In an earlier post this week I shared some of my thoughts on attending my first travel blogging conference, and now I want to share some of the photos I took over the weekend with you! Rimini was a pretty typical beach town and is located, for those of you who don’t know (that includes me before this conference!) it’s located on Italy’s eastern coast. Below is a shot of Rimini Fiera, the location of the conference. You can see that it is a pretty big building, what might be termed a convention center in the US.

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One of the awesome things about attending the first edition of this conference (but that is apparently pretty common when attending travel blogging events!) was that the organizers arranged two different evening events during our stay. The first night was hosted by the area we were staying in and we traveled to an old building in central Rimini that had an interior courtyard, and included some local focuses, like the potter who was throwing clay when we arrived and a local brewery.

Interior courtyard of Italian building

Okay, granted, my iPhone quality wasn’t great (got to work on the night shots!) but you get the general idea! It was a very low-key event, which I am a big fan of… perfect for networking and getting to know the great group of bloggers that were attending the conference along with yours truly!

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At this event there was tons of appetizer-type food: cheese, fruit, bread, meats, etc. Later in the evening they also began roasting chestnuts, which since it was the perfect chilly fall evening was so appropriate! So seasonal and charming. I had never had roasted chestnuts before and they were… interesting. Oddly satisfying, but very heavy. I’d definitely be interested in trying them in some other form… pasta maybe? They are very meaty, so I feel like they would be tasty that way.

Ferris Wheel in Rimini, Italy

The next evening we ended up down near the beach and walked past a small carnival, including a lit Ferris Wheel, on the way to an on-the-water restaurant for a party sponsored by Puglia. On the way to the restaurant we also walked past a long row of night fishermen.

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Puglia, I was told multiple times, is the “heel of the boot.” I’m actually potentially going to Puglia in May, so it was really interesting to learn a little bit more about the culture. Like in the US, where I’m from, different regions of Italy have different personalities. One thing that Puglia is known for is “orchiette,” or as one of my favorite celebrity chefs, Giada de Laurentiis describes them, “little ears.”

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It was insanely impressive how quickly this woman was able to make the orchiette; first she rolled out the dough into a long snake (after putting it through her pasta roller) and then she used a thin flat knife to cut off pieces and simultaneously shape them. Check it out:

It was seriously impressive! My mom and I attempted to make pumpkin raviolis homemade one year (remember?) and while they were a pretty good success, the technique was much simpler!

The evening also included a performance of a food sound system, which is like nothing else I have ever experienced, so I have shared two videos with you below. Listen closely and you will see how everything blends together; the sounds of cooking, music, and strangely, spoken word.

The evening was capped off with traditional dancing, which I am definitely going to seek out again when I head to Puglia to explore!

Unfortunately the next day was the end of the conference and I took a couple of hours to walk around Rimini (beach and old town) before I left. Below is an AMAZING pizza place I grabbed a 1,50 euro slice at. Oh. My. Gosh. Yum. Trust me, anyplace with a line of 10 people and that smells like Auntie Anne’s pretzels when you walk by is definitely worth your time. I wish I’d gotten a second slice…

And that was it! My wonderful weekend and my first true getaway while being here in Italy… dedicated to a business trip! Such a great experience though and I highly recommend attending a blogging conference if you’re serious about it– regardless of your genre. Just getting to meet other people and network is so highly worth your time, and it’s a super easy way to meet a lot of people in one place. As far as Rimini… I’m not sure my travels will take me back that direction, but I certainly wouldn’t be opposed! A true resort town with intriguing history and ties to Fellini.

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