Thursday, October 13

How to Own & Operate a B&B in Italy: Consulting Workshop April 2017

We are very excited to announce our first consulting workshop on moving, living & working in Italy! after years of consistently receiving detailed-question packed emails from expat hopefuls curious on how in the world we did it and wanting to know all the particulars of moving & opening a business,  Jason & I began our second business - No Half Measures Consulting (and a bit of filmmaking to!) For the past year we have been working with couples eager & excited with a passion to move to abroad to Italy to start a hospitality business.

So, what better way to merge our two businesses but host a No Half Measures 'Consulting Workshop' at La Tavola Marche farmhouse?!

This April 1-5 join us for a workshop on How to Own & Operate a Hospitality (B&B, inn, farmhouse or food & wine) Business in Italy - this will be a four day crash-course covering all the basics and answering your burning questions to put you on the road to a successful start of your new life in Italy!

Each afternoon will begin with aperitivi & interactive seminars before dinner covering the following:
  • How to Start a Business in Italy, understanding the business & tax structure
  • Finding the Property & Negotiating
  • Grass Roots Marketing & the power of Social Media
  • Operations
  • Hospitality & Exceeding your Clients expectations
  • Culture & Expat Life in Italy
  • Finding your Niche & Identifying your Clients
  • Small Business Owners Stories from Expats & Italians

On hand will be "Insiders & Experts" from an Italian Commercialista (Tax Account, Business Advisor Specialising in European Financing) Fabio Centurioni, Business Attorney, Small Business Owners (expats & Italians) and of course Jason & I! The business owners are a mix of entrepreneurs that are operate in diverse settings from the rural countryside to the heart of Rome - giving you a better understanding on the pros & cons of city vs. country locations & living while sharing stories of their struggles, successes & what keeps driving them forward. This will be an honest, informative, (I'm sure humorous), engaging and inspiring series of seminars/lectures over the five days!

I am super excited to announce a few friends that will be joining us on our panels & in our workshops:

 From The Beehive, Linda & Steve - long time expats and entrepreneurs with an eco-friendly, artsy budget hotel in the hear of Rome, as well as Cross-Pollinate a curated network of "cool places to stay" and if they weren't busy enough they are parents of three girls!

From the award-winning artisan Gelateria, Maki: Paola & Antonio will join us for our Stories from Small Business Owners for an Italians point of view of the bureaucracy and business operations & moving from Milan and the finance world to a sleepy fishing village making gelato!

Caroline & Louk, a retired Dutch couple that moved from the centre of Amsterdam to the deep Marche countryside. After filling their calendar & hosting family & friends for the past 8 years, they have begun to dabble in AirBnB & room rentals for the artists & music lovers at Isola del Sorbo

I'm guessing if you're reading the blog you know a bit about J & I already, so I won't bore you with our history but just in case: Here you go!

Head on over to La Tavola Marche to request more details and I will send you the full itinerary & a short q&a about your plans to move to Italy!
The Details: 
This boutique, intensive workshop is limited to ten participants.
Includes four nights & five days accommodations, breakfast & dinner with local wine daily, evening aperitivi, daily seminars, printed workshop materials and a one-on-one Skype chat before the workshop to help maximize your time in Italy & prepare for the trip! 
Visit for more details or email:

Wednesday, September 21

Podcast from Italy - Amazon in Italy, How we “Grease the Wheels” and Cooking Rabbit

Autumn is at our doorstep on this beautiful morning! This episode we chat about the modernization in Italy and the arrival of and the effects. An immigration update which leads us to a discussion on how we 'grease the wheels' out here... (And a side note of: Jason is in love with his new Carhart overalls!) Then we move on to the kitchen at talk about cooking rabbit. We announce our first Consulting Workshop in Italy for those of your dreaming of moving here to start a business!  -- Thanks for Listening!!

Podcast from Italy - Episode #91 Available on iTunes, Stitcher & Podbean!

He's all business!

Sunday, September 11

Summer in 60 Seconds

A few of the highlights of summer at our farmhouse and beautiful Candigliano Valley - between Piobbico & Urbania. It was an unexpected start to the season but we sure are happy to be right here and thankful for all our wonderful guests!!

Thursday, September 8

Podcast from Italy: Is Stuffed Zucchini & Carbonara what you really want?!

Thankfully we are safe & sound without any damages in our area after the devastating earthquake. We recap the last few months and how the Dutch saved our Summer! The fun vs. frustrations of kids at the farmhouse and menu planning involved for families. And Jason asks if 'Stuffed Zucchini & Carbonara what you really want?!' Announcing the 2017 NEW cooking classes! 
Thanks for listening & have a great day!

Listen to PODCAST FROM ITALY #90 on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Podbean!

Tuesday, August 16

Video Recipe: Pizza Bianco with Potatoes, Rosemary & Ricotta

A local favorite here in Le Marche and especially at our farmhouse is pizza bianco or white pizza, because there is no sauce. There are many variations of this depending on where you live - but in our neck of the woods, it's made with thinly sliced potatoes, rosemary, dollops of ricotta, sea salt (& peperoncini) and a good drizzle of extra virigin olive oil. We serve this classic up every Thursday during our Summer Pizza Nights!!

Try a Pizza Bianco on your next trip to Le Marche!

Sunday, July 24

Recipe: Roasted Peppers with Anchovies

A recipe inspired by our travels to Spain and using what is found in our garden/locally in Italy. The roasted peppers and anchovies are a great start to your summer dinner or served it on crostini for lunch with a wedge of cheese! A note on anchovies: First if you think you are not a fan, try it again.  This dish is not meant to be 'fishy' - it is the salty, brininess of the anchovies that perfectly compliment the roasted peppers (and they are even better with the smoky flavor from the grill!)


4 large peppers
1 clove of garlic
4 anchovy filets
handful of herbs (basil or oregano)
salt and pepper
about 3 TB red wine vinegar
about 7 TB good extra virgin olive oil

Roast the peppers in the oven, on the gas stove-top or better yet on the grill, blackening the skins of the peppers.
Then place the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap until cool.
Once cool remove the skins and seeds.
Slice into 1cm or 1/2 in strips.
Mince the garlic & tear up the herbs - adding both to the peppers.
Add your anchovy filets.
Season with salt & pepper.
Add the red wine vinegar & olive oil.
Mix and let sit for a few hours. (It gets better as it sits.)
This will pair perfectly with crostini/crusty bread and a wedge of cheese!

We made this dish in last night's cooking class!

Wednesday, July 20

Podcast from Italy: Dirty Laundry, The Full Story of How They Fled the Country!

You asked for the whole story - so hear you go! In this very personal podcast, Jason & I share the unbelievable true story of selling our cooking in Italy. Two days after all the documents and contracts were signed at the notary (and legally binding), the “new owners” of La Tavola Marche fled the country on a plane back to the good ol’ U.S of A.!! They lasted 6 days in Italy. We were in total shock - not only did they leave without telling us but without paying either! It’s the stuff movies are made of.

We are back to share with you the trials, tribulations and joys & laughter of running a farm, inn and cooking school in rural Le Marche. To read more about this crazy story visit our blog: When life gives you lemons...Make the BEST damn Limoncello!

Listen on Podbean or download on iTunes: PODCAST FROM ITALY

Thursday, July 14

{VIDEO:} The Golden Fields of Le Marche, Italy

Here's a short little film I made along our country road outside of Piobbico in Le Marche - The golden fields are full of rapeseed or canola flowers. I hope you enjoy this lovely postcard of the Marche countryside:
(Be sure to watch in HD!)

Next up - the fields of sunflowers...

Saturday, July 9

Fall Gourmet Getaways to Italy: Craft Beer Tasting + Cooking Class + Market Tour + Mushroom Hunting

Spend a few nights this fall in the Italian countryside foraging for mushrooms, cooking by the fireplace in our rustic 300 year old kitchen, visiting the local Truffle festivals and drinking gorgeous reds from the region! Autumn is the perfect time to visit Italy, the crowds are gone and kids in school yet the harvest festivals are just underway! Here are a few of our popular 'gourmet getaways'- you can always stay longer! Hope to see you in the kitchen -

3 Night Gourmet Getaway

Arrive to our five course feast, the next day join the Chef & feel like a local on a tour of the hidden meat & cheese market of Apecchio (with a little porchetta along the way), a craft beer tasting & tour followed by lunch at the ‘hunter’s hideaway’ and on Saturday enjoy a half day cooking class including wine, meal & our custom hand-made apron! Includes accommodations. Price based on PESCA apartment (double occupancy). *Add extra nights if you'd like!!
SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER Arrive any Thursday departing on Sunday
 from 750 Euro/COUPLE

3 Nights & Fall Foraging

3 nights accommodation with breakfast, five course dinner with local wine, wild edibles walk & mushroom hunt followed by apertivi and half day cooking class (class includes meal, wine & gift apron). Includes accommodations. Price based on PESCA apartment (double occupancy) *Ask about including a TRUFFLE HUNT!!
SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER from 360 Euro/person

Don't forget about our 6th Annual Forage Slaughter & Butchery Course 25-30 OCTOBER 2016!


Monday, July 4

Set in the Forrest, A Fairytale-like Gathering for the Madonna of Peace | Local Italian Traditions

We have lived along this dusty, suspension testing 'strada bianca' for nine years now, 6 km of 'threading the needle', keeping a watchful eye out for jack rabbits, porcupines, boar and deer (and even one year a pack of roaming wolves), passing more ruins than cars and literally going over the river and through the woods to get home. However, this stretch of hole-ridden crushed rock or  breccia has taught us many things - from where to forage, how to change snow chains like a Formula 1 Pit Stop Crew, to making our world smaller when refugees moved in and then there was my brush with death (rolling the car off the road) that taught me to be so thankful for everyday we live here! But I think the most profound lesson has the meaning of neighbour & feeling part of the community - no matter how far along via Candigliano they may live, we share it's common bond & the bizarre bragging rights that come with it.  

So I was incredibly excited that for the fist time in all these years I was able to attend the very special and sacred festival celebrating - what I call La Madonna di Candigliano. Tucked away behind one of those quintessential Italian countryside ruins, follow the worn path into the woods and you will find the sweetest surprise -

I have visited here many times before walking our neighbours dog, hiking with friends and even showing brides locations for possible ceremonies. I've always been drawn to this spot - it makes my imagination go wild!

Passing five stations or stories along the way, as a close-knit family we made our pilgrimage to the holiest spot along via Candigliano.

This year celebrated 20 years since the discovery of the ruins that marked a forgotten madonna. A young couple while wandering in the woods found the remains of the holy spot marked by soldiers in 1947 who returned home from WWII thankful to be alive and living in this beautiful place. They named it Madonna all Regina della Pace - the Queen of Peace. (I call it Madonna of the Candigliano Valley). Each year, the numbers grow as locals venture down this long dusty road. They gather to pray under the shade of old oak and acacia while babes sleep in their fathers arms, sheep baa and hymes are sung in accapella with the cicadas on percussion.

Passing five stories of miracles along the way, as a close-knit family we made our pilgrimage to the holiest spot along via Candigliano.

Like a scene from a fairy tale set in a magical forrest, the colorful handcut flags fluttered gently above the farmers & country was so peaceful. I grew up a good Catholic girl but have not gone to church religiously since I was in school - but let me tell you, if every mass was outside, under the trees immersed in nature - I would seriously reconsider. It was a beautiful thing to be part of.

And in classic Italian tradition - when we gather, we eat! It was a shmorgusborg-potluck of homemade crostata (jam tarts), home-cured prosciutto, homemade pecorino cheeses and local wine served on a long makeshift table in a clearing of the trees.

 I could hear whispers as I passed "Ca'Çamone"(the name of our house)..."L'Americana"... "Ca Camone"... it made me so happy to finally get a chance to celebrate this beautiful spot with those that it means so much more to than I could imagine. These are good people that were born in this town, will live here simply for their lifetime without wanting any more, and will happily passaway in the very same village where it all began. I would easily say 40%+ of these people here were related - cousins, siblings, great aunts, grandchildren - it's comforting in a way. I like traditions. And yet again, good old via Candigliano has brought me closer to my neighbors & deeper connected to this beautiful land.

Editing a short film about it all now...!!

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