September 23, 2019

Piazza Navona Rome long view
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Our walking tour and pasta making class in Rome was simply superb. On our most recent trip, the desire for something a little different came to mind. As much as l love seeing the most famous spots in Rome, every once in a while, it’s good to try something unique after so many Rome holidays. The last time we visited was a few months ago on our way to Verona to spend time with friends.

Walking Tour And Pasta Making class In Rome:

Chiesa Nuova church in Rome walking tour
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Chiesa Nuova church in Rome walking tour
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The interior of the Chiesa Nuova church. I absolutely love visiting churches when l travel. Sometimes, I get jaded, but this trip was shockingly good for me. I bet this church never gets filled like in the old days except with tourists. A shame!

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This time, the something different came courtesy of our old friends at The Tour Guy who gave us complimentary tickets so we could come back and share our awesome pasta making experience in the eternal city of Rome with you. As l mentioned on the last postcard, our pasta making and walking tour took place on a warm fall day that started out a bit rainy, but turned out to be wonderfully sunny.

Why you should take The Tour Guy small group tour:

  • The tour was conducted in English by a guide who was really enthusiastic and knowledgeable guy
  • Smaller number of participants
  • Makes socialising with the other fellow tourists easier
  • Easier for the guide to keep track of the guests
  • More intimate encounters. We had the option of headphones, but since we were a small number, there was no need.
water fountain in Rome Testacchio area
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water fountain in Rome Testacchio area
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One of the abundant water fountains. This one depicts a deer, the symbol of the Testaccio area, something else l learned from our guide :-).

Rome walking tour and pasta making class:

We met our very capable guide Dimitri at the plaza de Chiesa Nuova in the center of the city.  The group numbered six, just like on our food tour. There were two ladies who were visiting Rome, one from Houston and the other from New York. The other two was a young couple from California. We had plenty to talk about with all of them since we had lived in Houston and California before. Turned out the girls had gone to college in Boston just like l did. It was a lot of fun chatting and walking. Safe to say the tour was a hit with all of us.

Our tour set out on time at 9am. We made a quick stop to the Chiesa Nuova church right at the plaza, one of the 900 or so churches in Rome. It was gorgeous of course, and the first piece of art we saw upon entry was a Raphael! Imagine that, something so valuable in just an “ordinary”  church.

The interior was amazing, and the guide’s advice is, “when in Rome and you see a church, go in”. I agree, they are all breath taking. It really reminds you how immensely rich the Catholic church is. Over the hour or so that we walked around the centre, we visited some of the most famous attractions in Rome and picked up even more history, including:

Piazza Navona:

piazza navona druing our walking tour and pasta making class in Rome tour
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piazza navona druing our walking tour and pasta making class in Rome tour
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Piazza Navona. You can see one of the dragons rising from the underworld.

Once called Stadium Domitian, it was where the ancient Romans used to watch the games, and was built in the 1st century A.D. The current square built on top of the stadium was designed by perhaps most famous architect and sculptor in the world, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who we learned was basically a rich brat who got whatever he wanted (sound familiar?) and was instrumental in the death of his considered superior competitor Borromini. I knew about the rivalry, but didn’t know much else and so l was thrilled to hear all about it.



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Spanish Steps:

Pasta making and walking tour in Rome view of Spanish steps with people
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Pasta making and walking tour in Rome view of Spanish steps with people
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Still crowded, but not nearly as impossible to navigate.

Let me just say how happy l am that tourists, and everyone else as a matter of fact are no longer allowed to sit on the Spanish steps. It’s been too long coming in my opinion. We have avoided going there for the longest time because of that. If you look closely at the image, you can see the attendants in green neon who are there to shoo people off. In the future, they will begin issuing fines, but for now, just a verbal warning. 

Pantheon:

Raphael tomb at the pantheon in Rome
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Raphael tomb at the pantheon in Rome
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The resting place of the great artist Raphael. He’s in good company, and what a beautiful place to “rest”.

The former Roman temple that is currently a church and has the perfect dome that has yet to be replicated. Something else l didn’t know. Most of us remembered it from Angels and Demons l think. It was fascinating to know how rain never entered the Pantheon in the old days. Did you know that the painter Raphael is entombed in there, along with some other famous Italians, like the last king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele.

Our walking tour ended just a few steps away from the newly refurbished Trevi Fountain, and that point, we were all ready for the second part of the tour which was the small group pasta making class at a neighbourhood restaurant. We said our goodbyes to our Rome tour guide Dimitri and he handed us over to our lovely hostess Ludovica.

hostess at Rome restaurant
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hostess at Rome restaurant
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She was so cool and capable. We all enjoyed spending time with her.

Pasta making class in Rome:

tray with all kinds of pasta
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tray with all kinds of pasta
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I would make all except for gnocchi :-). What we all aspired to make.

This was such a fun experience. There were two others in the class, making a total of eight. The restaurant was not yet open to the public, so we had plenty of space. We were given aprons and the ingredients we would need to make fresh pasta were already set out. Ludovica started the class by showing us some of the different types of pasta that we could make, including my most hated pasta in the world gnocchi! :-). We started out mixing flour with egg in the amount instructed.

Federico was a show off because his family had owned a pasta making company years ago and had supplied restaurants in the Trastevere area. We all were game to learn though, so we kneaded, pulled, flattened with the rolling pin, flattened some more, watered, etc., until we had an acceptable form of flat pasta that passed her inspection.

ingredients to make pasta on our walking tour and pasta making class Rome
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ingredients to make pasta on our walking tour and pasta making class Rome
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Fresh ingredients we used to make our pasta during the class.

 

There was so much laughter, especially because the guy was California was having the hardest time with shaping his pasta, which produced lots of giggles for the rest of us. He was so totally into it though, which was wonderful. I don’t think the prosecco that was included in the tour had anything to do with it. :-). I heard him say at least a couple of times that it was the best tour in Rome that they had taken. 

moulding pasta
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moulding pasta
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The pasta maker in action! Kneading the dough.

 

hands making pasta
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hands making pasta
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All hands on deck. Everybody helping, laughing and sipping as we made pasta.

making fresh pasta guy with apron
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making fresh pasta guy with apron
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I could do this for a living l think!

 

us in pasta making class Rome
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us in pasta making class Rome
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Our almost finished products. I had to redo mine as you can see how bad it looks compared to his!

Once we had the pasta made, we were asked to choose what kind of pasta to make in the  pasta making machine. I chose Fettuccine and Angel Hair, two of my all time favourites. It was a joint effort as we all lent a helping hand to whoever needed it. I have to say, they all came out great in the end.

walking tour and pasta making class in Rome using pasta machine
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walking tour and pasta making class in Rome using pasta machine
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Using the pasta making machine to make our fresh pasta. Everyone was great company, but l think she had the most fun.

Ludovica and her helper packed it up for us to go, because by law, we weren’t allowed to eat our own pasta (has to be prepared by a proper chef). In case you’re wondering though, we did eat it the next day at home, and it was delicious! We are purchasing a pasta making machine for our home use!

finished pasta
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finished pasta
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Doesn’t that look absolutely delicious? My finished products.

CLICK TO FIND YOUR ROME HOTEL

Red ragu with fettucine plate
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Red ragu with fettucine plate
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This ragu fettucine was great. Federico opted for the white ragu and enjoyed it too.

Tiramisu for dessert:

Tiramisu making ingredients on table
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Tiramisu making ingredients on table
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Ingredients for making tiramisu. It was great to be able to have our “cake” and eat it too.

No Italian food menu is complete without dessert in my book. Our pasta making experience concluded with making our own tiramisu. Once the table was set up, we were given the go ahead to pile on as much mascarpone, crumbled chocolate and coffee with a funnel as wanted. This dessert, we were allowed to eat after our tasty pasta lunch. I chose the red ragu for my lunch off the menu. Very, very good. My tiramisu was great too.

ladyfingers and mascarpone
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ladyfingers and mascarpone
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We went from this to our finished dessert.

 

By the end of the class, there were other patrons in the restaurant and people were taking pictures of us having a good time. Some came in because they could see us from the street and wanted to find out what was going on.  It was impossible not to enjoy the atmosphere. Food really is a universal language, and Italian food especially.

Tips for the Rome small group walking and pasta making tour:

  • Make sure to wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of walking. This is not the time for high heels :-)
  • Arrive on time. It’s rude to keep people waiting. If you are running late, call the company to update them.
  • No need to bring water. Rome has clean and free drinking water from the many, many fountains found in the city.
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen if traveling in the summer. It’s not a bad idea to have a scarf to cover your shoulders since you will be entering churches.
  • Make new friends by chatting up the other participants
  • Your guide will always appreciate a tip.
woman holding tiramisu plate
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woman holding tiramisu plate
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With my mouthwatering dessert. Did you know tiramisu means “cheer me up?”. It did!

How long does the Rome walking and pasta making tour take?

The whole experience takes between three – four hours

Is lunch included on this pasta making course?

Yes, a proper lunch is included, along with some prosecco

How much does the tour cost?

 €64.95 per person (approximately $73 )

USE THIS LINK TO GET A 5% DISCOUNT OFF ANY TOUR GUY DEALS

Rome pasta making and walking tour: Wrap-up

A great culinary tour that we highly recommend. If you visit Italy, you should consider doing one. It is a lot of fun, a worthy experience, and one that enhances your trip and will leave you with many wonderful memories. I will not hesitate to say that this is one of the best of Rome walking and pasta making tours.

Walking tour and pasta making class Rome #rome #walkingtourrome #visitrome #visititaly #italianfood #freshpasta #romanfood
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Have you ever taken a cooking class while on holiday? Did you enjoy it, and would you recommend it to others? What do you think of this walking tour and pasta making class in Rome?