Tasting the traditional dishes in country festivals and fairs

In summer country festivals and fairs are everywhere around Senigallia. It’s a feast of good taste for all those who want to get to know the most genuine food and wine traditions. Each small village has its own festival and its own delicatessen. In the first days of May Filetto hosts Sagra del Carciofo (Artichokes Festival); in June you can attend Festa dell’ Osteria in Ciarnin, near Senigallia, with fried fish with vegetable as specialty dish; or Sagra del Pesce, a festival organized in Cesano for more than fifty years to “celebrate” the sea with its typical grilled fish and Senigallia’s brodetto (fish soup). In July make sure to stop at Festa della Trebbiatura (Threshing Festival) in Castellaro where you can enjoy local specialities, such as roasted goose. Scapezzano hosts two country fairs: Festa Castellana in August with historical commemorations (such as “Palio dell’Oca” between the four village districts) and local specialties, among them roasted duck or goose with potatoes cooked in the oven; and Festa dell’Olio Nuovo (New Oil Festival) in November, a journey to discover the refined quality of olive oil in a land with olive trees have been grown since the ancient times.

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Let us pamper you with the delicacies of our starred chefs

It will be quite difficult for you to find another town that stars two internationally renowned chefs as Moreno Cedroni and Mauro Uliassi. A taste of their cuisine is a real sensorial journey. Senigallia is worth a trip just for its food. It’s a simple cuisine based on the catch of the day and seasonal ingredients, “from farm to fork”: innovation while preserving tradition.

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From aperitif to dinner along Senigallia’s shore

Live the intense emotions of Senigallia and its Velvet Beach from sunrise to sunset. When the summer day gets close to the end and the sky turns pink, the best thing to do is to sip a cool drink in one of the many bars and restaurants along Senigallia’s coastline. With your feet in the sand and a colourful cocktail in your hands, just relax after a long, full day on the beach: see the day go by, listen to the voice of the sea and admire the colours of the horizon with monte Conero in the distance. Then, the smell of grilled fish will remind you that it’s dinner time. While the first lights turn on, a symphony of flavours is served on your table: “sardoncini scottadito” (straight from the grill, “finger burning” sardines), fried fish, brodetto (fish soup), mussels, clams, and sea snails.

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Moreno Cedroni

Moreno Cedroni è lo chef a 2 stelle Michelin che ha portato uno spirito avanguardista nella cucina italiana. E’ considerato uno degli chef italiani più innovativi, un vero enfant terrible della cucina internazionale. Tra i grandi maestri della cucina di mare italiana, i suoi piatti sono un concentrato di contemporaneità dagli equilibri sottili ed eleganti. Nel 2020 è stato insignito dei 5 cappelli della guida  “I ristoranti e i vini d’Italia 2020”.  

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Mauro Uliassi l’eccellenza del gusto a Senigallia

Nel 2018 ha conquistato la terza stella Michelin. Aperto nel 1990, il ristorante “Uliassi” è stato valutato con 19 Espresso, 92° guida Gambero Rosso, 86° nella classifica 2016 dei 1000 ristoranti più importanti del mondo, 53° nella classifica dei chef migliori del mondo per la guida “100 chef 2016″, 37° miglior ristorante d’Europa OAD 2016 ed è valutato tra i primi 10 ristoranti in Italia. Nel 2020 è stato insignito dei 5 cappelli della guida “I ristoranti e i vini d’Italia 2020”. “Si tratta di una cucina che noi amiamo definire semplice e contemporanea perché utilizza il massimo della tecnica e della tecnologia presente oggi sul mercato e, nello stesso tempo, affonda la sua conoscenza nelle radici della tradizione: una tradizione in continuo movimento, non certo una fotocopia del passato e che si nutre dei nostri viaggi e di tutto quello che ci circonda”

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The fish market

If you want to identify yourself with the local life, also in terms of taste, make sure not to miss the fish market along Nino Bixio dock in Senigallia’s harbour.  What is better than strolling in the early morning hours along the shore, listening to the noise of the sea, while the sun rises just a few metres away? In Senigallia you can choose to relax on the golden beach or dedicate yourself to your favourite sport, visit an exhibition or attend a music show. If, instead, you want to identify yourself with the local life, make sure not to miss the fish market along Nino Bixio dock in Senigallia’s harbour. The arrival of the fishing boats escorted by the impatient seagulls and the presentation of the catch of the day in the wooden stalls are an emotional sign of Senigallia’s personality and vitality. It’s a way to give a new life to the city’s maritime traditions, a meeting place for social and commercial life that you will enjoy with all your five senses. An endless list of fish varieties is ready to be purchased: anchovies, the perfect ingredient for many recipes; sardines from the large “bluefish” family that is mainly fished in winter; mackerel, inexpensive and excellent for its nutritional values; mullet, known for its delicious meat; cuttlefish, sea food of high commercial and gastronomic value; mantis shrimps, very appreciated for both first and second dishes; mussels, easy to make and excellent to east, just like clams, and then grey mullets, sole fish, and much more. The fish market is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day. The market includes two stalls with fruit and vegetables, as well as organic products.  

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An outstanding ice-cream maker in Senigallia

Senigallia: an absolute excellence not only in fish cuisine. After the starred chefs Uliassi and Cedroni, the Velvet Beach boasts an outstanding ice-cream maker. The Gambero Rosso 2017 guide sees the entrance of Paolo Brunelli and his ice-cream parlour situated in via Carducci. Together with other 35 colleagues, the “maestro” from Agugliano received the much-desired title “Tre coni” awarded by the famous guide. Moreover, he won the special prize for the best chocolate ice-cream in Italy, beating the harsh competition of 37 thousand ice-cream makers. Thanks to Paolo Brunelli’s delicious creations, Senigallia can be legitimately defined as the “city of taste”.

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Village fairs and festivals

A holiday in Senigallia is synonym of local village fairs and festivals with traditions, curiosities, and food&wine specialties. Sea, beach, culture, fun and tradition: this is what holidays in Senigallia sound like. Starting from spring, festivals and village fairs become frequent all around Senigallia. They are a unique chance to discover charming small villages, taste local products and revive historical re-enactments.  In May Montignano organises Festa del Cuntadin with a rich market of “0Km” local products.  June is the month of Festa dell’Osteria del Ciarnin and Sagra del pesce di Cesano. The latter has been a traditional appointment for over 50 years, a very much loved event rooted in the traditional cuisine of Senigallia, a real tribute to local fish and seafood specialties enjoyed directly on the beach shore. July opens with Festa d’estate in Cesano. In Castellaro, still in July, you will go back in time with the Historical Threshing Festival, when hard work in the fields was also a reason for a popular feast. With Festa castellana in Scapezzano you will take another step back in history: this small village on Senigallia hills will take you back to the beauty of Middle Ages, with falconry shows, games, parades, drums and Palio dell’oca.

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Typical products of Senigallia

Senigallia, a seaside town, finds its gastronomic roots in the daily catch of the Adriatic Sea: anchovies, sardines, mackerels, horse mackerels, mullets, octopus, squids, soles, squills, grey mullets, clams and mussels. Grigliata and Fritto misto dell’Adriatico are two traditional dishes not to be missed on Senigallia’s tables. Fish is grilled with breadcrumbs seasoned with fresh garlic and parsley. Mixed fried fish cannot do without local fish varieties (called in dialect zanchette, guattoli, parazzola). Brodetto senigalliese is the king dish. The authentic recipe from the harbour includes 13 different kinds of fish and seafood, slowly cooked in a sautéed mixture of finely chopped onions, tomatoes (better if tomato concentrate), and vinegar.  Both grilled and fried fish from the Adriatic Sea cannot be served without the white wines from the hills surrounding Senigallia: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Bianchello del Metauro.   The hinterland offers a rich variety of tasty “country” foods. In summer, amongst the dishes of the farming tradition, you will surprisingly find oca arrosto (roasted goose). A typical dish of Christmas lunch is the famous salsiccia matta, literally speaking “the mad sausage”, which can be only be purchased is some selected butcher’s shops in the town centre. In Senigallia you will also appreciate the very tasty porchetta, savoury, fatty, boneless pork meat slowly cooked in a wood-burning oven and seasoned with wild fennel. Porchetta goes hand in hand with a good glass of Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, a red wine from the local hills, while for roast meats the recommended wine is Rosso Conero, a valuable Montepulciano variety steeped in the smell of the Adriatic Sea.   A typical product of Senigallia’s tradition is pizza con il formaggio, a sort of a salted brioche with pepper and cheese that was traditionally prepared to celebrate Easter. It is the triumph of pecorino, a sheep’s milk cheese, with a mix of dry grated cheese and tiny bits of fresh cheese.     Ciambellone is a fluffy homemade cake that can be enjoyed every day and at Christmas with vino di visciole, a sweet wine made of sour cherries macerated in sugar and red wine (usually Sangiovese). During the grape harvesting season, all bakeries in town prepare ciambelle con il mosto, anisette-scented ring-shaped cakes made with grape-must. Senigallia also boasts a long extra-virgin olive oil tradition. The hills overlooking the sea are especially suited for growing olive trees that produce a highly valued Raggia monovarietal oil produced by several local farmers.  Another typical product of the old farming history of Senigallia hinterland (which was produced in the past by the Monks in Fonte Avellana monastery) is Salame di Frattula, a salami that meets the WPF food specifications – which require the use of pigs raised outdoors in compliance with the European Standards on animal welfare – in a very small area north of Ancona Province that includes a portion of Senigallia Municipality (Scapezzano and Roncitelli).  Senigallia pays great attention to the bread supply chain, from sowing to production and marketing. Several experiences aimed at giving value to local bread making are now a fact. Bread is produced with wheats cultivated in Senigallia and in the surrounding Municipalities, worked in local stone mills (both old and modern ones), produced according to local traditions and distributed by bakers in several points of sale in Senigallia.  

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Cedroni and Uliassi: Senigallia’s starred chefs

Senigallia is the city of good taste”: not many other European places can boast such a reputation in fish and seafood cuisine. We are talking about two starred chefs; we are talking about  Moreno Cedroni e Mauro Uliassi Senigallia is the centre of gastronomic creativity thanks to the artistic talent of two famous chefs that are very well-known both a national and international level: Moreno Cedroni and Mauro Uliassi. These two inventive personalities have dedicated their life to the culinary art with passion, reinterpreting and creating dishes with good taste, sophistication and originality, always with an inspired, unprecedented, never conventional touch.  They both act as ambassadors of good taste and quality, with a very close relation with their home town and roots: Cedroni: “This land and this sea are my DNA. Had I been born in London or Sydney, I would have probably worked on a model of cosmopolitan, standardized cuisine. But I was born here and these places inevitably affect my way of cooking. I always take them with me, as a sort of identity card of the soul”.  Uliassi: “This land is my land, it’s the memory of the past that characterizes my present time and my work. Every new experience enriches the original heritage with new information, sensations and desires. And my personal universe of flavours gets bigger”.  Mauro Uliassi and Moreno Cedroni represent two ways of interpreting food with two starred perceptions of taste. For Uliassi Street food is “(…) A sort of Renaissance for low cost cuisine, with inexpensive, traditional, immediate, yet gourmet food.(…). As a faithful guardian of culinary traditions, he is fully convinced that innovative cuisine must keep the genuine integrity of ingredients, respecting the food culture of the place. Italian style “susci” and fish cold cuts for Cedroni:  “I was tired of eating Japanese sushi because it was always the same; I was tired of eating raw fish in Italy because it was soaked in vinegar or lemon, always with the same taste (and the same happens with soy sauce), so I started my own investigation journey on raw fish, trying to invent the best combination of ingredients.” With Mauro Uliassi and Moreno Cedroni, Senigallia has become a place of excellence, with a strong presence at the top of national and international quality rankings.

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