Author - Jonathan Zeiger

Of Popes & Piety: An Exploration of the Warring Families of Central Italy- Part 1

Medieval times. Central Italy, the birth of the Renaissance. The Catholic Church is at the peak of its power, and occupies the northern provinces of the Marche (this being before the Vatican settled in Roma). There’s land to be had and enemies to smote. When your enemy happens to live right nearby, that quickly develops into a rivalry. And what do we know about Italian history if not that their favorite game-show would have been Family Feud? That’s right people, I’m talking Montegues and [...]

A Quick Explanation of Italian Wines- IGT, DOC & DOCG

Before I release my article covering the wines of Le Marche, I’d like to make clear to everyone what exactly DOC, DOCG and IGT means. Italian wines can take a lifetime to master (I’m merely on the tip of the iceberg), and can become confusing if you try to wade through them without any prior knowledge. This should act as a good beginning spot for anyone looking to better understand Italian wine. The IGT, DOC and DOCG acronyms are designations used for [...]

Marche Recipe of the Month: Olive all’Ascolana

Nobody – wino, lost tourist, world traveler or avid explorer – should be subjected to a trip that doesn’t include awesome foods. What’s an Italian experience without amazing local recipes? That’s exactly what we’re bringing you in this portion of The Marche Monthly. Welcome to the first edition of Marche Recipe of the Month! First on our list, a famous recipe from the city of Ascoli Piceno. Olive all’Ascolana- green olives stuffed with beef or pork & vegetables or herbs, then [...]

Adventure Le Marche: Le Grotte di Frasassi

This article brought to by Centanni Wines. Some of the most awe-inspiring scenes that we get to witness are those from within the Earth. Caves are a special type of place that draw wonder in creative minds, and stoke adventure in the hearts of explorers. Today we’re off to such a place in The Marvelous Marche. Take a walk with me through Le Grotte di Frasassi.  Have you ever been inside a massive cavern? One so big you can’t see the ceiling? It’ll [...]

There and Back Again – Meeting the Family Centanni

  Not long into my time at Lavanda Blu (that story here) we needed to head over the hill to the Centanni family property to fill up at the wine station (quite literally like a gas station, see below). Hans, the tall Dutchman with a wolf’s look of gray hair and blue-gray eyes (and a wild sense of humor you could only attribute to a true Dutchman), took me with him to fill the wine jugs at Cantina Centanni (cantina, Italian for winery). [...]

Blue Flag Beach of the Month: San Benedetto del Tronto

Welcome to the Marche Blue Flag Beach of the Month The glow of spring has morphed into the heat of summer, and the Adriatic has warmed to a nice 26° (82°F). Slow, mellow waves brush through rock breakers, leaving the shallows unmolested for the relaxed and the sportive alike. Up and down the coast, beach goers are seeking prime spots to bask under the Marche sun and to dive into the placid waters. For many, their destination is San Benedetto del Tronto. I’m taking you on [...]

Pecorino: The Red that Dresses as a White

“In this spectacle of nature, man can merely work to preserve the natural health of the grapes and the aromatic character of the varietal so that… the result is a fresh wine, with clear aromas of the Pecorino varietal, robust & flavorful, vertical and horizontal, full-bodied and long lasting, that you drink and drink again, [a wine] which you remember.”                                       [...]

Discovering the Gem: A Chance Stumble Across The Marche

Arriving at Agriturismo Lavanda Blu June 2011 Carassai, Italy Long green valli fingering out, hilltop borghi speckled about, mall aziende set throughout, la costa, warm and gorgeous blue, towering montagne, always a stunning view. Must be in The Marvelous Marche On my way to study abroad in Spain, I found work as a farm hand in the lavender fields and gardens of Agriturismo Lavanda Blu. Partners Hans and Lisa run the organic farm, campground and bed & breakfast, offering a relaxing, quiet resort for guests. If you happen to wake up for it, the [...]

Beach Town of the Month: Cupra Marittima

I remember the first time I saw the coast of the Marvelous Marche. It was June 2011, and I was on a bus from Rome to some place I’d never heard of before, to a world completely unknown. I didn’t speak a word of Italian, nor did I know anyone where I was going. No cell phone, only my wits about me. With me I had my laptop, a few books and some clothes, all stuffed into my dad’s old [...]

In Search of the Wild West: Why Arizona Wines Deserve Your Attention

It was a Thursday evening when I flew into Tucson. The spring is always the best time, and I walked out of the airport to a breezy day, dry desert air warm in my lungs. I was in town for the 4th Annual Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Music Festival, my first go at tasting any desert wines (not to be confused with dessert wines). It had been a long time since my college days in that dusty old city (I must say, [...]

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