9 Enogastronomic ways to Experience Le Marche

Wine Dinner at Cantina Sant'Isidoro
Photo courtesy of Cantina Sant’Isidoro

Enogastronomia is an Italian term that combines enology (wine) with gastronomy (food), and also adds a significance to the unique territory from which they come, their provenance. “Turismo enogastronomico” is an ever-expanding movement in Italy, and I’m often asked by Italian guests what enogastromic activities I suggest. Here’s a compilation of food and wine experiences that you can enjoy near Casa Pace e Gioia, our holiday home equidistant from the Adriatic beaches and the Sibillini mountains in Le Marche, Italy. 

Private Chef

Table ready for private chef dinner at Casa Pace e Gioia
Table ready for private chef dinner at Casa Pace e Gioia

I often recommend a welcome dinner to start your holiday, especially for those who have driven a long distance or arrive with jet lag from an international flight. A private chef comes to the house and will introduce you to the best of la Cucina Marchigiana with a fun dinner of local specialties. He’ll also give you insider tips to explore the surrounding region’s hidden gems, so you’ll know where to go and what to do.  

In-Home Parties

We have a collaboration with Chefaway a team who bring delicious and entertaining in-home parties: your choice or combination of pizza, pasta, gelato, or cheese. 

Wine Tasting Experiences

Destemming the grapes at Podere sul Lago
Destemming the grapes at Podere sul Lago

Casa Pace e Gioia is within minutes of several award-winning wineries that make excellent and affordable wines and are always happy to offer our guests tours and tastings. If you’re here in the fall, you can watch the wine harvest process. Some wineries host dinner parties you can attend to celebrate the end of the harvest. In the summers, they often hold memorable “Dinners in the Vines” and weekly aperitivo tastings in the vines. I post updates as I get them on our Facebook page and our house Area Guide app.

Winery Excursions

In spring through autumn, guided hikes and walks lead to vineyards with wine tastings and cantina tours. On a Passeggiata Enogastronomica like the Magnalonga Marchigiana, you can take an 11 kilometer walk with 5 stops, each one a different course paired with a local wine. Our area also has a variety of Wine Cycle Routes which you can enjoy with or without a guide. 

Food Festivals

Food stand at Festa del Vino Cotto in Loro Piceno
Food stand at Festa del Vino Cotto in Loro Piceno

Sagre are food festivals that celebrate a local food product, and pre-covid you could find one almost every weekend from spring to fall. They are a wonderful opportunity to experience real Italy. (Look for signs or events with the words festa or sagra, which is singular for food festival.) We have a list of events, including sagre, on our website. Typically sagre start on Friday evening and end Sunday evening. Live music, food stands, craft fairs, entertainment, activities for kids, demonstrations, shows, and special group dinners are typical elements. The sagre are slowly starting to reappear in a smaller format, but hopefully in 2022 we’ll be able to celebrate food like we used to. 

Olive Oil Tasting & Harvest

It’s not well known, but our area of the Marche makes excellent olive oil and you can visit a local frantoio, (olive oil press) for a fascinating olive oil tasting year-round. During the olive harvest, usually in October, you can witness the collection of the olives and taste the freshly-pressed oil! It’s an unforgettable experience. 

Farm Visits

Being an agricultural area, we’re surrounded by farms and you can visit them! One even lets you play cheesemaker for a day! You can also stop by for a tasting and tour and buy directly from the producers. 

Cooking Classes

Making pasta at a private cooking class
Making pasta at a private cooking class

We have a variety of affordable and authentic cooking class options, in-house or nearby. I recommend a class at one of our favorite restaurants, Le Logge. Chef Andrea is fabulous, putting his own touch on Marchigiani classics, and he opens his kitchen for lessons. At the end of your class, enjoy your meal paired with a local wine. 

“Real Italy” Dining

In addition to all of these enogastronomic experiences, we’re within minutes of dozens of fantastic restaurants that offer uniquely Marchigiani meals. We recommend more than 25 restaurants but you can read about our favorites here. Each one uses local ingredients that honor the farming or seafaring heritage of this diverse region. 

Author: Heather Erica von Bargen

Heather is the host of Casa Pace e Gioia, a holiday rental home with a private pool and olive groves on 8 acres in the countryside hills of Le Marche, Italy.

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