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More tender things for you. Sign up HERE to subscribe to my exclusive monthly newsletter on all things tender and slow living including recipes, food & wine, Italy travel tips and more….. Inspiring choses tendres for elevating the everyday, hoping they may joy to your life and be an encouragement to seek the poetry inside us and all around that lies in most unexpected places and in the most simplest things.

 

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The magical Marche region – The Conero Park

Le Marche, a lovely name, just perfect for this ravishing region. Its immense beauty simply knocks you off your feet. The Adriatic sea and smooth hills descending towards it from the Appennine mountains. embrace the Marche district.
Its fantastic geographical position creates a unique dialogue between “terra e mare” reflecting in its culture as well as in nature.  Characteristic towns nestle in the highlands and rigorous secular olive groves and vineyards bless the landscape. Le Marche has it all: sea, rolling hills, mountains, valleys, sublime cuisine and glorious art sites. Starting off our itinerary amidst the saline perfumed nature of Portonovo, nestled in Ancona’s sea resort, Conero Park will make you feel one with nature at a glance.

 

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Wild sautéed “moscioli” mussels

Mussels, as clams and oysters, are extremely nutritious as very delicious. Those plant-like bivalves could add to food security in aquaculture, that we need so much now. They filter their food from the water, cleaning thus gallons of water by day, and that of course improves the habitat for other sea creatures around them. It is obvious that the cleaner the sea, less hard work for them and purer and healthy product. Now is the high season for the “moscioli”, wild mussels of the Conero regional park area, Marche region, Italy, that starts from april and ends in september. Visitors of the Conero riviera, are ever so lucky to get to taste those exclusive sea gems. I made a simple sautéed version. Mussels are such a great food, just be careful of pick well when buying them.

Wild "moscioli" mussels, Conero, riviera, Marche region, Italy

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The hills & delicacies above the Ligurian coast

The inlands of Finale Liguria are a real paradise for outdoor activity, and you have concentrated inside the circle of a few coastal towns a world of various landscapes and hidden treasures, both naturalistic and gastronomical.
There is something for everybody: comfortable beach walks, climbing in the area of rocky caves, Roman bridges and a charming archeological park in Orco Feglino. Here you find three hints for your Finale Ligure weekend.

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Art colors our existence

In difficult times and crisis, the thirst and hunger for art seems to become a general need. Pablo Picasso wrote a sentence that crystallizes in a glimpse what art means for our soul: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”. So true and a beautiful metaphor at the same time. Just think of what a difference it makes, if you just pay attention to your breakfast, that it is not only nurturing, but as colorful as possible, that you inhale some extra minutes the enchanting perfume of your favorite coffee listening to a great song or symphony. In everyday life maybe we take art too much for granted, and don’t make the most of our own private moments, creating small works of art out of our lives. In times of crisis it is the soul who seeks by itself its food, as if telling us it has to be nurtured, it needs to rejoice, to be caressed caress it in midst of a storm. Art reconfirms itself yet another time as our official food for the soul.

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Dreaming of more Rome strolling in the spirit of Audrey Hepburn

I visited Rome two days in pre-spring, vivid, charming and fresh as ever, embracing the rinascimento season with its timeless flavors & perfumes, its warm gazes full of profoundly rooted  joie de vivre and gestures loaded with centuries of savoir faire. I put on the timeless and comfortable ballerina shoes of Audrey Hepburn (the style of shoes she loved to wear), ideal for tippling quietly yet elegantly through one of the city’s most characteristic neighborhoods, Trastevere, tasting, observing and odouring its magic, its genuineness, its passion for life and the beauty that lies in the little things. Accompanied as before by beautiful Berta. Let’s dream together of Rome and try to imagine the sensations produced by its numerous flavors, perfumes and colors. Rome is resting now like all Italy, resting and fighting like all Italy in order to make this beautiful spring continue, more vivid and colorful than ever before.

 

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To Rome & Audrey with Love + slow travel tips

There are few things more romantic that I can think of than Rome in spring, or should I say breathlessly charming? Observing Flora’s season exploding with its million colors and perfumes into the timelessness of the city is somewhat unique.
When I think of Rome, and when I go there, my spirit automatically travels back at least to the mid fifties and sixties when Audrey Hepburn had already left her inimitable footprints in the eternal city, first with Vacanze Romane (1955),
and later living there for many years. Celebrating International Women’s Day by getting into her beloved ballerina shoes and tap through her most dear Trastevere neighborhood in the company of the border collie Berta and photographer Danilo Mecozzi.

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Apple fritters from Tyrol

There’s something about fried food that is so comforting and satisfying for the tastebuds. The aroma of the fried ingredients, the crunchiness of the dough that surrounds it…. Heavenly indulgent.
I particularly love fried apple slices in batter, and they are the main reason why sometimes I go skiing. It’s really worth while (independently from the breathtaking view), to take the funivia up to a couple of thousands of meters altitude, and savor these Tyrol Apple Fritters in their perfect surroundings.
The dessert is originally from the Trentino Alto Adige region, which is by the way Italy’s most important apple cultivation area. Then the ski ride down the mountain serves to burn the calories and admire the spectacular view.
When I make them, the sweet, fresh and comforting smell brings out the the imagine of a sunny skiing day in the Alps.

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Getting to Varenna

 

Como Lake is really a world of its own, and discovering it bit by bit is an extremely rewarding experience. It’s also a great lesson in learning how many treasures and endless beautiful surprises you can discover, without covering too many kilometers. The lake’s spectacular three-armed shape, mountainy surroundings and history unite in making the lake a really adventurous place, a timeless place, a natural paradise, where the atmosphere could be described as a mixture of an eternal “Belle Epoque”.

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Niçoise Salad

Niçoise salad is one of those whole meal salads that speak of summer. As can be understood from the name, its origin is the city Nice. There exist quite a few variants of the recipe. This is a “light” version I like very much. Light because I omit both boiled potatoes and green beans often present in the salad. Sometimes for extra indulgence I throw in a couple of mozzarella “bocconcini”, that aren’t exactly what comes to mind thinking of “light”, in matter of calories, but I love the white, soft texture and freshness they add to the whole. This salad is extremely rich and colorful, the perfect summer dish, with a glass of Provençale rosé, reflecting the warm and generous flavors of the South of France.

 

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