There are just 5 days left until Christmas and 11 until this challenging year ends: with all this pandemonium, there’s a lot to celebrate! Is it just me, or have the last few months flown by at double speed? In some ways they felt slow, and in others super fast, right? It was spring and then suddenly we were here, at year end...
But looking back, I think of the many things we’ve done and, above all, of the thousands of miles we’ve covered together. Yes, okay, #awalkwithMarco has been imaginary, but I’ve still had a great time. I always say: if I can’t at least believe in fantasy, what’s the point?
So, fantasy by fantasy, here I am again, ready for a new stop in Le Marche — you know, I’d never seen my adopted region in such close detail! I’m always working away when I’m here… Jenny, Fausto and Eros are always waiting for me with a million things to think about, see and decide, so we spend hours locked away in the office with shoe prototypes, pieces of leather, zippers, studs and accessories of all kinds... Anyway, at least awalkwithMarco gets me out of that bubble every now and then ;)
But that’s enough about work! I’m getting in the car, ready for a truly delicious step: today we’re heading to Urbino, a stunning walled city perched atop a rocky peak that emerges, postcard-perfect, as we follow the winding road. One of Italy’s main Renaissance cities, its intact architecture makes in a real pearl.
I could spend hours looking at the austere yet regal façade of the 5th century Ducal Palace with its typical torricini — the two small towers in a bizarre upside-down cone shape that overlook the roofs like guards. They were designed by the architect employed by the Montefeltros in the mid 5th century to expand the palace: Luciano Laurana was from Dalmatia (in the Balkans), which proves that mixing things up improved their beauty even then.
And speaking of beauty, what about the Studiolo del Duca, the duke’s study, the most famous room in the Palace, positioned right between the two torricini? Enchanting! Here, between lace-like intarsia woodwork — which has remained practically intact — the duke-sponsor Federico Montefeltro spent his days. Every time I visit, I think that I ought to set up a little corner of Heaven for myself — Perhaps wallpapered with shoes?! Hmmm, maybe that’s not a great idea... ;)
Did you know that Raphael was from Urbino? But that’s another story that deserves its own detour. We’ll come back to Urbino, I promise.
But I can’t go back to Montecòsaro without stopping for refreshments — what kind of day out would that be? Nobody would dare stand between me and my crescia sfogliata! Much like the better-known piadina from Romagna, it’s a kind of wrap that can contain all sorts of fillings, like a gargantuan sandwich. My favorite filling is arugula, tomato and stracchino (a soft, fresh cheese with the consistency of patisserie cream).
The perfect finish to this year spent traveling around Italy, including on a gastronomical level.
I can’t wait for the next stop! In the meantime, #staysafe.