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.
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Once we’d got within the walls we were initially impressed by the information boards we saw – but they were a bit out-of-date.
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 Italians, or Marchigiani anyway, don’t feel the need to remove out-of-date material.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!
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.
We penetrated right into the back room and were delighted by the shelving.
The menu and prices looked good too.
I went for the mezze maniche (half sleeves) with canocchie (apparently that’s mantis shrimp) and Varnelli, a local aniseed liqueur. They were delicious.
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.
I have some great memories of Macerata after having so many great times there. Lovely town, great markets
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Must visit the markets next time.
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