Tag Archives: Veneto

In Marostica for the cherry trees: by foot and by car

Springtime in Marostica. The birds, the bees, and cherry trees! If Easter had just waited until a couple of weeks later this year, then surely we would’ve caught the ciliegi in full bloom. [Note: Easter 2017 will occur on April 16, so yay!] Here are 2 ways to experience the flowering season north of Vicenza.

Known as the Colline di San Benedetto, this itinerary is located less than a mile from the lower castle in Marostica’s center town. It has the option of becoming a loop trail and is suitable for all ages and furry friends too. The path covers a brief, slightly steep incline at the beginning but levels out afterwards. We did the whole thing in order to give it a complete evaulation and I can say that the best part is up until waypoint 2 (click to enlarge), so if you make it that far then you’ve covered the most beautiful views.

Itinerary #36 - Colline di San Benedetto

Colline di San Benedetto

Details: satellite view on my Google maps
Length: approximately 4 miles
Duration: 2 hours
Difference in elevation: 160 meters / 525 feet
Start and end: via Ponte Quarello
Parking: yes, along via Ponte Quarello or at the park on Via Matteazzi
Pros: not particularly difficult, suitable for families
Cons: the last segment of the path (see waypoint 4) runs along the main highway for 450 meters before heading inland. There are no sidewalks.

Trailhead sign on via Ponte Quarello. The path winds through trees and what was once the site for a small church (San Benedetto). It opens up to a view of Marostica’s upper castle.

Abandoned farmhouse along the way.

We came across so few people on this walk that it felt like we had it all to ourselves.

A wild cherry tree in bloom. This is the best part and I believe the highest point in elevation.

The dogs made a friend at one of the farmhouses. Mister B didn’t get all aggressive!

Left turn-off toward Valle San Floriano (waypoint 2), left again on via Sedea (waypoint 3). Path leaves main highway and heads back.

And for those who prefer to sit behind the wheel, the Strada delle Ciliege between Marostica and Villa di Molvena is just under 4 miles long.

Strada delle Ciliege
View map: https://goo.gl/maps/K5fdfBbE3jF2


Veneto unpacked (and served)

Clockwise starting from top left: broccolo fiolaro, polenta, sarde alla veneziana, frico morbido, folpetti alla busara, bacala alla vicentina (center), asiago cheese

Prepackaged heat-n-serve meals go against my line of thinking when it comes to italian meals, but sometimes the aesthetics of cooking takes a back seat when all we want is just a little taste. Over the weekend we dug into some foods purchased on our way out of Veneto and all I know is this – we just gotta get back to the region again.

To start: sarde alla veneziana (sardines, venetian-style with onions and vinegar) and young asiago cheese with onion compote. I love onion anything.

Polenta 2 ways: baccala cooked in milk and baby octopus in a richly-flavored tomato sauce. The polenta is sliced from a thick slab and warmed on an oiled skillet until heated through.

Vegetable: broccolo fiolaro (a local variety of broccoli) and hard-boiled eggs. Cultivated in the Vicenza province, it has a vague sweet note and you can also eat the leaves. Enjoy it steamed or boiled with a little salt, pepper and olive oil.

More cheese. And potato. All in a flat, hot, delicious little round. Who can resist anything that has potato and cheese? Frico morbido is actually from the Friuli region and one of the best things to eat on a gloomy spring day. Just make sure not to burn your mouth!

Ernest Hemingway was here

Via Vajenti 21, Marostica

Giving top marks to a restaurant doesn’t happen very often but when it does, I’m already making plans for a return visit. With Osteria Madonnetta, that day can’t come soon enough. Serving typical cuisine of the region in what I can only describe as ‘a place with a lot of history on its the walls‘, it’s a locale that every traveler, intrepid or non, should experience in this beautiful country. We couldn’t stop talking about the lunch we had there even when it was time to leave Veneto and head back home.

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

Owned by the same family since 1904, the osteria is hugely popular with locals and tourists. Their most illustrious visitor was ‘Papa’ Hemingway himself when he was stationed in Italy as an ambulance driver during the Great War. If those walls could talk! Delicious homestyle cooking and the friendliest service ever from start to finish. This place is a true gem.

Baccalà alla vicentina – oven-baked in milk and served with polenta.

Fegato alla veneziana (venetian-style liver)

Cheese (L-R): ubriaco, aged asiago, 3rd?, asiago, ricotta w/onion, pumpkin and kiwi compote

Maccafame (the osteria’s signature bread pudding) with dried prunes soaked in grappa(?)

Olive oil tasting from local producers

Osteria Madonnetta is just around the corner from Piazza degli Scacchi (where the human chess game is held in September). Small dogs are welcome in the restaurant. Reservations strongly recommended.
Website: Osteria Madonnetta
Social: Facebook
Google indoor map (virtual tour): step in and take a look