Talking about food, today we will go to a special place. After eating the best breakfast in the world, which is served in almost every Italian café (the locals call them bars), we leave Fano and we head towards the inland. Our first destination is Acqualagna, one of Europe´s truffle productive places.
Acqualagna is a small village at the foot of the Apennine mountains, crossed by the Candigliano river. It has many (for a 500 habs village) and very good restaurants, which serve local dishes. Their star ingredient is the truffle.
Truffles are black (cost about 500 Euros per kilo) and white (cost about 3.500 Euros per kilo), but, don´t worry, a few grams are enough to turn a plate from common to extra terrestrial. By the way, don´t ever buy truffles from the web, as they must be very very fresh, otherwise their aroma is inferior and not satisfying. One more advise. NEVER buy these awful products, called truffle oil. In the majority they are common oils, enhanced with artificial flavours, which add a paranormal and cheap taste to the dishes.
At Acqualagna there are many groceries selling truffles, I suggest you to taste them in place and not to buy if you don´t have a kitchen, where you stay in Italy. I also suggest you to visit Acqualagna’s museum of truffles, to find out everything about finding, cooking and eating truffles.
Leaving behind Acqualagna, we follow the signs to Cagli and there we catch the SP 42 (strada provinciale) in the beginning and SP16 later to Sassoferrato, the “Iron mountain”. Sassoferrato is the birthplace of Giovanni Battista Salvi, aka ……. Sassoferrato, a famous baroque painter of the 17th century, but, unfortunately for us his paintings are exposed at the National Gallery in London, the Prado museum in Madrid and other first class museums and galleries.
But don´t worry, at Sassoferrato there is the Museo Comunale della Miniera, a very interesting museum, practically an old mine of iron. There you ‘ll learn everything about iron extraction and all the procedure taken.
After the visit at the museum you can drink one more cup of coffee … for the road (you’ ll miss Italian coffee when you return home) and go to the Frasassi caves, just 14 kms away.
Frasassi caves are a European-wide attraction. The ticket is expensive (18 Euros), but the experience is unforgettable. Just have a look at the video below.
– I ´m thirsty. I would love a glass of wine.
– Just wait, man. We are now going to Jesi, a beautiful town, where a splendid white wine is produced. The famous Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.
At the older times when people visited Italy, they used to bring back as a present a straw bottle of red wine or a more peculiar bottle with female body proportions. Both wines were awful.
But, as years passed by, the same wines, the red (Chianti Classico) and the white one ( Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi) have been transformed and have become among the best in Italy. And naturally they have also changed bottles.
So, forget all you know about the cheap wine of the “sexy bottles”, at Jesi you will find extraordinary Verdicchio, a very particular wine, which makes love (and what kind of love, Italian!) with fish and seafood.
Find a hotel at Jesi, park your car and go out to eat and drink. Don´t forget, you are in Marche, one of the best gastronomic places in the world, where seafood is plentiful and even the worst restaurant of each town is better than a good restaurant elsewhere.
If you find, drink a bottle of Podium. It was my choice (when I drunk), as it has a stable quality and every year is declared one of the best Verdicchios.
(to be continued)