There’s no better feeling than sharing a hearty meal with your loved ones. Eating is inherently a social activity, a way for people to come together and connect over their favorite foods. When you’re traveling with friends and family, restaurants become a place for you to bond and wind down after a long day. An Italy food tour centers around your love for tasty treats, turning into an experience you’ll never forget.
Three undeniable reasons to go on anItaly food tour
- Experience world-renowned cuisine
Which country has the best food? Some may argue that it’s Japan, known for its unique umami flavors, while others may vote in favor of Mexico, home of tasty tacos and cheesy nachos.
But if there is one place that everyone can agree on, it’s Italy. In fact, Italian cuisine is definitively ranked as the best in the world, according to the 2022 TasteAtlas Awards. Italian food, as rated by food lovers and professionals, is the best in terms of its ingredients, dishes, and beverages.
- Enjoy fresh and nutritious ingredients.
Italian food can range from pizza to pasta, seafood to meat, and Michelin-star dishes to humble street food options. But if there’s one element that remains constant throughout the cuisine, it’s freshness. Italians value the quality of their ingredients, even taking the time to make pasta and pizza dough from scratch.
This freshness makes Italian food very healthy. For instance, olive oil, which is a staple of Italian cuisine, is an excellent source of omega fatty acids. Many dishes also use tomatoes, mushrooms, and leafy greens, which are great for weight management.
- Keep your meals simple.
You don’t always have to eat carefully plated dishes topped with gold leaves and rare truffles. Sometimes, it’s best to keep things simple, and Italians do simplicity almost perfectly.
A classic pasta dish will only contain a few ingredients, most of which you’ll find at the local market, such as tomatoes, garlic, cheese, and basil. This no-frills approach to making food allows each component to shine, transforming a simple dish into a heavenly experience.
Top culinary destinations to visit on yourItaly food tour
With all these great things said about Italian food, there’s one glaring issue you’ll need to consider: Italian cuisine can be overwhelming. There are 20 different regions in the country, and each region has its own set of special ingredients, dishes, and cooking techniques, making it hard for tourists to choose where to go.
So, which cities and regions should you visit first during your culinary tour in Italy? Here are some places where you could start:
You can’t get any more diverse than Sicilian food. This large Mediterranean island owes its diversity to its location, which once welcomed people from all over the world. You can still see remnants of Greek, Roman, Arabic, Spanish, and French influence throughout the island, from its architecture and culture to its food.
Traditionally Spanish ingredients like chili, cocoa, sweet potatoes, and maize, for instance, have found their way into Sicilian cuisine. Caponata siciliana is a delectable example of this, a healthy Sicilian recipe featuring eggplants, tomatoes, pine nuts, and, in some cases, grated chocolate.
And, of course, you can’t forget about Sicilian wine. The winemaking culture in Italy was brought by Greek settlers who planted vineyards in Sicily in the 8th century. In addition, the Greeks introduced now-staple ingredients to the island, like honey, walnuts, figs, olive trees, and pomegranates.
During your stay in Sicily, make sure to try classic dishes such as arancini, pasta con le sarde, panelle, and cannoli.
There’s more to Rome than its history and influence on the modern world. In fact, did you know that Ancient Roman culture centered heavily around food? The Roman convivium or banquet was a significant social ritual during ancient times. These banquets included three courses for dinner, including the appetizers or gustatio, the main course or mensae primae, and the dessert or mensae secundae. Wine would also be served throughout the meal.
So, when in Rome, enjoying the local cuisine is a must. One well-loved dish is l’amatriciana, a pork-based pasta dish made with cherry tomatoes, fresh chili peppers, and pecorino cheese. If you prefer white sauces, la carbonara is the way to go. Authentic Italian carbonara is nothing like the ones you’ve tasted back home, made with pancetta, eggs, pecorino cheese, and black pepper.
And if you’re feeling a little famished after a day at the Colosseum or the Roman Forum, stop by a local stall for some suppli. This crunchy Roman street food is a fried rice ball that contains traditional Italian ingredients like mozzarella and pecorino cheese.
- The Amalfi Coast
Are you craving a taste of the sea? Luckily for you, Italy is home to numerous islands and gorgeous coastal areas, the most notable of which is the Amalfi Coast. Sitting across the southern Italian coastline and overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Amalfi Coast is the perfect getaway spot for couples celebrating their honeymoon and families searching for a summer destination.
Food on the Amalfi Coast is the perfect mix of classical Italian cuisine and staple marine ingredients. A delicious example of this is alici di cetara, a simple seafood dish made with local anchovies and fresh tomatoes. And for pasta lovers, scialatielli is a popular choice, featuring a blend of calamari, mussels, shrimp, and clams with cherry tomatoes and parsley.
Lemons are also a classic ingredient in the Amalfi Coast, so you’ll find them in various dishes and desserts. Delizia al Limone is a fluffy lemon cake with a slight crunch, while limoncello is a top-tier beverage that contains a mix of lemons, sugar, alcohol, and water.
Have you been looking for an experience that can tickle all your senses? An Italy food tour will expose you to all kinds of sights, smells, and tastes in a country that’s home to the world’s best food and wine.
Pick the destination that speaks to you the most and book your culinary tour as soon as possible. You can explore different package trips offered by leading travel operators in Italy, ensuring that you have an unforgettable gastronomic experience.