“It’s so easy to get caught up with keeping up with The Joneses, that when we got to rural Italy, it was your garden that was important. Who cares what you’re making, what are you growing? It was just a different emphasis on what was important.”
We’re in great company with Ashley Bartner, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of La Tavola Marche, where she and her husband Jason, invite you to “discover Italy at its roots…if you’re willing to muddy your feet that is.”
Back in 2007, Ashley and Jason left the hustle and bustle of NYC in search for a slower way of life, finding themselves as American expats in the Marche countryside of Italy. Here, they’ve created La Tavola Marche, a unique culinary experience where guests actively participate in Italian culture through seasonal activities paired with local artisans, farmers, and wine makers while staying in a 500 year-old farmhouse agriturismo.
In this episode, Ashley shares what led them to curate these experiences - searching for the best seasonal local ingredients, hands-on cooking classes, and the conviviality of the table - connecting with their guests and local community through food, culture, and land.
[5:28] “Oprah says live your wildest dreams, and so I think we should move to Italy.”
[11:36] How being a young foreign couple full of curiosity in a small Italian town led the locals to take Ashley and Jason under their wing.
[20:25] “Walk away.” Having to give up on one house seems meant to be in hindsight having come across their current home.
[28:15] The significance behind “La Tavola Marche” in celebrating everything that happens around the table. Even if it is not in perfect Italian.
[32:15] “You’re coming to get your hands dirty and muddy your feet,” from picking vegetables in the garden to learning whole hog butchery if your appetite allows.
[42:15] A peak at what’s on the menu at La Tavola Marche and how it varies season to season.
[47:30] Gardening tips and tricks begins with…bigger is not always better.
[49:37] There’s no such thing as the “Slow Food Movement” when you live on an Agriturismo in the countryside of Italy.
[1:00:45] Where to venture out in search for the best views, seafood, gelato, and of course wine.
[1:06:45] Expect to find some more animals in residence at La Tavola Marche in their next chapter.
Visit For Yourself
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