Surviving a parking fine in Italy

Last October we incurred a parking fine in Macerata, a dignified city and former regional capital.

Macerata Piazza

We left our car in a road just below the walls and bought a parking ticket from a machine.

Parking permit Macerata

I’m afraid it’s a bit worn after months in my archive. What would my former employers, Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, say?

You had to guess how long we’d stay and we underestimated it. Time passed and we realised that we’d overstayed. Then we made a big mistake. The Chelsea Fan didn’t want to go back, move the car and buy another ticket. He said they’d never check. He was wrong, and so was I for going along with him. First lesson: Never assume the Marchigiani, and probably the Italians, are casual and happy-go-lucky. They may often appear so, but at least in our part of Italy, when the parking warden is paid to issue parking fines, that’s what s/he does.

So when we got back to the car, this is what we found on our windscreen.

Parking fine Macerata

Deep gloom. We assumed we’d have to pay about 40 euros. We didn’t want just to let the car hire company pick up the fine; that would probably turn out very expensive. The parking office turned out to be closed and we thought we’d have to drive back to Macerata the next day to pay the fine.

Anyway, I rang the parking office on the number on the avviso and they were very helpful and explained I could pay at my local post office and told me exactly how to fill in the form. Lesson two: Don’t assume the worst when confronted with Italian bureaucracy.

Here are my notes of what they told me.

Parking fine reverse Macerata

The fine turned out to be a teeny amount, as you can see above: the parking fee plus a few euros. Hardly worth the bureaucracy of collecting it. But if we had omitted to pay and left it to the car hire company, it would have been a lot more, 25 euros.

So we went along to the post office in Corinaldo.

Corinaldo Post Office

I was feeling quite smug about my navigation of Italian bureaucracy, but somehow when we arrived at the window I just waved the fine document at the clerk and told her we wanted to pay it. Lesson three: Don’t assume you know it all, even if you’ve been coming back to the same place for over 20 years.

The clerk put on a “One born every minute, stupid foreigner” expression and kindly, if bossily, filled the form in for us. That’s her handwriting on the receipt.

Receipt for payment of parking fine Macerata

So we’d learned four useful lessons: Don’t make assumptions about Italian attitudes; don’t make assumptions about Italian bureaucracy; don’t assume you know it all; and, fourth, how to pay a parking fine.

Posted in Bureaucracy, Driving, Survival | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Polverigi and the Villa Nappi- a hidden treasure

It’s good to be back! It’s been  a long time since my last post. Somehow Le Marche seems a long way away in the winter. Then in April I had to present two papers on my other passion, the Victorian best-seller Charlotte Yonge, at two separate meetings within a week of each other. But in May the Englishwoman’s fancy turns to thoughts of Italy, so I’ll try to catch up before we return to Corinaldo, when I’ll have a lot more to post.

We were pleased and surprised when our friend Angela offered to take us to Polverigi. It had never occurred to us to go there, not because we thought it was not worth visiting, but because it doesn’t feature in any of the standard guidebooks. Polverigi turned out to be the home of the Villa Nappi,

Villa Nappi general view

Villa Nappi general view, with the church tower on your left

a little gem. Obviously it’s a popular destination with locals but it doesn’t attract many foreigners.

The drive there went through landscapes typical of the best Le Marche has to offer.

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On the road to Polverigi

I love that clear evening light and the swooping fields.

When we arrived we had a little stroll in the pleasant gardens before going into the Villa complex. One website describes them as “stile Liberty”, which puzzled me. How can a garden be Art Nouveau? Probably I haven’t understood the full meaning of the term “stile Liberty”.

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This quintessentially Italian pine reminds me of Rome. They were a great feature of the parks of my childhood, though of course I took them for granted then. That’s partly why I love them so much; they bring back happy memories.

At the entrance of the villa was the notice below, which gives you the history of the place. Sorry about the reflected light; I think you will get the general idea anyway.

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This is the courtyard of the Villa.

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One wall of the Abbey’s Romanesque cloister has been retained.

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Inside the cloister

Inside the cloister

I love the simplicity, harmony and sun-warmed colours of these ancient brick buildings.

With us was Angela’s cousin Carlo, founder of Arkès, a  non-profit-making organisation, dedicated to the “valorizzazione” (somewhere between enhancement and appreciation) of Le Marche’s heritage. Carlo had kindly agreed to act as our guide, and added greatly to our enjoyment, particularly as I agreed with him about the sad neglect of Le Marche’s heritage. Arkès is doing its bit to remedy this.

Like so many churches in Le Marche, the church of the SS Sacramento was originally a simple and deeply spiritual Romanesque building which has been forced into the usual one-size fits-all sub-Baroque straitjacket, as you can see from the photographs below. I’m afraid the art critic Waldemar Januszczak has failed to convince me about the Baroque, even though he is a fellow Hampshire hog.

SS Sacramento exterior view of north wall with tower

SS Sacramento exterior view of north wall with tower

Compare the simple architecture above with the elaborate interior below.  Having said that, I like the columns, some of which look like recycled Roman work.

Nave of SS Sacramento looking eastwards

Nave of SS Sacramento looking eastwards

 

SS Sacramento nave looking westwards

SS Sacramento nave looking westwards

The Chelsea Fan went up into the gallery, which you can see in the photograph, and took a photograph from there.

SS Sacramento nave viewed from the west gallery

SS Sacramento nave viewed from the west gallery

Note the decorative floor tiles.

I particularly liked the sculptures and wall paintings.

Two angels above the Mother of Good Counsel

Two angels above the Mother of Good Counsel

The figures in the photograph below fascinate me. Are they heavenly beings in armour? The one on your right looks curiously baby-faced. I don’t think it’s a cherub. Perhaps it’s meant to be a female saint, or perhaps the sculptor had, to put it politely, adopted an …er … somewhat primitive style. Or if this is a well-known trope of sacred sculpture, please tell me.

Who are these figures on the south wall?

Who are these figures on the south wall?

 

Here are several photos of the delightful, but fragmentary, wall-paintings.

Wall painting with fantastic creatures

Wall painting with fantastic creatures

I think these are sea-creatures and in their cheerful vigour they remind me of the illustrations to the children’s story “Tiddler” written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the Gruffalo team. Part of what I love about sacred art, and I’m not alone, is the happy paganism and irreverence that often creeps through, whether it’s wood-carving, gargoyles, sculpture or illuminations.

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Wall-painting detail of plant

 

Wall-painting detail

Wall-painting detail

The circle and stripes above seem to be part of a trompe-l’œil decorative effect to look like marble.

Detail of trompe-l’œil wall painting

Another trompe-l’œil detail

I couldn’t tell what this actually represents – it’s too faded.

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Wall painting detail of leaves

 

Wall-painting - two jugs

Wall-painting – two jugs

These may be the jugs used for the wine and water for Holy Communion,  which have been painted into the niche to create another trompe-l’oeil effect.

There is a sweet little formal, or Italian-style, garden attached to the church.

Italian garden beside the church

Italian garden beside the church

The long shadows are typical of an Italian autumn evening. Somehow they seem to be much longer than in England . They remind me of Norman Lewis’s “The March of the Long Shadows”, a novel about post-war Sicily and its independence movement. It’s a good read.

Below is a close-up of the drinking fountain you can see at the far end of the path.

Close-up of drinking fountain

Close-up of drinking fountain

Detail of drinking fountain

Detail of drinking fountain

The lion on your right looks a bit battered.

If, after reading this, you feel inspired to visit the Villa Nappi, this is the best web page I could find with a map.http://www.rivieradelconero.tv/attrazioni/53/villa-nappi.aspx . The actual Villa Nappi website appears not to exist any more. And if you can’t visit it, I hope I’ve added another to your Italian dreams!

 

 

 

Posted in Architecture, Churches, Frescoes, Romanesque Churches | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The Englishwoman’s Italian story

This blog first appeared in  Original Marche . Thanks to Angela for inviting me to contribute to her blog, which is indeed original as it deals with lesser-known aspects of Le Marche, and introduces readers to local artists and unusual recipes.

Since 1992 we’ve spent millions of lire and thousands of euros on restoring our ex-farmhouse in Corinaldo. We’ve undergone lots of stress and had three burglaries. I’ve passed countless sleepless nights in England worrying about the cost of building works, the local bureaucracy, the water getting into the house and all the problems you have when there is no landlord to complain to.  Typically, you can recognise our house by the crooked roof, installed by the builder when we were in England. So why did we choose this project? Are we mad?  (No, but it helps when you are restoring a house at a distance!) I’ve written this post at the request of my good friend Angela, to explain why. I’ve also written it as a thank-you to my dear, long-suffering husband, the Chelsea Fan, without whom…

I love the Mediterranean landscape, climate, culture, history, food and wine. I spent my childhood in Greece and Italy (my late father was a diplomat) and thus I always feel at home there.

pines olives and oleander

Pines, olives and oleander – characteristically Mediterranean trees. My husband always remembers how I said “I feel that I’ve come home” when after a long absence I saw the oleanders along the Italian motorway.

I was born in Greece

My mother and I at sounion

My mother and I at Sounion

 

And then we went to Italy, where we spent one year in Bologna and two in Rome.  I’ve always loved those two cities and feel happy when I’m back there. In Rome I quickly assimilated Roman culture, although I went to an English school and spoke very little Italian. My sister’s and my favourite game was called “Mamma Mia”. One of us used to ride the trike, the other the scooter. At a certain point the two vehicles would bump into each other. Immediately we jumped off and began to gesticulate and shout “Mamma Mia!” This sequence was repeated as often as we felt like it.

At Christmas we used to like going round the presepi (cribs) in the different churches in Parioli, the Roman suburb where we lived. We specially liked one with lights that turned on and a little stream that began to flow when you turned the switch. Also at Christmas our parents used to take us to the Piazza Navona, where there was a large presepio and the shepherds used to come down from the Alban Hills and play their bagpipes.

After Italy we spent five years in Greece. Here I learned to love ancient Greek and Roman civilisation. It was this love which inspired me to study Classics at school and university. Of course Virgil’s Georgics was one of our set books, and these lines always make me think of Le Marche’s beautiful hill towns:

“tot congesta manu praeruptis oppida saxis

fluminaque antiquos subter labentia muros.”

“So many towns piled up by human hands on sheer rocks

And rivers gliding beneath the ancient walls”.

(Georgics II, lines 156-7).

Arcevia_monumento_alpartigiano_sotto_le_mura_del_parco

Arcevia [By Claudio.stanco via Wikimedia Commons.]

Palazzo_Ducale_d'Urbania

Urbania [By Belmetauro via Wikimedia Commons]

My academic studies linked to happy childhood memories motivated me, at the age of 18, to spend three months at the Università degli Stranieri at Perugia learning Italian. Three happy months! I was in a pensione with a group of lovely Italian boys – I was the only girl and I got on with all of them. My mini-skirts were considered a bit shocking though!

Thus I began to live like an Italian in the 1970s. Here are a few domestic memories. Every week they did the laundry. Although there was a washing machine, for the household linen there was the ritual of the “bricco”: A huge pan of water was heated up, and our landlady and her maid washed the linen by hand. At lunch we ate pasta, meat and pudding; at dinner we ate soup and a lighter dish. On Saturday we used to watch a TV programme introduced by Romina Power, the daughter of Tyrone Power and Linda Christian, singing a little song “Io sono per il sabato” (I’m for Saturday).If you want to understand Italian youth of the period, find it on U-tube. How sad it seems today – poor Romina’s daughter disappeared in New Orleans at the age of 24. The singer has never got over it and I find that nowadays she cuts a very unhappy figure.

Like many young people, I was only aware of myself and the group of which I was a part. However, the beauty of the city and the language had an effect on me, and next year I went back to Italy, to the British Institute in Florence.

There I followed a course on Italian art of the 15th century. I went to the Uffizi gallery every day, where I often used to look at Piero della Francesca’s portraits of Duke Federigo of Urbino and his Duchess, without knowing that in actual fact they were part of the Dukes of Urbino’s legacy. Thus I grew to love Piero and 15th century art, the Renaissance’s age of innocence, before the Reformation and Counter- Reformation. Piero is partially responsible for our discovery of Le Marche. This is how.

Time passed; I got my degree, I found a job, got married and became a mother but I never forgot Italy. Almost 20 years after my last trip to the Bel Paese, we decided to buy a house in Italy.  We had thought of Umbria, where I had had such a happy time. We went there on holiday, but as soon as we arrived, we realised that we couldn’t afford a house in Umbria. As luck would have it, we were following the Piero della Francesca trail and crossed the “Mountains of the Moon” (Alpe della Luna) to Le Marche. There in Urbino we just popped into an estate agent’s, and saw that the local house prices were far more affordable for us.  And so we began our voyage of discovery to the region which we now know and love.

After visiting many an unsuitable ruin, we found the right house in, more by luck than judgment, the right place.

Spring sunset from our garden at Corinaldo

Spring sunset from our garden at Corinaldo

We didn’t know the area, and we didn’t deserve to find ourselves in Corinaldo, one of the most beautiful hill towns of Le Marche in my opinion.

Corinaldo

Corinaldo

I feel really at home there, and I’m proud to call myself a Corinaldese by adoption. I like greeting people as we go round Corinaldo,

Osteria de Scuretto

Osteria de Scuretto

I like supporting the local farmers by eating and drinking the local produce,

Tagliere at the Trattoria Clarice

Tagliere in the  Trattoria Clarice in Ancona

Wines at Enoteca de Scuretto

In Scuretto’s wine shop in Corinaldo.

I like travelling in the breath-taking local landscapes,

Another glimpse of the mountain scenery around Serra Sant'Abbondio

Near Serra Sant’Abbondio

and getting to know Le Marche’s rich cultural heritage.

Presepio in the oratory of San Giuseppe in urbino

Presepio in the Oratory of San Giuseppe in Urbino.

So, was it worth it? The answer is a definite Yes!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Ancient Rome, Food and drink, Hill towns, History of Art | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lunch in Fossombrone at the Caffe’ del Corso

Our friends in Serrungarina recommended this caffè to us as a good place to eat as well as drink. We had already had coffee there and were impressed by the decor and the staff, so we were happy to give it a go. Apparently it has recently been re-invented as a restaurant as well as a caffè. The Fossombrone Corso is also a pleasant place for a stroll, though  at lunchtime it was fairly quiet.Everyone was having lunch, not doing their lunch-hour shopping as they would in England (NB It might be busier in term-time). Italians shop before or after work, as you can tell from shop opening times. In summer they may shop more before work, as it’s not too hot then. After work you can combine shopping with the passeggiata (stroll up and down the main street and greet your friends), though we don’t see much of a passeggiata in Corinaldo.

The restaurant was fairly quiet too. Some local ladies had met up to have lunch together, which we thought was a good sign, and an Italian touring couple with their very well behaved large dog turned up later. We were all sitting outside, hence the dog.

A propos of the touring couple, Italian cultural tourism in Italy is a post-1950s phenomenon. In Rome in the 1950s, my mother remembers how people in the countryside around Rome would express amazement at anyone wanting to see the scavi (excavations, i.e. archaeological site). Ostia Antica was an exception; it was a popular weekend destination for Romans, and we used to see smartly-dressed girls in full skirts and high heels on the backs of their boyfriends’ motor bikes. I used to wonder how they got round the rough pathways and dusty walls without ruining their shoes and clothes.

Returning to Fossombrone in the twenty-first century, the food was excellent and very elegantly served. The chef had tried successfully to inject a bit of originality into good traditional Italian food. Unfortunately I can’t remember exactly what dishes we had, but we photographed them and I have done my best to identify them for you.

Bread at the Caffe' del Corso, Fossombrone

Bread at the Caffe’ del Corso

We are not big fans of the local bread, so this home-made selection was a good sign and welcome. It tasted as good as it looked.

The Chelsea Fan's starter

The Chelsea Fan’s starter

The parcel unwrapped

The parcel unwrapped

My starter

My starter

I think this was insalata mare – seafood salad.

In a rather un-Italian way we didn’t have a primo piatto, pasta or risotto. Traditionally lunch was the main meal at home in Italy, when pasta or risotto was served followed by the main dish of fish or meat. For supper at home, pasta in brodo – tiny pasta shapes in bouillon – might be served, followed by something a bit lighter than at lunch, such as deep-fried courgette flowers. That is what we used to have for supper at my pensione in Perugia in 1970. The boys used to complain about it a lot, and I must say I thought it wasn’t really enough. Restaurants certainly don’t serve lighter food in the evening nowadays, if they ever did, and I wonder if people still follow that pattern of eating at home?

Spiedone di pesce My main at the Caffe del Corso, Fossombrone

Spiedone di pesce, my main

As for the wine, we treated ourselves to a 75 cl bottle of the local wine, which in those parts is a Bianchello del Metauro. Actually in restaurants I really prefer to order a half-litre of the house wine, which is always at least ok and usually good. Furthermore, half a bottle is three glasses. That can be too much in the middle of the day, unless you are heading straight home for a lie-down.

I seem to have survived the extra glass that time, as we then went for a stroll along the Corso, photographing attractive details of the architecture, and window-shopping.

Fossombrone balcony

We loved these arches above and below the wrought-iron balcony.

Fossombrone shop windowWhat could be more recherché than this shop window? How better to display about two dozen pairs of shoes than to drape them artistically about a farm store-room? The red espadrille doesn’t seem to have a pair, but that’s not the point. Note the mattoni a vista, exposed bricks, complemented by the cunningly placed patches of plaster. This is very typical of Italian restoration of old buildings. 

Fossombrone doorwayThese half-open doorways seem to beckon you in.

Fossombrone stone shield

Hmm, this one’s a bit fuzzy – must have been the wine. Should have asked the Chelsea Fan to take it. Anyway I thought you’d rather see it than not. Next time I want to photograph I’ll insist on a half-litre.

Posted in Architecture, Food and drink, Shopping, Where to eat | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Theft and absence: what you should know before you buy a second home.

This is a translation of my previous post, which I wrote in Italian, without too many mistakes, I hope, because I wanted to give Italians some idea of what it’s like to own a holiday home in the bel paese.

I had some difficulty in writing this post, because it is the homeless who have problems, not second home owners. Nevertheless, I have described this blog as “An Englishwoman’s personal take including … the ups and downs of owning a second home” and I haven’t written on that subject for some time. Recent events have led me to reflect on the problems of being a second home owner and share them with you in this post.

The real problem of a second home is psychological. When you buy a holiday home, you don’t want problems, be they rats or theft. You are supposed to relax on the terrace, admire the sunset and savour the local wines, Verdicchio or Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, while the agent or the owner sorts out any inconveniences. But we are our own landlords! It’s up to us to get rid of the rats and secure the house.

Tramonto primaverile visto dal nostro giardino

Spring sunset from our garden.

When we bought our house over 20 years ago, there was practically no crime in Corinaldo, or so it seemed to the summer visitor. But things have changed, and in the 21st century we have been burgled three times, like many Marchigiani.  This is certainly a worse problem for the local permanent residents than it is for us. But if were there all year round, we would have taken security precautions sooner, and given our friends better warning of what to do. It was in fact not us, but two of our friends who had to cope with the last burglary. We don’t ever want a phone call like that again!

Fortunatamente la neve non ha danneggiato la casa.

Luckily the snow didn’t damage the house. Thanks to the Mantoni family for this photo.

The simple fact of not being there all the time causes a lot of problems. Damp is an ever-present annoyance, caused in part by our not being there to air the place and open the windows regularly. Then there’s the anxiety of arriving and wondering what awaits you – leaks, blocked drains, a plague of insects … Of course everyone, residents and summer visitors, has these problems: it’s just that on holiday we could do without rushing about to solve them.

You may ask, dear readers, : why not simply move to Corinaldo and stop moaning? The answer is: because our work and family are in England.

Corinaldo: La chiesa di San Francesco.

Corinaldo: the church of San Francesco.

But absence is not just a practical problem: it’s a problem of the heart. We love our house, we love Corinaldo and we love our fellow-citizens.  Corinaldesi, we miss you. Voi ci mancate.

Posted in Second home, Survival | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Assenza e furto: i problemi della casa di vacanze

Ho avuto un po’ di difficoltà nello scrivere questo articolo. Con difficoltà si ammette che i proprietari di una seconda casa abbiano problemi. Soni i senzatetti che hanno problemi, non noi.

Ciononostante, ho definito questo mi blog come “il punto di vista personale di una donna inglese su … i vantaggi e gli svantaggi dell’avere una seconda casa”, e da un bel po’ non scrivo su questo tema. Poi, un avvenimento recente mi ha spinta a rifletterci di nuovo.

Il vero problema della seconda casa è psicologico. Quando compri una casa di vacanze, non vuoi problemi; questa casa vuole essere un piccolo paradiso, dove il proprietario o il suo agente risolve tutti i problemi, dai topi al furto. Il villeggiante deve solo riposarsi, sorseggiando il Verdicchio e ammirando il tramonto.

Tramonto primaverile visto dal nostro giardino

Tramonto primaverile visto dal nostro giardino.

Invece siamo noi  i proprietari, e dobbiamo passare le vacanze a cercare un muratore o pagare l’IMU. Oppure a denunciare un furto.

Quando abbiamo comprato casa nostra più di venti anni fa, la criminalità quasi non c’era a Corinaldo, o agli stranieri sembrava così. Ma le cose sono cambiate, e nel ventunesimo secolo abbiamo subito tré furti, come tanti Marchigiani. Il furto è un problema per tutti, non solo noi. Ma se noi  fossimo stati presenti, avremmo capito meglio la situazione, e preso precauzioni perchè il primo furto sia anche l’ultimo. Il terzo furto non l’abbiamo subito noi, ma i nostri amici che avevamo invitati a visitare la casa. Avevamo dimenticato di dire loro di chiudere tutto a chiave anche di notte, e tenere gli articoli di valore nella camera quando dormivano. Quindi, i ladri sono entrati di notte e hanno preso la borsa della signora. Non inviteremo più gli amici senza che noi li accompagniamo.

L’assenza è un problema per molti motivi. Causa o peggiora i danni.

Fortunatamente la neve non ha danneggiato la casa.

Fortunatamente la neve non ha danneggiato la casa. Grazie alla famiglia Mantoni per questa foto.

L’umidità è un problema eternale, che sarebbe molto meno grave se noi fossimo presenti per aprire le finestre durante l’inverno. Poi, è sempre fastidioso arrivare a primavera e trovare piccoli problemi che occorre risolvere prima di tutto, per esempio, un bloccaggio nei tubi.

I lettori possono domandare: Perchè non passate più tempo a Corinaldo? La risposta: Perchè abbiamo la famiglia e il lavoro in Inghilterra.

Corinaldo: La chiesa di San Francesco.

Corinaldo: La chiesa di San Francesco.

Ma l’assenza non è solo un problema pratico; è un problema del cuore. Amiamo la nostra casa, la città di Corinaldo e i nostri concittadini. Ci mancano.

Posted in Casa di vacanze, Second home, Survival | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Lunch at the Trattoria Clarice in Ancona

This unassuming little restaurant exemplifies the Italian talent for making something out of nothing, i.e. turning an alleyway between two blocks of flats into a charming little spot in which to eat your lunch.

A glimpse of sky

A glimpse of sky

The tall buildings somehow emphasise the brilliant Italian blue sky which you can just see between them.

We first spotted the Clarice when walking up the Corso Mazzini from the sea. In those days,  by the time we had got out of the airport, it was too late for lunch. Lots of places were shut, and although I Tigli, our then favourite in Corinaldo, our home town,  would have served us, they were shut on Monday. As we wandered disconsolately around Ancona in the heat, we spotted this sign.

Trattoria Clarice. The surroundings didn't look very prepossessing.

Trattoria Clarice. The surroundings didn’t look very prepossessing.

We turned down the little alley behind the sign, found the trattoria and asked doubtfully “Servite pranzo (Are you serving lunch)? ” “Come no (Of course)!” the waiter replied and we sat down. By that time they didn’t have a lot left, but the seafood spaghetti was fine. NB If you don’t like dried chilli flakes, have something else, or ask for “senza peperoncini”.

The Chelsea Fan noticed a framed newspaper cutting about football on the wall inside and on enquiry was told that the place had been founded by the present proprietor’s grandfather, who played for a famous Italian team – he can’t now remember which. When I tried to check this on the Web I couldn’t find anything about a footballer, but I pass it on anyway. I also found two different stories about the restaurant’s history. However, it is definitely over 60 years old and situated in the former Jewish ghetto.

We last ate there in May, after our trip to Sirolo with Angela. By the time we left Sirolo it was quite late, and we were glad to know that we’d be able to eat at Clarice’s.

I thought the little fountain on the wall of the watering-hole opposite, the Liberty Cocktail Lounge, was particularly charming. Actually the Cocktail Lounge looks quite charming too, but it’s always about to close when we arrive.

Fountain on the wall of the Liberty Cocktail Lounge

I wonder what those drinks taste like?

I was impressed by the attractive way the tagliere was served. It tasted good too.

Tagliere at the Trattoria Clarice

I had already started on the olives.

As usual in May, they were serving fresh raw broad beans (fave), delicious when they’re young and tender. At a guess I’d identify the salumi, clockwise from left, as prosciutto, lonza, ciauscolo (spreadable cross between salami and paté), salami of some kind and salami Fabriano, the local salami from the town of Fabriano. The cheese is probably a more mature pecorino on the left, and a pecorino fresco on the right.

This was our starter, after which I had a seafood pasta dish and the Chelsea Fan had an excellent steak. Coffee to finish.

After this we thought we’d see if there were any exhibitions on at the Mole Vanvitelliana, aka the Lazzaretto, a cultural centre,

Mole Vanvitelliana

Mole Vanvitelliana.By Ludushka (Own work)

but in these days of austerity there didn’t seem to be anything. In many ways Ancona is an attractive historic city, but somehow the shopping centre is lacking pleasant places to sit and relax or stroll, though it has improved since some of the main thoroughfares were pedestrianised.  You can always go to the Passetto,

Passetto (2)

Passetto by Claudio.stanco (Own work)

 with its war memorial and sea view, but that is not convenient for the shopping centre. So we decided to go home.

 

 

Posted in Ancona, Where to eat | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments