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Making fresh Pasta with Casa Artusi

Making fresh pasta with the wonderful women at Casa Artusi was one of the highlights of our time living like a local in Emilia-Romagna.

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Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

As you might know, Food is a pretty big deal for us. We basically only travel for crazy adventures or so that we can indulge our taste buds with various sweets and savoury treats from foreign lands. In particular we love to learn how to cook with the local ingredients.

Food is the sole reason why we chose to travel throughout Italy.

Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

One of the things we really wanted to do in Italy was visit a cooking school. Arranging it with the Emilia-Romagna tourism board was simple and when they told us that not only would we be learning from some of the best cooks in the world, but we would also be learning in the town where Italian cuisine was born, it’s fair to say we were a little excited.

Giggling like school girls we exchanged a few high-fives before reeling in our joy.

Casa Artusi

Casa Artusi was created in Forlimpopoli to honour its most illustrious citizen, Pellegrino Artusi, who is recognized worldwide as the father of Italian cuisine. Artusi dedicated his life to creating a cookbook for the kitchen at home called La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiare bene” or “The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well”. The cookbook is still published with the old recipes with a few new ones added each time.

Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

Pasta Making Class

Greeted by our very own Marietta (the wonderful women who teach Italian cooking at Casa Artusi) we donned our aprons before being shown a very quick demonstration on how to make fresh pasta.

Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

It turns out that it’s not all that hard and even a amateur like myself can whip it up a batch of fresh pasta in no time at all. Just mix 200g of flour and 2 eggs together and then knead, knead, knead and roll, roll, roll it out.

Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

I would have made an absolute mess of it all if I didn’t have my wonderful Marietta encouraging me with the odd pat on the back and “Bravo”. She actually seemed genuinely impressed with my skills in the kitchen. And considering I usually leave the cooking up to Adela I was secretly proud of myself as well.

Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

By the end of it we had made all of this and earned the right to be inducted into the Casa Artusi alumni.

Definitely one of the highlights of our trip to Italy and it was such a treat that night to be able to boil up our own homemade pasta and taste our own creations.

Check out our awesome pasta cooking skills in our video:

If you get the chance then we highly recommend you go and try out Casa Artusi yourself as the school is open to everyone whether you are a professional masterchef or an enthusiast who just wants to practice the art of home cooking.

Disclaimer: We were guest at the #Blogville apartment with the Emilia-Romagna Tourism Board. However, as always our words (and pasta) will always be our own. 

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Laurence

    August 15, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    I love pasta, but have always assumed that making it was a dark art involving midnight rituals and naked dancing by moonlight. I still think that is the case, and this post is leaving out the raunchy stuff. But well done on making it seem so easy 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      August 15, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      At 1.02 in the video we actually stopped filming to perform the dark arts before switching it back on. Very sneaky 😉

  2. London4Travelers

    August 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Thanks a lot for this post. There are so many valuable tips. Now I know how to make pasta 🙂

  3. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    August 15, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Hungry.Suddenly the endless plates of gallo pinto here in Nica and Costa Rica seem a bit less interesting….

    • Cole Burmester

      August 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      I always seem to read food posts around breakfast time and makes me so hungry!

  4. Iain Mallory

    August 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Wow guys who would have known you were such great budding chefs, good job!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      Hahaha luckily pasta is probably the easiest thing to make in the world!

  5. Callie

    August 15, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Homemade pasta in Italy, can’t get better than that! Looks delicious…

    • Cole Burmester

      August 16, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      So delicious! Would have saved you some but… oh well 🙂

  6. Pinky Jindal

    August 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    while reading this , feeling to eat …

    • Cole Burmester

      August 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Haha we are always hungry after reading food posts.

  7. Jeremy Branham

    August 17, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    I like eating pasta. However, I have to admit the idea of cooking it doesn’t appeal to me. I am not a big fan of the kitchen so I rarely cook meals. I even stated that I would never taking a cooking class as part of my travels. However, I appreciate and respect the skills of those who work hard to produce good food. I always enjoy eating it 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      I love cooking but just not very good at it so leave most of it to Adela 🙂

  8. Suzzy Matts

    August 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Pasta looks really delicious…Yummmy..
    Really feel like having em…

  9. D.J. - The World of Deej

    August 17, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    For once, you’re the one making me jealous of the food!:) Nice one!

  10. Alexandra

    August 21, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    I can’t wait to get back to Italy in the fall to EAT!!!!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 21, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      The fall would be the perfect time as the weather will still be warm while the crowds will be gone. Good choice!

  11. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    August 21, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Freshly made pasta is the best! Wish we had time to make it from scratch every time. Yum! yum! yum!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      I was surprised that it doesn’t take that long to make. However, so easy to get it from the shop.

  12. Ali

    August 21, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    I’m not sure I’d ever want to make my own pasta at home, but if ever there was a place to learn how it’s Italy! Sounds like fun!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      If I had a bigger kitchen that was as clean as their one then definitely would make it all the time haha.

  13. Cheryl

    August 22, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    I’ve done similar classes and ohhh what fun! And so yummy to eat afterwards. =)

    • Cole Burmester

      August 23, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Tastes so much better when it is made from your own hard work 😉

  14. Serena

    September 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Great article and it looks like the cooking class was lots of fun – check out my vesrion of fresh handmade pasta on my blog.

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Europe

Tips for Making Any Overseas Trip a Romantic One

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Vacations are a great way to leave our everyday lives behind to spend some stress free time with the one we love. Travel in itself can be quite romantic but there are definitely ways you can spice up your holidays even more.

Follow these helpful tips to make sure your romantic holiday gets off on the right foot and continues to head down the tunnel of love and passion. You can easily turn any part of your travels into a special romantic affair.

Choosing the Right Destination

A romantic trip starts with selecting the right destination. There are definitely cities and regions which are much more prone to sparking romance than others. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but generally destinations such as popular European cities, beach getaways, Asian resorts, luxury ski resorts, or tropical islands make for a good choice.

Couples should pick a destination which they both will enjoy as this will of course make it far easier to express their love for each other.

Choosing the Right Time

It is a good idea to select a time that will be most appropriate for your holiday. Choose a time that is easy for you in regards to taking time off work or from household duties. This will make it far easier to feel relaxed while on your holiday, allowing you to focus more on fuelling the romance.

You may also want to research when the best time is to visit your chosen destination so as to avoid peak crowds or unideal weather conditions.

Choosing a romantic date to travel such as an anniversary, honeymoon, or birthday can also turn any holiday into one filled with more passion. Travelling during Valentine’s Day can make for an especially romantic holiday of which there are many perfect Valentine’s Day destinations.

Fly Business Class

Although your destination may be exhilarating, the flight or flights to get there can be stressful. Minimise the stress of flying by booking business class where you’ll enjoy the VIP treatment with far more comfortable seats which many times convert into a bed allowing for a decent rest while in the air.

As a bonus you can many times be granted access to luxurious airport lounges when flying business class which makes waiting for your flight much easier as you are treated to free food and drinks along with clean bathrooms and seating areas.

Private Transportation

Public transportation can not only take longer to get to your hotel or attractions in your chosen destination, but they can also kill the mood for you and your loved one. By booking private transfers via your hotel or on your own, you can avoid buses, trams, and trains which can be crowded and noisy.

Choose a Nice Hotel

It may be difficult to find romance if you are staying in a dodgy motel or hostel. Be sure to book quality accommodation which has private en suites and clean furnishings. Remember that your vacation is supposed to be an escape, so make that escape the best it can be with premium toiletries, fancy marble bathroom floors, plush pillows, quality linen, and a nice hotel room view. All of these luxuries will make for a far more romantic getaway.

Eating Out

Nothing can ignite romance more than delicious food although preparing it isn’t always that much fun. One of the best aspects of travelling is that it gives us an excuse to not have to cook.

Seek out popular restaurants that offer a romantic setting, quality service, and mouth watering flavours that will leave you passionate for more than just satisfying your hungry stomach.

Get Dressed Up

Although you and your loved one may look good in any light and attire, it is never a bad idea to put on your Sunday’s best. It can sometimes be difficult in our everyday lives to find occasions to get all dressed and made up, so why not make your holiday abroad an excuse to do so.

Although clothes may not necessarily make the person, a nice dress or suit and tie can go a long way to giving us a little extra special glow to spark a bit of romance.

Log Off and Put the Phone Away

Nothing can kill a romantic dinner or event than the sound of message notifications, phone calls, or emails. Any holiday should be an excuse to remove the stress of the online world or work and with romantic holidays this becomes even more paramount.

You want to be focusing your attention on the love you and your partner share or if travelling solo you want this time to focus on the beauty of the destination you have selected which may in turn bring you a bit of romance. Disconnecting is all about reconnecting; so log off and put the phone away!

Reduce the Risk of Stressful Situations

Stress can kill romance very quickly. When we are stressed we can easily find ourselves getting into silly arguments or bouts of criticism. Your holiday is supposed to be an enjoyable experience so don’t let it turn sour by making the possibility of stress to creep on in.

Don’t try to overload your itinerary with too much and avoid setting too rigid of a timeline. Prior planning is important to avoid any unwanted surprises or disappointments when it comes to securing reservations for flights, hotels, or activities.

Should anything go wrong during your travels, you want to have the peace of mind you are protected by travel insurance from InsureandGo. Travel Insurance can help when the unforseen happens while you are overseas.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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