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29 September 2009
Can you smell what the Rocca's cooking?
Castello di Frontone & Taverna della Rocca

On recommendation from the LTM blog we decided to drive to nearby Frontone to check out the castle. It looked like an excellent place to check out the sunset, and indeed it was!

Castello di FrontoneThe castle itself is not open in low season (September-May), except for weekends. So we weren't able to climb to the very tippy-top of the mountain, but we got pretty close. Frontone is located in the Cesano Valley, less than an hour's drive from LTM. I couldn't say whether or not there's anything worth seeing in the town proper, because we headed straight for the castle, which is perched atop a singular hill and surrounded by an ancient medieval hamlet. Coolness!

Mark on Frontone's main dragWe wandered around a bit, admiring the back alleys and as much of the castle as we could see. The astounding views were nearly 360°, with Umbria just off to the southwest, and the hills & villages of Le Marche in all other directions. And then the sun began to set. It was one of those jaw-dropping sunsets where the light just keeps getting more and more gorgeous. Where you can't decide whether to sit and drool, or take *one more* beautiful picture. (So, of course, we did some of both.) We enjoyed a front-row seat to nature's spectacular lightshow at Ristorante Amabile, over limoncellos and a plate of formaggio misto. Very civilized, indeed.

golden hour in the Cesano Valley I kept promising to put my camera down, but couldn't! going... going... one last blaze of glory

those griller ladies move fast!Dinner was just up the "street" at Taverna della Rocca, former stables carved into the side of the mountain. What a show! The dining room centered around an enormous wood-burning grill, with ladies in white uniforms tossing huge logs into the fire and jostling beds of coals on which they grilled sausages and other meaty goodness. We couldn't tell under the long sleeves, but guessed these gals must've had huge guns from endless hours of cooking. The smells coming from the grill were tantalizing to the max.

sadly, not the mixed grill (awesome piadine tho)We started off with a lovely plate of ravioli with duck ragu, plus some house wine, of course. But then, for the next course, we made a fatal blunder. We saw cinghale (wild boar) on the menu and were immediately intrigued, but mixed up salsicce (sausage) with salumi (thin-sliced cured salami) and wound up with something more akin to an antipasto plate. Rookie mistake! In our defense, this particular item was mixed in with the main courses, on a totally different page from the antipasti. But it was still a crushing defeat after sitting next to the grill all evening and watching plate after plate of meat go by. In retrospect, we could probably have asked for just one or two sausages, but instead we opted for a decadent dessert of profiteroles. And vowed to come back the next day, perhaps for lunch, to avenge our error.

Ristorante Amabile
Via Leopardi, 2
61040 Frontone (PU)
+39 0721 790710

Taverna della Rocca
Via Leopardi, 22
61040 Frontone (PU)
+39 0721 786109

* La Tavola Marche blog - Frontone
* all Frontone pics


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