Fabriano: UNESCO “Creative City”

Just wanted to share this again with you. Enjoy!:-)

Discovermarche

Panoramic view of Fabriano - copyright Giorgio Pellegrini Panoramic view of Fabriano – copyright Giorgio Pellegrini

Our journey in discovering Le Marche region today leads us to Fabriano, a city world-renowned for the handmade paper production. Not surprisingly, Fabriano recently received the prestigious award of “Creative City” by UNESCO – one of seven in the world and the only Italian with Bologna – in the category of “Folks Arts and Crafts”.

The historical identity of Fabriano has always been linked to its paper manifacturing.

8001348125273Back to your student memories, anyone may remember to have purchased at least once an album with the white background and blue lettering with embossed the name of this city … maybe without even knowing what it meant.schemaviaggiocartaIn fact, it is the traditional craftsmanship of paper that made Fabriano unique worldwide since ancient times.

Entry at the Museum - copyright Giorgio Pellegrini Entry at the Museum – copyright Giorgio Pellegrini

To learn more, we visited the “Paper and Watermark Museum”…

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Fabriano: “Città Creativa” dell’UNESCO

Discovermarche

Panoramica di Fabriano - copyright Giorgio Pellegrini Panoramica di Fabriano – copyright Giorgio Pellegrini

Il nostro cammino alla scoperta delle Marche oggi ci porta a Fabriano, città conosciuta per la produzione tutt’oggi della carta fatta a mano. Non a caso, di recente Fabriano ha ottenuto il prestigioso riconoscimento di “Città Creativa” dell’UNESCO – una delle sette nel mondo e unica italiana insieme a Bologna – nella categoria “Crafts and Folks Arts” (Artigianato e Arti popolari).

8001348125273L’identità storica di Fabriano è da sempre legata alla sua produzione della carta. Chiunque di voi potrà ricordare, tornando con la memoria ai banchi di scuola, di aver acquistato almeno una volta un album con lo sfondo bianco e la scritta blu ed impresso il nome di questa città…magari senza nemmeno sapere a cosa si riferisse.

Schema di viaggio della carta fin da secoli addietro Schema di viaggio della carta fin da secoli addietro

In realtà, è proprio la tradizione artigianale e millenaria della carta che hanno reso…

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Tonnarelli with fava beans, bread crumbs and wild fennel herbs

I’ve been back to Italy since a few days and just started having some lunches at home, to greet friends and relatives during the Easter holidays.
I asked Silvia and Donatalella, the owners of the cooking school “Fabrica del Gusto” of Fabriano (http://www.fabricadelgusto.it) to advise a couple of recipes to surprise my guests.
And, not only they suggested me some really tasty dishes to make, but they’ll also come with me for picking up together the best ingredients.
The main course I will make (following the directions of my teachers:-), is the so called:

“Tonnarelli with fava beans, bread crumbs and wild fennel herbs”
This is a dish that enhances the quality of the ingredients and therefore, when it came to choose the main ingredient, I had no doubts: the “Tonnarelli” by Antica Pasta, made in the Marcozzi’s pasta factory in Campofilone (http://www.anticapasta.it)I’ll disclose with you the tasty recipe, the two most sought after chefs in town just shared with me:

Tonnarelli with fava beans, bread crumbs and wild fennel herbs
Ingredients for 4 people
250 gr of tonnarelli pasta by Antica Pasta
250 gr of fresh fava beans
3 tablespoons of grated stale bread crumbs
Wild herbs fennel
Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic
Salt and pepper
Chilli (optional)

Parboil the fava beans in boiling salted water for a few minutes. Drain them and dip into a bath of iced water in order to preserve their consistency and color. Once cold, remove the outer skins by hand.Blend the bread crumb with fennel.

The amazing scent of the wild fennel herbs

 In a skillet brown the garlic with the oil (add some chili pepper to your taste), add the fava beans and let cook for few minutes.In another pan with a little olive oil toast the crumbs flavored with fennel.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for about 4-5 minutes. Season with the fava beans, toasted bread crumbs and serve.

Buon Appetito!!!

Tonnarelli con fave e mollica di pane alle erbe spontanee

Sono rientrata in Italia da qualche giorno e ho organizzato un paio di pranzi, rigorosamente a casa, per poter salutare amici e parenti durante le festività pasquali.
Ho chiesto a Silvia e Donatalella, le titolari della scuola di cucina “Fabrica del Gusto” di Fabriano (http://www.fabricadelgusto.it) di consigliarmi qualche ricetta da provare per soddisfare i miei ospiti. E, non solo mi hanno suggerito piatti davvero sfiziosi da preparare, ma si sono anche offerte di accompagnarmi a fare spesa per scegliere gli ingredienti migliori.
La portata principale che servirò (seguendo le indicazioni delle mie maestre:-), è:

 “Tonnarelli con fave e mollica di pane alle erbe spontanee”

Si tratta di un piatto che esalta la genuinità degli ingredienti quindi, per l’elemento principale, non ho avuto dubbi: “Tonnarelli Antica Pasta” del Pastificio Marcozzi di Campofilone (www.anticapasta.it)Vi svelo questa succulenta ricetta proposta delle due chef più ricercate del mio territorio:

Tonnarelli con fave e mollica di pane alle erbe spontanee
Ingredienti per 4 persone
250 gr di Tonnarelli Antica Pasta
250 gr di fave fresche
3 cucchiai di mollica di pane raffermo grattugiata
Erbe spontanee finocchietto selvatico
Olio extra vergine di oliva
Aglio
Sale e pepe
Peperoncino facoltativo

Sbollentare(sbianchire) le fave in acqua bollente e salata per qualche minuto, scolarle e passarle in un bagno di acqua e ghiaccio per preservarne consistenza e colore, una volta fredde togliere a mano la pellicina esterna.In un mixer frullare la mollica con il finocchietto.

Altro ingrediente fondamentale e profumatissimo: il finocchietto selvatico

In una padella far rosolare l’aglio con l’olio (e a piacere peperoncino), unire le fave e lasciar insaporire per qualche minuto.

In un’altra padella con un filo d’olio tostare la mollica aromatizzata al finocchietto. Cuocere la pasta in acqua bollente salata per 4-5 minuti, condire con le fave, la mollica tostata e servire.

Buon appetito!!!

Fabrica Del Gusto: ‘Chef…Master’ in Fabriano!

I want to bring you back to this post of some time ago to remind you that the cooking classes at ‘Fabrica del Gusto’ in Fabriano are still going on!
Remember: Master Chefs are made…not born!
The proof is in the pudding:-)

Discovermarche

10694451_1648963445330558_8483444268973980224_oWhile we were visiting the beautiful city of Fabriano, we heard great things about a new cooking school recently opened by two Italian food bloggers. Their success is clear: thanks to the special attention to the environment and local traditions.“Clean eating classes” are becoming more and more popular in the United States. They are based on teaching people how to eat ‘clean’ and healthy.

Discovermarchevisited Fabrica del Gusto to find out how this innovative school teaches the diet principles of the Marche region.

“The name Fabrica*, with one B only, has been choosed in honor of Fabriano”. With this statement Donatella and Silvia welcome us to Fabrica del Gusto and here begins the story of their adventure.

Donatella and Silvia Donatella and Silvia

The two friends shared a passion for food and local tradition. So one day, while drinking an espresso coffe together, they started talking about their dream of…

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Fabrica Del Gusto: ‘Chef…Master’ in Fabriano!

Vi ripropongo questo post di qualche tempo fa’ per ricordarvi che le lezioni di cucina a Fabrica del Gusto di Fabriano continuano!
Perche’ Master Chef non si nasce ma…si diventa!
Provare per credere:-)

Discovermarche

10694451_1648963445330558_8483444268973980224_oMentre eravamo in visita nella splendida città di Fabriano, siamo venuti a conoscenza della grande popolarità che sta riscuotendo la scuola di cucina aperta di recente da due food bloggers, il cui successo è dovuto anche alla particolare attenzione che viene rivolta all’ambiente e alle tradizioni locali. Negli Stati Uniti stanno prendendo sempre più piede le “Clean eating classes”, ossia lezioni per imparare a mangiare cibo “pulito”, quindi sano. Noi di Discovermarche siamo andati a vedere da vicino come si trasmettono nelle Marche i principi di educazione alimentare.

“Fabrica con una sola B, in onore a Fabriano”. Con questa frase Donatella e Silvia ci accolgono a Fabrica del Gusto e iniziano il racconto della loro avventura.

20150115_cuoche Donatella e Silvia

La passione per il cibo e per i prodotti agro-alimentari del territorio, uniscono le due amiche che, mentre sorseggiano un caffè, si lasciano trasportare dall’idea di realizzare una…

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Stef on how living and…”surviving” the Italian Good Life!

I realized that many of my followers are interested in learning about the experience of other expats who decided to move to Italy. Due to popular demand and the possibility to get in touch with other bloggers, I’m glad to interview and share with my readers this kind of experiences.

So, today I would love to introduce Stef, a Dutch expat who moved to Italy in 2008, accompanied by his husband and dog, to start their own Bed&Breakfast: the “Villa I Due Padroni” in the Oltrepo Pavese wine region, just 30 miles south of Milan. In 2014 Stef published his first book (in Dutch) about their life in Italy. The English translation is available from November 2016 as “Living in Italy: the Real Deal – How to survive the Good Life” and has had raving reviews from editorial websites and readers alike.

So let’s get started and hear about Stef’s experience as an expat in Italy…

Where are you originally from and when/where did you move to Italy? Did you move with family?      

  • I am a Dutchman and moved with my husband to Italy in 2008.

    Stef and Nico

 What inspired you to move to Italy and particularly to set up your own B&B?

  • My husband Nico was a few years from retiring and wanted to make a last career change, while I was busy with a masters study that required a stage in a foreign country, for which I chose Italy.

    Stef and Nico’s B&B, the “Villa i Due Padroni”

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?

  • It was difficult at first to find a rental appartment in Pavia, where we stayed the first 6 months but getting used to the Italian way of life was rather easy.

How does the Italian culture differ from home? Which aspect of Italian life was most difficult to get used to?

  • The most difficult part is getting used to sloppiness, agreements, time frames etc. You keep expecting people to live up to them but more often than not they don’t.

What are the locals like? Do you mix mainly with other expats?

  • There aren’t many expats in our region, which is the countryside south of Pavia. We do mix up with the locals though who are almost all of them agreeagble pleasant people.

Was it easy meeting people, making friends and integrate into the community?

  • Nico started singing in a choir and made some friends that way. Then we got acquainted with some of our Italian colleagues that wanted to cooperate and with restaurant owners, wine makers etc.

Is there anything you miss about living in Netherlands?

  • The one thing I miss is the possibility to cycle to shops etc. Here the hills are steep and the streets bad, so almost everything needs to be done by car.

What do you enjoy most about living in Italy and the Italian lifestyle?

  • Eating out! The climate, the beautiful landscape. The people as well, it is fun (mostly) to try and understand the cultural differences.

    Stef and his lovely “expat”-dog:-)

What’s your favorite Italian food?

  • What not? I like almost everything. The taste is always much better than in the restaurants in the Netherlands. Very fond of (vegetarian) lasagne, but risotto as well.

With your B&B you guest people from different areas and countries interested in discovering Italy. What are their feelings about our country?

  • Most of them are very surprised to find such a beautiful area close to Milan and can’t understand that nobody has ever heard of it. The like the fact that is non-touristy, quiet.


In our blog we try to incentivize people from all around the world to find out more about Italy and particoularly about Le Marche and their local tradition. Have you ever visited Le Marche and if so what did you love the most about Le Marche? 

  • I visited Le Marche yes. There are quite a few Dutch expats running B&B’s over there. I have discovered the coastal area mainly from Ancona to the south. There are some beautiful villages to visit. I will definitely return to visit the mountains as well!

How difficult was getting a work visa/permit?

  • We did not need permits, as EU-citizens.

Did you experience many difficulties in setting up your business?

  • Not on the administrative side as we are lucky to live in a very small ‘comune’ (aka: municipality). Buying and renovating the house however turned out to be a rollercoaster ride which I decribe in detail in my book!

How does the Italian work culture differ from your country?

  • Difficult to say, our work here is completely different from what we did at home.

    Some friends helping in picking grapes for the harvest

How does cost of living compare to home?

  • The cost of living is not much different, although eating out is much cheaper here.

What negatives, if any, are there to living in Italy?

  • The distance to native friends and family of course, but apart from that I wouldn’t know!

What are your top tips to any future expats or people considering moving to Italy from abroad?

  • Language, language, language! You’ll find everything to go much easier and you’ll have much more fun if you know the language BEFORE you move. 

In retrospective is there anything you would change?

  • I would not go and live in the house that is being renovated again, better to rent a temporary apartment to have some possibility to escape if things get hot.

Why should people visit Italy? 

  • The climate, the culture, the people, the food, the landscape. Visit the countryside, not only the cities! Rent a car and admire the beautiful panorama’s, discover small nontouristy restaurants.

You are also writing your own blog.  Can you tell us a bit about it and when/why did you start your blog?  

  • Since 2008 we kept a blog for family and friends to learn about our adventures. In 2013 I decided that is was worthwhile to turn our stories into a book, which was published in 2014, in Dutch. It met with quite a success and favorable reader reviews and has now become available in English as “Living in Italy: the Real Deal”: 60+ stories about our hilarious and horrendous adventures in Italy. Again the readers’ reviews are (very) positive. It is available as ebook and paperback at Amazon and other retailers.
  • See https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7OY6DM
  • A Sneak Preview and pictures, reviews etc is available at http://italiaanse-toestanden.duepadroni.it/index-UK.html
  • Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/livinginitalytherealdeal/

I also had a lot of fun in reading Stef’s book and stories! I highly recommend his book and be ready to have fun!