, all breakfasts, dinners nightly, 2 lunches, heating, house wine with all meals & classes at La Tavola Marche, classes, dinners out, language lesson & truffle hunt. Not including transportation.  First to book will receive top choice in apartment rental.  Small group limited t 10 guests.
Groups of 4 or more will receive a special rate.
Email for detail:

Limited to 10

Check out our recommendation in Truffle Paradise from The Owl.

Sunday, July 20


Ahh the summer flower, standing proud & tall - the sunflower, in Italian 'girasole' literally means turns by/with the sun. You can see the fields of yellow from far far away, up in the hills.  Take a trip down any road longer than a few kilometers and you are bound to find a field full of these vibrant flowers!  We've planted a line of them 2 dozen or so & they are coming up nicely! The main road to Urbino is full of sunflowers, the backroad too - pull over & take a pic, hell, you're in Italy literally stop to smell the flowers!

Pizza Feast

Last weekend we had a pizza fest for 20 guests! Jason served up a delicious spread of 10 different summer antipasti and then fired up the outdoor oven for pizza.
A new friend Mirca taught Jason his age-old family pizza recipe & it was a hit! Mirca is a pro and in no time we had dough rising, pizza flying, and full bellies! That is until the winds changed and the rain came - biblical rain poured down as everyone was eating outside - we all ran in for cover & to save the food! 
I just kept thinking, this is straight out of a movie! We turned the music on inside & let the good times keep rollin'  served dessert - a marscarpone & peach filled torte  - the rain passed, we headed back outside & the guests back in the pool!

Check back soon for the new pizza dough recipe....and the marscarpone & peach torte!! hmmmmm' good!

Friday, July 18


Here are some recent pics we thought we'd share - taken from the hill behind our house - we've got a fantastic trekking path that leads past the mineral water creek, up a nice hill & then along the crest, back down into the woods & off towards Sant'Angelo. 
(above: the mountain in the back with the antenna is Monte Nerone - seen throughout almost all of the Urbino area)

The views are amazing! I can't believe you wonder into our backyard & this is what you find!
It's about 30-35km taking the trekking path into Sant'Angelo with a climb of 615 mt.
(Mineral water spring near the start of the path by the house)

Thursday, July 17

Christmas in July!

Well it's official - we need to write a book! 
Yesterday while we were cleaning apartments, we got an urgent call from a friend saying Jason must meet him on the backroads because he had something he must give us today.
As I was washing windows waiting for Jason to return, I got a funny feeling that I knew what he was headed to pick up... Twenty minutes later I heard him honking the horn up the driveway with a huge smile - oh we had a gift for sure!

HALF A DEER - freshly shot last night
Right after we checked out the goods (the deer) we knew we had to buy a freezer immediately!!
This thing was not gonna last in the fridge long. (We have a professional fridge that is massive but no freezer up to this point- read: no gelati at the house or ice or deer for that matter!)

So Christmas did indeed come early because we not only got a deer, but also a freezer AND FINALLY a dishwasher!!!!!!  
(We have been washing dishes by hand -and with lunches & dinners for upwards of 22 - you spend A LOT of time at the sink)

After we got back from our shopping spree Jason butchered the deer, picking out the buck shot. Man we really do live in the country!! But we sure are lovin' it!

Ho Ho Ho - thanks St. Nick for the deer!

Friday, July 11

La Tavola Marche a Truffle Paradise

In "Rafael's Effortless Grace" The Owl  tells the story Rafael's homeplace of Urbino, a bit on a local delicious cheese AND... recommends La Tavola Marche as a perfect place to stay for a  truffle holiday in "Truffle Paradise" - take a look:

"If you would like to go truffle hunting, head to La Tavola Marche, a pleasant farm on over 500 acres of picturesque rolling hills just 15 miles southwest of Urbino.  The famed black truffle is found on the property and if you visit in the fall, you can taste its unique flavor.  The surrounding wooded areas are perfect for excursions to gather wild berries, delicious wild mushrooms, or even participate in the search of fragrant truffles under old oak trees with the guidance of an expert truffle hunter.  
The young American couple that run La Tavola Marche knows everything about the gastronomic pleasures of the region.  They will cook for you, take you shopping in the local markets, direct you to the best wines and cheese of the region, and if you wish, give you cooking lessons."
- The Owl July 10, 2008 Volume 2, Issue 27: Rafael's Effortless Grace

Not bad if I do say so!
The Owl is a e-zine newsletter for those who seek more knowledge, background & content than the travel guides in your local bookstore provide.  More than a mainstream guidebook with a list of where to go & what to see with phone numbers and the nearest pizza place - if you have a passion for the art of travel-travel in the classic sense- a yearning to uncover the mysteries brushed aside by tour guides, then treat yourself to a free subscription to The Owl.

Monday, July 7

Frassasi Caves

We recently went on a day trip to The Frasassi Caves in southern Le Marche. After 2 hours in the car we entered a completely different world of stalactites & stalagmites!
The caves are open to the public year round & a constant 62 degrees, accompanied by a guide for about an hour.  It's incredible & nothing like anything any one of us had seen before! Experience the beautiful upside down world, made of breath-taking scenery, rich in extraordinary geological creations - the only sounds are the drips of water that bring the constantly changing complex to life!
Pictures just do not do justice!  The subterranean complex of the Frasassi Caves extends for 30km on 8 different geological level, being one of the largest and most fascinating caves in the world!
The caves are hidden in Genga (Ancona) in the heart of the Natural Park of Gola della Rossa and Frasassi.
Next time we are taking the red tour - booking ahead for a 4 hour 
guided exursion into the caves- you get suited up & head off the tourist path & deep into the caves!! I can't wait! For those curious travellers out there you can take the easy tour  that is about an hour long,  for those a bit more adventurous join an expert guide, there is the blue tour for 2.5 hours & for the hard-core take the red tour for 4 hours of climbing, descending, crawling & more)
info: reservations with one week notice to phone +39.0732.90090
(miss ya meg!)

Just another great reason to spend your next holiday in Le Marche!

Wednesday, July 2

Eco Beaches of Le Marche

Le Marche has been given 15 Blue Flags, the prestigious international award given annually to well-kept beaches across Europe by the Foundation for Environmental Education as a gaurantee to tourists that they are visiting one of the best beaches in the world.  Le Marche ties with Tuscany for the highest number of Blue Flags for any region in Italy!

The ever important "eco-label" is given to beaches that meet strict criteria including water quality, environmental management, safety and other services.
The region's towns with Blue Flag beaches this year are - from north to south - Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia, Sirolo, Numana, Porto Recanati, Potenza Picena, Civitanova Marche, Porto Sant'Elpidio. Fermo-Lido/Casablanca Marina, Porto San Giogio, Cupra Marittima, Grotammare and San Benedtto del Tronto.
Thank you Marche Voyager for the Summer Newsletter keeping us up to date on Le Marche!
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