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.
In the car well after midnight, it was back to Verucchio for a good night’s rest at Le Case Antiche to prepare us for another full day of new sights, sounds and tastes of Emilia-Romagna.
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.
Beautiful pictures and what an amazing meal to watch being made and eaten.
Have I mentioned (once or twice) how badly I want to take cooking classes in Italy?!
What a full day you must have had, Cathy. I like the way it ended too – with poetry and a spectacular sunset. Say, you must be an expert at Italian cooking now, right?
Thanks for linking up this week, Cathy!
Cathy, I had to look up what a Piadina is and it sounds fantastic! Even more so looking at the picture of Maurizio making one. Your post once again made me want to be right there. And that part of the having the poem read in Italian was fantastic. How fun to get to be in the kitchen for that whole experience! 🙂
Sounds like a fabulous day all round. Love wandering around in Italian vineyards.
What a fantastic but exhausting day – really I can’t keep up with you on this trip. It really does sound like you were so warmly welcomed everywhere you went. And how cool is that to have your pasta made into a dish by a professional!!
What a great experience – I love vineyards, they are so peaceful.
Even without the fab food, that’s a great place to spend a day. Love the landscape shots.
Great photos! Albachiara Spumante Rosato looks good 🙂
what a wonderful experience, this is the way to enjoy and Italian trip and la dolce vita!
This sounds like the best of travel! You are exploring the culture so personally and being welcomed into such a warm community of people who sound as though they so love the region! It is easy to understand why Pino showed such emotion!
Food and wine are such a huge part of Italian culture. Looks like you had a great day to combine the two!
What a great place – beautiful and good food!
I host a weekly link party called “Oh, the PLACES I’ve been!” and would love to have you link.
– The Tablescaper
Another fabulous experience! What a great way to experience the cuisine and culture. How cool is it to help out a chef too. I would have been happy to just stroll the vineyards and pick berries. All the rest would be major bonuses.
This sounds like another fantastic day of your trip. I would love to walk through that vineyard and help out in the kitchen.
What a great experience you had both in the cooking and the sipping. Love the photos in this post, Cathy.
Great photos Cathy, of what looks to be a fabulous and delicious experience!
Such a rich experience. Lovely, just lovely.
I can’t wait to visit Emilia-Romagna. It seems to be growing in popularity, and based on your pictures, it’s for good reason!
It all looks so pretty, and has made me want to pack a bag and GO! Wine, food and that sunset would be awesome 🙂
Delicious post indeed. I feel an urge to have some pasta with Sangiovese Reserva myself 🙂
Seems like you had a really good time there. I took cooking lessons in Italy, too, but in Rome. I would really love to go back and do it again.
I have enjoyed so much reading about the pasta making lessons, and now you gave me to opportunity to discover Santarcangelo di Romagna. Really love your pics, too. Such a nice blog, you have here.
Sounds like your Italy trip was fabulous! We have Le Marche on our mind – dubbed “the next Tuscany” but said to be less touristy…
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