Our host Natalina planned an exciting and full agenda, always taking into consideration the wishes and needs of her guests. She speaks Italian fluently and has visited the area many times, so was able to share with us her knowledge and love of the food, the wines, the people and the culture. Our local guide Silvia was also a gem!
She is extremely well versed in regional history, geography, etc but also provided us with insight into today's Calabria and its people. I have fond memories of her leading us through exercises on the beach in Cortone No questions asked of her went unanswered Both ladies were lots of fun and both made a point of engaging with each and every one of us throughout our busy days. Luciano, our humorous and very skilled bus driver, travelled with us everywhere, adding to our wonderful experience. The focus of the trip was fine food, and there was lots of this! We tasted regional delicacies like nduja, pecorino and caciocavallo cheeses, olive oils, stock fish, not my favourite , many cured meats, and many other anti pasta delights, just to name a few.
We visited family owned and operated farms, olive groves, and vineyards, and were overwhelmed by the hospitality and pride of the owners. We were shown how to make soap from olive oil, how to prepare bread and cook it in a wood burning stove, and how to make lasagna that included hard boiled eggs We even collected chestnuts one day! But not every activity related to food. We drove through lovely countryside which included highlands and beaches. We visited art and architecture museums. One of my most memorable stops was Scilla, a beautiful cliff side town.
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We ate lunch in a restaurant perched over the sea, and then climbed up to the top of the cliff to visit the remains of an ancient fortress. The view was spectacular! I would highly recommend this tour and look forward to travelling with Natalina and Silvia again.
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Fantastic Experience What a great trip to Calabria that far exceeded our already very high expectations. We were treated to an expertly planned introduction to the history, beauty and culinary delights of this lesser travelled region of Italy under the Read More Fantastic Experience What a great trip to Calabria that far exceeded our already very high expectations.
We were treated to an expertly planned introduction to the history, beauty and culinary delights of this lesser travelled region of Italy under the guidance of our hostess, Natalina, and very knowledgeable and fun loving local guide, Silvia. Thanks to the small group size of fourteen, we soon bonded with our fellow like minded travellers on our daily excursions Visits to local farms, vineyards and food producers, many of which were small scale but high in quality and flavour plus many opportunities to experience cooking demonstrations and some hands on preparation mixed so well with visits to hill towns, castles and museums.
The trip was well organized and active, hotel accomodations first class and our food experiences beyond words. Local ingredients of every kind along with local wines were emphasized at all of the fabulous meals we enjoyed family style at the selected restaurants, some of which were owned by relatives of Natalina where we were served meals that were above and beyond incredible.
We were looking for an experience and we got it in spades so we are anxiously looking forward to our next trip with Natalina. We went on the wonderful Taste of Calabria Tour, Natalina Bombino Campagnolo is a wonderful facilitator and planned an excellent, informative, and very tasty experience. She helped make our group a family as she introduced us to the Read More We went on the wonderful Taste of Calabria Tour, Natalina Bombino Campagnolo is a wonderful facilitator and planned an excellent, informative, and very tasty experience.
She helped make our group a family as she introduced us to the flavours of her ancestral homeland. Natalina's selection of Silvia as our knowledgeable, flexible tour guide highlights Natalina's understanding that good food and good company go hand in hand! Thanks for a great experience! We ate delicious foods and helped cook them , enjoyed award winning wines and visited the wineries that made them , We ate delicious foods and helped cook them , enjoyed award winning wines and visited the wineries that made them , saw mozzarella cheese being made and helped make it , and visited award winning olive oil producing groves and saw the process from start to finish!
We ate, drank, danced, laughed, and climbed our way through Calabria to the highest villages San Giorgio. We met amazing people along the way in our group our new Canadian friends and also the good people of the region, that we will never forget! We would like to thank Natalina Catalina Bombino, the trip planner and Sylvia, our guide. It was because of their careful planning, paying attention to every detail, and great knowledge of the area that made this the great trip it was!
And they also made it fun! What a great guy! He looked out for us as he took us off the beaten path! Luchiano told us that people cry three times when they visit Calabria, first when they get there and see the beauty, second when they have to leave, and third when they get home and get on their scale! And he was right! I attended my first cooking class at Natalina's Kitchen and had a fantastic time! Cooking classes are kept small which allows for a lot of hands on learning. Read More I attended my first cooking class at Natalina's Kitchen and had a fantastic time!
100 New and Traditional Italian Recipes
Natalina did a fantastic job at answering everyone's questions and even added her own personal experiences and stories. Very much looking forward to my next class. Her classes fill up quickly so book early! Attended the pizza making class with my wife and it exceeded our expectations.
Natalina was knowledgeable and very engaging. We learned a lot of great pizza making techniques and can't wait to start making our own. Would highly recommend taking Read More Attended the pizza making class with my wife and it exceeded our expectations. Would highly recommend taking her class. Thank you for a most enjoyable Saturday Natalina's Taste of Puglia tour over-exceeded our expectations. We thought we weren't 'tour people' but the small group, attention to detail, VIP experience was spectacular. From cooking classes, to winery tours, exploring ancient cities, olive groves and ruins, the tour Read More Natalina's Taste of Puglia tour over-exceeded our expectations.
From cooking classes, to winery tours, exploring ancient cities, olive groves and ruins, the tour was an immersive and authentic experience of culture and cuisine. Plus all the recipes to take home! Five stars all round!
What a wonderful experience! It was obvious that our hotels, cooking experiences, meals, wines and visits to local sites of interest were carefully selected and planned. A key strength A key strength of the tour was Natalina herself.
She was a knowledgeable well organized, involved and caring Tour Director. Highly recommended!
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Trip to Puglia region of Italy with Natalina and small group Trip to Puglia was amazing! Just returned from the tour of Puglia.
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If your not a tour person this is for you. A beautiful balance between walking tours, unique places, cooking and eating a variety of delicious foods. Onions and olive oil are used. Because of a lack of land suitable for wheat, the Ligurians use chickpeas in farinata and polenta-like panissa. The former is served plain or topped with onions, artichokes , sausage, cheese or young anchovies. Hilly districts use chestnuts as a source of carbohydrates. Ligurian pastas include corzetti from the Polcevera valley ; pansoti , a triangular shaped ravioli filled with vegetables; piccagge , pasta ribbons made with a small amount of egg and served with artichoke sauce or pesto sauce; trenette , made from whole wheat flour cut into long strips and served with pesto; boiled beans and potatoes; and trofie , a Ligurian gnocchi made from whole grain flour and boiled potatoes, made into a spiral shape and often tossed in pesto.
Pasta dishes based on the use of guanciale unsmoked bacon prepared with pig's jowl or cheeks are often found in Lazio , such as pasta alla carbonara and pasta all'amatriciana. Another pasta dish of the region is arrabbiata , with spicy tomato sauce. The regional cuisine widely use offal, resulting in dishes like the entrail-based rigatoni with pajata sauce and coda alla vaccinara.
Iconic of Lazio is cheese made from ewes' milk Pecorino Romano , porchetta savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast and Frascati white wine.
The influence of the ancient Jewish community can be noticed in the Roman cuisine's traditional carciofi alla giudia. The regional cuisine of Lombardy is heavily based upon ingredients like maize, rice, beef, pork, butter, and lard. Rice dishes are very popular in this region, often found in soups as well as risotto.
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The best-known version is risotto alla milanese , flavoured with saffron and typically served with many typical Milanese main courses, such as ossobuco alla milanese cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth and cotoletta alla milanese a fried cutlet similar to Wiener schnitzel , but cooked "bone-in". Regional cheeses include Robiola , Crescenza , Taleggio , Gorgonzola , and Grana Padano the plains of central and southern Lombardy allow intensive cattle farming.
Polenta is common across the region.
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Regional desserts include the famous panettone Christmas cake sweet bread with candied orange, citron, and lemon zest, as well as raisins, which are added dry and not soaked. On the coast of Marche , fish and seafood are produced. Inland, wild and domestic pigs are used for sausages and hams.