Summer festival season has kicked off in Italy! With family and friends in town we drove out of the mountains and towards to the coast to the soft rolling hills of Le Marche for a “Cuisines of the World” festival in Mondavio. This is one of those hidden gems of Le Marche that I just love for it’s history, stunning architecture and quaint authentic feel.  Jason & I were so excited at the prospect of this food festival with dreams of Chinese, Mexican…something other than Italian for the night.

However, as expected (we both knew deep down there wouldn’t be any Pad Thai) the selection of food was not what I would call “of the world” – a few food trucks from Puglia overflowing with taralli, one from Spain serving paella, a craft beer stand with a Japanese name but made locally and of course the busiest food stand: pasta with truffles. It always impresses us how not matter what size of festival there is (feeding 50 – 500) the pasta is ALWAYS cooked perfectly!

Just as we arrived the medieval festivities began (I have no idea what that has to do with cuisines of the world but…) making the night perfectly Italian.

Mondavio is locally famous for it’s fortress – Rocca di Mondavio, the castle was commissioned by Giovanni Della Rovere around 1492 from the architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The castle, in excellent state of conservation since it was never sieged or bombed. Today it houses a museum with personal and siege weapons, armor, uniforms, etc. The exhibit of trebuchets (in the old moat!) is most impressive (especially because you can go right up to these massive structures and actually touch them!) built to designs of Martini.

We meandered about the tiny town, in awe of the massive antique trebuchets/catapults, bought beautiful handmade tablecloths, rocked out to young Italians covering Classic Rock (and doing a damn good job), ate too much pasta and enjoyed a spectacular sunset in good company.

 

MONDAVIO (Pesaro Urbino) ITALY

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