Enjoy your morning in Corinaldo

Come and join us as we shop, relax and swim in Corinaldo.

We usually go shopping for lunch and supper first before it gets too hot. That means you need to get into town at about 11.30 to give yourself time to go round all the shops before they shut.

What are we going to eat today? Well, we usually have a cold lunch, consisting of local foods: cured meat, cheese, salad and fruit, accompanied by the local wine and followed by coffee roasted in our province of Ancona.

Recommended by our caretaker's wife.

Recommended by our caretaker’s wife.

For supper let’s say that this evening we are going to have fresh pasta with salad followed by fruit.

First stop the fresh pasta shop in Via Cimarelli- you have to buy fresh pasta the same day as you eat it.

Fresh pasta shop exterior

You need to arrive in good time while there is still a good choice left.

Fresh pasta on display

Fresh pasta on display

Be careful when buying fresh pasta – as it expands a lot when you cook it, it’s not easy to judge how much you want. If, like us, you eat it as a main dish, you need to buy about twice as much as the shopkeeper recommends or explain that you are buying it as a “piatto principale”.

The fruttivendolo or greengrocer is in the same street as the pastificio. It is run by a charming and energetic young woman, helped by her mother. There used to be two ladies but one of them had to give up, because it was too much for her with her little boy. They sell local wine and cooked vegetable dishes – very good, we’ve tried them – as well as raw fruit and veg. Some of her suppliers are from the local area and she always takes trouble to choose produce that will be just what you want.

NB If you didn’t know already, choose a melon the way my mother taught me – by sniffing it. If it smells ripe, it is ripe. If it doesn’t smell at all, you need to ripen it. As for tomatoes, the Italians tend to buy them ripe for cooking and greenish for salad. I like my tomato salad very ripe, so I just ask for my tomatoes good and ripe (ben maturi). Although I like to buy local produce, Vesuvian tomatoes are the best, as you may already know, so if they are in stock I buy them. If you are thinking of doing a caprese, mozzarella and tomato salad, buy small ciliegini (cherry) tomatoes and use only mozzarella di bufala (buffalo), not local either and you’ll sometimes have to get it the supermarket, but never mind. Just get used to the guilt – I have.

About now it’s time for a break at a local caffè-bar. Follow the link for our favourite watering holes, the Caffè del Corso (they were serving lunch on Ferragosto, the big national holiday when everything closes), the Chiosco and the Osteria di Scuretto.

Osteria de Scuretto

Osteria de Scuretto

I am pleased to say that the courtyard of the Hotel Giglio, ex-Augustinian convent and part of the new Albergo Diffuso, is open again as a caffè-bar.

Il Giglio caffe

Because of its pleasing proportions, like the courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino, it is restful just to be there. But avoid the prosecco, which is better and cheaper elsewhere, and I would  recommend them to serve local produce, not crêpes.

Now it’s time to buy the cured meats. We like two shops; one is the Corinaldo Market, (open till 1.30 pm) now under new management but the food is still good and you get the same service. They also sell good, cheap local wine. The couple who own it used to run a similar, but smaller, general store within the walls near the church of Sta Maria Goretti. The shop is in a historic building with stucco decorations.

Corinaldo Market - general view of decorations.

Corinaldo Market – general view of decorations.

Corinaldo Market - detail of decoration

Corinaldo Market – detail of decoration

The other shop, also open till 1.30 pm, is a few doors down. It’s a general store-cum-butcher and they cure their meat themselves, using only salt and pepper, as the Signora told me. They also vacuum-pack, but charge a few euros extra for doing so.

Local prosciutto.

Local prosciutto.

There’s no need to buy prosciutto (air-dried ham) from Parma or San Daniele. Just ask for prosciutto vostrano, i.e. your local prosciutto, and you will have a good meal.

After all this shopping you might just be able to fit in a swim at the local pool (opens at 12 noon last time I looked) to give you an appetite for lunch.

Corinaldo swimming pool

Corinaldo swimming pool

Views from the pool.


Below is a typical lunch from local shops. The bresaola is served with rocket and parmesan. Salsiccia secca is a cured sausage that doesn’t need cooking.

Lunch with bresaola, salsiccia secca and local wine.

Lunch with bresaola, salsiccia secca and local wine.

You might always decide to have lunch in Corinaldo. The go-to restaurant, I Tigli, is under new management, part of the Albergo Diffuso, and I can’t recommend it until things have settled down a bit.

I Tigli dining room as it used to be - courtesy of their website

I Tigli dining room as it used to be – courtesy of their website

Tigli ex-dining room summer 2014

I Tigli ex-dining room summer 2014

The locals say the food at Scuretto’s (closed Monday) is good and cheap, and we’ve seen people enjoying their lunch at the Caffè del Corso, or you could have a full lunch at Armoguasto’s if they are open.

Armoguasto's Restaurant view from La Piaggia (the steps)

Armoguasto’s Restaurant view from La Piaggia (the steps)

Lunch at the 9 Tarocchi doesn’t often seem to be on offer.

After all that you need a sleep to freshen you up for the evening in Corinaldo.

Posted in Borghi dell'entroterra, Corinaldo, Food and drink, Holiday, Shopping, Where to eat | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Il turismo a Corinaldo/Tourism in Corinaldo: the Mayor reflects on tourism policies.

Informattiva Corinaldo Intervista a Matteo Principi, sindaco di Corinaldo.

Senz’altro i Corinaldesi vogliono creare un sistema che produca anche turisti felici!

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The “Annunciation” painted by Giovanni Santi, Raphael’s father

Annunciation by Giovanni Santi c 1490. Thanks to the Comune of Senigallia for the image.

Annunciation by Giovanni Santi c 1490. Thanks to the Comune of Senigallia for the image.

I am quite a fan of “dear old Mr Santi”, as the art historian Kenneth Clark described him, so I was keen to go and see this picture on display in Senigallia as part of the exhibition “La Grazie e la Luce” (Grace and Light). It is thought to have been painted to celebrate the birth, on March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation) 1490, of a long-awaited male heir, Francesco Maria, to Giovanni della Rovere and Giovanna Montefeltro,  niece of Guidubaldo  and granddaughter of Federigo Montefeltro, Dukes of Urbino. Young Francesco Maria was to be adopted at the age of 14 as his childless uncle Guidubaldo’s heir as well.

To my mind – or eye – the picture has all Giovanni’s charm and sweetness, which Raphael was to develop into something stronger and deeper.

The exhibition is on until November 2, so do go and see it if you can. Check the opening times! After that, Santi’s Annunciation will presumably return to its usual home in Raphael’s birthplace in Urbino, so you will still have an opportunity to see it.

Posted in History of Art, Renaissance paintings | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Englishwoman visits two Romanesque churches and finds a new restaurant

Why had we taken so long to visit the well-known Romanesque churches of Sta Maria a Piè di Chienti, and S Claudio al Chienti? Because the River Chienti is some way to the south of us in the province of Macerata,and it’s no fun driving down a two-lane autostrada which is being converted to a three-laner (that’s the long stretch between Ancona Nord and Ancona Sud) . The temporary lanes are narrow, the fast lane is populated by drivers of black BMWs exerting the Italian male’s birthright of driving his car at 160kph in the fast lane, and the slow lane is populated by Greek lorry-drivers who hoot at you if you brake or slow down to preserve life and limb.

However, a lorry-free Sunday came round and we had started to think that there are fun alternatives to reading and/or drinking Prosecco on the terrace. “Anyway,” I said, “I need something to put in the blog.” It has taken over from the children’s school Newsbooks as the dictator of our holiday activities. So we set off down the motorway, and then turned west along the superstrada (four-lane highway, toll-free) to Macerata through the pleasant valley of the Chienti, with hills rising on either side of the woods and fields of sunflowers, and the distant view of the Appenines which you can always see wherever you are in Le Marche. We passed a few gracefully symmetrical, tree-lined avenues , one of which was our road to S Claudio.

The road to San Claudio al Chienti

When we arrived we realised that a wedding

Wedding flyer


Fancy dress wedding flyer was soon to take place in the church, so we quickly popped into the lower storey and looked round the simple, harmonious interior while it was still practically empty.

Interior of San Claudio al Chienti; the wedding singer is practising.

Interior of San Claudio al Chienti; the wedding singer is practising.

SanClaudio interior directly facing altar

Love the flower arrangements!

To be honest we were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t get a proper look at the place, but this was soon outweighed by the interest of the guests’ arrival. Only one woman was wearing the sort of formal summer print that we English associate with weddings, and she looked most elegant in her simply cut dress. The other guests were wearing our idea of evening party clothes, or smart casual trousers and tops.

The girl in the  English style frock is second from left in the foreground.

The girl in the English style frock is second from left in the foreground


We waited patiently for the bride to arrive – the guests must have been getting very hot and uncomfortable, but they smiled on. And then –

Adjusting the dress

Adjusting the dress


Walking down the path to the church.

Walking down the path to the church.

Once all the guests had gone into church, we took the opportunity to wander round and get some proper photos of the church.

San Claudio al Chienti: west front

San Claudio al Chienti: west front


San Claudio east end

San Claudio east end

We also had a look at the upper storey, which seems no longer to be used for services, as it was empty apart from a lectern, a screen and a few chairs. I tried to climb the spiral stairs up into the turrets, but they were blocked off.

This quiet hamlet is also home to a Juventus youth development centre (I hope it is still operating, because I couldn’t find it on their website), which is located next to a little primary school. We saw an inconsolably disappointed little boy crying, presumably because his Juve heroes weren’t on view.

All this had taken quite a long time, but we decided to make for Sta Maria anyway, in the hope that it would be open. We drove along the strada provinciale this time, a quiet country road, and arrived in the modest settlement of Montecosaro Scalo, strung out along the road, and eventually spotted the turn-off to the right that led to Santa Maria. Not to our surprise, it was shut – closed at twelve and it was about five past. Several Nordic families of tourists were turning gloomily away. After wondering what to do for a few moments, I experienced a lunch-shaped lightbulb moment and dragged my driver/photographer off (he was a bit mutinous) on his least favourite pursuit – looking for lunch on Sunday in provincial Italy.

Having dismissed a few uninspiring and closed-looking places near the church, we drove to Montecosaro, the nearest hill town, and parked outside the walls. We walked under the arch of the old gateway and through winding alleyways and, just I was starting to despair and feel terribly guilty towards my driver, we saw a Hotel sign. I went in and asked about lunch – yes, the hotel had a restaurant which was open and a short walk away, under the Palazzo Comunale. By now it had started to rain, so it was with great relief that we arrived at the La Luma restaurant and were welcomed in. Our relief was only slightly diminished by the fact that we were the only customers, and by the sight of the prices on the menu – but there was no alternative and anyway the venue, a fine vaulted chamber,

La Luma dining room. Thanks to their website for this and the next three photos.

and the polite and professional waiter, who spoke excellent English, were inviting. Also there was quite a reasonably priced set menu, which turned out to be cooked and served with exquisite care and attention to detail, including the half-dozen or so different kinds of home-made bread and the free amuse-gueules or stuzzichini to start with.

We got chatting to the only other couple there, North Americans who were staying at Montecosaro for the Macerata Opera season. So, if you are visiting Le Marche for that, the hotel looked like a good place to stay with views over the hills and valley, and its restaurant is a good place to eat. The waiter offered to show us the wine cellar,

La Luma wine cellar

which was actually next door to the dining room, and we gazed in wonder at the pre-war bottles of French wine, and admired the table spread with the other goodies produced by the restaurant.

Fig “Salame” from La Luma

Jams from “La Luma”

We also spotted some interesting photographs on the wall – in fact the waiter directed us to this mock-heroic poem “A Morte la Minestra!” (To Death with Soup!), by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837), Italy’s greatest Romantic poet, according to the Oxford Companion to English Literature. He wrote these lines at the age of 11.

Poem: "La Minestra"

Poem: “La Minestra”

Literal translation:

Start up Helicon, O muse of song, And gird your lyre with a laurel crown, Now you are not to sing of heroes or gods, But only load Minestra with insults. Now you, Minestra, are the object of my verses, And to call you abominable gives me great delight.

O food, welcomed in vain by our human race! Food neglected and vile, worthy only of a humble peasant! [Leopardi was only 11 and a Count.] It is said that, when good, you resuscitate the dead, But the pleasure is worthy of those who really aren’t paying much attention.

So do we have to be dead to enjoy These benefits, which are said to be yours alone? Is there nothing for the living? Yes! everyone answers me; So go on and show me, if anybody can; But you are silent! Someone furious begins to speak; But we remain attentive and quiet, to hear: “Who can call a delicate food vile, Which is often the only restoration for a poor, sick person?”

It is true; but whoever may wish to be healthy, thank Heaven, Should leave such food for a poor unhealthy person! Don’t you think it’s a petty irritation every morning To have to force “nice light soup” down your throat?

The second poem we found, below, is by Giorgio Umani (1892-1965), poet, entomologist and lawyer of Cupramontana. He is also credited with persuading the German occupying commander not to execute his (Umani’s) fellow-citizens in reprisal for a partisan action in 1944; however, I can find no source or corroboration for this story. It may well be true – I’m just warning you!

Lines in praise of the Marchigiani  found at La Luma restaurant

Lines in praise of the Marchigiani.

Literal translation:

O Marchigiano, ant of Italy, you who eat for half a person and work for three,  who tighten your belt round your stomach and don’t stretch your hand out; O Marchigiano, the  poor relation of  every neighbour who accepts your corn, who judges  your wine worthy, and then passes by disdainfully on the other side; there is nobody to offer you a coffee, but everyone knows which is your door if there is a mouthful to enjoy at your home. O Marchigiano, subtle of intelligence, poor [?] in money and rich in talent, you pick up your paintbrush and your name is Gentile [da Fabriano], your name is Raphael, you sing, and your name is Gigli. However there is an art, which you, of the stock who gave you Bramante, who gave Spontini, Leopardi and Rossini, will never know: the art of selling your goods well.

You, where others push themselves forward, elbowing furiously, only know the art of standing aside, the art of being behind the scenes, always ready to give way, always prepared to cover powerful incomers with flowers. O Marchigiano, who, if will and understanding were money, would be born a banker, why do you mistake brambles for laurels in foreigners’ houses , you who have among your roses the most beautiful things in the world, the Conero and Portonovo, Furlo, Frasassi, the Ducal Palace of Urbino and the Cappellone [St Nicholas' chapel in the Basilica] of Tolentino? I say! but even the Blessed Virgin Mary, as soon as she in secret had glanced at the world, came home to Loreto!

Also on display in "La Luma"

Also on display in “La Luma”; note the signature.

After our excellent lunch we walked back to the car via this little theatre, one of the many with which Le Marche’s hill towns are blest.

Teatro delle Logge Montecosaro

Teatro delle Logge Montecosaro

We drove back to Montecosaro Scalo, hoping we’d be luckier this time, and found the church open.

Sta Maria (also known as Santissima Annunziata or St Mary of the Annunciation) feels very different from San Claudio.

Sta Maria a pie di Chienti west front

Sta Maria a pie di Chienti; the west front is a C17/18 addition.

The interior is larger, with two dark side aisles

Sta Maria a pie di Chienti; interior

Sta Maria a pie di Chienti; south aisle

an artificially lit central aisle

Sta Maria interior with C15 wooden crucifix

Sta Maria interior with C15 wooden crucifix

Sta Maria a pie di Chienti: altar with Annunciation figures.

Sta Maria a pie di Chienti: altar with the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she will be the mother of Jesus.

and somehow more confident. The upper storey is still in use for worship, and while we were sitting quietly there, a man approached us who obviously wanted to communicate something It turned out that he subscribed to the theory that San Claudio al Chienti, not the cathedral in Aachen, was Charlemagne’s burial place, and that the valley of the Chienti was the early medieval Francia. I’m not inclined to agree with it myself, as I think Charlemagne wanted to be buried in his home area. Anyway I have added the website to the list for interest.

So we headed home, replete with churches, food and poetry. You can always have a good day out in Le Marche.


Posted in Architecture, Churches, Romanesque Churches, Theatre, Where to eat | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Musica, teatro, storia, archeologia – la cultura a Corinaldo

Da Inglese ammiro la varietà e l’alta qualità degli eventi culturali che si svolgono a Corinaldo.  Da noi un paese da circa  5.000 abitanti non potrebbe offrire tanti e tali eventi. Ci siamo divertiti a due concerti, uno spettacolo teatrale, una vernice e una serata che ha unito un incontro e una visita guidata alla chiesa di Madonna del Piano – e potevamo fare di più! In questo post scrivo di solo tré, un concerto, lo spettacolo teatrale e la serata a Madonna del Piano.

Appena arrivati, ci siamo trovati nell’ ambiente splendido della chiesa parocchiale di San Francesco, ad ascoltare un concerto organistico.

L'abside della chiesa di San Francesco a Corinaldo

L’abside della chiesa di San Francesco a Corinaldo

Due musicisti polacchi di fama internazionale, un organista e una violinista, Roman Perucki e Maria Perucka, hanno interpretato, con bravura, musica dell’800 e 900. Un’altra volta, speriamo ascoltare gli organi del organaro Gaetano Callido (1727-1813) a Corinaldo, nella chiesa dell’Addolorata e nel santuario di Santa Maria Goretti.

È stato un piacere vedere la chiesa piena di gente e il parocco, don Giuseppe Bartera, che ospitava la serata. Per quanto abbiamo visto, don Giuseppe è sempre disposto ad accogliere spettacoli e conferenze appropriati nelle chiese della sua parrocchia. Infatti questo concerto ha fatto parte di un’iniziativa della diocesi di Senigallia per valorizzare il territorio. Cosi si può abbinare le bellezze delle chiese a bellezze culturali.


Due giorni dopo siamo stati presenti a “Antigone Assolo”,


a Madonna del Piano (Santa Maria in Portuno), chiesa altomedievale nella valle del Cesano. Mi piace viaggiare per la campagna buia, seguendo i passi dei Romani, per arrivare a questa chiesa parzialmente romanica nel mezzo della campagna, vicina al sito di un ponte o guado romano sul Cesano e una fabbrica romana di ceramiche. In questo luogo ricco di storia,  si svolgeva uno spettacolo adeguato all’antichità del sito: un’interpretazione dell’ “Antigone” di Lino Liviabella, compositore maceratese del primo Novecento.

Dopo qualche parola introduttiva dall’assessore alla cultura, Giorgia Fabbri, la narratrice, Maria Pilar Perez Aspar, ci ha raccontato la storia di Antigone, inframezzata di canzoni operatiche, dal mito della fondazione di Tebe fino ai nostri giorni. Ha legato il passato al presente, leggendo un articolo che descriveva i cadaveri degli immigrati a Lampedusa; un paragone implicito col cadavere insepolto di Polyneice, il fratello di Antigone. Maria Pilar ha osservato che occorre a noi, come ai Greci antichi, dimostrare pudore nella presenza della morte.

Questo spettacolo faceva parte della stagione teatrale di TAU, Teatri Antichi Uniti. Sono sempre cosciente che i Greci e Romani sono i proavi dei Marchigiani, e queste rappresentazioni non solo rendono vivo un aspetto rilevante della storia culturale; ritornano alla vita gli spettacoli che da 600 anni facevano piacere ai proavi dei Marchigiani attuali.

 Archeologia e storia a Madonna del Piano

Abbiamo potuto capire la storia e archeologia della chiesa, antico luogo di culto, un po’ più profondamente, grazie a una visita della chiesa e un incontro: “Alla ricerca del dio Portuno”. Tutto ciò che abbiamo visto e sentito ci ha rinforzato l’idea della continuità.

Visita della chiesa

Questa visita è una lezione di storia in sé. Sul sito della chiesa attuale c’è un luogo di culto cristiano sin dal VI secolo. Nel X secolo, sopra l’edificio antico, è sorsa un’abbazia benedettina con una chiesa da tre navate, mentre la chiesa odierna ne ha solo una, testimone alla diminuita importanza delle chiese rurali relative alle chiese urbane nel tardo medioevo. Il livello del pavimento odierno è molto più elevato di quello della chiesa romanica, come dimostra questa foto:

Si vede appena il pavimento della chiesa romanica sotto la base della colonna

Si vede appena il pavimento della chiesa romanica sotto la base della colonna

Sono stati reimpegati i materiali edilizi romani che si trovavano sul posto.

Capitello romano in marmo bianco dal IV-V secolo

Capitello romano in marmo bianco dal IV-V secolo

Questo capitello è di marmo importato dal Mar di Marmara – esempio di commercio internazionale 1600 anni fa.

Sono stati anche reimpiegati, nel muro settentrionale della chiesa, i laterizi romani usati nel fornace di età romana.

La chiesa conserva anche dipinti di vari stili:- da esempi del culto popolare come questo

LA MADONNA DEL LATTE, Artista Ignoto,  Affresco, Seconda metà XV secolo.

Affresco, Seconda metà XV secolo.

a un quadro tipico della Controriforma come questo.

Madonna del Piano painting and decoration - cropped

LA MADDALENA AI PIEDI DELLA CROCE di Claudio Ridolfi (Verona 1570 – Corinaldo 1644), Olio su tela, Prima metà del XVII secolo


Dall’incontro col professore Giuseppe Lepore ho portato via un senso della continuità, di cui sono testimoni silenziosi le pietre e mattoni della chiesa. Poi c’è l’antica denominazione della chiesa: “Santa Maria in Portuno”.  Portuno era il dio delle porte, dei porti e anche, secondo il professore Lepore, i guadi. Per i Romani ogni cosa aveva il suo dio; la loro religione primitiva e animistica sopraviveva, nonostante l’adozione degli dei olimpiani e quindi, non trascuravano il dio che regolava i luoghi importanti di transito. Sulle colline sopra la valle ci sono altri segni ancora più antichi di continuità: in contrada Sant’Apollonia nel 1922 è stato trovato un piccolo Kouros in bronzo del VI secolo ante Cristo, un oggetto di culto. Forse qui c’era un santuario legato al colle, o forse si venerava Apollo. Sul secondo proposito sono un po’ dubitosa, siccome la denominazione “Sant’Apollonia” risale solo al 700. Per di più, a  Monte Bonino, toponimo che indica un luogo di culto della Bona Dea,  è stata rinvenuta nel 1636 una tavola con dedica alla stessa dea. A proposito, nel rito della Bona Dea a Roma si è introdotto nel 62 a.C il famigerato Romano, Publius Clodius Pulcher, travestito da donna. Finalmente, a Monte Porzio una grande tomba, segno di un luogo vicino di culto, è stata ritrovata nell’ 800.

Amici viaggiatori, state attenti quando siete in giro sulle colline e lungo i fiumi delle Marche; le divinità antiche ci possono rimanere ancora. Offrite loro almeno una pensiera.

Posted in Ancient Rome, Archaeology, Architecture, Cultura, Dramma, History of Art, Romanesque Churches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Englishwoman celebrates with memories, flags and dancing

The 9 Tarocchi (Tarot cards) in Corinaldo is one of our favourite restaurants and on Friday 1 August they celebrated the 50th anniversary of their opening. The restaurant was founded in 1964 by a group of young people, in their 20s, I’d say, and we were privileged to hear a conversation, moderated by the mayor, among the various owners of the restaurant through time, particularly its founding fathers.

Sharing memories of I 9 Tarocchi

Sharing memories of I 9 Tarocchi. Fourth from left is the mayor, Matteo Principi, and on his left is Giorgia Fabbri, the Assessore alla Cultura (Portfolio-holder for Culture). Seated at the far right is the current owner.

I started to take notes and one of the group saw me standing and scribbling, somewhat awkwardly, on a piece of paper resting a high shelf. He kindly invited me to take a seat in the circle of speakers, so I had a special place. As your resident blogger I take my duties seriously, so I was a bit concerned that I couldn’t follow everything they said. (I hope this was being recorded for the benefit of future generations.) They weren’t using pure dialect, but I think there were lots of local turns of phrase. Also we had missed the beginning. I must admit we assumed it wouldn’t start on time, not being either a football match or Mass.

I was particularly impressed by the enthusiasm with which the founders spoke of their early days and the fun they must have had. The restaurant started as a simple tavern for the young Corinaldesi, a welcoming social centre. I also got the impression that, having flung themselves into the venture with youthful enthusiasm, they had then had to cope with the realities of finance. One of their number was the administrator who had kept them on the straight and narrow. One problem was that they didn’t have a licence, so they simply acquired one from another local osteria. Perhaps not surprisingly, that osteria isn’t there any more!

There followed a wide ranging conversation with lots of laughs. I’ll pick out the reminiscences of Signora Chiara, the widow of Fausto of I Tigli Restaurant. Their move to I 9 Tarocchi was a big step for them and an important part of their family history. They opened without many changes at first and attracted lots of people, mainly out of curiosity. There was no pastrycook then and they had their pastries delivered from Senigallia. They may have come from (relatively) far but they went down well with the local ladies. Rather than being just a bar/caffè/pasticceria, they opened a kitchen and a pizzeria. At first their customers were local lads, then local ladies and gentlemen, then people from out of town and passing trade. Although there was a bit of initial prejudice because Fausto was from Senigallia, the couple found Corinaldo welcoming and soon the Corinaldesi grew to esteem and like Fausto.

At this point a former waiter intervened to say that he had worked with Fausto for some years and Fausto had been like an elder brother to him.

There was general agreement that though times had changed, the place hadn’t. The mayor asked if the restaurant was more for locals or tourists, and the current owner, who has been there for 10 years and really values serving original and well-cooked dishes, thought that in the summer there were more tourists. In his final remarks the mayor observed how important it was to give young people a space and to put one’s heart into one’s work. He added that the evening had been a good example of the vivacità (liveliness) of the Corinaldesi and how they like to joke.

Time to enjoy the entertainment.

We were treated to an impressive display of flag-waving, accompanied by drumming, by the young people of Combusta Revixi (freely translated as “I arose from the ashes”), the other local group of sbandieratori.

Sbandieratori celebrate 50 years of I 9 Tarocchi

Sbandieratori celebrate 50 years of I 9 Tarocchi



One tiny girl in the audience much enjoyed it and capered about on her short sturdy little legs, clearly under the impression that she was dancing – and so she was.

There followed a hearty meal, good value at E15 for two generous courses including a tasty portion of Vincisgrassi, the local version of lasagne. There was a good turnout, lots of local people were there and the beautifully turned out waitresses were constantly on the go. We admired their hard work and professionalism.

Celebration dinner at I 9 Tarocchi

Celebration dinner at I 9 Tarocchi

After the meal there was dancing to music played by a DJ, one of Romagna’s best, we were told. Eventually he did get a crowd on to the dance floor

The dancing begins

The dancing begins

and everyone had a great time. (Well, the mayor did say the Corinaldesi were vivaci.) We were all dancing enthusiastically and flinging ourselves into it. I felt that we were seeing Corinaldo scatenata – Corinaldo unchained.

Dancing in the street

Dancing in the street

Posted in Borghi dell'entroterra, Entertainment, Food and drink, Hill towns, Le Marche, Rock 'n' roll | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Addio turismo, buongiorno accoglienza .

L’economia italiana rimane sempre in crisi; il PIL è cresciuto da solo ,3%, e 43% dei giovani sono disoccupati. Molti puntano sul turismo per guadagnare soldi dall’estero e dare lavoro ai giovani. Il sole, il paesaggio, l’arte, la storia, l’archaeologia, la cucina  fanno un’offerta da non perdere. Ma come valorizzare quest’offerta? Nella zona mediterranea anche la Spagna, la Grecia, la Francia, la Croazia e la Turchia hanno tanto da offrire. E in particolare la nostra bella regione, Le Marche, non è ancora pienamente apprezzata dai turisti. Cosa fare? Io non offro consigli sul marketing professionale né sul mercato mondiale. Io parlo della vera e propria accoglienza.

L’entroterra marchigiana potrebbe essere una mèta importante per i turisti. I comuni dei borghi dell’entroterra sono gia parzialmente coscienti di questo fatto. Il sindaco di Corinaldo, Matteo Principi, parla del turismo di qualità, e lui non solo. Ma dalle idee alte bisogna scendere alle cose terrestri.

Qual’è la regola d’oro? E semplice; chi vende lo sa gia: Il cliente ha sempre ragione. Occorre mettersi al posto del turista straniero , con quella elasticità mentale di cui ha parlato Matteo Principi (Informattiva Corinaldo Giugno 2014 pg 2). Io altrove ho consigliato ai turisti inglesi di abituarsi al ritmo di vita italiano e non esigere il ritmo nordico di vita in un paese mediterraneo. Comunque …

Marchigiani dell’entroterra, volete veramente veramente noi turisti? Volete faticarvi per accoglierci, per intrattenerci?

Avete una cucina e dei prodotti tipici di cui vantarvi,


Salame Fabriano

avete dei bei ristoranti in cui assaggiare la cucina,


Ristorante Armoguasto, Corinaldo

avete negozi che vendono questi prodotti


Enoteca di Scuretto, Corinaldo

e anche oggetti creati da artigiani, eredi di una secolare tradizione di qualità. Ma la qualità dei prodotti non interessa il turista che ha fame e vuole comprarsi il pranzo all’una meno venticinque. L’ambiente del ristorante non interessa il turista che ha invitato i suoi amici a pranzo in un bel locale, quando il locale è chiuso per il giorno di riposo o ferragosto.Volete lavorare a turno, impiegare un giovane (oppurre far aiutare i parenti) o sacrificare il giorno libero per tenere aperti gli esercizi, sia ristoranti che negozi?

Siete un popolo accogliente e fate dei veri sforzi per informare i visitatori. Ma l’alta qualità dei depliants in inglese (magari scritti o almeno redatti da una persona di madrelingua inglese) e l’atteggiamento della personale non significa niente al turista che ha finito pranzo alle 14.30, e vuole sapere che cosa visitare.Volete tagliare corta la pausa di pranzo, o non rispondere a un’emergenza familiare, perche l’IAT o il Pro Loco rimanga aperto?


Fossombrone Pro Loco

Fossombrone Pro Loco. What does “Torno Subito” mean?

Avete bellissimi borghi. È un piacere solo camminare per gli antichi vicoli, ammirare i palazzi di laterizio colorato da secoli di sole,

Palazzo Corinaldese

Palazzo Corinaldese

vedere uno scorcio suggestivo,


Veduta di Urbino

perdersi nel panorama mozzafiato del paesaggio circostante.

Paesaggio vicino a Serra S Abbondio

Paesaggio vicino a Serra S Abbondio

Ma questo non significa niente, se i figli vogliono la toiletta ed è difficile da trovare e sporca, e non c’è né sapone né carta igienica. Comuni, siete pronti ad investire soldi, in questo tempo di crisi e taglie, per accommodare i turisti?

Avete opere d’arte, sia contemporanee che antiche, di qualità e valore storico. Avete musei e gallerie sistemati in luoghi storici (tipo la Madonna delle Grazie di Senigallia), che sono musei in sé. Servono solo a deludere il turista, che sia curioso o artistico, o (parliamo pur francamente) solo volga rifugiarsi dalla pioggia. Di solito i musei sono aperti solo poche ore al giorno, o 2 giorni su 7, o solo la sera, o sono in restauro sin dal … millennio (e fino al prossimo millennio?).

Questo vale ancora di più per le biblioteche storiche, una risorsa quasi sconosciuta. Tanti bei libri antichi, incunaboli, quindicine, chiusi nelle biblioteche. Cito la Biblioteca Passionei di Fossombrone. Voleva il bravo monsignore che il suo dono sia da anni in sistemazione e chiuso al publico? Non credo. Anche se le biblioteche sono aperte, le loro collezioni antiche non sono valorizzate. Ancora una possibilità di  turismo trascurata. Comuni, provincie, regione, siete disposti ad investire soldi, dare lavoro ai custodi, nel presente clima economico?

Non parlo delle chiese, paleocristiane, medioevali, barocche, con affreschi e quadri dei grandi maestri, che costituiscono forse la più grande gloria della regione.

San Claudio al Chienti

San Claudio al Chienti

La Chiesa può fare come Le pare. Il suo compito è il culto, non il turismo. Mi limito a dire che la Chiesa ha un dovere sacro dell’ospitalità, e  l’accoglienza, l’ambiente di preghiera e  tranquillità sono un testimone molto più efficace del cartellone “Chiuso da 12 alle 15” o “Aperto per la Santa Messa il terzo giovedì del mese”. Ho visto tanti stranieri andare via delusi da tante chiese. Che ne dice Gesù?

Cari Marchigiani, volete lavorare sotto il sole di agosto, perchè il turista possa divertirsi e spendere quei soldi duramente guadagnati? Volete dedicare qualche ora del vostro tempo libero ad imparare l’inglese, l’attuale lingua franca? Siete dei grossi lavoratori che volete condividere le bellezze della vostra regione, e la risposta sicuramente sarà un “Si” resonante. Senno, potete dire addio ai turisti, tranne quelli che sono disposti a tollerare le difficoltà, perchè amano l’Italia. Se volete solo questo tipo di turista simpatico, non farete, come ha detto Giuliano Ciabocco (Informattiva Corinaldo Giugno 2014 pg 6), “confluire nella vostra regione sempre piu turisti”.

La stagione turistica si sta rallentando; avete tempo per pensarci su. Tocca a voi.

Posted in Borghi dell'entroterra, Churches, Corinaldo, Food and drink, Hill towns, History of Art, Holiday, Italy, Le Marche, Libraries, Museums, Religious art, Tourism, Travel, Vacanze, Where to eat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments