When asked the question, “The beach or the mountains?” most people choose the beach…well I choose the mountains. Maybe I am biased because I live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, but I don’t care. For me, there is a sense of protection that mountains bring. Today, I had the privilege of driving through lesser traveled roads of Italy and through the mountains to a beautiful pottery shop and vineyard. The first destination is situated in the panoramic hills of Fratte Rosa, Italy called Terrecotte.
This pottery shop has roots that date back to the renaissance time period. It was very interesting to learn when the pottery was first made, each piece had a specific use. One was created just for carrying water, one was creating for cooking meat, another for soup. As they continued to have new demands, they would make pottery to fit those needs. The students and teachers got a chance to tour the museum and then see a demonstration of how they make the pottery.
Going along with the traditions of the area, we headed to a Winery called TerraCruda. This winery names their wines after the different shapes of the pottery located at Terrecotte. TerreCruda is unique because they produce many DOC wines. DOC means that those grapes are authentic to the specific region and cannot be completely replicated anywhere else. After the tour of the Vineyard we got to see the production area and barrel room.
At last we got a chance to taste this marvelous wine! We tried samples of their white, rosé and a red wines. The last sample was a spectacular dessert wine that was invented by the Duke of Urbino. He didn’t like the taste of wine so he infused the wine with local cherries. Terracruda makes this traditional recipe and they call it, Visciola. I highly recommend this one for those with a big sweet tooth!
After the wine tasting we headed to the nearby town of Mondavio. In Mondavio we ate a local restaurant and had too many courses to count. It started out with a plate of pasta, then came bread, caprese, pizza, more bread, salad, cheeses and then a dessert! It seems like there are many little hilltops towns like this one in the Marche region. I recommend exploring, and you will surely find some spectacular hidden gems in the beautiful country of Italy.