Italy, with its rich culture and art, famous attractions and delicious food is a travel destination enjoyed by many.
In this 12 part series, Back 2 Basics Tradition’s “12 Day Culture Guide to Italy” will be showing you special and unique locations, people, experiences, and of course food and wine that you will not want to miss on your next Italian adventure.
We were priviliged to “road test” these experiences on our recent travels to Italy – so we know you will enjoy them too!
Not to be confused with the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, Ponte Vecchio is located in Pianezze on the lush pastures of Mount Cesen.
Here we had the wonderful experience of visiting a dairy at the Agriturismo Malga Mariech farm house.
Agriturismo Malga Mariech
Agritourism is a niche growing industry which is starting to become popular in Australia and can broadly be defined as farm stays (its main focus in Italy) or activities related to the purchase or preparation of foods direct from the farm. This is a keen focus of activities being planned here at Back 2 Basics Traditions.
There is much to be said about eating foods right from the source and our stay at Agriturismo Malga Mariech provided this “paddock to plate” experience and much more.
The farm produces its own cheeses (fresh and cured), butter and cottage cheese (fresh and smoked) from its own cows. While helping attend and milk the cows, you will appreciate the fresh air and tranquillity of the area. You will also quickly realise why many foods produced in the northern alpine areas of Italy are known as “Cucina Bianca” or White Cuisine due to the abundance of dairy lending to the white colour of its dishes. One such typical dish, simply known as Canederli are these big balls of potato, cheese and parsley cooked in butter, very similar to gnocchi.
The dishes prepared at the farm are simple, delicious and made according to traditional values.
We were treated to some polenta, porcini mushrooms and fried cheese smothered in butter, known as “Scits”. This was washed down with a locally brewed beer, similar to a German style Weiss bier.
It was the perfect accompaniment to the dish on what was a hot Summers day.
Along with its own cured meats, many of the ingredients used are easily found along the high paths around the farm.
There many nature trails amongst the flocks of sheep and cows for walking, biking, or horseback that offer breathtaking views of the Dolomites and the sea.
The farm offers accommodation in five comfortable rooms and is open every day from June to September.
Agriturismo Malga Mariech – http://www.agriturismomariech.com/
Agriturismo Malga Mariech Trip Advisor – https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews
Great video which shows the dairy itself, the food, the scenery – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KKphmG6ju4 (go to settings and set subtitles to English)
Explanation of white cuisine – http://digilander.libero.it/mendatica1/cucina%20bianca/cucina%20biancaeng.html
Interesting article explaining agritourism – https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/hotels/what-is-an-agriturismo