Monday, March 30, 2009

Raffaello e Urbino: the exhibit

The exhibition Raphael and Urbino: formative years and ties with his home town will open on April 4th. Now the official page has an English version!

Urbino was more than just Raphael’s city of birth; it had a profound influence on his development as an artist and remained an essential reference point for him throughout his life. For this reason, the great exhibition being put on in the “Palazzo Ducale” (Duke’s Palace) in Urbino seeks to rediscover and celebrate this close bond between Raphael and his home town. You can read more and see the complete list of works here or read my previous post about the expo here.

I'll be at the official presentation held on April 3rd and will post more.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Locanda on The Observer: Observer Escape

On April 2nd a new Alastair Sawday's book will be released, the title is "Go Slow Italy" and it features "forty six places to stay where attention is lavished on some of the most important things in life: convivial meals, community, friends and family. It celebrates fascinating people, fine architecture, history, landscape and real food."
An article was out today on The Observer Escape featuring 10 out of the 46 places in the book, the Locanda was one of them.
Read the article: A slow travellers' guide to Italy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Green transport: how to get to the Locanda in a greener way

The Locanda is applying for the European Ecolabel, I've been checking eco criteria and thinking about how to be even greener (we already respect all the compulsory criteria and sum 26 points (19 required) among the voluntary criteria).
Transport is one of the major issues that our eco-conscious guests raise... unluckily there's no public transport to the Locanda, you can get to Pesaro by train (easy access from Milano-Bologna and from there to anywhere in Europe) and then take a bus to Fermignano... but Fermignano is 5 km away from us and, unless you are fit enough to bike to here (it's not terribly strenuous, but you need to be fit!)... a car is a must.
At the moment the greener way to get here is get to Pesaro by train and then rent a car there (the greener the better). I discovered that Hertz rents hybrid cars in the US and in Sweden but apparently not here yet...
I already contacted some rental agents, but I'm afraid that we're not big enough to be considered an interesting business.
I'm now considering carbon offsetting as an alternative until greener cars will be available, Europcar teams up with ClimateCare to give you the possibility to offset your CO2 emissions when you rent a car... I'll keep searching!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Home made "prosciutto cotto"

I promised that I would post recipes of my preserves soon...
today I was looking for recipes to post and I came across a recipe for "coppa di testa" (headcheese)... in spite of the weird name it's a really yummy terrine-like cold cut, but preparing it is really timeconsuming and I think that it would not suite everybody's taste (not the final product, but the preparation itself!).

My mind was set on salumi (cold cuts, "charcuterie") so, when I found my "Salamoia" recipe I decided that I would post that instead. This is the recipe for the brine that I use for curing pork meat that I cook and serve for breakfast at the Locanda (kind of home made "prosciutto cotto").
Of course the quality of my cured pork is high mainly because of the organic pork I use (we raise our own with organic fresh grass, barley and corn adding some acorns by the end of the process), but I'm sure that most of you can find good naturally raised or organic pork.

For about 1.2 kg of pork you need:
100g Salt
50 g cane sugar
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 Juniper berry (crushed)
1 very small garlic clove
1 whole clove
1 whole laurel leaf
1 lovage (levisticum, maggikraut) leaf or a few celery leaves

Mix all the ingredients for the cure and spread evenly on the meat (bits about 400/500 g, not too high (7/8 cm) give a good result).

Pack in a small tupperware and leave in the fridge for 3/4 days. The meat will release some of its juices, turn the meat once during the curing time.
Extract the meat from the brine and leave in cool water for 18 hours (change the water 4/5 times).
Boil the meat (insert the meat in boiling water for a juicier result) until done. Let cool.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Locanda on Tachydromos.

An article about "Eco retreats" featuring the Locanda will be published this coming Saturday on "Tachydromos", magazine supplement of the Greek newspaper TA NEA.
I will post something more as soon as I can get someone to translate it! :)