Enjoy a meal in the open.
Whether you enjoy some hot cocoa in the winter, or some cool gelato in the summers, dining in the open is a must when in Italy. Enjoy the many sights and sounds of the country while you devour the local delicacies. There’s a eatery round every corner (nearly) and most restaurants will have both a covered and an open air space to grab a bite.
2. Dine at a local Osteria or Trattoria
Osterias and Trattorias are family owned eating joints in Italy that serve freshly made local specialities. Most of these eateries do not have a fixed menu, but instead serve different daily offerings based on what’s in season. It’s a great way to try some of the local favorites as well the traditional dishes. You will find these rustic joints in every neighbourhood.
3. Share a meal with the locals
Perhaps one of the most genuinely heartwarming experiences on this list has to be this. Sharing your meal with locals of any place adds so many more layers of enjoyment to your travel. Italians, in particular, love a good conversation over their dinners so we can guarantee you there will never be a dull moment through all of your 7 courses. If you don’t have an Italian friend who can invite you over for dinner, fret not because meal-sharing platforms are now a common thing online.
4. Taste some wines at a vineyard
Lush vineyards, fresh air and plenty of wines to taste – what’s not to like about this experience? When in Italy, head to Tuscany, one of the most popular regions for exploring vineyards in the country.
5. Sign up for an Italian Culinary Class
When you make your own meal you tend to appreciate it much more as well. Sign up for an cooking class, and learn how to put together a classic Italian meal using fresh produce, culinary techniques and plenty of love for the food as well as the art of cooking.
6. Enjoy a Street Food Stroll
Some of the must try dishes while exploring the streets of Italy are, Sgagliozze (fried polenta), Polpette (meatballs), Cannoli, Olive all’Ascolana (fried stuffed olives), Cuoppo Napoletano or Pesce Fritto Al Cono (paper cones with deep fried meat, veggies and seafood) and Panelle (chickpea and polenta fritters).
7. Attend a Food & Wine Festival
Italians love celebrating their culinary culture through various food and wine festivals held in different parts of the country throughout the year. Indulge in any of these festivals to truly live the phrase ‘eat, drink and be merry’. Some of the crowd favorites include International White Truffle Fair (October in Alba, Piedmont), Vinitaly (April in Verona), EuroChocolate (October in Perugia, Umbria), Boccaccesca (October, Certaldo) etc.
8. Dine in a Michelin Starred Restaurant
We’ve saved the fanciest (and the most expensive) food experiences for the last. Given that Italy is renowned the world over for its culinary culture it should come as no surprise that it is also home to 10 Michelin 3-Stars Restaurants. The most notable of these in recent times (by notable, we mean voted as the world’s best restaurant in 2018) will have to be Osteria Francescana, owned and run by Chef Massimo Bottura in Modena, Italy. You’ll need to plan this one out way in advance as reservations open 3 months in advance, and are grabbed up pretty fast.