Monday, April 06, 2009

Back in the hidden Marche with a correct visa

6 aprile
I am back in the Marche and trying to adjust to the new time zone. We have beautiful weather and all the neighboring cherry trees are in bloom. Yesterday, we hosted 14 people for an extended lunch for Palm Sunday with fresh pasta with a hazelnut sauce, spiedini, salad and a pair of desserts. Being unable to sleep well, I arose at 550 and made 2 breads, one filled with our olives and another with parmigiano and prosciuttto. After the bread making, I tackled the yard which was in full growth phase. I finally got the courage to look at the vineyard which is as I suggested in a previous post is celebrating the "year of the weed" in a grand way.
My last few days in the US were spent snowshoeing in RMNP in a blizzard, dining in a wonderful italian restaurant in Boulder called Alba, where the owners helped me narrow down a 4 page list of wine distributors for CO to a few names appropriate for our niche production, and finally a going away festa at Elway's where Leslie and I met a wonderful piano player/singer.
I was off to Chicago again at 6 in the morning to pick up my visa and as you can imagine, it is a blast toting 100 pounds of luggage on the El and up Michigan avenue, but this time all was in order and I have the correct visa for Italy. Now, I can legally own half of Nascondiglio di Bacco.
I dropped by the Art Institute of Chicago and although "American Gothic" was on loan to Des Moines, it was well worth the visit and a great way to pass some time while waiting for my evening flight. I hadn't been since Damon Mountford and I visited the Monet exhibit years ago and tried out a couple of Chicago's best restaurants.
This time, I flew Swiss Air through Zurich to Rome and was thankful the young spanish kid next to me was skinny as the seats are really narrow. I give the edge to British for comfort, although the service was as good on both.
I went to AAA to get my international driver's license renewed in Denver and while checking out their guidebook on Italy, found only one line about our region and it was concerning Urbino, a town far north of us. It is a; bit frustrating to us who live in this beautiful region and know it well to see all the guidebooks give us short shrift. Most of them pack us in with Umbria which is wonderful as well and together we get about 10 pages if we are lucky (about the same as Cinque Terre, which is cute but doable in one night and 2 days at most)
Maybe, in 20 years we will be the new Tuscany, but one of the problems is the Marche has a small tourist budget. We are starting to get more requests from america and have started a trial run with, so check out the new ad!
I am off to attack the "tree weeds" with my handy hoe.
Have a great Easter week!
The pictures are of my snowshoeing expedition in the national park in horizontal snow. I didn't push it too much as the trail disappeared and I didn't want to. The deer are near my house and then you see Alba which is on Canyon street in Boulder just down from the great wine and liquor store called Liquor Mart. The chef, Alex, made me a nice meal of antipasti battered and fried with a really light tempura like batter, gnocchi with asparagus and guanciale or pig's cheeks roasted and tender. I got 2/3 wines in the blind flight right and missed the chianti but we tried a new bottle and I almost corrected my mistake.

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