Recanati; City Of Poetry.

Recanati is a small town and ‘commune’ in the Province of Macerata, in the Marche region, founded around 1150 AD on top of a hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This town is a hidden jewel, with its pretty maze of narrow streets surrounded by beautiful, historic buildings and churches and a fabulous, panoramic view of the countryside, the sea and the mountains.

 

 

 

 

Recanati is also a cultural town and hometown of tenor Beniamino Gigli [1890-1957] and one of the most popular Italian poets, Giacomo Leopardi [1798-1837], which is why the town is also known to some as “the city of poetry”. Indeed it is still possible to visit ‘Casa Leopardi’, the poet’s house, where he used to live and composed his most popular pieces of poetry. His progeny still live there and make sure that the authentic settings and spirit of the house remain.

Just in front of the house is a small, beautiful square which is the setting of one of Leopardi’s famous poems, ‘Il Sabato del Villaggio’ (Saturday Night At The Village). Down a few metres from here, you will get to the ‘Colle dell’Infinito’ (Hill of Infinity), the edge of the hill where the poet composed his popular poem ‘L’Infinito’ (The Infinity). In this great piece of work, Leopardi is inspired by the incredible view, only partially limited by a bush, which makes it possible to imagine anything behind it; It is an emotional journey through space and time infinity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Translating such a piece of poetry would be an unforgivable sin. Please enjoy it in Italian below. And if you wish, listen to Dustin Hoffman acting the poem in this short video made by the Marche Bureau of Tourism, which also highlights the beautiful landscape of the region.

 

Sempre caro mi fu quest’ermo colle,

e questa siepe, che da tanta parte

dell’ultimo orizzonte il guardo esclude.

Ma sedendo e mirando, interminati

spazi di là da quella, e sovrumani

silenzi, e profondissima quïete

io nel pensier mi fingo, ove per poco

il cor non si spaura. E come il vento

odo stormir tra queste piante, io quello

infinito silenzio a questa voce

vo comparando: e mi sovvien l’eterno,

e le morte stagioni, e la presente

e viva, e il suon di lei. Così tra questa

immensità s’annega il pensier mio:

e il naufragar m’è dolce in questo mare.

Brodetto All’Anconetana

The ‘Brodetto all’anconetana’ is a typical fish soup from Ancona, in the Marche region.  According to local tradition there should be 13 different varieties of fish in it. This number is sometimes attributed to the number of people at the Last Supper, although the majority relate it to the quantity of spouts of a popular fountain in the centre of Ancona, “Le 13 Cannelle”, one of the symbols of the city.

The original recipe is said to be jealously guarded by the master chefs of Ancona, who wouldn’t reveal it even under torture. We will try to give just a hint here, so that you know what to expect. As explained 13 fish varieties should be used, such as cuttlefish, squid, shrimps, scampi, mussels, clams, mantis shrimp, scorpion fish, red mullet, turbot and others, depending on what’s available and fresh at the market (but not less than 13 varieties!). The fish is cooked with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic, onions and tomato purée for about 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce thickens. Depending on individual taste, it can be made more spicy by using some chilly or black pepper.

Whatever the secret recipe is and however good a cook you are, you will have to come to Ancona to experience the authentic taste, as the 13 varieties should all come from the local Adriatic sea which has fish that is regarded as among the most tasty, because of the high concentration of nutrients in a relatively small and shallow sea. This high quality seafood includes the local mussels (called ‘moscioli’ by the residents), which grow naturally on the rocks surrounding the Monte Conero, south of Ancona and are protected by the ‘DOP’ label (Denomination of Protected Origin).

Unlike other popular Italian and international soups, ‘Brodetto all’anconetana’ should be made relatively thick and is often served on toast. It goes perfectly with a full-bodied, rich white wine, like “Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi”, a popular, award-winning wine, which is also from the Marche region.