Pesaro, Marche, Italy, April/May 2009

Pesaro is a pleasant enough resort town in Marche, one of Italy’s smallest regions. The town is also the birthplace of Rossini the famous composer and a lot of tourists come here to see his house.

Osteria Antica ‘La Guerica’ (Intermediate A), 23 Via Baviera 33, a side alley to the right of Cafe Ducale in the main square. Tel 0721 33463

Located in the historical centre, this is a very popular place and you will need a reservation, especially at the weekend. I had a great mozzarella salad for €10 for lunch. This is also a good place to try Piadina, a local pan-fried flatbread served with cold meats, prosciutto in this case. You may see booths selling it as a fast food down at the waterfront.

Polo (Intermediate A), 231 Viale Trieste Tel 0721 375 902

An excellent, mid to high range restaurant on the seafront, with the biggest menus I have ever seen in Italy. It’s big (150 seats) and popular but you may have to reserve at the weekends. Atmosphere is very pleasant with lots of hanging baskets and soft jazz in the background, no TV. The terrace is probably open in the summer but it was covered when I was there (English weather). I wanted to try the famous brodetto (13 kinds of fish in a soup) but had to settle for Zuppa di Pesce (€20) which only had clams, mussels, lobster, langoustine, crab, squid and 3 types of fish on a bed of pasta. Seafood lovers should just combine all three courses and go straight for this, it’s huge. It went down well with a bottle of Bianchelio del Metauro DOC (€10), a local flowery, fruity white, Metauro being the name of the river to the North of Pesaro.

Pizzeria Ristorante Donn’ Amalia (Intermediate B), 265 Viale Trieste, on the seafront again.

The fastest service I have ever had in Italy (another first), the friendly waiters had everything on the table within minutes. It’s a large cellar, very busy, with TVs. The food is fine (Neopolitan style pizza), but nothing special. I had pizza, salad, wine and water for €20. If you walk down to the seafront, turn left on Viale Trieste and walk to the end, where the the port is, there are two nice bars on the harbourside. A good spot to have a G&T and watch the sun come down. If you are staying north of the river, in Baia Flaminia the resort area, there are some very cheap places in the arcades behind the Hotel Falminia. The cheapest is Pub Mimi, which charges to the nearest cent, but it was too busy at 7.30 to seat me, so I went to…

Ristorante L’Osteria (Elementary C), 6/7 Piazza Europa

Pasta Fagioli (B), Cotolette Milanese (C) with chips, 1/2lt red (D) and the friendly owners homemade grappa (A) with bread, water and service came to a reasonable €33. Nothing special but all quite edible, but avoid the house red. Cheap and cheerful. The local digestivo in Marche is ‘anice’, an aniseed spirit. You can drink it straight, or as a ‘mistra’ where the liquor is mixed with the dregs in your empty espresso cup.

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