Thursday, July 20

Podcast from Italy: Thoughts on Fine Dining in Italy

 We went to Madonnina del Piscatory in Senigallia for a fancy fish lunch with guests that after many years, visits & Facebook messages, have become dear friends that were passing thru town. The company was perfect the view amazing and the food...well you'll just have to listen to the next podcast to hear what we thought about upscale fine dining in Italy.

Thanks for listening! Podcast from Italy #105 - Thoughts on Fine Dining in Italyl Plus the continuation of the Book - Porchetta Passion Dowload/Stream on iTunesStitcher or Podbean

A few photos from our lunch:

Tuesday, July 18

An Edible Autumn in Le Marche, Italy: Festivals, Truffles, Foraging & Cooking Classes

This Autumn, fall in love with Le Marche, Italy. From harvest & truffle festivals each weekend in medieval villages to the leaves of the trees and vines turning golden hues to the smell of wood burning fireplaces - Le Marche is truly lovely in Autumn!

Spend a few nights this fall in the Italian countryside foraging for mushrooms, cooking by the fireplace in our rustic 300 year old kitchen, visiting the local Truffle festivals and drinking gorgeous reds from the region! Autumn is the perfect time to visit Italy, the crowds are gone and kids in school yet the harvest festivals are just underway. Here are a few of our popular 'gourmet getaways' (we can always create a custom package for you as well based on your dates) alongside a few of our favorite local autumn festivals in the area to help you plan your trip to Le Marche this fall.

 Hope to see you in the kitchen -
Please note - this list of festivals is not absolute, I did my best to search out the information & websites however,  dates may change/cancel, etc. - this is Italy. Be sure to double check! We might even run into at one of these festivals....


Sagra del polentone
Piobbico, Pesaro e Urbino
8-10 September

Il Palio della rocca
Serra Sant'Abbondio, Pesaro e Urbino
8-16 September

Festa della Patata e del Tartufo Nero del Monte Montone
Montecopiolo, Pesaro e Urbino
9 September

Mushroom Festival: Festa Del Fungo
50^ Mostra Micologica Regionale
Da Sabato 23 Settembre a Domenica 01 Ottobre 2017 - dalle ore 19:00
San Sisto - Piandimeleto (PU)

3 Night Gourmet Getaway

Arrive to our five course feast, the next day join the Chef & feel like a local on a tour of the hidden meat & cheese market of Apecchio (with a little porchetta along the way), a craft beer tasting & tour followed by lunch at the ‘hunter’s hideaway’ and on Saturday enjoy a half day cooking class including wine, meal & our custom hand-made apron! Includes accommodations. Price based on PESCA apartment (double occupancy). *Add extra nights if you'd like!!
SEPTEMBER thru NOVEMBER Arrive any Thursday departing on Sunday
 from 750 Euro/COUPLE

White Truffle Festival & Products from the Woods - Mostra Mercato Tartufo e Prodotti del Bosco
Apecchio, Pesaro e Urbino
1 October

Chestnut Festival - Sagra delle castagne
Lunano, Pesaro e Urbino
1 October 
I want Autumn - Voglie d'autunnoUrbino, Pesaro e Urbino
3 October 
October Market of Grapes & Wine - Fiera d'Ottobre dall'Uva al VinoMonte Porzio, Pesaro e Urbino
7 October 
Sausage Festival - I giorni del baccanale & SausagesCASININA, Pesaro e Urbino
7 October 
Bio/Organic & Artisan Goods Fair - BiosalesUrbino, Pesaro e Urbino
7-8 October 
54th Annual National White Truffle Show - Mostra del Tarufo Bianco NazionaleSant'Angelo in Vado, Pesaro e Urbino
7-29 October  
39th Motorcycle Rally & Truffle Festival - Motoraduno Internazional del Tartufo
Sant'Angelo in Vado, Pesaro e Urbino
14 & 15 October  
National Fair of White Truffles - Fiera Nazionale del tartufo BiancoAcqualagna, Pesaro e Urbino
29 October

3 Nights & Fall Foraging

3 nights accommodation with breakfast, five course dinner with local wine, wild edibles walk & mushroom hunt followed by apertivi and half day cooking class (class includes meal, wine & gift apron). Includes accommodations. Price based on PESCA apartment (double occupancy) *Ask about including a TRUFFLE HUNT!!
SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER from 360 Euro/person


National White Truffle Festival of Aqualagna
Aqualagna, Pesaro e Urbino
1, 4, 5, 11, 12 November

Flavors & Smells of Autumn - Sapori e aromi d'autunno
Fano, Pesaro e Urbino
1 November

Antique Fair of San Martino - Antica Fiera di San Martino
Sassocorvaro, Pesaro e Urbino
10 November

We know you don't always have time to see & taste everything so here is a quick 2 night stay option at our farmhouse & cooking school below. (And, if you can stay longer let us know, we would love to create a custom package for you!)

Arrive to a bottle of Prosecco waiting in your cozy apartment and enjoy our famous five course feast (all hand made and from our farm), sleep in our charming 500 year old farmhouse and join us in the kitchen the next day for a full day, hands-on cooking class!  We will start the morning at 10am and tie on our aprons to start making fresh pasta (with eggs from our hens): tagliatelle & ravioli along with two seasonal sauces. After our pasta lunch, a nap is necessary (or explore the area) and meet back in the kitchen that afternoon to create a full meal dinner party!

Includes: Prosecco, Welcome Dinner, Full Day Cooking Class with Lunch, Dinner, Wine & Snacks, Breakfast Daily and 2 Nights Accommodations = 720 Euro COUPLE

Just want to make it a Half Day Cooking Class? No problem!
​Includes: Prosecco, Welcome Dinner, Half Day Cooking Class with Meal, Breakfast Daily & 2 Nights Accommodations = 575 Euro COUPLE

Don't forget about our 7th Annual Forage Slaughter & Butchery Course 25-30 OCTOBER 2017!
 If you talk the talk, then this is your chance to walk the walk! We raise it, kill it and cook it – every October at our farmhouse La Tavola Marche, sharing with our guests the full circle of the food we eat.

The Annual Forage, Slaughter & Butchery Course at La Tavola Marche yet again asks brave culinary travelers to forage, slaughter and butcher their meal… while on holiday in Italy. Inspired by Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma the farm teaches students from around the world how to forage for mushrooms, slaughter (& butcher) a hen and then butcher a whole pig with knife-in-hand classes! This fall experience Italian farm life first hand with this unique holiday.

CONTACT:'s an oldie but classic: Autumn in our Valley

Thursday, July 13

Dark Chocolate Cake with Pine Nuts

Inspired by having a fridge full of salted butter from France (a gift from friends/guests) and a cupboard stocked with dark chocolate - Jason knew what needed to be done.  It was too bad we didn't have any gelato (a warm slice of this cake with a scoop of vanilla!)  but we made due a little fresh whipped cream on the side.

As it was cooling on the windowsill before dinner, I couldn't help but do a little "quality control" and sneak a slice.

I posted the photo above with this question yesterday on Facebook: " you think anyone will notice?!"

The comments were hysterical & creative on what I should do to hide the evidence or who I should blame (the chickens!) and many of you asked for the recipe. So here is the ridiculously simple recipe to this rich dark chocolate cake.

The better the chocolate - the better the cake. We used a mix of 100% and 72% dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Cake with Pine Nuts

4 eggs
125g sugar
125g butter
125g dark chocolate 72% or greater
75g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
pinch of salt
125g pine nuts (toasted)

Beat eggs & sugar until foamy. Melt chocolate and butter then once cool, combine with the egg mixture.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder. In a few strokes, mix into egg mixture.
Just before the flour is fully incorporated toss in half the nuts.
Butter and flour a spring form pan. Pour in mixture and top with the other half of the pine nuts.

Bake 175C or 350F for 30-40 minutes

Wednesday, July 5

Kids 'Unplugged' in Italy: Put down their devices, get dirty in the garden & learn to cook

We have all seen it. A nice family sits down to dinner at your favorite local restaurant. While mom and dad scope out the menu brother and sister immediately whip out their phones like Wyatt Earp and his pistol at the Ok Corral. You glance over to peek at their screen and they are both focused intently on none other than Jewel Quest.

Oh the travesty.

As a proprietor of an Italian Aguturismo deep inside the Italian countryside many families with kids make their way up and over the pass through endless windy dirty roads and stop at Ca Camone with feelings of trepidation. How on earth can this farm house possibly have high speed Internet?

Truth be told, we do have internet, at times and hardly high speed. Due to our rural location we are lucky enough to have any of life's technological advances. Internet comes and goes, partly due to our location and partly due to power accidentally being cut to the wireless router.

Upon check in, and the realization of poor to no Internet access there is a moment of confusion followed by panic. Having been addicted to constantly checking your phone for endless texts, movies, music, podcast etc there is always that realization that the cell phone in your pocket has just become a small, inadequate paper weight.

An hour in and the mood turns. Kids understanding that the safety and lack of boundaries at our farmhouse provide them with endless exploration and they quickly become kids again. Sticks being used as swords, rocks as artillery. Once "picky eaters", now literally pick veggies off the vine & pop them straight into their mouths.  Their little imaginations blossom and before you know it the cell phones are left in their rooms to sit alone and die a small painful death of battery loss. Who would have thought?  They loose track of time in the garden, help prepare lunch in the kitchen and jump in the pool to finish the perfect day... without a cell phone/device or Jewel Quest in site!

For more on our family holidays contact or

Tuesday, June 27

Podcast from Italy: Orvieto & Lake Bolsena + An Interview with the Brother

Here's what you've all been waiting for - an interview with brother Zack! We snuck away while family was in town to Lake Bolsena and Orvieto for a few days to explore Lazio and enjoy the tourist free lake...but more importantly due to listener demand we have interviewed Jason's brother Zack (aka Fat Zac) and we hope you enjoy the banter!

Thanks for listening! Podcast from Italy #104 - Bolsena & Orvieto Travel Plus an Interview with Brother Zack Dowload/Stream on iTunesStitcher or Podbean

Here's a photo of the chinook we talk about!

Full post on Bolsena coming up later this week!

Friday, June 23

A Little Love for the Military from Americans in Italy: 15% Off Last Minute Summer Getaway

Our farmhouse and cooking school has quietly become a sort of home away from home for many military families and couples stationed in Europe (especially Rammstein, Naples & Aviano) from family vacations to last minute romantic weekends & yoga retreats. I think it's partially due to our central location in Italy, partially because we are easy going Americans but mainly from the powerful word of mouth machine that is the military wife. In all honesty these are some of my favorite guests - the kids are all engaged and eager to participate in the farm life and cooking, they don't mind the bugs (it is the countryside after all) & feel like they are at camp as the parents relax by the pool or patio with a glass of crisp cold rose as they eagerly wait for a beautiful dinner to be served shortly. Feeling like a million miles away from the base and official business (even though it was only a 4 hour drive), with the ease of speaking English, we catch up on Football or Baseball scores, share our cravings of what we miss most about back home and enjoy hearing stories of travel, battle and life. I like it because we connect on a deeper level having these shared experiences. 

To say thank you for all your support throughout the years, we'd like to extend this special for the Military & their Spouses/Families of 15% off your stay in July & August 2017 at La Tavola Marche our farm, inn and cooking school. It is a small gesture I know but heartfelt from our small farm.

Jason and I just wanted to take a moment and sincerely say, thank you!  From simply telling others about your stay & sharing the photos on Facebook, helping us pick tomatoes to literally filling your SUV with rations from the BX: Mexican food, pop tarts, PEOPLE magazine & 2 dozen Rubber Maid crates, to the times of need, when many of you reached out to us personally & rallied behind us to offer help in any way, shape or form (and you actually did!), we can't express our gratitude enough for sticking with us through the good times and the bad.

The Details:
15% Off Military Discount Off Your Stay at La Tavola Marche
 during JULY & AUGUST 2017.
Contact and book: or 
Please include what base you are stationed at and branch of military. Discount of 15% is applied to your apartment rental and includes all taxes. Cannot be combined with any other special offers/discounts.

Get'em goat! At the Navy vs. Notre Dame Football Game in Dublin, Ireland (August 2012)

A Few Reviews from Military Families:
"I traveled to la tavola marche with my sister, spouse her hubby and my 9 month old little boy... I have to say it was very quiet, this is one of the best parts when you have small children, quiet is hard to come by and I loved the views from ever location I found myself...I am military married to military and we have a hard time scheduleing vacations do to the frequent deployements so it was a short 4 hr drive from our location... We all enjoyed the company the laughs the great food & vino and watching jason put togather unique plates for us to try...We appriciate the hospitality and the welcoming smiles, we will be returning next yr at this time, we are bringing all our friends... we cant wait!!! - The Irvine's :0)"

"What a great place to visit! Not only is the farmhouse and grounds just breathtaking, but Jason and Ashley made our stay memorable with their hospitality, knowledge of the area, fun and welcoming personalities and let's not forget the food! Jason's cooking and cooking classes were top notch!! Amazing is not a strong enough word to describe our stay. I visited with a group of women, but want to visit again with my family. I enjoyed everything about our stay. Kudos to Jason and Ashley on creating a perfect Italian get away!"

"My husband and I had a wonderful time during our stay at La Tavola Marche. Jason and Ashley are wonderful hosts and attract a great group of guests. We made great friendships while there! We participated in the Consultant Workshop on starting a hospitality business in Italy; their insight was invaluable and will ensure anyone interested in moving to Italy has a realistic understanding of the process. Their workshop and guest speakers provided us with new options and exposure to running a business abroad.

We had never been to this part of the beaten path. We would wake up to a breakfast of an Italian cafe, fresh fruits and eggs; after that we either relaxed reading by the pool or drove to explore other sites near by; to include one of the monthly antiques market (one of the largest I have seen). We wrapped up the days with workshop lessons and wonderful meals cooked by Jason. Jason's professional culinary skills clearly demonstrated in his regional dishes and homemade pasta & cured meats."

Saturday, June 17

Photos from A Festive Night in Mondavio

Summer festival season has kicked off in Italy! With family and friends in town we drove out of the mountains and towards to the coast to the soft rolling hills of Le Marche for a "Cuisines of the World" festival in Mondavio.  Jason & I were so excited at the prospect of Chinese, Mexican...something other than Italian for the night.

However, as expected the selection of food was not what I would call "of the world" - a few food trucks from Puglia overflowing with taralli, one from Spain serving paella, a craft beer stand with a Japanese name but made locally and of course the busiest food stand: pasta with truffles.  It always impresses us how not matter what size of festival there is (feeding 50 - 500) the pasta is ALWAYS cooked perfectly!

Just as we arrived the medieval festivities began (I have no idea what that has to do with cuisines of the world but...) making the night perfectly Italian.

We meandered about the tiny town, in awe of the massive antique trebuchets/catapults, bought beautiful handmade tablecloths, rocked out to young Italians covering Classic Rock (and doing a damn good job), ate too much pasta and enjoyed a spectacular sunset in good company.

Mondavio (PU) Le Marche, Italy
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin