-Summer Food and Wine Tour, Le Marche, Italy-
Luxurious private food and wine tours through “The New Wine Country.” I’m Piero Pagliardini, a native of Sant’Angelo in Vado, Marche and I will be your guide on these incomparable cultural vacations. I am also a certified sommelier, and the creator and coordinator of these events. I proudly represented high quality wine in Dallas, TX since 2010. During my time here, I’ve noticed that when people ask me where I’m from no one knows Le Marche (pronounced lay markay), yet everyone knows Tuscany. After a few months of trying to explain where Le Marche was, I finally resorted to introducing myself as “the guy from east
Tuscany.” Tuscany is beautiful and merits its international fame. If you go to Italy, it’s a must-see, but it’s not the ONLY thing to see. I created these tours to show you the best of Italy – known and unknown. Part of the journey is to show you the depths, culture and secret treasures of my home, Le Marche.
Le Marche is home to many little-known jewels. For example, most people associate Italy’s number one delicacy – the precious white truffle— with the northern city of Alba. Not many know about two small towns just a few kilometers apart in Le Marche, Acqualagna and Sant’Angelo in Vado, which have the unique and lucky combination of soil and climate, to produce a large part of the country’s truffles. During the fall, the rich perfume of truffles wafts through the streets of these small villages as they gather and celebrate the
harvest. Some master sommeliers might know Le Marche for the amazing white wine Verdicchio, but only a few will know of the Only Smoked Passito in the World!! Even fewer people still will know there is a unique sweet wine, whose recipe dates back to the renaissance (which I proudly represented in Texas). Vino di Viscole is a sweet wine made from a particularly sour
cherry called “visciola” and is produced only in certain areas of Le Marche.
Or one of our favorite place Castello della Pieve, the characteristic medieval castle set 550 meters above sea level in the municipal area of Mercatello sul Metauro. In 1301 Dante Alighieri’s exile was decreed from this tiny village. Prepare yourselves for a true Marchigiano meal!. How I can not mention the city of URBINO!! With its grandiose architecture went up during the Golden age under the Duke "Federico da Montefeltro" today is a "UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE".... Also the mysterious of "The Church of the Dead" in URBANIA...
I could continue for hours telling you interesting stories of this under-explored region of Italy, and I will…on the tour…CI VEDIAMO IN ITALIA ( see you in Italy) CIAO!!
-Arrival (*Rome, FCO or Venice VCE are the recommended airports).
-Piero will meet and escort you to Hotel Taddeo e Federico in the heart of the beautiful village, Sant’Angelo in Vado, within walking distance of shops, markets, restaurants and village life unspoiled by time.
- Take time to settle in, unpack and explore the village a bit before we all meet up.
- Our host and native Marchigiano, Piero Pagliardini, will welcome you over drinks and give an overview of the week to come. Then pizza night! Enjoy the best pizza in town in an authentic Italian pizzeria. A stroll, a nightcap, and a good night’s sleep.
-Enjoy a local breakfast at the hotel of cappuccino and fresh pastries.
-Morning to explore the village, including the opportunity to visit a Roman Villa, “Domus of Mith” the “Museo dei mestieri” and many more.
-Regional Lunch at the hotel restaurant.
-In the afternoon Panoramic shooting of Italy’s unique country side. We will travel through the village towns along the Metauro River to experience the beauty of nature. Scenes will included rolling landscapes, remnants of a historical village – Castello della Pieve, and concluding in a walk through the Metauro River itself. Trek through blue lagoons and navigate miniature waterfalls as we get our feet wet and learn the history of the area. Bring your swim suit and water shoes! Traditional Italian merenda to follow in a truly off-the-beaten-path location!
-Breakfast at the hotel, and then off to stroll through the traveling open-air market!
-Lunch at the Enoteca, in the heart of the market, featuring fried fish, salami, cheese and prosecco!!
-That afternoon we will drive through the Le Marche countryside for a trip to Cartoceto, a village famous for the best and only DOP olive oil imported from Le Marche. We'll visit the inimitable Vittorio Beltrami, "The Einstein of Cheese," says Lydia Bastianich, and not just because he looks like Albert Einstein but because he is a genius cheese maker. His pecorino di fossa - a sheep’s milk cheese wrapped in grape leaves, and buried under stone for 90 days is indescribably intense, earthy and like nothing you have ever tasted. From the cheese cellar, we'll walk over to his shop where the family Beltrami will prepare us an in-depth sampling of the Beltrami cheeses, cured meats, and breads, with wine pairings along with house made sweets.
-Morning outing to Mercatello sul Metauro, the Medieval village to the east.
-Authentic lunch at Castello della Pieve, the characteristic medieval castle, set 550 meters above sea level in the municipal area of Mercatello sul Metauro. In 1301 Dante Alighieri’s exile was decreed from this tiny village.
-Return to Sant’Angelo in Vado for a private wine tasting of some of the finest examples of Marchigiano wines. From biodynamic reds such as Pergola Rosso and Sangiovese dei Colli Pesaresi, to the (white) Bianchello del Metauro, named after the river that winds through Le Marche. We'll also drink the only smoked passito in the world!
-Continue the tastings over dinner at the local Osteria.
-Pastries (or le paste) and cappuccino at your hotel.
-Outing to neighboring village of Urbania acclaimed ceramic boutiques. Shop, socialize and taste everything in sight! Samples of olives, cheese and Porchetta. Explore all the ceramic studios and join us for a visit to the mysterious Church of the Dead...
-Another delicious regional lunch will be provided on site.
-Meet back at the hotel to experience“Shopping di Sera,” an evening festival with music, pop-up stands and dinner in the streets!
-Free morning, Buy souvenirs, gifts and truffle inspired goodies to stash in your suitcase.
-Lunch on your own. Piero will be there to make recommendations.
-That afternoon Piero will pick you up to go to Urbino.
-We will meet Paolo - who is an art historian with a deep and passionate knowledge of all things Ducale. We'll see the frescos, frieze work, important paintings and architecture of the high Renaissance at the spectacular Palazzo Ducale. In a loose yet structured manner, we'll wander the main squares and winding medieval pathways and pay a visit to Raphael’s childhood home. You will be immersed in local color, texture, and flavors (while eating everything in sight) as well as examining architectural motifs, contemporary art, and design, that will inspire your art.
-Dinner at our favorite restaurant “Ristorante Il Leone” followed by gelato on the square!
Departures at FCO Rome airport or VCE Venice airport will be offered from 2:00 pm onward. In order to arrive for your flight with ample time, we recommend scheduling departing flights after 4:00 p.m.
Pick-up and Departures from other locations, or at times outside these parameters can be arranged at an additional fee.