Any suggestions for dining/food shopping in Le Marche, especially Camerino/Tolentino area?
In late Sept. I'll be staying with friends in a house they've rented in Le Marche near Camerino, and return home in early Oct. All of us love to cook as well as dine out.
I'd appreciate any suggestions and thoughts since I've never visited La Marche before. Thank you!
I can recommend two great pizza joints in Camerino: La Saporita and Il Re. They both mainly offer by the slice, which allows you to try a variety. Wait to get them as they come out of the oven.
I’ve not had the occasion to eat very often along the highway to the coast, but if you venture as far as Macerata (home to the famous open-air opera theater, the Sferisterio), you might try Osteria dei Fiori (http://www.osteriadeifiori.it/restaur...).
Um, more like a two-hour drive. And that's being generous for a non-native driver. I live in between the two locations and have driven these routes often enough. Truly within an hour's drive of Camerino are the coastal towns around Civitanova, Amandola in the Sibillini Mountains (a gorgeous drive from Camerino), or even Spoleto in Umbria, and there is good eating to be had at all of them.
A friend recommends Etoile (http://www.pizzeriaetoile.it/default.asp) - "si mangia bene, si spende poco". The menu looks a bit meh, but the price point does appear to be in the affordable range.
Bear in mind that Camerino is a university town, and menus tend to skew toward student tastes and budgets.
Just returned and definitely had some great food, eating in and out. Staying with friends however didn't give me a chance for exploring on my own but thank you for the recs and info.
That said here are the places in and around Camerino that I was able to visit and can recommend:
Villa Fornari's restaurant-The food here was so good we ate there 2 times. One of the owners, Alessio, was sooo nice and helpful too. The menu changes with the seasons. The most memorable for me were the duck ragu gnocchi, local truffle sausage pasta and swordfish carpaccio. The wine list had mostly local wines and Alessio's recs were very good.
Gelateria Centrale in Castelraimondo-This was our favorite gelato place on the trip. The nocciola was amazing!
Casa del Formaggio-We bought great cheese and proscuitto as well as a few other things here. The owners here were also sooo friendly and the care taken in slicing the meat was lovely.
There was a deli that sold amazing porchetta, and other great stuff, just a few doors down from the cheese shop. Wish I could remember the name.
La Cappinina in Portonova-right on the sea with beautiful views and seafood. The favorite was crab and lobster pasta but grilled sea bream and vongole pasta were almost as good.
(By dining here their beach and chairs are available to you too.)
I wouldn't hesitate to visit this area again!