Cheese and chestnuts in the heart of Italy

Cheese and chestnuts in the heart of Italy

  • Buy the morning’s catch directly from the fishermen at Pedaso beach
  • Savour warm, plump chestnuts for a true taste of autumn
  • Be part of every season with a fractional ownership holiday home from Appassionata

Autumn is a variable concept. In the UK, it means nights drawing in, plunging temperatures and sudden unexpected squalls that leave you cursing your foolishness for leaving the house without an umbrella. In Italy, the nights are also drawing in, but that’s really where the similarity ends.

The autumn months are a wonderful time to enjoy Italy at its best. Not only does it offer the promise of reasonably consistent sunshine, but less touristy areas come alive with a wealth of seasonal local treats that will have foodies desperate to pack up their lives in the UK and head to Italy on a one-way ticket.

That was precisely what Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs and her family did nearly a decade ago. Wanting to be part of the ‘real’ Italy, they eschewed the big cities overrun with tourists in favour of the Le Marche region, the true heart of Italy. Dawn and husband Michael, along with three of their children, two grandchildren, three horses, two dogs and a cat are still delighted that they made the move and are loving living la dolce vita in Le Marche. Interior designer Dawn comments,

“This is such a fabulous time of year. The countryside just comes alive with colour and the scents and sounds seem to soften somehow after the intensity of midsummer. It’s a great time of year to focus on the forthcoming harvest, to start making jams and chutneys, capturing the tastes of summer ready for the winter months.”

As well as a host of regular markets and the ability to buy fresh fish directly from fishermen at the local beach, Le Marche offers a number of food festivals over the autumn months. From the wild fennel festival at the end of August, through the chestnut festival in October to the cheese festival in November, the area is awash with delicious flavours.

Le Marche is also home to some of Italy’s most well respected restaurants. Madonnina del Pescatore, near Ancona, is one of the finest dining establishments in the country, while its nearby offshoot, Il Clandestino, serves Italian sushi from a shack and enjoys an incredible local reputation.

“And don’t forget the cake shops,” adds Dawn. “We are spoiled for choice here in Petritoli – the displays have to be seen to be believed. Oh and then there’s the local wine…”

It is in Petritoli that Dawn’s family business, fractional ownership company Appassionata, has renovated their latest project, Casa Tre Archi. The luxury holiday home is a three bedroom townhouse so entwined in Petritoli’s history that the ancient, curved turret wall of the town’s fortifications is a feature of its living room. With a traditional style kitchen and three outdoor areas, including an expansive roof terrace, the charming home cries out for owners to enjoy preparing and savouring local delicacies.

Owners of Casa Tre Archi are able to use the house exclusively for five weeks every year. Shares are available from £75,000.

For more information visit or contact the Appassionata team on +39 33154 13225.