The Italians know how to live La Dolce Vita- let's take a leaf out of their book. Food has a beautiful way of bringing people together, whether its around a table or in an alleyway at a market. It is a way of learning about other cultures. It provides endless conversation, entertainment, satisfaction and often a whole sensory experience. From the most rustic spots to fine dining, surprises are always install. With endless places to choose from in Italy, a little guidance goes a long way, so here are a few tips.
Genoa (Italian: Genova)
This historical port city of Italy and the birthplace of Pesto and focaccia is unmissable on your food tour. No restaurant names needed, but bottom line, you need to eat as much of these two as possible when in Genoa. The signature Genovese dish is Trofie al Pesto which is the traditional twisted pieces of pasta in their famed pesto sauce. The focaccia, always warm and deliciously olive oiled with a variety of toppings is complete savoury decadence. Whoever said the Mediterranean diet is good for the soul, wasn’t wrong.
Bologna (Italian: Bologna)
Bologna, the origin of tortellini, mortadella and boasting out of this world gelato, although often overlooked by tourists, is an unmissable foodie hub. Between the central markets with an abundance of fresh fruit and pastries on offer, the famous Via del Pratello, perfect for an aperitivo and Cremeria Funivia for a next level gelato experience, your taste buds are in for a treat.
Florence (Italian: Firenze)
Florence, not only packed with extraordinary art and architectural masterpieces wherever you look, is the perfect place to feast on gourmet Tuscan cuisine. Mercato Centrale, in San Lorenzo, is definitely worth an explore, where this contemporary food hall boasts traditional butchers, fish mongers and fresh produce, frequented by locals for their shopping. A rare relic of old Florence in the heart of the city, Trattoria Sergio Gozzi, is a no-frills trattoria with a timeless feel where the food is as authentic as it gets. Must try here: ribollita and bistecca all Fiorentina.
Rome (Italian: Roma)
Rome: Italy's food capital. Famed for their simple dishes using seasonal ingredients, it is a true foodie haven. Start your day with a fresh cornetto in a local café where espressos must be drunk standing around the coffee bar- this is true Roman style. Enjoy a Carbonara at some point during the day and finish off with the best Gelato in the business at Gelateria dei Gracchi. With 4 of these around the city, it attracts any kind of a crowd with a mutual love for good gelato. Also, don’t forget to sip on many an aperitivo in one of the cities beautiful piazzas while taking it all in.
Extra hint: Eat more local, more affordable and slightly less formal in an 'Osteria' or 'Trattoria' rather than a 'Ristorante' – and it's bound to be just as good.
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