Ollie is an Architectural Assistant living in London. He came to Bologna to have a foodie weekend with his best friend, Sarah.
When Ollie got in touch with us, we had a challenge on our hands. He’d been to Bologna many times before and knew the city like the back of his own hand. He asked us to send him outside the usual tourist areas, so he could see a different side of the city. As he’d tried tagliatelle al ragù all over town, this time he wanted to learn how to make it for himself!
I knew straight away who would be the perfect match for Ollie. I called Paola, who lives in a quiet residential area, just ten minutes from Bologna's city centre. Paola is a master pasta maker and has a gorgeous garden. She hosts with her best friend, Rosa. They are a lot of fun and are seriously good cooks, the perfect match for Ollie.
I gave Ollie a call so he could share his story...
- Elisa, Culinary Guide
Elisa: Ciao, Ollie! Could you tell our readers about your experience?
Ollie: I’ve been to Bologna quite a few times and am in love with the food in the restaurants! This time, I wanted to have an "off the beaten track" experience, which is why I asked you guys to match me with a Cesarina outside the city centre. The fifteen minute bus ride was what we needed to see a different side of the city. We arrived at Paola’s house with the warmest welcome, and we felt at home straight away.
Elisa: It sounds like everything went to plan!
Ollie: Oh, it did! Remember I was a bit worried about going to someone’s house when I don't speak Italian? In the end the whole experience with Rosa and Paola was so fun and by the end we felt like good friends. Even though their English was really good, it honestly wouldn’t have mattered either way, it was so cool to make friends with them. I still keep in touch to share my cooking at home, trying to recreate the magic!
Elisa: What was your favourite dish of the day?
Ollie: The tagliatelle were amazing, I didn’t know the only ingredients were flour and egg, no salt or water! It’s all in the technique really. I made tagliatelle for my mum and dad when I got back to the UK! Ah, and the “Scaloppine al Limone” still stays with me, it was so delicious. It was super tender fillets of chicken in a lemony sauce, which uses egg yolk to make it really creamy. I made that at home too, it was almost as good as Rosa and Paola’s. I’ll have to practice that one!
Elisa: So we matched you with the perfect Cesarina - good job, if I may say so myself..!
Ollie: You hit the nail on the head! I think it’s just the best thing to do. Anyone who loves food should try it. I wish I’d found out about your company before, there is nothing quite like it. It's so hard to find experiences that are actually 'authentic' when you're travelling, and having a food experience in a local home like this was just amazing.
I really loved the fact that your team decided the host for me, it makes so much more sense. You know all the hosts anyway, so it felt good to just trust you! It's a bit like going into a shop and asking for fashion advice... But with people!
I can’t wait to book again. It was a leap of faith, but I have never experienced something so authentic in Italy before.
Elisa: I’m so glad you loved it, Ollie. We can’t wait to organise your next adventure!
Wherever you're going in Italy, it's my job to find your perfect host!
If you're inspired by Ollie's adventure, get in touch with the Culinary Guide team at cesarine.com. We're here to create an unforgettable experience just for you.
Have a look at these fantastic cooking classes, which are available all over Italy.
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