Subject: Trip report - Le Marche - Nov 02 (Pt 2)

Part 2 of our Le Marche trip report, listing hotels and restaurants.

--Hotels-- Listed below are some of the hotels we stayed in or looked at. If we stayed there, I include room number before the price. Prices are for a camera doppia con bagno, double room with bath; breakfast was not included unless noted.

Senigallia / Dei Duchi (¤113) Too expensive. Did not stay.

Senigallia / Augustus (¤45) Great location in centro storico, but hotel was rundown, not clean, and reeked of cigarette smoke; amusing character at the desk, however. Did not stay.

Senigallia / Palace (#508, ¤80 w/ breakfast) Modern, comfortable, great views from the fifth floor, and deserted. More than we wanted to pay, but we were getting desperate, it was getting dark and we did not want to drive any more that day, so we stayed one night. Very pleasant and helpful staff.

Furlo / La Ginestra (#7, ¤56.81) Nice big room, very quiet surroundings, but shower was unwieldy and heater did not work; the restaurant is only open at lunch, so you'll have to drive to dinner.

Corinaldo / I Tigli (#31, ¤55 w/ breakfast) The best hotel bargain of the trip. Nice, modern corner room, views in two directions, large bathroom. I wished we had stayed here another day or two.

Osimo / La Fonte (#313, ¤66 w/ breakfast) Nice room, clean, great view, but hotel needs some sprucing up. The morning cappuccino came out of a self-operated machine. Lobby reeked of smoke, but room was fine. This hotel has potential, but is not recommended until it's refurbished. Attached restaurant is closed.

Cagli / Pineta (#218, ¤62 w/ breakfast) Another great hotel bargain. Very nice corner room, modern, view of the pines one way and over the city the other, large bathroom, reasonably priced, family-run, helpful staff. The only oddity was that every evening, for several hours, there were very strange rumblings throughout the building from the plumbing.

Urbino / Nené (#38, ¤47, breakfast ¤5.20 each) A nice room out in the country, attached to a very popular restaurant. When we arrived on a Sunday afternoon, we could not find parking -- the place was packed with the local Sunday lunch crowd. This was a pretty good buy, and the only disadvantage was having to drive into Urbino.

Urbino / San Giovanni (¤54) A bit rundown, did not stay.

Urbino / Rafaello (¤113) Up a tiny, narrow street, probably great views, but outrageously expensive, did not stay.

Urbino / Italia (¤62) Very nice hotel, great location inside the walls. We actually wanted to stay here two or three nights, but because we did not have reservations, we would have had to change rooms each day. We didn't want to do this, so we went to Nené instead. Next time, we'll make reservations and stay at Italia. You are on your own for parcheggio, although the staff had some suggestions on likely spaces just outside the walls.

San Leo / La Rocca (#4, ¤50) Simple, comfortable room, but overpriced. No TV or telephone, and the bathroom was basically a small shower stall with a sink and toilet somehow installed within it. The shower spray was so diverted that you could stay dry by standing directly under the shower head. Helpful, gregarious staff, however. We had intended to stay at Castello, but it was closed -- many such places in these small towns take extended vacations during the winter, probably because there just isn't enough business to justify staying open.

Pesaro / Mediterraneo (#505, ¤62 w/ breakfast) Another nice, modern hotel, great views, good location, very nice staff. One fellow was fluent in English, having studied and lived in the UK for a while; he described Italy to us as an open air museum, which seems as good a description as any I've heard, except that the food is far, far better than in any museum.

--Restaurants-- Listed below are some of the restaurants where we ate. Prices are what we paid, and include cover, water, and wine. We did not always order the same number of dishes, so the prices are not strictly comparable, but generally we had two or three courses apiece. After four trips to Italy, I don't think we've ever had a bad meal. All the places below are recommended.

Acqualagna / Il Tartufo ¤45/dinner. Excellent, well-done, great staff. My first plate of passatelli, and it was delicious.

Mondavio / Il Giardino ¤22/lunch Eat here. Order the menu rustico for lunch, it's a bargain. Several plates of food, lots of warm piadina flatbread, wine and water, for ¤11 each. The proprietress was an extremely nice woman, and made us feel at home here. We want to go back.

Corinaldo / I Tigli ¤39/dinner Very nice restaurant attached to the hotel, good food and nice staff.

Osimo / La Scala ¤26 About the only place we found open, but what a nice surprise. The waiter was very nice and helpful, and our simple but filling meal was a bargain. It was here that I realized that I was starting to get addicted to Verdicchio.

Cagli / Guazza ¤53/lunch More expensive than we expected (there's no menu) but great food.

Urbino / Taverna degli Artisti ¤50/dinner Great! What a big, delicious meal. We each had three courses, and my filetto al pepe verde was superb. It was nice to be in a busy, bustling restaurants after the very quiet places in the smaller towns.

Urbino / Vecchia Urbino ¤58/dinner Great! The waiter was showing off the new olive oil, and drizzled it on some bread for us. The house wine was the best vino rosso della casa I've had.

San Leo / La Rocca ¤58/dinner Good home cooking, but overpriced.

Pesaro / Moletto ¤54/dinner A seafood diner on the water with good, fresh stuff. My guazzetto de pescatrice was excellent, and the tortina de castagna for dessert was fabulous. The chef's recommendations for the evening are written on a blackboard, and I was glad I followed his advice.