The 2015 Italian Cousins Food and Wine tour began of course.. with food.
A late night Roman gelato while gazing with sleep deprived eyes at the incredible columns and facade of the Pantheon. After plenty of planning, our trip had finally begun. But, Italy could wait, we all needed a shower and a long sleep.
Our first morning in Rome and Julia felt it crucial that we learn to order coffee like a local. Where to buy, where to pay, and most importantly what to order.
Wide eyed and eager, we joined a hop on hop off tour of the sights of Rome. Ripe lemons and oranges growing beside the streets were within reaching distance from our double decker bus.
Later that afternoon it was hills of Frascati that offered up our first wine tasting of the tour. Castel de Paolis matched estate grown Frascati and red blends with salami, cheese, fabulous porchetta and beautiful views. We tasted whites blended from Malvasia, Trebbiano, Bellone, Greco and Bombino. The reds were more familiar with Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Our first afternoon and we were already well acquainted with the mantra of our tour... Lets Eat and Drink!
We were definitely excited about our first Italian Cousins dinner together back in the centre of Rome!
Only metres from the Pantheon we dined on bruschetta and enormous balls of the sweetest buffalo mozzarella, Roman bean soup, Amatriciana Pasta, Saltimbocca and a range of way too sweet desserts. Plenty of wine and conversation flowed and this group are no longer strangers.
Our choice on day 2 was to either visit the historic Vatican or visit the Campo del Fiori markets with a local private chef and spend the rest of the day in a cooking class.
As the rain poured down in Rome both options were equally enjoyed by the cousins. The cooking class were proud of their tasty handmade fettuccini, ravioli, cavatelli, parmigiana and tiramisu. Those that visited the Vatican jostled with the wet weather crowd and ticked the Sistine Chapel off their travel wishlist. Tomorrow our Umbrian experience commences!