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Decades of deliciousness: Pasta Vera


For decades Pasta Vera has filled homes with a little taste of Italy.
Their delicious, mouth-watering range of pasta is made using locally sourced ingredients and a whole lot of love and passion.



For 20 years, the 100 percent New Zealand owned and operated business, has used locally sourced ingredients to produce the highest quality products for their customers.

Every good story has to start somewhere. Cantabrian couple Linda Murphy and Phil Bennett (pictured) set their sights abroad and as a result, seeded a dream of starting their own business.

“After travelling and falling in love with Italy and Italian food, we returned to New Zealand and have been making pasta in Christchurch for 20 years,” the pair explain.

And it’s clear that the business owners’ passion and love for product seeps right down to their staff. “It has been an awesome ride watching the company grow from five staff to where it is today,” says Pasta Vera team member Tania Carman.



Keep up to date with Pasta Vera on Facebook and Instagram for new winter warmer recipes with Jax Hamilton, shop specials and competitions.



The taste of Italy drives to town

It’s a well-known fact that some of the greatest and most beautiful cars ever produced hail from Italy. Brands like Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat, Lamborghini and Iso are synonymous with the Italian’s penchant for art, design, engineering, and above all passion.



On February 20, fans of Italian cars will descend on Christchurch’s Art Centre Carpark off Worcester Boulevard for the biennial Belle Italiane Italian Car Festival.

Hosted by the Canterbury Fiat and Lancia Club, Belle Italiane has always been a must-see event for those with a deep love for Italian cars.

“The original idea came as a result of club members envisaging Italian cars and their owners getting together for an informal picnic in a relaxed environment,” says club president John Hayman.

“The plan was to get cars that we never really see out of garages and on display,” he says.

Lovers of Latin machinery would not want to miss this.


A taste of Italy: La Dolce Vita

The borders may be closed, preventing those much-anticipated overseas escapades but that’s not to say you can’t get your European fix.



La Dolce Vita Italian Cooking Classes, owned and run by Clotilde Romano, is your ticket to the world of Naples, Italy in Sumner, Christchurch.

A culinary adventure in her wonderful kitchen where, in a fun atmosphere, you will cook and taste authentic food made with passion.

Classes run for two hours and include antipasto, primo piatto and dessert.

Try your hand at several techniques, from making fresh egg pasta dough to turning out gorgeous little potato gnocchi.

Not to mention the beautiful authentic desserts Classic Tiramisu or Citrus Amalfi Panna Cotta.

Whether it’s for a hen’s do, couple’s night, family fun or just because, make La Dolce Vita your next event location.

Book your own night with friends, from Monday to Sunday or just join a class.


You Travel Ferrymead

A Culinary Adventure: You Travel Ferrymead

Italian culinary expert Tilde along with Rosie Petronelli from You Travel Ferrymead are hosting a 14 day ‘Taste of Italy Tour’ this August along the Amalfi Coast. Join them on this adventure!


You Travel Ferrymead


You Travel Ferrymead

Where did you learn to cook?
I was born and raised in Naples. During my childhood, my mum and grandmother were in the kitchen cooking delicious fresh food from our garden and making pasta was a daily occurrence.

Learning to roll gnocchi is one of my first memories.  My grandfather passed down the traditions of making wine and growing vegetables, which my brothers continue in our family owned pizzeria, located in Naples.

In 2009 my New Zealand husband and I moved to Sumner, where I started my cooking school. I love teaching Italian cuisine classes which is how I met Melissa and Rosie from You Travel Ferrymead.


You and Rosie are hosting a group to Amalfi in August, what can they expect?
Our group will learn, through hands on cooking classes at my brother’s restaurant, how to make traditional Italian recipes including fresh pastas, ravioli, gnocchi and pasta sauces.

Stuffed authentic zucchini flowers and of course pizza, pizza and more pizza, topped with mozzarella and served with a refreshing caprese salad. Learn the secrets of how to make the best tiramisu in town!


What is the magic behind taking visitors to Amalfi?
It’s my home so who better to have as your guide? Experience a 14 day tour between Naples, Capri, Pompei and the Amalfi Coast.

You will feel as if you are amongst family and friends as you experience Italian culture and cuisine at its finest, mingling with my own family in Naples and the Campania region which is shadowed by Mount

The Amalfi Coast, of incomparable beauty, has landscapes of ancient mythology and hilltop villages. Starting from Sorrento, the Capital of the Liqueur Limoncello, you will be seduced by the architecture of houses on the mountainside with bougainvillea plants growing on the walls, surrounded by orange and lemon trees.

Learn the history of the volcanic eruption of Pompei, a magical city where you will walk the same paved streets that existed over 2000 years ago before the volcano erupted. The village of Positano is a labyrinth of narrow streets and colourful stairs and you can shop until your heart’s content.



First European

A luxurious launch: First European adds prestigious MV Agusta to it’s collection

First European has welcomed an Italian racing legend into its Sydenham showroom and it offers all the luxury, speed and good looks one could expect from the Italians.

First European

With an illustrious past, MV Agusta first rose to prominence in the early twentieth century when it belonged to a pioneer of the fledgling aeronautics industry, count Giovanni Agusta. Agusta aircraft production soared during the First World War before the focus turned from aircraft to motorcycles post-World War II and a world champion was born.
The glory years for MV Agusta were from 1948 when Franco Bertoni won the 125 cc in the Italian Grand Prix, to 1976 when Agusta retired from Grand Prix racing at the end of the 1976 season, having won 270 Grand Prix motorcycle races, 38 World Riders’ Championships and 37 World Constructors’ Championships.
After a few years off the track, 2004 marked the company’s return to racing and to victory and every year has been a little bit better for this racing legend.
MV Agusta has taken the bold step of adding the initials of the company’s racing department – Reparto Corse – and the move signifies the exceptional quality and styling which is directly derived from its efforts at the World Superbike Championship.
There’s an exciting range of five Reparto Corse special edition models available from MV Agusta, from the high-end F3 RC supersport in both 675 and 800 versions, to the new special Brutale 800 RR Pirelli, the updated version of the rare and collectable Dragster 800 RC and the F3 800 has joined the gang.
To find out more, visit First European at 114 Carlyle Street, Sydenham or phone 03-3662201.

Singing in Italian

Cantare in Italiano: learning to sing in Italian

If you’ve long dreamed of singing Italian and sounding Italian, then Claudia Lues can help you realise your dream.

Singing in Italian

“I think my love of music began in the crib,” says South African born Claudia. “My parents are Italian; my mother sang all the popular Italian songs, including opera and my maternal grandfather was a conductor, so music surrounded my entire life.”
In response to the earthquakes, Claudia pitched the idea of Italian singing classes to the Canterbury Workers’ Educational Association (CWEA). “I felt the need to do my bit – to help traumatised people.”
The CWEA gave her a ‘test run’ to ascertain interest. “That was in 2014. I began with six students then it kept growing. Now I have 15…and I would love more!”
Claudia says there’s no need to feel apprehensive about singing in a foreign language. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak Italian; the joy is in singing the words – that’s how you learn the language.”
The song repertoire ranges from classics to modern – “From Puccini to Bocelli, we do it all,” Claudia says. “My students say the class is the highlight of their week; they’ve grown to love the language so much, they’ve taken trips to Italy!”
Claudia feels very fortunate to be doing what she loves most. “It’s who I am – a musical Italian. To share my passion and make people smile, that’s my goal. For me, it’s pure pleasure.”
For more information visit