Planning your next Italian holidays? Fano is waiting for you…

Italy: Fano in the Marche Region, is the place where Roman and Renaissance histories blend with modernity and sweet life. From the Arch of Augustus to the Malatesta’s walls to the Roman Amphitheatre, to some peaceful beaches on the clear blue Adriatic Sea. In Fano you can also sample the local cuisine that offers a great choice of dishes.

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Here some: traditional dishes from the Marche Region.
The tripe omelette rolled and cut into strips sautéed in a tomato sauce, the Pesaro’s pasticciata a stew of beef in red wine with lard, cinnamon, cloves, tomato sauce. In Senigallia , the specilaty is the cutanèi , kind of “poor” dumplings made of water, flour and a few eggs.The scepter, however, goes to vincisgrassi, the most famous pasta of the Marche region, cut into large strips, seasoned with chicken giblets and baked in the oven. You ‘ll find many rabbit dishes, raised in inland areas between Ascoli, Macerata and Fabriano, the tastiest is the one in porchetta, stuffed with spices and wild fennel or stewed with white wine, garlic, chilli and aromatic herbs. Last but not the least the Ascoli olives, stuffed with meat, breadcrumbs and grated cheese, then floured, passed in egg, in breadcrumbs and fried.

Ascoli Olives

What about fish?
A lot! From sea snails, molluscs, seafood, cooked in stew with tomato, mint and wild fennel or the stockfish cooked in abundant white wine, anchovy pesto, celery, carrots, onion, chilli, aromatic herbs, peeled tomatoes, black olives and potatoes and the iconic brodetto, a fish dish widespread in much of the Adriatic coast prepared in many different styles,

Talking of brodetto, I stopped at the restaurant which has been awarded over the years as “Best Brodetto in Italy” and won again last year Fano Brodetto Festival. It’s called La Liscia da Mr.Ori , located in the premises of the 4 stars Augustus Hotel, an elegant venue in the center of Fano, boasting 22 rooms carefully prepared to welcome all year round guests from all over the world.

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I stayed at the next door 3 stars Hotel De La Ville, owned and managed by the Augustus team with excellent level services and trained, professional and multilingual staff. Hotel De La Ville has 24 rooms, including 8 comfort, completely renovated, bright and equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV, mini bar and free Wi-Fi. Some have a sea view while others overlook the ancient city walls

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I choose this hotel because is in the heart of the city of Fano, directly on the ancient dock, it is an excellent starting point for a relaxing beach holiday and a great discovering of history, art and excellet food

Both hotels have free private parking and a bike sharing service by reservation. A gym with innovative equipment and a sauna for relaxing moments, as well as a quiet and private reading room and internet point are also available to guests of the Augustus Hotel.
Simplicity, exaltation of natural taste, freshness and genuineness combined with tradition and creativity: these are in summary the virtues that you will appreciate at the La Liscia Da Mr.Ori restaurant a certainty in the gastronomic panorama of the Marche region.

Good morning at the Augustus. A tempting home made cake

There I meet with the Executive Chef Francesca Paradisi and the mysterious Mr.Ori himself…aka Luca, Francesca’s husband. Pretty soon we were joined by the all family: mamma Tiziana and papa Gabriele. Hey, we are in Italy, after all…

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Tiziana, Francesca, Gabriele: it’s a family affair... Photo @ Cesare Zucca 2021

Ciao Francesca, ciao Luca, where do you like to travel to, if you have some free time?
Luca: We love travelling, exotic destinations are our favorite, Francesca, me and 3 kids, big company. We went to Etiopia, Kenya, Nepal, India, who knows what would be the next…
While in your territory, what car do you like to drive?
Francesca: I am the only driver in the family because Luca doesn’t have a driving license. I have a spacious Peugeot where I can easily fit three child seats in the back
Are you curious about those local cuisine?
Francesca: Absolutely. Sometimes we export ideas, like my ricciola sashimi with mango yelly or the Meo Meo tuna iinspired by Thai cuisine, based on rice, fried vegetables, soy and oyster sauce. We aim, especially in this period that we cannot easily travel, to take our clients around the world with imagination and taste.

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What is important on your cooking?
Taste, freshness, variety, all of that wiith a bit of fantasy and inspiration, for example I named Cesar my laurel, zucchini and prawns skewers as laca and me, we were both inspired by Caesar Augustus,

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Francesca, tell me about your menu and your top dish
My cooking is thetraditional way the cooks form Fano use to prepare a meal: simple, fresh products, lots of fish.

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My number one dish undoubtedly the brodetto, a traditional “poor” soup that local housewives used to cook using the leftover fish that the fishermen did not sell. It is made with oil, red vinegar, tomato paste, pepper, salt and a large quantity of fish: cuttlefish, spider fish, redfish, sole, monkfish and more…

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the iconic brodetto

As a matter of fact in the kitchen there is another “Cooking Queen” I am talking of Tiziana, Gabriele’s wife and expert Chef, here she is…
Tiziana, your restaurant is famous for fish dishes, any particular you would like to mention?
Tiziana: I would love you to try the octopus with mint, green beans, potatoes and the cuttlefish salad with ginger, then you’ll tell me what you think… I also “created” another dish that am proud of: tortelloni stuffed with ricotta and monkfish and wild fennel.

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A Tiziana’s creation: Octopus with mint, green beans, potatoes
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tortelloni stuffed with ricotta, monkfish pachino tomatoes and wild fennel.

Let’s go back in time: Your fist memory in the kitchen?
Francesca: Mom cooking all the time… with some huge sunday production making fresh pasta tortellini and those large tables settled up in three huts, on holidays such as communions and confirmations and was served in three huts.

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Gabriele: Oh yeah, I remember. I was a kid and my job was to shape the gnocchi using my fingers, I kinda loved and hated…actually usually two were ending up on the table and one… in my mouth, even raw they were so good…

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A succulent and tasty traditional dish. the ” fritto misto” served with fried vegetables

Gabriele, you have won the Best Brodetto Award, can you tell me a little bit about it?
Gabriele: Sure, we were the winners of the first edition and we keep the title for a long time, including last year. Fano BrodettoFest it’s a great event that will happen again this year from September 10th to 12th I consider it an unmissable appointment for seafood lovers. There will be great chefs exhibitions and cooking contests to declare the best fish recipe, evaluated by a technical and popular judges.

There is also an area for the children Brodetto & kids, with entertainment, games, didactic activities and detailed workshops about the fish in the Adriatic Sea and the snack time served with fish to approach the children to eat fish, especially the local ones.

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What a great event! Pity only 3 days....
Well, you ‘ll be happy to hear that several restaurants will take part to the “Fuori Brodetto” promotion: a serving of that delicious fish soup will be served at the fixed price of 20 Euros until the end of the month!
So, come to Fano and enjoy this delicious specialty!
Well, I have already save the date…
Grazie Tiziana, Francesca, Gabriele and Luca, see you in September!

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For restaurant info, details, menus, timetables and addresses, click on the name in orange

Travel, food & lifestyle.
Born in Milan, Cesare lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world.
For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and writes about cities, cultures, lifestyles. 
He likes to discover both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights,

to meet and interview top chefs from over the world and to ‘steal ‘their recipes.
All of them treasured in his blog, with a “Non Touristy Tourist ”  style

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