Go Slow Italy (by Alastair Sawday and Jackie King) is being released today!
"Italy, the birthplace of the Slow movement and the home of Slow Food, is the second destination in our new Slow series. We have handpicked 46 exceptional places to stay – places where attention is lavished on some of the most important things in life: convivial meals, community, friends and family, a respect for the environment and a celebration of regional distinctiveness. From the mountainous north, through cypress-dotted Tuscany and on down to the gutsy, colourful south, you'll discover an unmatched passion for Slow Food and Slow Travel. You will meet farmers, literary people, wine-makers and craftsmen – all with rich stories to tell.
Go Slow Italy celebrates fascinating people, fine architecture,history, landscape and real food."
Locanda della Valle Nuova is one of the 46 "exceptional places to stay" :)
"The Savinis' commitment to organic farming and to the environment is almost unequalled. In 1980, while living in Milan and running a tiny farm in Piedmont, Augusto and Adriana decided they should search for a bigger farm further into the countryside in Le Marche. Northern Le Marche then was some way behind much of the rest of Italy and that attracted the Savinis. That the farm was within sight of Urbino delighted them, for being close to the city would add a cultural dimension.
"In the early 80s certified organic farming was in its infancy," says Giulia, their daughter. "Our beginning was not easy. We arrived with a deep respect for the soil - we didn't want to break the surface more than we had to - and we were regarded as townies who were nuts!" Undeterred they pressed on and are now respected for the dynamic farm they have created.
There are DOP cheeses, lamb, their own beef, prize-winning extra virgin olive oil, excellent salamis and a "heavenly" pancetta. All are paired perfectly with local wines: sangiovese from their own grapes, or maybe a bianchello, a rosso piceno or the visner dessert wine made with morello cherries. They make bread, pasta, cakes, pastries, salamis, jams and jellies and grow many herbs for the kitchen and for home-made liqueurs. They mill their own grain and forage for nuts and white truffles. They are a dynamic threesome: Augusto with his knowledge of architecture, local history and culture, Adriana with her love of gardening, cooking and herbalism and Giulia with her gift for communication."
The book, with gorgeous properties and great photos, is available for sale from Sawday's.
Photo by Lucy Pope.