The crowd starts to gather at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in front of the town hall when I arrive at 6:30 AM, trying to find a spot I can claim as my own, running in my head my guide’s suggestions for novice runners. As time passes, I am surrounded with people dressed in the traditional attire—all white, with a red scarf around the waist and a red handkerchief around the neck. I cannot help but notice the nervousness that shows in their faces and the many ways they manage to hide it.
As the countdown begins, everyone eagerlywaits for the signal the policia does a final sweep of the crowd, checking for things you’re not supposed to bring with you and removing the occasional drunk.
At 8:00 AM, the first rocket sounds off and you feel the tension in the air as runners look behind them. The second rocket sounds off and pandemonium ensues. People are running through cobbled streets, followed by the hooves of six bulls and their guiding steers.
You try to make your way through this throng of humanity, extending your elbows to keep from being crushed; looking in all directions, trying to find a way to move forward, sidestepping those who have fallen while, at the same time, avoid getting trampled by either the people behind you or the bulls. From the corner of my eye, I see the bulls coming up behind, thundering on.
Here I am in Pamplona, in the Navarre region of Spain, on the fifth day of the 426-year-old festival of San Fermín, which is held each year from July 6 to 14 and has the enciero, running of the bulls. The annual fiesta, made famous by American writer Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises, involves a run each morning at 8:00 AM, starting on the second day of the festival. The run starts at Calle Santo Domingo, where the bulls are released from their holding pen to chase a few thousand people for about two to five minutes, and finishes in the bullring (plaza de toros in Spanish) where the bulls meet their end that afternoon.
The morning before I left Madrid for Pamplona, news coverage of the event showed two bulls staying behind on the route and wreaking havoc amongst the runners. The next day several runners were injured. I watched a guy being loaded into a waiting ambulance from the balcony of my apartment rental. During the festival, 12 people, including four Americans, have been gored in the running of the bulls. Despite the obvious dangers, people still come to experience the adrenaline high of running with the bulls.
San Fermín Festival is bigger than just the running of the bulls; it is a fiesta for all ages, young and old, men and women, and for people the world over. The Plaza del Castillo is where it all comes together, with live concerts and locals dancing to traditional music starting at mid-morning. Packed bars and restaurants stay open until the early hours of the morning. Surrounding the Plaza are several places to discover, and people walk around with a cup of wine, beer or sangria. Don’t be surprised to see people sleeping off their hangover in the streets anytime of the day. And let’s not forget the Spanish cuisine! It’s the biggest party in the world.
Pamplona has a lot to offer during the nine-day festival. Each day includes a bull run, a parade of Giants, a bullfight, live concerts, fairgrounds, all-day music by the brass bands from the peñas, Toro de Fuego (flaming bull), and an international fireworks competition. An in the hours between, it’s parties everywhere!
After the morning bull run, things tend to quiet down and you can take this opportunity to explore Pamplona. For pedestrians only, there’s the beautiful Old Town with its stone-paved streets that winds its way through the historical heart of the city. The Plaza del Castillo is the center of life and lined with restaurants, cafes and hotels. The most important monument of the city is Santa Maria Cathedral, which is part of the Cathedral Museum containing the largest amount of artistic and historical treasures. Other interesting places to check out include the Casa Consistoral (City Hall), Navarre Museum, Citadel & Vuelta del Castillo Park, Taconera Park, and the Church of San Lorenzo.
The morning before I left Pamplona, I managed to squeeze in my last run, this time making it all the way to the bullring. Once in the bullring, the bulls are directed back to their pens, and a few minutes later, fighting cows or Vaquillas are released into the ring with the remaining runners in an unofficial “bullfight.” It is quite a sight to witness the thrill of ordinary Joes acting like would-be matadors getting their butts kicked by the Vaquillas up close.
It was a wonderful end to six days of festivities, and an adrenaline-filled run with the bulls. This is one more thing off my bucket list. But, I might just go back someday for another run.
Experience authentic Korean Barbeque at Da-In Restaurant
Filipinos are crazy for Korean barbecue. As such, there are a lot of places that are offering Korean barbecue. But Da-In restaurant isn’t just one of those restaurants.
Located in Salinas Drive in Lahug, Cebu, Da-in restaurant is a joint project between the Creative Cuisine Group and Da-Won restaurant. With state-of-the-art grilling stations in each table and various Korean cuisines ready to be served, Da-In would surely sate your Korean barbecue cravings without any hassle.
Visit Da-In restaurant today!
Head Up North, Where A Relaxing Escapade is in Store at Maayo San Remigio
On your next trip out of the city, head up North to Maayo San Remigio, where a relaxing escapade awaits.
Oftentimes, when it comes to deciding the next travel destination, the Northern part
of Cebu is overlooked in favour of its Southern end. The South boasts of sunny beaches,
cascading waterfalls and the popular whale sharks who have made its waters their home.
While these are beautiful aspects that the South has to offer, the North is just as—if not
more—abundant in offerings. The North’s natural scenery is relatively untouched, and on top
of that, it’s less likely to be flocked by tourists.
This means more opportunities for a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the
city. The roads heading North are long and winding, yet the beauty that lies at the end of the
journey proves that the trip is worth it. Knowing that, where does one go in the North?
Hidden away in the northern part of Cebu, Maayo San Remigio is a haven for those
who seek peace and serenity, making it an alluring abode for a sojourn on the island.
Approximately a 3-hour drive from the city, the resort grants access to a tropical
retreat with a captivating beachfront setting—a charming destination away from the daily
hustle. Whether on its fine white sands and blue waters or inside the cozy rooms, Maayo
San Remigio is a delight to local and foreign tourists alike.
A newly-opened resort under Maayo Hotels flagship, Maayo San Remigio is a
destination that guarantees a refreshing, laidback experience, sure to wash away the worries
you brought with you from the city.
It’s equipped with a mix of luxurious relaxation and wellness, fun and entertainment,
and enticing wining and dining options. This Caribbean-inspired resort is a serene hideaway
on a lush slice of tropical paradise with emphasis on ultimate comfort and exclusivity.
The resort’s location makes it doubly precious; scattered throughout the resort
grounds are viewing areas that grant you access to the sunset. Watch the sun sink down the
horizon by the infinity pool, on the beach’s shoreline, or atop the cliffside with the waves
crashing below. When night falls, the stars come out to dance across the clear skies, making
for an unparalleled stargazing experience.
Maayo San Remigio blends authentic Cebuano hospitality with its tranquil
atmosphere and exceptional design. Its well-appointed rooms and villas ensure a relaxing staycation, while its thoughtful amenities and facilities evoke a feeling of belonging in
paradise. The resorts brings the culinary excellence that is found in the Maayo Hotels brand,
creating palate-pleasing Filipino dishes with a modern twist. Complemented by the resort’s
wide menu of drinks—from juices to cocktails to shakes—one will truly enjoy a stay here.
So on your next trip out of the city, head up North to Maayo San Remigio, where a
relaxing escapade awaits.
Restaurateur Kate Anzani Shares Her Food & Wine Journey in Italy
No one has heard of vineyards and beaches within 30 minutes distance, but it exists in Rimini. Kate Anzani shares her itinerary from her recent Italy trip. f
by Kate Anzani
The Emilia Romagna region in Italy is the Capital of Food and D.O.P (Dominazione di Origin Protteta) This goes for wine, Parmesan, Balsalmic and Olive Oil (They take it very seriously).
We chose RIMINI which is by The Spiaggia for the beach vibe and summer fun. Rimini is the base for 7 days. You’ll be surprised at the terrain of Rimini – no one has heard of vineyards and beaches within 30 minutes distance. But in Rimini it exists. As days ahead form into a journey of stomping and strolling vineyards, Olive Oil haciendas , Boat Safaris , long “Spiaggia” walks, Parmesan Caves, Balsamic Bottegas, Cheese Pits and Truffle bunting & where you stumble upon the true meaning of “Artiginale” . Only found in the region ; the Food and Wine Journey of Anzani will stay active for the season between June to September yearly .
Rimini is a fun base to set the tone for a week of extraordinary pleasures. The goal is not to indulge, but to awaken a sense of palate that has been inhibited. We promise an unearthing of happiness, love and a sense of pleasure that the Italians have lived for years. We needed to share it with you. The Love for Food & La Dolce Vita.
Day 1 Arrivals
Because of trans-Atlantic and International flights, day of Arrival/pick up from Milan into Rimini. Pace yourself as you arrive in your chosen hotel
Day 2 Enio Ottaviani Winery & Nona’s Kitchen Cantina
The WINERY of ENIO OTTAVIANIFirst impressions of the vineyard is truly a sense of HOME. It is a small artisan Vineyard, (14hectares 🥰) where you allow yourself to breathe it all in. Life is slower and more delicate. Stroll vineyards by the River. You will understand the vineyard lies on the Rubicone River where the earths minerals transfer to the grape. To result in such a unique flavor in the mouth.
You start meeting Massimo, Davide, the cousins & the family who welcome you in their home vineyard for over four generations. Prepare to allow surprises and Life to happen. Tastings, Chemistry, Viticulture, Life talk, & unique Stories.
Wear slip on’s as you leave the Hotel to mark the real beginning of leisure. Groggily grab Italian espresso “Un cafe” & Cornetto Italian style and get whisked to the Marina Port of Rimini to step into a 16 foot catamaran. The state of luxury and ease of this boat sets all expectations out the window as one peels the layers of stress, anxiety and worry out the water. Prosecco and Olives are a staple for water landings.
Followed by a degustatory LUNCH IN one of the seaside restaurants in the Spiaggia. You find yourself lost in the Italian Life. We finished dessert at 4. So lounging in The Beach is The alternative. And then by 5. It’s happy hour time.
Day 4 Bottega Artiginale , Parmesan, Balsalmic , Ferrari , Spritz
Prepare your palate to begin the morning with a stop at an old pastry house that leaves you staring at their pastry counter. Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe. The choices will leave you with a foot in toe!
You head to the town of Modena (1.5hours) and arrive at the Parmesan Vault. See how all the Cheese is made. Then cross over to meet Fredericka to experience Food Alchemy with Balsalmic Vinegars. It’s so interesting, we’ve wondered if this was the true aphrodisiac.
Lunch is served silver service in the cellar with a tasting lunch of Artisan curation . Lunch ends at 3:30. And you gather up the energy to head to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. This short stop revs up the speed in you and the muscles in the man. A quick pit stop in one of the towns shops to bring home a souvenir or drive one in the test courts.
Day 5 STAMPI & Agriturismo
Arrive in a unique small village so artiginale and quaint, extremely amazing creativity. We ended up buying soaps and unique ouds while others got lost in their pictures .
The village leads you to small alleys and walkways until you stop in a real Bottega STAMPI . A 4th generation , unique Leonardo da Vinci printing on everything. From tablecloth, towels, napkins, pillows. So unique and a lost art in the new culture of technology. A worthwhile stop.
12:30/ Meet MILENA and Marina
Two cooking laughing Italian Mama turned goddess of wine. They will lead you to create with them 3 dishes. Their specialty is Piadina and will teach you real tagliatelle with stroprezzi.
Allow the surprise of the day to unravel. As you sparkle with sparkling wine, find the legs of the red and muster your flexibility in pasta flexing. And go around the Agriturismo, learn about their jams, wines and passito. Day will end so happy you won’t be walking straight
Day 6 Fossa Cheese Casefico & Olive Oil Agriturismo
The day starts at 3:30. Choose to lay out in the beach of the hotel in the morning and do nothing but touch the sand, walk the beach, some chose to exercise by the beach with this Italian instructors urging you to move.
Afternoon cafe, come-walk to the old village where the Casefico Pitt is housed. A very interesting affair with cheese and how they store it in the PITT. Cheese tastings. And shopping stops over honey, cherry jam, walnut liquor, passito or pistachio liqueur. Just unimaginable display of creative food display.
Head to the sprawling hacienda of Cleto. The Olive oil visionary explodes with dignified pride as he walks you to the olive groves urging you to hug or sit under a tree to purify your soul. It’s magic the olives. He walks you through a proper olive tasting , to distinguish grade.
You finish your day on a sunset overlooking what looks like Tuscany. The breathtaking view takes your words as you sit on this bliss of a beautiful life. Dinner is served. Clerks wife cooks and comes out with dishes that roll of the tongue but found in their garden. And on their farm
Day 7 Truffle hunts and tastings
Truffle hunts. Need we say more? Follow the nose or follow your palate as the day translates to epicure to engulf a sense of strong flavor to only come from the truffle.
A beautiful tasting over oil, honey, a simple risotto or a white cheese takes tastings to another level.
This journey is available until September 2019. We find our journey is wholesome with minimum of 10 people & maximum of 12 people only
EU 1,250 per person
* Please email the tastemakers team firstname.lastname@example.org for suggested hotels and any questions for the itinerary. *