Lonely Planet (UK) - - Taste Tour Italia -

In the val­ley be­low Brisighella, fields are colon­naded with trees bear­ing pears, apri­cots, peaches and even ki­wis (Italy ex­ports more of them than New Zealand). Or­chards, al­ter­nat­ing with vine­yards, are con­stant road­side com­pan­ions on the drive south­east along the Via Emilia to­wards the Adri­atic coast. They are a pre­lude to the Eden-like scene at I Muretti, an agri­t­ur­ismo farm­stay in Ri­mini’s hin­ter­lands. ‘Peo­ple like to un­der­stand where their food comes from. We had chil­dren here yes­ter­day crush­ing grapes with their feet – they loved that,’ re­counts Ni­colò Bian­chini, the son of I Muretti’s own­ers,

as he walks be­tween vines bunched with pur­ple­blue San­giovese. The rest of the 32-acre farm is filled with bee­hives, hazel trees (‘I tell kids that’s the Nutella bush’), a herb gar­den and an enor­mous veg­etable patch, where but­ter­flies and la­dy­birds are proof of the fam­ily’s or­ganic prac­tices. Ni­colò picks figs from a tree and pulls out beet­roots for din­ner. Back in the kitchen, as his mother trans­forms the beets into a fill­ing for her ravi­oli, Ni­colò sets out pi­ad­ina flat­bread. As he places some lo­cal cheeses on an­other plate – ri­cotta wrapped in pur­ple bor­age petals and a pecorino cheese aged in a wal­nut leaf – he ex­plains that the fur­ther east you go in the re­gion, the flat­ter the bread. ‘You can talk about dif­fer­ences be­tween Emilia and Ro­magna,’ he says, ‘but you only have to move to the next vil­lage and there’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent set of ingredients and recipes.’

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