Food and wine can be an introduction to a home, a village, a region, a community, or a greater country, and this Food and Wine Travel Guide gives you ideas on how to explore them all.
From learning how to craft a traditional dish to sampling the evolution of a family recipe, tasting the shifting layers of a customary vineyard to exploring the different ways a country embraces a specific market, local flavors are endlessly eye-opening.
You can use our Food and Wine Travel Guide as inspiration to discover the world’s best food and wine destinations.
San Sebastian is a sophisticated city known for its unique culture, alluring beaches along the glistening Balearic Sea and its fabulous cuisine. The city embodies the essence of the Basque region with fascinating architecture as small pintxos bars and Michelin Star restaurants are intermixed, each one offering an authentic experience of the city. Gorgeous beach promenades, family-friendly cultural experiences, water activities, premier wines, and more are all accessible as San Sebastian's charm embraces all who visit. As you plan your trip, be sure to consider these eight highlights.
Florence has a distinctive dining scene that separates it from all other Italian cities. You can find the typical flavors across the city to find how Florence emerged from a Roman settlement to a city of import in the Middle Ages.
The food reflected the cucina povera when households prepared meals based on available ingredients relying heavily on items discarded by the upper class. The extravagant dishes of the Medici court have not withstood the tests of time, but the flavorful cuisine of the Cucina Povera remains the prevalent style of cooking in Florence that you can enjoy during your Italy trip.
The four main culinary cities of Emilia-Romagna take inspiration from the iconic and famous flavors that capture the true essence of Italian cuisine. Yet these four cities have their own unique spin on traditional, local dishes that set them apart from one another and the rest of the country.
Emilia’s culinary customs focus heavily on animal fats and pork products. Romagna has stronger ties to Byzantine heritage influenced by the sea and classic land dishes.
Whether looking for fine cuisine or typical street food, Emilia-Romagna has the most quintessential tastes you can find during your Italy trip.
Eating in Emilia-Romagna is sampling the true soul of Italian cuisine with the four quintessential dishes of the region, creating an essential experience for any visit. The region continues to influence commercial kitchens, private kitchens, and celebrity chefs across Italy and around the world.
Whether visiting for the culinary history or eager to sample the traditional flavors of the markets, Emilia-Romagna is the perfect destination for finding the essential flavors of Italian cuisine.
A list of Emilia-Romagna dishes is practically a guide to the most iconic ingredients and plates of Italian cuisine. The simple geography instills in the region a perfect balance of fertile land and abundant water while the ingredients that shape the cuisine embody the eight centuries during which the region fell under the reign of warring noble families, Papal States, and distinct kingdoms.
The result is the unique make-up of hyper-local cooking traditions that still share common regional characteristics. The following are the most typical, and therefore popular, dishes you can find in Emilia-Romagna.
Bologna’s famous delicacies derive from a rich culinary tradition that has impacted the cuisine of greater Italy, and there are several dishes you should try on your vacation. Historians have documented the culinary brilliance of the city since the Middle Ages, with published texts capturing the fascinating creations of inventive chefs dating back to the 16th century. The tradition of long-lasting products derived from a nomadic heritage in the mountains. Nowadays, food lovers from around the world visit Bologna to sample firsthand the unique dishes and robust flavors you can experience on your Italy tour.
Modena’s unique position in the Po Valley influences the soil amid the rugged foothills of the Apennine Mountains, responsible for the diversity of meats, hams, salumi, pasta, cheeses, and treasured balsamic vinegar that you can taste during your trip to Italy. Seasonal ingredients define the flavors of the Modenese cooking tradition, from growing produce to the presence of game and fish. Many of the traditional recipes popular in the province have emerged from a heritage of the peasant kitchen or small landowners that incorporates the flavor of a wealthier lifestyle that influences contemporary life.
The four meals and dishes of Milan that you should try during your trip characterizes the culinary influences of lavish sovereigns that ruled over a historic center of cultural exchange. Milan’s position as the capital of the Lombardy region has brought a variety of flavorful cuisine and a mixture of cultures into the center of the city’s gastronomy, dating back to the Celtic kitchen of pre-Rome while remaining renowned for world-class restaurants and cafés. Milan is filled with foodies that celebrate the heritage of local cuisine with a focus on forward-thinking techniques while respecting local customs.
The distinct natural characteristics of Campania’s terrain have provided the region with sensational ingredients in the top three cities you can visit during your Italy trip. The region’s gastronomic history acts as a crossroads of civilizations along the Mediterranean Sea with a diverse landscape that has brought life to vibrant produce found in nutrient-rich volcanic soil. The greater region of Campania has a variety of provinces resulting in different types of cuisine. You can celebrate the cucina povera as you uncover how the cuisine reaches ultimate flavor with minimal ingredients.
The cuisine of Naples has ancient roots and humble origins that have inspired the creative recipes of present-day Neapolitan gastronomy that you can enjoy during your Italy trip. The city’s cuisine continues to typify the culinary traditions of Campania, with heritage predating Rome and reflecting the former Kingdom of Naples. With a culinary style that celebrates the soil, arid climate, the boldness of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the importance of cucina povera, Neapolitan cuisine still focuses on using every aspect of an ingredient before adding herbs and spices to create the most vibrant flavor.
Whether you’re looking for flavorful meals sourced from ancient recipes, or curious about the authentic history that underpins the city’s sumptuous fare, here are seven dishes you must try during your exploration of Sicily’s magnificent cuisine.
As you travel through the Sicilian wonderland, you will be introduced to the gorgeous stretches of farmland where your daily meals are sourced from, as you indulge in luxurious wines transformed from local, simple ingredients into incredible recipes.
When you journey to Italy’s foodie paradise, you can find a delectable array of appetizing dishes to discover history, heritage, and the evolution of flavors on your trip to Italy’s one-and-only gourmet heaven.
The gastronomic traditions of Palermo act as an amalgamation of cultures that have gathered in the city for over more than two millennia that you can taste when sampling six staple dishes during your trip. The contemporary connection with the Slow Food Movement originates from a long history of working with fresh, seasonal ingredients that are harvested around the mountain slopes, peaks, and valleys of Palermo Province and typifies the culinary heritage of greater Sicily. The importance of traditional flavors is seen from private kitchens to celebrated street food and with famous chefs.
The regional foods of Italy have their own distinct ingredients, flavors, and cooking techniques, with each specific destination demonstrating its heritage, and it’s here that you can discover, taste, and indulge during your Italy tour.
Deriving from centuries of malleable borders blending the traditions of former empires, kingdoms, and ancient settlements, some regions have gastronomic similarities while others separate themselves with distinctive and mouthwatering culinary traditions.
The surprising truth of Italian food by region is far more detailed and geographically, as well as culturally, specific.
The three best cities of Sicily in which you can enjoy the customs of the Sicilian kitchen embody a tradition of expression and culinary artistry that is linked to the religious, historical, and cultural evolution of the island that you can find in the three best culinary cities across Sicily. The closely linked events of Sicily’s history have developed famous dishes with regional and gastronomic cultures that reveal the contributions of the well-established civilizations throughout the island’s history that spans more than 2,000 years of settlers, merchants, and conquerors.
The cuisine of Umbria captures simple but elegant flavors that adhere to the strict calendar of seasonal ingredients that you can find during your Italian food tour. Olive groves and flocks of sheep overtake the hills of Italy’s only region that does not touch the sea or border of another country. The mountainous heart of Umbria abounds with medieval towns and castles that have been untouched by time and are bursting with gastronomic traditions where dishes have been handed down through generations and pay homage to heritage in kitchens that you can explore and experience.
The three best culinary cities of Lazio represent the distinct elements of the local cuisine. The diverse landscapes spread from the seaside in the west to the eastern mountains with ingredients that thrive in the rich history embodied in the traditions at the heart of Etruscan settlements, the Roman empire, the cradle of Christianity, and the luxuries of the baroque movement.
The mountain slopes and plains allow farmers to cultivate the prevailing heritage of Cucina Povera with unique ingredients and cultural flavors brought to life from around the Roman and Christian world. Exploring the food of Lazio can be a fantastic lens to view Italian culture.
The four best dishes to try during your trip to Lazio reflect the customs created when Rome acted as the heart of the ancient empire. The conquered landscapes of antiquity stretched over the hills and reached the western seas to create impressive ports from which Rome could reach the hidden corners of the known world, now embodied in the gastronomic traditions that were left behind. The food of Lazio takes the shape of simple dishes with quick and easy cooking techniques based on the ideas of fresh and readily available ingredients.
The regional cuisine of Lazio is characterized by Cucina Povera, the traditions of poor cooking that embody the tastes of farmers over the centuries who used the entirety of ingredients and ingredients that were easily accessed during the changing seasons. The increased standard of living in Lazio has resulted in home and commercial chefs creating flavors with ingredients that were once unheard of outside of regional cooking. You can sample the following dishes during your next trip to Lazio.
When visiting Rome, you have your choice of delectable cuisine from around the country, but authentic Roman flavors have evolved through centuries of social, political, and cultural changes that date back to the center of the ancient empire.
The city’s position as the former epicenter of an empire allowed the culture to absorb the gastronomic heritage from visiting merchants, immigrants, and political affiliates. Even with newer trends and growing international cuisine inside the city, food in Rome remains a source of pleasure that you can discover during your Italy tour.
The five dishes you need to try during your Tuscany trip are based on the traditional flavors using the freshest and simplest ingredients that pertain to the seasons. The custom of the Tuscan kitchen boasts a sense of regional flourish that celebrates the importance of locally sourced ingredients found at the market each week, often resulting in an easy preparation. The cuisine is so ingrained into the heritage of the region, the local government compiled a “Tuscan Food Pyramid” as a geographic representation of what are considered the 70 most essential products seen on the Tuscan table.
Tuscan chefs, both at home and in favored restaurants, turn the simple into the divine using culinary techniques dating back to the Etruscans. The next time you explore the alluring beauty of Tuscany, remember to sample the following culinary treasures for an exclusive look at the heart of the famous Italian region.
The three best cities of Italy’s famous islands where you can find the embodiment of culture, food, and culinary traditions are Sicily and Sardinia. The traditions of Sicilian and Sardinian kitchens include ingredients from the land and sea, with ancient pastoral customs to the simple appreciation for good food.
The islands of Italy have absorbed the various customs of the variety of cultures who have settled on Sicily and Sardinia over the last two millennia, including Greek, Spanish, French, and Arab influences. The mixture of Mediterranean heritages on the different Italian islands enriches the cuisines with a range of cooking techniques and flavors. Herbs and spices are commonly used for a unique culinary encounter that you can experience and enjoy as part of your next vacation.
Southern Italian food features the bright and delicious flavors of the Mediterranean that many visitors associate with traditional Italian food that you can discover during your Italy vacation. Cooking is an essential way that Northern, Central, and Southern Italy showcase their diversity. The food of Southern Italy is often referred to as Cucina Povera, with frugal southern cooks relying on the bounty of the sea or the hard-fought harvest from tenacious farmers. The warm Mediterranean climate supports a history of trade and conquest, revealing distinctive characteristics of the unforgettable gastronomy.
Cured meats have become a culinary staple across the Italian peninsula to try during your travels. The Italian term for cured meats is salumi, and is differentiated from French charcuterie by the types of meat used, the flavor of the meat, and the specific Italian methods of preparation and preservation.
When visiting a meat deli in any specific region, you will find the country’s renowned salumi on display. The following list offers information on the 14 best types of salumi from across Italy and where you can find each meat during your Italian vacation.
The Italian truffle season takes place every fall, a brilliant time to visit the country if you wish to participate in truffle hunting tours and take in the array of dazzling truffle festivals that pop up across the Italian peninsula between October and November.
Celebrating the robust flavors of the distinctive truffle varieties in addition to the culinary heritage of Piedmont, Molise, Tuscany, Umbria, Emilia Romagna, and Le Marche, these festivals offer a uniquely Italian experience for you to immerse yourself in during your vacation. The following list shares the top truffle festivals by region to help you plan the route of your Italian truffle hunting tour, and your Zicasso travel specialist can suggest the best routing for your perfect vacation.
Illusive white and black truffles hide in small quantities throughout Italy’s vibrant topography. The decadent morsels populate rolling hills, speckle the soil along grand cliffs, and inhabit the plentiful forests. Nature’s bounty bursts throughout the Italian peninsula, and the prized truffle is one of the country’s most sought-after locally-grown foraged goods. Below is everything you need to know about Italian truffles and truffle hunting tours in Italy.
The four best food cities of Tuscany capture the region’s distinctive flavors and celebrate the remarkable terrain that forms a gastronomical paradise. Many of the culinary customs surrounding the simplicity of Tuscany’s cuisine take root with the local Etruscan settlements and tradition of peasant cooking.
No matter the roots of the cooking methods and styles, Tuscany’s cuisine has helped shape the larger image of Italian food in an area known for sunflower fields and Renaissance lords, cypress trees, and hilltop towns whose recipes you can enjoy during your Italy trip.
The customs of Campania reign in the kitchen, with mouthwatering dishes and ingredients you can indulge in during your trip to Italy.
The region’s gastronomic heritage has influenced the concept of “Italian cuisine” around the world, with cultural values that date back to ancient Greek settlements and Etruscan villages. The culinary experience embodies the evolution of distinct cultural cuisines established in the arid mountains, lush plains, abundant sunlight, and vibrant Tyrrhenian Sea.
No matter where you are in Campania, you can enjoy how humble ingredients burst with powerful tastes.
Wine in Italy is a culture all of its own and the top wine-tasting regions provide the perfect introduction to the preserved traditions and evolving techniques you can discover, sample, and enjoy when on a wine tour of Italy.
The culinary culture is mostly directed by certain guidelines, especially when considering the importance of the history and heritage of wine ingrained in Italy’s culture.
From the pleasures of sipping wine with an elaborate view of Mount Etna to the charm of visiting an antique cellar, when visiting the top wine regions of Italy you can discover the spirit of the vine found on the table, in the earth, and within the people of Italy.
From wine lovers to gastronomes and agriculturalists, Italian wine is a big deal for people who travel to Italy and having the right travel specialist can ensure your perfect exploration of wines, wineries, and vineyards across the country.
When traveling with Zicasso, we can match you with a local travel specialist with expertise in Italian wines, wine culture, and impressive history.
If you are eager to sample the diverse varietals and complex combinations that are produced around the favored, quiet, and more typical regions of Italy, the following list provides important information for you to experience the ultimate wine-tasting tour.
The order in which you taste wine can have a profound impact on the aromas and flavors that you find in each glass, proving the first important tip for any wine-tasting experience during your Italy trip.
While on a tasting tour of wineries, cellars, or vineyards in Italy, your sommelier will serve wines according to certain important rules. By asking questions and keeping an open mind about possible flavor profiles, micro-regions, and more, you may find collective characteristics of a variety of wines you enjoy in order to learn more as you continue to sample new varietals.
These distinctions make it easier to find the essential aromas, layered flavors, and varied weights of the wines you are sampling so you can explore and experience their dynamic characteristics with your preferences in mind.
You can discover and embrace the five best dishes of Veneto as you explore the culinary landscape that encompasses mountains and lagoons, the customary richness of the Venetian Empire and the open-minded cultural influence of kingdoms from across the Mediterranean.
The region of Veneto thrives with distinguished gastronomy changing from villages in the Dolomites to towns along the coast of Lake Garda, prestigious villas looking over the Brenta Canal to the renowned banquets filling the palaces of Venice.
A wealth of culinary influences and cultural inspiration, from techniques to flavor profiles, have helped develop these 5 transformational delicacies that are unique to Veneto.
The cuisine of Campania offers a sun-kissed region of Southern Italy famous for hosting the gorgeous shoreline, preserved Roman ruins, and fuming craters that impact the signature cuisine you can taste during your Italy trip.
Campania maintains a strong connection to culinary traditions, the microclimates, and locally sourced ingredients from coastal mountains to charming bays and the fruitful inland plains. From delightful cheeses to a simple combination of ingredients, the flavors create mouthwatering dishes that showcase the heritage of private kitchens and the evolution of chefs’ culinary aesthetics.
When you discover where you can try the most enticing regional dishes during your trip to Italy, you can embrace tradition, taste, and culture as you explore Campania.
The sushi kitchens of Japan have traditionally been dominated by men, however, women have been shirking tradition and stereotypes by becoming pioneers of sushi-making with the top four female sushi chefs you can visit during your Japan trip.
While stigma surrounding female sushi chefs continues to plague the industry, women are brushing off the myths and crafting perfect sushi dishes from the kitchens of progressive restaurants as well as their own, women-led eateries.
From the perfect piece of nigiri to a sensational slice of sashimi, this list compiles the best sushi restaurants in Japan where female sushi chefs are challenging Japanese tradition.
The standout restaurants of the world offer wonders beneath the waves that you can dine in during your trip to find fascinating and rich ecosystems that captivate visitors around the world.
Several restaurants around the globe have positioned themselves within the gorgeous surroundings of the sea allowing you to dine, drink, and experience luxury underwater adding to the allure of some of the most unique destinations.
Whether the enchanting setting steeps you in the wonder of passing marine life or has you thinking of an elaborate villain’s lair, you can bask in the pleasures of a gourmet meal focused on accentuating distinct flavors and complimenting the unforgettable scenery.
The four meals and dishes you can try in Parma on your Italy trip are less about satiation and more about taking pleasure in a dish, an ingredient, and a local delicacy.
Small villages in the Bronze Age gave way to Celtic and Etruscan settlements, before the ancient Roman road connected the peninsula. The city became famous throughout Medieval Europe as a center for great art, science, and philosophy, resulting in an influx of nobility whose tastes for a good meal refined local palates.
By focusing on regional and seasonal ingredients, home and professional chefs develop bolder, more nuanced flavors, and these are four dishes that highlight those efforts.
Italy’s amazing wines can be enjoyed through a variety of tours and experiences, with each new excursion introducing you to another layer of history, heritage, local culture, and distinctive flavor.
Whether discovering the famous hills of Tuscany or searching for an elusive varietal in the northern mountains, enjoying the delicate balance of wine with food, or eager to uncover a lesser-known vineyard, Italy is an essential destination for wine lovers everywhere.
From island vineyards to mainland estates, by enjoying some of the best wine-focused excursions, you can embrace the diversity of delicious variety shaped by culture and geography.
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