Food Travel Italy: An Insider Guide

Food travel and Italy go hand in hand. A fior de latte mozzarella, sliced and drizzled with a first-pressed olive oil. Pesto sauce pounded by hand until the basil, pine nuts and parmesan almost emulsify. Water, flour, and salt kneaded and shaped into the best pasta of your life. This is Italy’s food culture. It may sound like a cliché but it’s true; Italy is a place where food is life. 

Eating Cicchetti In Venice

Venetian cicchetti

Venice is home to the Italian version of tapas: Cicchetti, small snacks designed to accompany a small glass of wine known locally as an ‘Ombra’. Traditionally they were designed to line the stomach when drinking at local bacaris – or wine bars. As with tapas, they can nowadays range from the traditional to the sophisticated. Think Polpette (small meatballs), hard-boiled eggs, and small sandwiches with a range of fillings. Almost every bar in Venice will have its version of Cicchetti at the bar, ready for you to choose from. This Venice Food & Market tour is the best way to discover the delicious Cicchetti tradition. Intrigued by Venetian fare? Book our Venice Food & Wine tour for the perfect sampling, or read our guide to Venice’s best restaurants. Where to stay while you’re exploring Venice’s culinary delights? This guide has everything you need to know about the best hotels in Venice.

Tuscany And Its Steak 

Tuscan Steak

Tuscany – particularly Florence – is famous for its beautiful steaks. Bistecca all Fiorentina is similar to a porterhouse or T-bone steak. Traditionally it comes from a particular breed of cattle called the Chianina which is known for its excellent flavor. It’s a celebration of all things bovine. Just salt and pepper adorn these steaks, grilled over hot coals. The steaks are designed to accompany the robust local red wines such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, or Rosso di Montalcino, all made from the sour-cherry fruited Sangiovese grape. And there’s no better way to taste the best wine Tuscany has to offer than in a winery. The Brunello Wine Tasting & Lunch in a Tuscan Castle from Montalcino is a great introduction to brilliant red wines. If you want to get your hands dirty and learn to make your own Tuscan cuisine from fresh local ingredients, we have a tour for that, too.

Devouring Pizza In Rome

Roman pizza

Naples may be more famous for its pizzas but neighbouring Rome gives them a run for their money. There are two common types of Roman pizza. Pizza al taglio – or pizza by the slice – with a soft, bread-like base and topped with various ingredients. Then there are the Roman round pizzas that use olive oil in the dough. This makes a thinner, crunchier base than their Neapolitan counterparts. Whichever way you choose to eat pizza in Rome – or indeed if you choose to make it yourself in a Roman pizza cooking class, it can’t be faulted as one of the best foods in Italy’s capital. If you’re on a mission to become a Roman foodie expert, stay for a while in one of our best Rome hotels and explore the food scene for a little longer.

Seafood In Sicily

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Sicily is blessed with both the sea and a North African influence. Couscous al pesce is a famous example of the meeting of these two cultures, as is pasta con le sarde – sardine pasta with saffron, pine nuts, and raisins. Combine any one of these beautiful seafood dishes with a pizza and a local wine and you have the makings of a rather wonderful evening. Or take out the hard work of choosing – you’re on holiday in Italy after all – and indulge in a Taormina food and wine tasting tour.

Neapolitan Food Gems

Neapolitan Street food stand. Calzone fritto, Pagnottiello and Pizza among the traditional dishes offered for sale

When it comes to iconic Italian fare, a visit to Naples is an essential stop. From its famous pizzas and delicious street food variants to fresh fish and pasta, eating your way through a city is rarely tastier. A Naples street food tour in the scenic lanes of Napoli is a great way to begin your journey into its culinary tradition. To take the flavors of Napoli home with you, learn how to make ravioli in this traditional Italy pasta class. Or, get behind the scenes with a pizzaiolo and learn how to make the best Neapolitan pizza. You’re sure to leave Naples with a wealth of culinary knowledge that will serve you well for life!

Getting Lost In Italy’s Food Markets

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Italy surely has some of the best food markets in the world. Tables piled high with local vegetables. Formaggerias and their great hunks of parmesan. Salumerias thinly slicing prosciutto and salamis. They are the beating heart of all Italian cities, towns, and villages and a brilliant way to immerse yourself in local food culture. Find one, buy your ingredients, and create a picnic of gastronomic heights. Our Rome Market Tour and Cooking Class is a good place to start your Italian market adventures. Another highlight would be exploring the Tuscan cuisine in our Tuscan Market and Cooking Class.

Italian Food Is About Simplicity And Quality

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Italy worships the quality of its ingredients like nowhere else. A country where family feuds can develop over the type of barrels used in the family winery – Italy will always be synonymous with great quality food. If you’re planning to indulge in the cuisine, we recommend booking an Italy food tour. We’ll handle all the logistics so you can just sit back, relax, and feast!

With so many different types of food tours in Italy, it can be overwhelming to decide which Italy food tour is right for you. For this reason, we’ve compiled a handy guide on how to choose an Italy food tour as well as advice on Italy hotels, activities, and insider travel tips. And if you love wine as much as food, our wine travel guide has some great advice on how to handle Italian wine like a pro. But for the foodie who wants to eat their way through Italy, our 13-Day Italy Food & Wine Journey is the ultimate experience.

See all Italy Food Tours

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