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Report 1933: Le Marche & Umbria: Three Women, Truffle Dogs and an Uncooperative GPS

By Pokey from MA, Spring 2011

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Page 7 of 14: Are You Kidding Me? Up Early for Fish?

photo by Mindy Smith

Senigallia_Harbor

This would have been a great day to sleep in but no, up early to see the fishermen in Senigallia bring in their daily catch. I am grumpy and tired! Marcello comments “Mindy in the morning is a disaster!” Ha ha! We are to meet Stefano, the chef at our hotel. He will pick up fish for the meal we will cook with him later that evening.

Afterward, we walk along the newly restored port of Senigallia. It really is lovely! The sun is shining but we are sad because we must say goodbye to Raffaella today. She has to return to Bologna for one of her fantastic market tours and cooking class. It has been a treasure to have her along with us on our tour of Le Marche. It is one of her favorite areas of Italy and we lucked out having her along!

Colleen, Michele, and I do a little shopping at the stalls but I am very tired and go back to the hotel. I meet up with them later and we return to La Tartana for lunch. The three of us split a huge fried fish platter. It is delicious! The owner remembers us as being friends of Marcello and Rafaella. For dessert we ask for the same strawberries and cream which Michele had our first evening of the tour. He said of course, and we all enjoyed it once again.

We walk along the lungomare to burn off a few calories. It is a beautiful day and there are many people and many dogs! Our hotel has a beautiful rooftop so I sit outside and read for a little while and check my email. (I had my iPod Touch).

At 5pm we all meet in the lobby and say our goodbyes to Rafaella. She has helped us arrange for a driver who will take us three gals to Ascoli Piceno in the morning. We were going to take the train but decided it would be much less hectic and more comfortable to get a driver. It was well worth the money! We hug and cry a bit saying goodbye but we know that one day we will see her again!

We meet Stefano and his girlfriend Gloria in the kitchen. I get shrimp duty and clean a few dozen shrimp while the others clean the fish (ewww, fish guts). We make fish soup, panzanella, Rob and Michele painstakingly trim the scales off of cannochi (a small type of lobster I think; only found in the Adriatic). We are all having a great time, laughing about the week we’ve had together and we vow to keep in touch with Rob and Jeff. I say to Marcello, “If you’re going to use that van again you ought to get the shocks replaced.” He replies (as only he can), “It is nice to suffer a bit.” We all crack up!

We meet later in the dining room where Gloria brings us our fish dinner, which we all helped make. Linguine with clams, garlic, peperoncini, parsley and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and the fish soup. For dessert, sorbetto: lemon ice cream, vodka and prosecco! We find out it is Gloria’s 21st birthday, so we sing her happy birthday! Another perfect day!

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