Let me take you round some of our favourite places and activities in Corinaldo.
Where we ate and drank.
I’m pleased to say that Corinaldo’s Corso has livened up a lot since our last visit. In our opinion this is largely thanks to the energetic young mayor and his fellow town councillors, many of whom are also young. A gelateria (ice-cream parlour) has opened,
and we spent a pleasant interval there in the early evening, enjoying the delicious ice-cream and the view of the beautiful houses (especially the fine doorways) which line the Corso.
How to buy ice-cream. If you’re choosing ice-cream in Italy, I recommend going for a coppettina, or little paper tub, not a cono (guess!), because they are so messy (I never let my children have a cono), and I think the ideal combination of flavours is any fruit plus lemon and coffee, but I don’t like chocolate. You say “Da un gusto” (not recommended) or “da due /tre gusti” (one, two or three flavours) and point to what you want. Chocolate chip is Stracciatella.
A wine bar has also opened, just off the Corso but clearly signed, the Grotta del Cinquecento (16th-Century Cave), where we had a delicious glass of my favourite Lacrima di Morro d’Alba and the Signora kindly showed us their neveria, or underground ice-house, with which Corinaldo is honeycombed.
I’ve seen one underneath the Tigli restaurant, and under the communal art gallery.The Signora told us that The Grotta is owned by their family, the Spallacci, local winegrowers, who sell their wine there by the glass and very good it is too. You can buy bottles to drink at home in the local produce shop attached to the IAT or Tourist Office, or directly from the vineyard at 50 Via delle Ville (click here for a map). We also visited the Osteria de Scuretto, a local bar which also serves simple food (never tried it but probably good) at the top of the Piaggia, or flight of steps which make a spectacular approach to the historic centre. It is run by two energetic and hardworking ladies who are always pleasant, and is a lovely place to relax with (again) a glass of the local wine. To their credit, they don’t serve branded drinks, so don’t ask for a Campari Soda.
We enjoyed a meal out at the Tigli restaurant, where we always go on our first day back. Recently a new restaurant, the Trattoria Armoguasto, has opened
and we went there for a special celebration. It is a small place just off the Piaggia, and is the brainchild of two local ladies, whom we chatted to last summer. However, so successful is the restaurant that they are now not to be seen. Instead there are attentive waiting staff. We had an excellent meal – traditional local cooking with a twist.
An evening out
Italian municipalities offer excellent free entertainment all year round. The local traders expect it, to bring people in. I remember reading an article in the Modena local newspaper, in which the local traders were complaining that the comune wasn’t laying on enough free entertainment in August, to mitigate the effects of the summer holiday when everyone flees the stifling plains. This time we went to a literary evening, part of a series, “Autori nel Borgo Antico” (Authors in the Old Town). The topic was: “L’impegno politico e intellettuale delle donne del Novecento” (Twentieth-century women: their political and intellectual commitment), the title of a book by the two women speakers. What I took home with me was how much more active, politically, women were in Italy, than I had assumed. I also realised that Italian women didn’t get the vote until 1946. I bought the book and had an interesting chat with the authors, or should I say they listened to me kindly(!), in which I outlined my thesis that Santa Maria Goretti, our local saint, should be re-presented as a heroine of the fight against violence towards women, rather than, as she was described in a sermon I heard on her saint’s day, one who resisted temptation. You will find the saint’s story, in Italian, here; suffice it to say that I don’t think a young girl of 12 would have been seriously tempted by the sexual advances of a 20-year-old. Anyway, in his attempt to subdue her he stabbed her; she died the next day, forgiving him, and she was subsequently canonised. Actually it turns out that Pope Francis agrees with me and Marietta, as she is known in Corinaldo, could be nominated patron of female victims of violence.
What I’ll do next time
I’m looking forward to visiting my favourite small, specialist food shops in the historic centre. There’s a greengrocer’s, kept by the usual energetic young woman (she’s married with a little boy), and a fresh pasta shop, both in Via Cimarelli (map C2), and a general food store, just outside the walls in the Costa del Gioco del Pallone (map D3), which specialises in local cured meats and cheese, the Corinaldo Market. It was closed with windows papered over – I hope just for redecoration. There’s also a recently-opened specialist cheese shop in the Borgo di Sotto (map D4).
This Sunday we deserted our local parish church and went to the Cappuccini, as there was a special Mass there for Sacred Heart Sunday. Consequently we were lucky enough to see the motor bikes being blessed after the service.
Life as a second home owner has its ups and downs, but there’s so much to do and see in Corinaldo that the ups definitely outnumber the downs.