Day 13: San Benedetto del Tronto
We only have to drive about a mile and we are already in another example of the incredible Italian scenery…..in the Piceno area of southern Le Marche, it is quite hilly, the fields are beautifully tended, olives and grapes are everywhere and the views are stupendous. (This may sound like a familiar description but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t accurate.)
We make a couple of stops…one at the chestnut festival at Ripatransone where we drive up to the top of the handsome “centro storico”
but the town is so crowded that we can’t find a place a park so we turn around and head for Moresco, where there is a “sagra” devoted to roast meat. In Moresco, a much smaller but no less attractive town, we park below and walk up to the main piazza where everything is set up for a luncheon feast. There is a giant wood fire ablaze and townspeople are manning a number of grills cooking pork, beef and sausages. There is a band just setting up and people are buying tickets and waiting for the food to be ready.
But it is unclear when the meal would be ready so we decide to leave and find a country restaurant for a traditional Italian Sunday lunch. We call our first choice but it is already full–Sunday lunch is a popular activity all over Italy–so we head for the small hilltown of Montefalcone di Appennino where there is a Slow Food osteria that sounds very good. Montefalcone is another charming Italian village, set high up on a cliff on a very narrow, curvy road.
On our second pass through town, we see the restaurant and find a parking space. Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, they are also full, which brings to mind the wise words of our friend from Lerici–”If you don’t book, you don’t eat.” There is another restaurant in town–the Locanda del Lupo-where they can seat us. It is a very local place with many regulars and the food for the most part is fine, especially the pasta dishes. Diana has a simple spaghetti with oil, garlic and hot peppers and I have parpardelle with meat sauce (wild boar actually) and they are both very tasty. For a second, I order the house antipasto–a delicious plate of prosciutto, salumi, cheese and vegetables–which is quite good as usual –and Dianahas a “mixed grill”.
On the way back to San Benedetto del Tronto, we stop for a gelato in Amandola, which is tucked under the Sibillini mountains. In the evening, we have drinks with Valerie and Bryan–Americans who live in Ascoli Piceno–who we know from the Slow Travel web site and then we all go out for a “light” dinner at a local place that specializes in “antipasto”.
Tomorrow we are off to Rome.