Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Olive Harvest has already begun in the Sabine Hills, near Rome

The Sabine Hills, just north of Rome is famous for it's excellent DOP extra virgin olive oil, and this year promises to be a 'bumper crop' for the local olive farmers.

The trees are heavy with 1,000s of olives and the farmers have cut the herbs and grass between the trees and laid down the nets in preparation for the forthcoming harvest.

In fact, we can see, from our home windows, that the olive harvest has already begun in the olive groves on some of the nearby olive farms.
Partial view from our Convivio Rome Italian Cooking School, home terrace over olive groves below. 
They began the olive harvest today!

Olives are picked just once a year and usually around October or November. Due to a long, very hot and dry summer, the conditions have been perfect for olive production this year. The farmers in the Sabine Hills have had a hard time in the past 2 years in 2015 and 2016, so they definitely deserve a good harvest for this year. 

We will let you know how the olive harvest goes!

Come and taste the New 2017 Sabina D.O.P. Extra Virgin Olive Oil #EVVO with us during your 3 or 5 night Italian Cooking Holiday or during your Half Day Rome Olive Tour with Maestro Guido. 

More photos on our Instagram page: conviviorome.italy

Friday, 6 October 2017

Visiting Toffia, seems like you are on a film set... Well now you are!

"It is just like a film set, I feel like we are in the movies " : Many of our 3 and 5 night cooking holiday guests, comment when visiting and staying in Toffia, our medieval hilltop village in the Sabine Hills. They are right, it's simply magical here.

Well now, they are using Toffia as the setting for an American 10-part drama series about the kidnapping of J.Paul Getty III, called 'Trust' with Hilary Swank and Donald Sutherland*. Danny Boyle is the director and it will be first screened in January, 2018. So look out for the scenes, shot in our own little medieval hilltop village of Toffia!

(Photos by Maura F. and Antonella R.)

Filming in the main piazza of Toffia, at sunset, photo by Maura F.

Fake snow and vintage cars to set the scene, in Toffia.

Film set in main piazza, Toffia. 

Night light and fake snow, Toffia's main archway into the historic centre

Also, take a look at these photos, in the local newspaper: Toffia in the snow!

As the film is set in 1973, so the film crew have also converted a building, within the historic centre, into a Bar of that era.
External view of Bar

Internal view of 1960's bar, used for film set

Convivio Rome's 3 and 5 night cooking holidays are now taking bookings for 2018. 
Just ask for our new dates.

*A little more about Trust "In the series, set in 1973, a young Getty is kidnapped in Rome and his mafia captors are banking on a multimillion-dollar ransom. Trust looks at his ordeal at the hands of kidnappers who don't understand why nobody seems to want their captive back. The Italian police think it's a prank and decline to investigate. Paul's father is lost in a heroin daze in London and refuses to answer the phone. Paul's grandfather — possibly the richest man in the world — is marooned in a Tudor mansion in the English countryside, surrounded by five mistresses and a pet lion. Only Paul’s mother is left to negotiate with increasingly desperate kidnappers. The problem? She’s broke." quoted from article in,  May 15, 2017,  by Kate Stanhope

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Cooking Guest video, made for fun, after Charles' 3rd visit to Convivio Rome

Charles started attending our 3 and 5 night Cooking Holidays back in 2013. Coming from England makes it a little closer to just 'pop over' for a visit....
This is the 3rd time, over the last 6 years, and it is always a pleasure to see him return and to catch up. It's like seeing an 'old' friend again, when it feels like no time has passed between visit!

 Charles refining his fresh pasta making technique.

He came along with his friend Dave and we all had a lot of fun.

Here is the video  Charles put together, of photos taken during his latest 3 night/ 4 day cooking holiday with us, in September, 2017.  We think it is great!

Thanks so much for the video Charles and we hope that you will return again, soon. :-)

Thursday, 14 September 2017

A stroll in the Sabine Hills, from one medieval town to another

The Sabine Hills, just north of Rome, is a great place to get away from all the 'hustle and bustle' of day-to-day life. Come for a morning, for a full day or take a vacation here. It is amazingly untouched here. The air is fresh, you are surrounded by rolling hills, olive groves, sheep, medieval hilltop villages, monasteries and winding country roads. It is a perfect place to rest, relax, unwind and learn something new, in a fun and family home environment.

Here are a few photos I just wanted to share with you, when I took a stroll with our daughter Gemma and puppy dog, 'Rocky', from our home in Castelnuovo di Farfa (near a very the beautiful hilltop medieval village, of the same name) to the monastic village of Farfa (called locally, Abbazia di Farfa).  The weather is changing from Summer to Autumn, and the slight breeze and shade as we walked made it very pleasant.

I live here, and this short stroll reminded me of how beautiful our immediate area, between 3 medieval villages: Castelnuovo di Farfa, Farfa and Toffia. I hope you agree.

Local farmhouse with free range chickens and flocks of sheep for the local pecorino cheese.

On the final leg of the walk, between olive groves, and onto Abbazia di Farfa

The magic of the Sabine Hills, captured: Farfa e Fara Sabina

Sabina is a small agricultural region just 40 kms north of Rome, surrounded by olive groves, medieval hilltop villages and ancient Monasteries. It is spectacular here. Sabina, is known as 'The Sabine Hills' (to English speakers) and in my opinion, far more beautiful, unspoilt, and far less touristy than Tuscany and Umbria.....and yet no one has ever heard of this area.

Convivio Rome runs 3 and 5 night Italian cooking Holidays. Half Day and One Day Italian Cooking Classes, Olive Tours and Wine Tours within this region.

This wonderful 2 minute video, taken by '' is breathtaking.

We hope you will be inspired to come and visit us and Convivio Rome

Thursday, 20 April 2017

What makes Guido's Roman artichoke recipe so special?

Maybe it is Guido's love of Rome and Roman Cuisine?: "Growing up in the Italian Capital (and my dad being a 7th generation Roman), I was lucky enough to learn about traditional Roman cuisine and its use of fresh herbs....".

Or, maybe it is because Guido always sources the best, local regional and in-season ingredients:  " Roman cuisine is simple and it’s about the perfect combination of a small number of ingredients together and of course, their quality....."

Read more about Guido's 'Carciofi alla Romana' and why they taste soooo good:

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The Sabine Hills: an insider's guide

Chef Guido has written an article on the Sabine Hills, near Rome: "....authentic, idillic rural Italy a stone’s throw from Rome, and therefore the perfect destination to visit ".

Find out more about 'Italy's Best Kept Secret: The Sabine Hills', in Guido's published article: