A recent plan to visit a favourite restaurant in the Sabina region with a group of Italian friends sadly went sideways, requiring a hasty Plan B. This agriturismo, located high on a pass between the Tiber Rivery and Rieti Valleys combines great food with a lovely view and some very complelling history. First the food... Given that we had been looking forward to our Plan A this restuarant was at an unfair disadvantage, but as soon as the beautiful crispy vegetable fritters came out, I knew Plan B was going to have a happy ending. The fritters were amazing. So was the hearty bean pasta dish. I had heard about this combination before but never tried it and it left me not only wanting more but regretting later that I had not asked for a recipe. The grilled meat and sausage were delicious, the host convivial. All in all it was a wonderful meal and a beautiful, peaceful, rural setting. It is hard to imagine that in April of 1944 one of the most brutal massacres by the Nazis took place just across the road in the little country church. Frustrated in their attempts to dislodge a determined group of partisans esconced on the upper reaches of Tancia, the angry Germans rounded up elderly and very young villagers, some children as young as 2 and 3, and executed them in revenge... This combination of an intensely peaceful rural setting, wonderful food, healthy mountain air, and compelling local history makes Casale Tancia well worth the visit. For history buffs interested in this story, there is a great mini-documentary on Youtube with English subtitles called "Tancia The Movie"
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