Marge, an Italian lover

We’ve been following Marge (   for a very long time but unfortunately we never had the opportunity to meet her. His work, however, is fascinating: his articles exude all the passion and love for our country! We are proud to present to our readers this article that speaks of an excellence Marche

Thank you Marge!!!

Authentic Artisan Experience in Le Marche

Tucked away in a village in Le Marche is the workshop of Emanuele Francioni, a talented young artisan who is the sixth-generation to carry on an age-old family tradition. This special method of printing with handmade stencils and paint comes alive at Antica Stamperia di Carpegna.

Welcoming us with a smile, Emanuele is happy to demonstrate and explain the distinctive technique he learned from his grandfather. I’m about to enjoy an authentic artisan experience in Le Marche.

Carpegna, a small village in western le Marche, is not far from the bordering regions of Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. Emanuele’s expanded workshop is surrounded by fields of poppies and cherry trees, and a small garden where he cultivates his own hemp which he uses to weave the fabric he needs. The atmosphere is almost cerebral, very peaceful.
Emanuele is known as a stampatore, or printer. As he begins to explain the process in Italian, it’s apparent that he has a genuine passion for what he does. I love learning from these authentic artisans in Italy.

In the early 1800s his family began the business in Tuscany, and at the beginning of the 20th century they made the move to Le Marche.

Emanuele uses wooden stencils that he has created by hand from walnut.

He explains that he learned from his grandfather how to make these by chipping away with a tool.

These wooden stencils have a series of tiny nails pounded into them to create various patterns. Other stencils have designs hewn into the wood, by hand, of course.

When he is ready to stamp the pattern he dips the wooden stencil into a paint he has created by hand from natural materials.

He describes the color “rust,” as made from cornflower, vinegar, and rust from old nails.

He then demonstrates how to hold the heavy wooden stencil and meticulously places it on the fabric. Afterward he pounds it a few times with a hammer and lifts up the stencil to expose the pattern on the fabric.

Some of his creations are simple, like a bag, or an apron, and others are larger and much more complicated such as a tablecloth. He even creates the patterned fabric for shoes which are sold throughout Italy.

He used to use wool which would be cooked and pressed so as to appear like felt, which he used to make hats. They are both strong and waterproof. Today he works with hemp which he has been dyed and has three colors at his disposal, although he is always trying new techniques.

I am in awe of this entire process and it’s artisans like Emanuele Francioni that make me yearn to visit Italy and learn more about such a lost art as stamping. I appreciate the opportunity to try it for myself as Emanuele is kind enough to give each of us a chance to see how it is to create a stamped item. Grazie, Emanuele.

Emanuele also has a shop in Siena, below the Baptistery. It is inside the shop, Antichita Mazzoni, Piazza San Giovanni, 8 Phone: +39 0577 282091. Stop in and see his hand-crafted items the next time you’re in Tuscany. I love my apron and bag with his hand-made printed designs.
This visit to Antica Stamperia di Carpegna was an excursion provided by Palazzo Donati, my host during for three days in Le Marche. This is an example of an authentic artisan experience they can arrange when you stay at their villa in Mercatello sul Metauro in Le Marche. As always, the opinions and words expressed are my own.
Read more about my experience at Palazzo Donati.

Officina del Sole…I wish I could invite Monet for breakfast in Montegiorgio

Officina del Sole…I wish I could invite Monet for breakfast in Montegiorgio

It happens very often that when you think about travelling you actually refer to far away destinations and, particularly, places that are unusual. So, you end up missing places that are closer by, but still worth a visit that you may keep skipping just because of the fact they are easier to reach, hence you think you can always see them in the future. However, the reality is that most of time that ‘future’ never comes. Do you believe me if I tell you that I’ve never been to Sicily? Or to Matera? Myself, who now lives in the Big Apple! I know it might sound unbelievable! But that is actually true…unfortunately.
So, even in my homeland, Le Marche, there are places of beauty beyond words, which I didn’t know know about. Little-known wonders that tourists appreciate and really look forward to visiting.
It happened to me recently, when I returned to Montegiorgio, a small town I had already talked about a while ago because of its invaluable importance for international studies on the Mediterranean diet. A town where quality of life is very good.
What I didn’t do before, was telling you about the hills and the countryside surrounding Montegiorgio, simply because…I never visited it, even when I was living just half-an-hour- drive away.

During my last stay in Italy, I was invited to spend a day at the Officina del Sole (, a facility located on the hill of Monte Milone.
Surrounded by a set of colors that vary depending on the season and whose beauty reminds me of Impressionist paintings, the manor house is set among rows of vines, fruit trees and olive groves, which gives you the feeling of an unexpected concept of art. Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 22.52.43.png
42-hectares (103 acres) of pure beauty in an oasis that will completely blow you away. I felt like suddenly it was just me and that breath-taking panorama: brushstrokes of warm colors melted to create hypnotic and relaxing combinations.
Monet, would have been surely fascinated by the beauty that this place offers.Officina del Sole 2
Walking through the paths that connect the 25 suites you start feeling like you become part of the landscape. It’s something like the overflowing feeling that you have when staring of front of an art masterpiece. As if a connection was created with what one you are cherishing.Officina del SoleHere the ingredients are grown directly from their garden and only seasonal products of the land are used in the kitchen. These are ingredients of the farming tradition skilfully combined and adapted to modernity to recall the tastes of old times.Ristorante 2 - Officina del Sole

The splendor of the panorama influences the presentation of the dishes whose view reminds of true works of art! It was impossible for me to resist even to deserts, that I literally was craving for just by looking at them and before delighting my taste.

10513066-c351-4f10-8c56-c3e049f21371.pngRistorante - Officina del SoleI want to thank Beatrice Bellegia not only for the invitation to Officina del Sole but, most of all, for the dedication to her work no matter what the challenges are and for her ability to always “Dream Big”. An example to follow!

For more information please visit the official Officina del Sole website at: padronale - Officina del SoleRistorante 4 - Officina del Sole.jpg

The Eight Edition of the Artistic Nativity Scenes by Andrea Pistolesi

Dear Friends,

please mark your calendar on December 15th and then…start the countdown!

Also this year the eighth exhibition of Artistic Nativity Scenes by the personal collection of Andrea Pistolesion will open in Monte San Giusto (MC) on 12/15 at 10:30 pm. To make the atmosphere even more magical, the exhibition will be christened by the usual inaugural concert with the choirs “pueri cantores, Santa Cecilia and the choir of the students the choir Happy Voices”.This Christmas the Nativity Scenes will be set up in the grotto near the Bonafede museum, currently closed for the restoration of some canvas from 18th century. There will be five new cribs for this eighth edition!A new mechanical Nativity Scene displaying the houses and traditional jobs of local people from Le Marche, as well as a Nativity arranged in a house of the early 1900s with some sculptures by the Master Salvatore Caputo.

Lastly a gem ☺️ …a beautiful Nativity Scene by the Crib-maker Emilio Lattarulo. The secrets of the nativity scene will be unveiled during a conversation with Andrea Pistolesi and some of his closest partners, like: Cesare Ciccale’, Gilberto Pistolesi and Stefano Renzi.

The Maestro and Nativity Scenes-maker-expert: Andrea Pistolesi

A journey through history and manual skills, to get to know an art that is the symbol of the Holy Christmas in our homes.


Opening:: from December 16th to January 21st

Holiday hours: 10am-1pm and 4pm/8pm

Other days by reservation

And from 23 December until 1 January: open every day!


Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays!!!

And if you’re interested in knowing more about this Italian tradition, don’t miss this older post from Discovermarche:

Celebrating the Italian Ferragosto with a glass of wine from Santa Liberata vineyards!

If you are in Italy today, most probably you would escape the heat at the seaside, lakes or mountains. If you’d stay at home you will have a huge family party or enjoining the company of many friends. You’d probably make many toasts, watch a lot of fireworks and eventually attend a traditional Palio horse race in one of the many old towns around Italy.

Today is August 15th, not just another ordinary summer day, but THE summer day that everybody has been waiting for! Today is the “Ferragosto,  literally the ‘hottest’ holiday in Italy! So whatever you’ll be up to, just make sure to celebrate and have fun from day to night!

Talking about celebration and tradition in Italy, you’ll certainly have to raise your glass to toast and say “CinCin” at some point. That’s a sure thing.

As you know,  you’ll  have a wide choice of  great wine in Le Marche, thanks to excellent vineyards and their  amazing families who run the business generation after generation.

Today, in observance to the Italian Ferragosto holiday, I’d like to share with you the story of an amazing vineyard in Le Marche: the Santa Liberata vineyard and their Savini Family.

Please enjoy this interesting post from the WineLoversPage blog by our dear friend Neil Duarte and  let’s start celebrating! Cheers!

More info about the Santa Liberata vineyard, their family, their wines, estate and cellar, their wine tasting experience and much more…here!

Casa Agostinelli: a place where taste and tradition of Le Marche region welcome their guests in a true “Farmily”!

How strange life is! I’m going to tell you about a surprising place in Le Marche, that I was able to discover thanks to some dear friends from Texas, Terry and Neil.

The Duartes have just come back from a travel in Le Marche and Terry, knowing that I would myself have been back to Italy soon, advised a visit to Montemarciano.

Here’s what she wrote to me:

“I know the charm of the hills in Montemarciano, a town that gives a wonderful view of the Adriatic Sea, as well as the extraordinary landscape of the Apennines and Monte San Vito.”

…and so, I visited the Agostinellis!

I cannot tell you what I was most impressed with by this delightful family the other day.

Probably the taste of homemade ‘tagliatelle’ pasta, the same recipe my grandmother used to make every Sunday when my family got together. Then we used to spend all the day chatting and telling how life was going.

Or maybe something about the warm hospitality with which Dilva and Giancarlo welcome their guests. Or,  even the extraordinary feeling of spending a few hours as we used to do long ago.

Dilva is making her homemade traditional ‘tagliatelle’ with Terry

Giancarlo and the harvesting of garlic

“Buon Appetito!”

I have no doubt: besides the quietness and the beauty of the scenery surrounding “Casa Agostinelli” (aka, Agostinellis’ Home), besides the authentic taste of meals, it is the vibe you breath here that struck me most!

I felt like being back to the old days, when spending quality time together while sharing thoughts and opinions was one of the most enjoyable time! 

Today my thanks go to the Duartes for the great advice and to the Agostinellis, who made me realise that certain values still exist.

If you’re also missing the simplicity of old times, then get in touch with ‘Farmily’. Please find more information on their facebook page