As much fun as it was to get hands-on pasta-making lessons from Laura and Michele at Pasta Fresca Laura in Santarcangelo, it was also nice to sit down and relax with an aperitivo afterwards. At an outside table at Donminzoni54, we took a little time to bask in the satisfaction of our pasta-making accomplishment. Containers holding our freshly-made tortelli, cappelletti and noodles were being kept cool for us at the local tourist office until we were ready to move on to our next Emilia-Romagna experience which would enable us to enjoy the rest of the fun — eating our pasta!
On to Collina dei Poeti (Hill of Poets)
Just about 1.5 miles from Santarcangelo’s city center is Collina dei Poeti, a winery and vineyard where we were to have our pasta prepared by a professional local chef for our dinner that evening (with our help…sort of).
The atmosphere could not have been more welcoming as we entered the tasting room of the winery. Introductions and warm handshakes came from all those who were gathered to meet us.
Sebastiano Pedani, the winery’s sales and marketing manager, took us on a tour of one of the buildings which included a production area downstairs. The wine barrels on the top right in the photo below hold Sangiovese Reserva— a classic wine grown from the plentiful sangiovese grapes in the Emilia-Romagna region. The grapes are also used in the making of Chianti.
Albachiara Spumante Rosato shown below is a light sparkling rose that is beautiful in its pink color as well as totally delicious as an aperitivo. In fact, it was this vintage from Collina dei Poeti that I was served at the bar in Santarcangelo.
Shortly afterwards, we were joined by Sauro, an owner of Collina dei Poeti, for a tour of the grounds, walking through the vineyards and olive grove to the top of a hill on the property.
The sun was beginning to set as we walked further through cherry and mulberry trees enjoying lovely views of the surrounding countryside and town of Santarcangelo nearby. Along the way, we ate berries straight from the branches while talking to Sauro about the winery’s history and business.
Then it was back down the hill to the winery’s courtyard, where Maurizio, a local businessman, was making piadinas for us to enjoy with a special cooker that he invented.
We moved inside one of the buildings where Chef Antonella was busy in the large restaurant-style kitchen. It was a great feeling to see our fresh pasta creations being taken to the next steps — cooking the pasta and preparing the sauces.
In further keeping with our hands-on experiences of the day, Antonella asked if we’d like to help out by cutting up some of the vegetables for our dinner. I’m not sure how useful we really were, but it was fun to be part of the action in the kitchen. But Antonella was the star as she prepared the meal with artistry and efficiency.
Amid laughter and pleasant conversation, we sat at a long table outside — our Collina dei Poeti hosts, our blogging group and Pino of the Santaracangelo Tourist Center. Accompanying our pasta dishes were two types of Sangiovese, one being the Sangiovese Reserva, a very special vintage that we enjoyed immensely.
It was quite late as we finished eating, full and satisfied. I felt a sense of accomplishment from our pasta-making which produced a delicious meal, but also happy that to be in that place with new friends and so warmly embraced by our hosts.
As a final treat of the evening, Pino read a poem that our friend Susie White of Insiders Abroad later translated into English. The poem characterizes the pride of the people for Emilia-Romagna and gave us a special insight into the value they place on tradition. Watching Pino as he read the poem in Italian I was impressed by his visible level of emotion.
For more information:
Collina dei Poeti
Via Gavina, 97
Santarcangelo di Romagna Rimini
Phone: +39 0541 620042
Santarcangelo Tourist Center
Via Cesare Battisti, 5
Santarcangelo di Romagna Rimini
Phone: +39 0541 624270
Disclosure: Thanks to Le Case Antiche for providing our accommodations in Verucchio. Thanks also to Alessandra of 21Grammy and Associazione Internazionale Alberghi Diffusi for making this project possible.
We’re linking this post to Marcia Mayne’s “Foodie Tuesday” series this week. Check out more gastronomic articles at Inside Journeys. We’re also contributing this post to Nancie McKinnon’s Budget Traveler’s Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series.