“Bomba di calorie! (A bomb of calories)”, the chef declared while holding what looked like lava cake in her hands.
Our table roared with laughter.
It was our first day in Senigallia, Italy and we just finished devouring a
deliciously heavy hearty 3-course Italian lunch at L’Angolino Sur Mare when Maria, the chef, came out and served the bomb of calories.
In front of me the velvet beach was quite and the white rotunda of Senigallia shone prominently under the sun. And the sea. THE SEA!
We couldn’t stop laughing as we savored the bomb of calories.
“This will be a great trip”, I said to myself.
And it was.
I love traveling and I travel a lot if you haven’t noticed. But since I’ve decided to blog full-time, traveling sometimes feels like work. I don’t want it to ever feel that way but it is inevitable. In the grand scheme of things, I shouldn’t be whining about this because it is GREAT to live the life I’ve always dreamed of.
Traveling is actually easy. It’s just a matter of logistics as I always say. But being in a foreign place makes it mentally and physically exhausting.
My work trip to Senigallia in the Marche region of Italy was different though.
It actually felt like I was on a vacation. I felt care-free, happy and free.
It felt like that vacation you would talk about endlessly with friends. It was that kind of vacation when you go to a random place without any expectations and it just blew you completely and fabulously. Everything just worked great and I felt in the zone.
I’ve never felt this way for a long time since I started traveling AND blogging about it full-time.
Interestingly, Senigallia experienced an unprecedented flooding a month before I came to visit. The flood ruined a lot of properties. I only knew this because the locals told me. But if they didn’t mention it at all, I wouldn’t even know it happened because Senigallia looked totally fine when I was there 3 weeks ago.
Let me put it into perspective for you. In Italy, things move pretty sloooooow. And for a beach town like Senigallia to pick up and fix itself after such catastrophic, unexpected flooding in less than a month is major. MAJOR. This speaks a lot about the character of the people that lives in Senigallia. Which brings me to all the 127 reasons why I love and hate Senigallia.
127 Reason why I love (and hate) Senigallia
Reason #1-12 The dozen or so amazing, warm and nice locals I met.
Travel is about the people you meet. This has never been more true on my trip in Senigallia. From our first “bomb of calories” lunch to the locals tweeting me while I was in town, I’ve met more than a dozen amazing people. Let me introduce you to some of them.
Angelo di Liberto is the man behind the hugely successful rock and roll festival, Summer Jamboree festival, and the owner of probably the coolest vintage shop in Le Marche, Graffiti Vintage Store.
I love him because he is the kind of man who lives and breathes his passion. He loves his vintage and rock n’ roll and he says “I dress like this everyday. Without these clothes, it’s not me.” YES YES YES. A lot of people are all talk and no action. This man is the real deal. I am always inspired by people who makes a lifestyle out of their own quirkiness.
“When people smile, I love it”, says Filippo Borioni when I asked him what he enjoys the most about running his business. He owns possibly the most tech-savvy beach front property in Italy called Bagni 77. By that I mean he is probably the only “Bagni” in Italy who has an app where you can book your activities on your phone. He smiles a lot and is genuinely cool. Just the kind of person I would hangout with. No one like negatrons and drama queens, remember?
I entered Cedroni Moreno’s kitchen and I asked everyone, “What the hell am I doing here?” It is a legit question considering that Mr. Moreno is a celebrated chef worldwide and I am in his two-star Michelin restaurant, Madonnina del Pescatore.
So what the hell was I doing there?
Mr. Moreno showed us how to prepare some of his specialties. “I will tell you the secret of octopus”, he started. And then went on to say “There are no secrets in the kitchen. There is a little bit of chemistry.” I nodded in agreement.
The secret of the octopus, it turned out, is to cook it at 97 degrees for 1.5 hours. “Why 97 degrees?”, I curiously asked. “There are no bubbles at 97 degrees.” Bubbles, in this instance, ruin everything. He made us taste some of the cooked octopus and it was perfectly soft and chewy.
This explains why those damn octopuses I’ve eaten before were rubbery. They were cooked by AMATEURS!
I’ve tasted three of his dishes but I was not THAT lucky to sit down and eat in his Michelin star restaurant. I was super happy to be even in his kitchen though. We went to eat at his other more affordable restaurant called Aniko. A personal favorite and the price is wallet-friendly. I will tell you more about Aniko in my next post.
“This is how Italians do it. We bring food to the beach and eat all together as one big family.” Ruth, one of the social media team of Le Marche said something of that sort. It did in fact feel like being part of a family. The rest of people from Le Marche social media team and Senigallia tourism who organized the blog trip were with us most of the time. And they were all there for Sunday lunch. It was great to eat al fresco by the beach with locals like one big, Italian family.
Reason #13 The Velvet Beach
The velvet beach of Senigallia is one of the most famous beaches in Le March region. It’s fine and soft and the scenery looks like this:
We also went on a yacht tour with Aquapazza which is owned by Christian, a gorgeous and perfectly tanned Senigallian. The water was clear and calm. It was an amazing way to start our second day in Senigallia.
At night, the whole street along the beach turns into a party. The best time to go is on weekends so you can party on Friday and Saturday. Here’s how it looks like at night:
Reason #14-36 Brodetto and all the food that ruined my waistline
plate pan of Brodetto. Seafood soup of happiness for only 20 euros. This is probably one of my favorite regional dishes from Le Marche. You have to eat it when you visit.
I could eat this everyday.
And the rest of the bomb of carbs and calories.
Reason #37 One word: Verdicchio
Before coming to Senigallia, some of my Italian friends like Ezio were already telling me about verdiccio. I was like, “What’s that?”
It’s apparently a white wine from Le Marche. It’s fruity and fresh. It’s like made for me. Now I understand why everyone was raving about it.
It could only mean two things though: that my friends have good taste. Or that I’m an alcoholic and my friends know it. Ooops.
I had glasses of it for lunch, dinner and those times I was hanging out at the beach. We also went to Mencaroni winery to drink some more of it and I couldn’t stop.
“Stop drinking!” said Ruth on my 4th glass of verdicchio at the winery.
“You can’t bring me to a winery and tell me to stop drinking wine,” I quickly replied.
I can’t rave about it enough. If you are a white wine lover like me, Verdicchio is made for YOU (and me of course).
Reason #37-127 The number of summer days that I’m not in Senigallia
Sadly, I was only in Senigallia for barely 4 days. I hate the fact that I could not be there the rest of the summer. There are those places where you wish you could stay longer but you have to leave. Senigallia is one of those.
I wish I could stay and spend my summer there. I wish I can go to the Summer Jamboree. I wish I can eat more Brodetto and seafood pasta.
I wish I could make every other trip I take feel as good as this.
How to get to Senigallia
The nearest airport to Senigallia is Ancona. There are direct flights with Ryanair from most of Europe to Ancona. Senigallia is 15-20 minutes away by taxi or bus.