Le Marche: Locanda della Valle Nuova
You can’t help wondering what a woman like Giulia Savini—fluent in three languages and with two international master’s degrees—is doing living in Le Marche raising white Marchigiana cows and pampering guests on her 185-acre farm. But Savini and her parents, who also live on site, are as passionate about the environment as they are about hospitality. A short drive from the Renaissance town of Urbino, their 1980’s farm, with six modern guest rooms and three apartments, is as eco-conscious as it gets: crops are strictly organic, the stove is fueled by tree prunings, and electricity is generated by photovoltaic panels on the roof. If you don’t care for morning horseback rides or excursions to artisanal producers, stay here for the food. Loyal to her Piedmontese roots, Giulia’s mamma, Signora Adriana, makes an unforgettable beef bollito misto as well as a rich tagliatelle, made with eggs from her henhouse, that’s tossed in a deep-flavored wild-boar ragù. The best she saves for last: some two dozen house-made liqueurs culled from the pantry, crammed with colorful jars of elderflower and sour-cherry preserves.
Almost one month ago we sadly discovered that one of the farm cats had an accident and she had left 4 kittens all alone in the cow-shed.
When I tried to catch them I got lots of hissing and a bleeding scratch on my cheek, but they soon understood that I was not so bad when I fed them a wonderful mix of warm milk, cream and egg yolk (about 200 g of warm milk, 2 tbsp cream, 1 egg yolk with no white whatsoever, it's very bad for kittens!).
This is how they looked all well fed and relaxed on their second day at home:
They grew, they begun eating more and more milk, I started mixing some beef baby food to their milk, they destroyed 2 bottle nipples biting them with their sharp growing teeth, they started to eat soft food and to lick milk (so funny when they first tried!) and now they're lively, greedy eaters, playful and ready to find a new family and a new home.