The Englishwoman sees the sights in Macerata

I usually like to sight-see conscientiously, guide-book in hand, but this time we just wandered round as our fancy took us.

As you would expect from the former seat of papal government, Macerata has a number of fine monumental buildings and, as with all Italian borghi, some delightful byways and corners.

Loggia dei Mercanti c1503-1504

Loggia dei Mercanti c1503-1504

We saw this fine C17 church of San Giovanni Battista

C17 Church of St John the Baptist

and the C16 Palazzo dei Diamanti, so called after the diamond-pointed rustication. It is now the property of the Banca d’Italia.

Palazzo dei Diamanti

 

But there were lots of charming glimpses and little quirks as well.

Ancient alleyway with modern chairs

Ancient alleyway with modern chairs

 

Macerata street scene

In contrast, here is a busy street scene. You can tell that Macerata is a university city. Note the fine doorway with the broken pediment on the left.

Hmm, wonder if you can buy a deep-fried Mars bar in this wee caffè?

As some of my cari lettori already know, I’m fascinated by, and have posted about, the tensions in Italian history between diversity and unity, Catholicism and the secular state, and in addition the desire to play a leading role on the world stage and the desire for a quiet life. The two inscriptions below reflect these tensions.

Inscription in memory of the battle of Castelfidardo

Inscription in memory of the battle of Castelfidardo

 

Here is a basic translation: “Dante’s thought, having become across the centuries Renaissance, Reform, Science, Revolution, patriotic feeling, having become through persecution Italic Law, had in Le Marche fulfilment and triumph on 18th September 1860 [the battle of Castelfidardo] with the victory of Italian arms over the ruins of theocratic despotism, The provincial council of Macerata on the fiftieth anniversary of the memorable date, reaffirms the votes [vows] of a people who wished to replace double tyranny, spiritual and political, with the rule of reason and civilisation [civiltà could =civic spirit]. 18th September 1910.”

Not too sure what Dante would have thought of that. He may have criticised individual popes, but as a deeply religious man, steeped in mediaeval thought,he would have welcomed a Pope who could be Italy’s leader and saviour.

And below is an inscription in memory of Macerata’s contadini who died in the First World War. It wasn’t put up by the civil authorities, but by a mutual insurance society.

Sad to think that so many died to satisfy the lust for blood and glory of Gabriele d’Annunzio and his like.

On a more cheerful note, this caffè was in an elegant arcade. We spotted it at 3 pm and came back later for a drink (the Englishwoman only drinks between certain times, and looks at her watch before accepting, when she’s offered a drink), when it was much busier.

Here are some details:

Macerata province's coat-of-arms

Macerata province’s coat-of-arms

You can see this upside-down in the photo above this one. It is set into the floor of the arcade.

Art Nouveau (Stile Liberty) caffe' doorway

Art Nouveau style caffe’ doorway

 

Since I wrote this the caffè has been reborn as a sushi bar, but the decor does not seem to have been drastically altered. Its new owner, meanwhile, appears to be under investigation.

Smart shop with inlaid floor outside in Macerata

It’s the inlaid floor outside which makes this shop so special.

We also had a look at the gallery of 20th century art in the Palazzo Buonaccorsi. I’ve selected a couple of pictures which capture, or attempt to capture, something of the character of Le Marche. Actually you find the tiled roofscapes all over Italy. I first really noticed them in Perugia when I was about 18 or 19.

Painting of Tiled roofscape in Macerata modern art gallery

And what roof would be complete without a cat?

Landscape in Macerata gallery of modern art

Corrado Pellini: Marchigiano Landscape near Montelupo.

 

And finally …

Arrow or headless man?

Arrow or headless man?

 

I leave you to ponder.

Posted in 20th century art, Architecture, Borghi dell'entroterra, Churches, Hill towns, Papacy, Unification of Italy | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Macerata’s historic Mozzi-Borgetti library

This post comes from my other blog, “Libraries and rare books in Le Marche.” The region’s public libraries are astonishingly rich in rare and valuable early printed books. Macerata’s library is housed in a beautiful setting and boasts over 300 incunabula, (books printed before 1500). So as a librarian I occasionally blog about them and I thought I’d share this post with you.

Libraries and rare books in Le Marche

We were strolling round Macerata with no intention of visiting its library. I assumed it would be chiuso per restauro (closed for restoration), the three most important words for any bibliophile in Italy. However, we spotted it and I said to the Chelsea Fan, “Let’s go in!”.

Entrance to the Mozzi-Borgetti Library, Macerata Entrance to the Mozzi-Borgetti Library, Macerata. Thanks to Cronache Maceratesi.

Doorway to the library Doorway to the library. Thanks to Uma Boa Porta.

Although he doesn’t speak Italian and is only generally interested in libraries and early printed books, he was up for it. We asked the staff at Reception if we could see round, they found another member of staff who was delighted that anyone was interested in his beloved library, and off we went.

As we had given no warning, he didn’t get out any books for us, but he showed us the fine rooms in which the historic collections are housed, and indeed the rooms…

View original post 442 more words

Posted in incunabula, Libraries | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Strolling towards lunch in Macerata

We arrived in Macerata and started to look for a restaurant. The Chelsea Fan has said he hates wandering about in strange towns in Italy looking for somewhere to eat; however, in a town like Macerata we were pretty confident that we  would find somewhere nice. Also  you see lots of interesting things on the way.

Going up the hill from our parking place (little did we know what we’d find when we got back! – see my last blog) we saw this wrought iron gateway.

Macerata wrought-iron gateway

I like the little high-up window next to the gate. Imagine being in that room and looking out.

Once we’d got within the walls we were initially impressed by the information boards we saw – but they were a bit out-of-date.

Macerata events in summer 2015

Macerata events in summer 2015

I’ve often wondered about this. Italians, or Marchigiani anyway, don’t feel the need to remove out-of-date material. In England we may not get around to it immediately but it does happen eventually. I think it reflects the conservative nature of society here. They like you to know what has happened, on the assumption that nothing will change,the event will happen again and you’ll visit Macerata again. Similarly, as we drive from Senigallia to Corinaldo along the Nevolese road, there are lots of placards for shops in Senigallia, which we have just left. The assumption is that you drive this route back and forth regularly and the shop will still be there when you come back. Would that were still true!

Hmm, not sure about the cardboard boxes

Hmm, not sure about the cardboard boxes

Having said all that, perhaps old Italy hands will tell me that people just can’t be bothered. You saw the cardboard boxes peeping out behind the information board in the previous photo. Is this a sign of the low morale brought about by the crisi, or recession, or am I just taking a bit of litter too seriously? I still think it’s odd, in a country which cares so much about figura.

Not long after this we caught sight of an apparently modest little eatery in the vicolo Ferrari, “Il Pesce e Il Vino”, and indeed it was unpretentious, but the cooking and the décor were imaginative and pleasing. According to some of our friends, Italians only eat fish at the seaside or very near the coast. Macerata is well inland, in the entroterra as the Italians say, but this place, although empty at one o’clock, soon began to fill up with Italians. Perhaps it’s only the Corinaldesi who won’t eat fish away from the sea.

Restaurant interior viewed from the entrance

Restaurant interior viewed from the entrance

We penetrated right into the back room and were delighted by the shelving.

Il Pesce e Il Vino Macerata back room

Wine bottles and objets trouves.

The menu and prices looked good too.

All you need to know is on the blackboards

The set menu price has now gone up to 14 Euros.

I went for the mezze maniche (half sleeves) with canocchie (apparently that’s mantis shrimp) and Varnelli, a local aniseed liqueur. They were delicious.

My primo piatto

My primo piatto

The boss says that all the fish is bought fresh every day at the Civitanova auction.

To be honest, we were enjoying the rest of our food so much that the Chelsea Fan forgot to photograph it ! But it was good. Eat there when you go to Macerata.

Posted in Food and drink, Where to eat | Tagged , | 2 Comments

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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”.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This is the courtyard of the Villa.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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