Connect with us

Europe

Olive Oil Tasting in the Land of Taste

As lovers of food we love to explore the best foods from around the world. Olive Oil tasting in Verucchio proved that we have been buying the wrong oil.

Avatar of Cole Burmester

Published

on

Il Bello E Il Buono Olive Oil, Verucchio, Emilia Romagna, Olive Oil Tasting

Il Bello E Il Buono Olive Oil, Verucchio, Emilia Romagna, Olive Oil Tasting

Don’t expect to show up in Italy and begin to wow everyone with your knowledge of food. It just won’t happen. From the moment Italians are born, they are surrounded by traditional, and local produce.

In Emilia-Romagna, the land of taste, this is even more ingrained in their culture.

Everyone is passionate about food. From the smallest villages to the largest cities, the locals live, breath, and eat fine food.

Il Bello E Il Buono Olive Oil, Verucchio, Emilia Romagna, Olive Oil Tasting

In this fast paced world that we now live in, so many people forget that food is not just about sustaining our lives. It is meant to be enjoyed. You should put time aside to learn everything you can about the art of food.

And to be inspired to learn, you have to hear it from a passionate local.

In the small hilltop village of Verucchio we did exactly that. Overlooking the Adriatic coastline in Emilia-Romagna we met Mario. A truly passionate local.

Mario Il Borgo Olive Oil

We have met very few people during our lives that have loved their jobs unconditionally. I don’t just mean they enjoy getting up every morning to go to work. But truly love and are passionate about what they do.

Mario is one of those people.

For 3 hours we were treated to a personal tour of Verucchio, including the art of producing olive oil, and the art of olive oil tasting.

Mario has just over 1300 Olive trees on the slopes below Verucchio and employs a staff of one. Himself. He does everything by hand and produces one of the best Extra Virgin Olive Oils in the world. Rightly called Il Borgo, which translates into “The Village”.

Il Bello E Il Buono Olive Oil, Verucchio, Emilia Romagna, Olive Oil Tasting

We spoke at length with him about why he doesn’t try and upscale or employ more people to help him. His answer was pure and simple.

“For the quality”

Il Bello E Il Buono Olive Oil, Verucchio, Emilia Romagna, Olive Oil Tasting

It dawned on us then, that the rest of us are doing it all wrong.

Here he was, working his butt off every day, and had been for the last 40 years, and he just wanted to make sure he was putting out the best product possible. He wasn’t after fame or fortune.

He just wanted to share his love for Olive Oil. We were instantly enthralled by him.

He knew everything there was to know about Olives and the art of creating high quality Olive Oil.

As we settled down for our tasting Mario ran through a couple of tips to make sure we got the full aroma and taste from Olive Oil we tried. We want to share our tips learnt with you as well.

Il Bello E Il Buono Olive Oil, Verucchio, Emilia Romagna, Olive Oil Tasting

Still too ripe.

Tips for Tasting Olive Oil

While you don’t swig Olive Oil like a beer or wine, the same process for enjoying it apply.

Smell

The smell of olive oil is very important and critical to its flavor.

Pour a little bit of extra virgin olive oil into a glass, allowing it to warm between your hands. Swirl a few times and then stuff your nose right in there to get the full aroma. We were told that we should expect to notice the smell of fresh-cut grass, tropical fruits, and ripe olive fruit.

It smelt like oil to me. Still excellent, but I just wanted to move onto the tasting stage.

Il Bello E Il Buono Olive Oil, Verucchio, Emilia Romagna, Olive Oil Tasting

Sound

Place you ear in the glass now. You should be able to hear the sounds of summer, a soft breeze, and people laughing at you. Turns out Mario also has a sense of humour and was just pulling our leg. Luckily I held my tongue, as I was about to agree that I could hear summer.

Taste

Take a sip. But don’t swallow. You want to hold it as you breath in though your mouth. Now shut your gob and breathe out through your nose. This will give you a whole bunch of other flavors that you wouldn’t have tasted if you just swallowed it in one gulp.

The Il Borgo Olive Oil is quite spicy compared to others around the region. Mario explained that Verucchio is the perfect distance from the sea. Therefore the salty air, fertile soil and altitude all contribute to that spice.

This slight spicy flavour means it is a very high quality oil. The best can give you just the tiniest tingle but can be strong enough to make you cough.

Il Bello E Il Buono Olive Oil, Verucchio, Emilia Romagna, Olive Oil Tasting

In addition to the fruity and spicy tastes, it can be quite bitter. If you ever try an olive right off the tree then you will agree they are bitter (don’t do it). And since Olive Oil is made from uncured olives, you get the same result.

The blacker the fruit, the less bitter it is. That is why Mario waits until his olives are still half green and black. The blacker they are, then the sweeter the Olive Oil.

Il Bello E Il Buono Olive Oil, Verucchio, Emilia Romagna, Olive Oil Tasting

Our tasting didn’t last very long…

Next time you are cooking dinner or having a few snacks in front of the television, try our tips to see how your Olive Oil compares. It might be time to give Mario a call and order some in.

You won’t regret it!

Extra Travel Tips:

You can get to Verucchio by bike from Rimini along the river pathway. Although it is quite a trek up to the top of the village from there.

Travel to Rimini from around Europe either by Rail (www.trenitalia.com) or by flying direct to the International Federico Fellini Airport.

Mario will show you around if you want to check out the rest of the town including where to find the best pizza!

Il Bello E Il Buono Olive Oil, Verucchio, Emilia Romagna, Olive Oil Tasting

Disclaimer: We were guests of the Emilia-Romagna tourism board as part of the hugely successful #Blogville project. As always, our thoughts and photos, are 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.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Europe

My Insane The Red Light District Tour of The Amsterdam Peep Shows

Have you ever wanted to visit an Amsterdam peep show? We had the chance to go and embraced it with open arms. Check out our experience here

Avatar of Cole Burmester

Published

on

Amsterdam Peep Show

An Amsterdam peep show in the red light district is a must, like visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Okay, slightly different. But you have got to go for the erotic experience!

And if you have ever wanted to visit Amsterdam, then more than likely, you are going to be interested in checking out a peep show in the red light district. It might be a worthwhile tour, to check out Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

Amsterdam Moulin Rouge Red Light District

Something about the red light district brothels draws the punters and tourists alike in. Maybe the bright red neon lights illuminate the darkened alleyways that pull them in like moths to a flame. Or the bars and coffee shops that let a certain smell waft lazily across the glistening canals.

Or maybe it is just the fact that sex does sell.

My Amsterdam Peep Show Tour

When we visited Amsterdam with a couple of friends, we spent what I now consider an embarrassingly long time in that same area. The fact is that we seriously could not get enough. Then we headed over to Germany, where high-class escorts had us covered.

Not like that, of course!

We couldn’t believe that everyone is so open and carefree about what is, for all intents and purposes, window shopping for sex. The number of guys knocking on windows and being ushered behind the curtains of every room was staggering.

However, we have not enticed ourselves to fork over 50 euros but were intrigued enough to want to check out an Amsterdam peep show. I want to clarify here that it was Adela that was the keenest. I didn’t want to let her down, so I went along with it…

Amsterdam Red Light District

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaynekaye/4792525797

Visiting the Amsterdam peep show

Much to our surprise, there is only one Amsterdam peep show left in the whole city back in 2012!

The very name initially “Sex Palace” is situated on the banks of one of the main canals in the heart of the red-light district on Oudezijds Achterburgwal street. Walking under the neon flashing lights into the entranceway, your senses are assaulted by sights, sounds, and disturbingly smell.

All around the walls are posters and screens showing ladies in various states of undress and positions. A whiteboard lists the movies you can rent out for your viewing pleasure in one of the many private booths. But we were only there for one thing:

The circular structure sits slightly to the left of the entrance with a dozen small doors along its walls.

Those small doors lead into equally small rooms no larger than a traditional UK phone box. A small covered viewing window blocks your view forward.

The money box clinging to the wall to operate the viewing window only accepts coins. But don’t worry if you only have notes as they handily have a large coin machine dishing out 2 euro coins for ease of watching.

Once you close the door and chuck in your money, the viewing window pops open for 2 minutes and allows you to view the large, slowly-rotating stage on which a scantily-dressed woman displays herself. She could have represented any country in the upcoming Olympics with her flexibility!

Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmangum/2301545978

I was cracking up laughing the entire time I was in there because you can just make out the rest of the “audience” in the opposite booths. I even got a little wave and smile as the girl slowly revolved past my window.

The Amsterdam peep show was a little bit creepy. But even though we were there late on a Saturday night, the booths were making a roaring trade. From the hen parties to the couples, nearly everyone else was there for the same reason as us. To check out one or two rounds before heading back into the night giggling like school girls at a sleepover at what we had just done.

On the other hand, the shifty-eyed single men skulked away to their respective viewing windows again and again with pockets full of coins.

If you ever get the chance, we highly recommend taking the plunge and visiting an Amsterdam peep show. Just make sure that you are always respectful of the women in the performances and the ones on the streets!

Top 10 Amsterdam Peep Shows in 2022

  • 1 | Stripclub BonTon
  • 2 | Male Strip Show in Amsterdam For Women
  • 3 | Casa Rosso Sex Shows
  • 4 | 5D Porn Cinema
  • 5 | Moulin Rouge Amsterdam
  • 6 | Bananenbar
  • 7 | Sex Palace Peep Show
  • 8 | Hospital Bar
  • 9 | Club LV
  • 10 | La Vie en Proost – Lapdance Bar in Red Light District

Have you ever been to an Amsterdam Peep Show or a Sex show? Tell us about your experience.

Continue Reading

Europe

Paris on a Budget: Best Cheap Eats in Paris

While Paris used to be regarded as an expensive city, you can now enjoy Paris on a Budget. Use our guide to find the Best Cheap Eats in Paris.

Avatar of Guest Author

Published

on

paris woman smiling eating the french pastry macar 2021 08 28 23 14 41 utc 2

Although Paris has a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities globally, the rumors are now unfounded. In 2012, Paris dropped ten places in the Mercer cost of living survey. And with the Euro looking weak, now is probably a good time to find cheap flights and discover the city of love on a budget.

Eating in Paris can catch a lot of tourists out. Avoid the expensive restaurants serving fancy dishes like salmon wellington and snooty maître d’s on the Champs Elysees and follow our guide for the best cheap eats in Paris.  Spend less on food and possibly splurge on friendly hotels in Paris instead!

girl eating croissant in paris 2021 08 26 18 36 43 utc 1

Girl eating croissant in Paris

Best Cheap Eats in Paris

Best Cheap eats in Paris, Eiffel Tower at Night, Paris

Head to the Marais

Famous for its selection of ethnic eateries, the trendy Marais area of Paris is perfect for picking up a quick snack.

Check out L’As du Falafel, where you can grab a flatbread bursting with golden fried balls of falafel, smothered in hummus and accompanied with red cabbage. For €4 to take away, you can’t argue with that. Simply head to Chez Hanna down the street for equally tasty food at similarly low prices if it’s too busy.

Best eats in Paris, The Louvre, Paris

Enjoy an Oriental baguette.

Vietnamese food is popular in France, and nowhere can you see the fusion of two cultures more clearly than at Saigon Sandwich in the Belleville district of Paris.  Their specialty, banh mi, is light and crusty French baguette filled with flavors of South East Asia.

There are only a few options (poulet, boeuf, Maison, and unique), but for €3 ago, you could happily sample them all.

Find French food on the cheap.

Believe it or not, there are some restaurants specializing in French cuisine that won’t see you stumbling into your overdraft. Les Temps des Cerises is one of them.

Described by Yelp as a “Dive Bar,” nothing could be further from the truth.  Run by a cooperative, it attracts a distinctly bohemian crowd. The menu is small, but the food is prepared from ingredients that sing with freshness and high quality.

View from the top of Arc de Triomphe

Eat like a local celebrity …

Rumour has it that Pierre Herme, one of Paris’s most celebrated pastry chefs, visits the Belleville restaurant Le Baratin. The prices are surprisingly low for the delicious Argentinian fare.

Time Out Magazine recommends the tuna carpaccio with cherries or the spicy basque lamb. Pop in at lunchtime for the prixe fix menu. At €18 for three courses it’s hard to complain.

… or eat like a local office worker

Bistro Victoires is a favorite amongst Paris’s locals. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, and the wine list leaves a lot to be desired, but when you sit down to enjoy some of the best steak frites in Paris, all else will be forgiven.

Portion sizes are enormous, and the waiters often remind patrons that if they order a starter, they won’t be able to tackle the main course. Despite being a famous location steps away from the Palais Royal, it still manages to be a hidden gem.

Champs-Elysees Sunset

What are your tips for finding the best cheap eats in Paris?

Continue Reading

Europe

Travel Tip: Train to Pisa from Florence

Whether you spend a half-day or full day in Pisa, we recommend that you Train to Pisa from Florence. It’s the fastest and cheapest way to get there.

Avatar of Cole Burmester

Published

on

train to pisa

Traveling by train is one of the best ways to see the beautiful countryside of Italy. The train from Florence to Pisa takes about an hour, and the journey is stunning. The route takes you past vineyards and medieval villages, through tunnels and over bridges, with breathtaking views of the Tuscan hillsides. You can even see the Leaning Tower of Pisa as the train approaches the station.

Woman traveling by train looking out of window

Upon arrival in Pisa, you can explore the historic center and visit the famous cathedral, before enjoying a leisurely lunch overlooking the River Arno. With its stunning scenery and convenient location, a train trip from Florence to Pisa is a great way to spend a day in Italy.

Leaning tower of Pisa, HDR, Italy

How to get to Pisa from Florence

You have a couple of different options for your own half-day trip to Pisa from Florence depending on how you like to travel. But if you are like us and enjoy travelling around Italy by public transport, then you will definitely want to train to Pisa from Florence.

Train to Pisa from Florence

Florence and Pisa are less than 100 km apart and the easiest way is to train to Pisa from Florence. The entire trip one-way takes approximately an hour depending on your route with no transfers.

Trains leave from Florence S.M.Novella for Pisa Centrale a few times every hour. The closest train station to the leaning tower of Pisa is Pisa San Rossore, but it’s not worth the extra time or transfer required. Pisa itself is small and it takes less than 30 minutes to walk to the leaning tower from Pisa Centrale.

Plus you get to explore more of the city such as the River Arno lined with beautiful stately homes.

Pisa River, train from pisa to florence

If you want to book online then a one-way ticket by train to Pisa from Florence will cost from €7.80 (US$10.40) in 2nd class. It is important to make sure that when you are searching online via the Italian train booking site, Trenitalia, you search for “Firenze” rather than Florence.

The train schedules are very easy to understand so we recommend booking your ticket from the self-service machines on the train platform. The return journey is just as easy in reverse. Just watch that you don’t miss the last train around 10pm most days and carry cash with you for the ticket.

Finally, validate your ticket before boarding the train. We forgot a couple of times but used the typical “I’m a stupid tourist” line to get out of any fines.

Bus to Pisa from Florence

Another option is to catch the bus to Pisa from Florence.

There are two main bus companies, Terravision and Autostradale, run regular buses to and from Pisa Airport and Florence Airport into the Florence city centre, they don’t actually go into Pisa itself. The train to Pisa from Florence is so reliable, fast, and cheap, that you may not want to consider this option.

However, there are some advantages to taking the bus. You will see a lot more scenery from the window of the bus, and it’s definitely cheaper; sometimes you can find fares as low as 4 Euros, especially on Fridays.

Travel Guide to visiting Pisa from Florence

Driving to Pisa from Florence

If you have hired a car or scooter in Tuscany then you might look at driving to Pisa from Florence. However, even though the distance is less than 100km, the trip will still take approximately 1 hour.

Aside from the fact that the train to Pisa from Florence typically takes less time than driving, you also have to avoid the crazy Italian drivers. Not to mention trying to find a carpark in two of the most popular cities in Italy. Impossible.

Travel to Pisa from Florence by train, Leaning tower of Pisa HDR

Guided Tour to Pisa from Florence

If you have been enjoying the sunset in Florence and all the city has to offer then you might want to take in a guided tour to Pisa from Florence. Not only do you get a great guide to learn all about the history of the area, you also don’t have to worry about getting to Pisa from Florence.

You might want to check out this guided tour around Pisa or get a little bit more adventurous and try out a segway tour in Pisa. Perfect for the family and it will keep the kids entertained between stops.

If you have a whole day, and haven’t managed to fit in a hike around Cinque Terre, then we recommend looking into the Pisa and Cinque Terre day tour. Lasting roughly 12 hours, you will travel from Florence to Cinque Terre, with a 2 hour stop in Pisa to see all the main sights.

We also reckon guides help you get the best photos, as they have seen all the poses.

Adela funny jumping Pisa

Tell us below if you have taken any funny photos in Pisa!

Continue Reading

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...

New on Four Jandals

What Are You Looking For?

Subscribe

See Our Favorite Topics

en_USEnglish (United States)