It was a sunny morning in late August, after some working hours in Urbino, we decided to have the best carbonara of Marche, which is served in a restaurant in Cagli. As it was too early for lunch, we stopped in the city center for a little walk, and we were extremely surprised by a beauty that we didn’t expect to find. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to explore the city as it requires, but still we want to relate our first, quick, experience of a place that has a lot to tell.
As I said we happen to Cagli more by chance than by will, a Cagli più per caso che per volontà, in fact our main purpose was to eat Carbonara, but we are pleasantly surprised by our tour of the city center! It is nearly lunchtime of a late summer working day and we see nobody in the narrow streets leading to the main square, which are mainly desert, and we imagine that our tour won’t last long as we won’t find anything to visit. However, as soon as we arrive in the square, surprise! We find more people than we had expected.
I have to admit that having arrived by chance we hadn’t prepared anything, we didn’t know what there was to see and we wondered around the historic center looking for something to visit. We only had the time to see the theatre and a church, both surprisingly beautiful. After crossing the square we continue along what seems to be the main street; we pass in front of the archaeological museum but given the time we decide not to enter. We see around some beautiful billboards with images of the theater of Cagli, restored a few years ago and we wonder if it can be visited .. Suddenly we find it right in front of us, beautiful and with the door open, then we enter. The ticket costs a few euros and a guide accompanies us on a guided tour of the whole theater, in the dressing rooms, behind the scenes and even under the stage. She tells us that the theater still hosts a season that is still quite well attended. We are captured by the beauty of the room decorations, a kindness and an agreement of colors and shapes that caress the heart like few others.
After visiting the theatre, looking farward to eating our carbonara, we head towards the car. But alongside our way, just on the side of the main square, the Co-Cathedral of Cagli stands out, imposing and majestic, impossible to ignore. Since we cannot say that we have visited a city without seeing at least one church, we can help but enter, and postpone our lunch for a few minutes. Here too we are pleasantly surprised, a church with three naves, with massive but elegant columns in their integral white with some stucco and a few simple decorations. A clean and bright set, an example Romanesque style which is slightly atypical. Only later we understand that where today there is a basin with windows, from which most of the light that floods the three naves enters, before in 1781 there was the original stone dome, which collapsed due to the earthquake; so the church originally had to look much darker.
We only have few minutes to take some photos, the lunch appointment prevents us from delving deeper into the history of the cathedral, but personally I promised myself to make another article in which I will tell you about the history of the municipality of Cagli and its buildings, perhaps accompanied by a site visit to take a few more photos.
But now let’s come to the other interesting part of the day: the Carbonara del Poggio! Spaghetti Carbonara is definitely one of my favorite dishes. There are different “schools” on carbonara, different recipes and numerous variations, Poggio restaurant cooks by far one of the richest versions that I have ever tasted. The menu of the restaurant is very rich, they also make further first dishes and main dishes, pizza, desserts and so on, but the the house specialty is certainly carbonara spaghetti: they propose different variants, including vegan and truffle carbonara, and sizes: it is possible to choose between a carbonara N (normal), L, XL. I opted for the classic one, while Andrea chose the mushroom and truffle one, and I chose normal size. Consider that the “size” N provides 150gr of pasta… but with the sauce the weight triples! In fact, the restaurant has won an award for the best carbonara, with a kilo of pasta comes three kilos of carbonara: Il Poggio tests even the most trained stomachs, we do not recommend ordering a second!
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