Foodie Guide: 5 Unique Dining Experiences in Italy

Foodie Guide: 5 Unique Dining Experiences in Italy

Dining in a fancy, bustling restaurant may not quite be your cup of tea. Perhaps, you have a preference for off-the-beaten-path dining experiences, such as dining with the locals and hanging out at hidden local food haunts, frequented only by those in the know.

If you are a foodie traveller in search of intriguing food and cultural experiences during your travels in Italy, be sure to check out our list of unique dining experiences below:

1. Agriturismos: Feasting in a Rustic Farm

How does feasting on a spread of traditional dishes in a cosy farmhouse sound?

If this dining experience appeals to you, be sure to include a stay at an agriturismo a part of your Italy travel itinerary!

Agriturismos, a combination of the words ‘agriculture’ and ‘tourism’, refer to farms in Italy offering accommodation for vacation makers. The amenities at the farms can vary, ranging from basic lodging in a rustic setting, to luxurious villas by a vineyard.

Guests will look forward to meal times during their stay at the agriturismo, for an excellent spread of crusty breads, fragrant pastries, fresh dairy produce and wholesome dishes awaits.

2. Culinary Classes: Whip Up a Storm of Italian Delicacies!

A trip to Italy is not complete without savouring the excellent thin-crust pizzas and pasta dishes widely found in local eateries lining the streets. Apart from these well-loved favourites, there is also an array of must-try local delights, such as the crispy arancini and hearty ribollita, that travellers should not miss out on.

However, feasting on these delicacies alone may not be enough. Would it not be a better option to try your hand at cooking up a storm of Italian dishes in the kitchen?

Sign up for a culinary class, and learn the art of Italian cooking from your gregarious and enthusiastic instructor. Apart from gaining a wealth of handy cooking tips, you will also garner insights on the fascinating history and food culture of the locals.

3. Mealsharing: Dine with the Locals!

Browse through a social dining platform, and you will find a wide selection of passionate cooks who are eager to open up their homes and hearts to you. These chefs, skilled in the art of whipping up authentic Italian cuisine, cordially invite travellers for a feast in their homes.

Tucking into a scrumptious spread is only a part of the dining experience. Guests will also enjoy a night of fun and laughter, engaging conversations and forging cross-cultural friendships.

4. Picnicking: Savouring Italian Goodies Outdoors

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Take a leaf out of the locals’ books, and pack yourself a delicious spread for a picnic outdoors!

Filling up your picnic basket with delicacies is a simple task. Stop by the deli stores lining the neighbourhood streets, and you will easily find loaves of freshly-baked bread, rich cheeses, savoury prosciutto and a fine bottle of wine.

The next step to undertake is to hunt for a picturesque picnic spot. You will be spoilt for choice, for beautiful Italy presents a myriad of gorgeous outdoor settings.

If you are residing in charming Rome, make your way to the stunning gardens of Villa Celimontana. Travellers who fancy dining with a sweeping views of the Tiber river will find Giardino degli Aranci to be an ideal picnic spot.

Holidaymakers in search of a fine picnic location in sophisticated Milan will be delighted with settling snugly into a spot at Parco Sempione, an expansive city park containing a serene lake.

Picnic-goers in Florence can make their way to Cascine Park, a spacious park containing monumental statues, civil infrastructures and sports amenities.

5. Walking Tours: Discover the Best Local Food Haunts

The cobblestoned streets and bustling outdoor markets of Italy promises to be an enticing sight. Discover these streets through the eyes of a local by embarking on a walking food tour!

Led about by a knowledgeable guide, you will be brought along to a series of food haunts to savour a diversity of sumptuous food items. All that is needed is a good pair of walking shoes, and an insatiable appetite for sampling the local fare!

Image Credits: PrWeb, Simply Sandwiches, Notes of Nomads, Arbite

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Cultural Festivals to Go Before You Die

Cultural Festivals to Go Before You Die

Imagine yourself toasting a cup of beer to another stranger, or dancing along the streets with hundreds of others? There are so many festivals in the world that do not restrict to only the locals, foreigners are welcome too!

1. Bastille Day, Paris

Just like July 4th in the US, France is decked out in red, white and blue, but instead of beer and backyard barbecues, this more formal celebration features decorated military, lush banquets and red wine. Across the world freedom is celebrated with a bang at Bastille Day, and on this night, The City of Light shines brighter than any. It’s an honor to eat in a French home on Bastille Day; do your best to ingratiate yourself with a local. The meal is typically light with lots of fruits and vegetables, quiches, and salads. The largest celebrations take place in Paris, but other events occur throughout France.

2. Carnevale di Ivrea, Ivrea Italy 

This is a festival that celebrates the event when commoners rise up against an oppressive ruler. At the Carnevale di Ivrea , however, the battle isn’t waged with guns and swords—oranges are the weapon of choice. Every year, the tiny northern city of Ivrea in the Turin province stockpiles 500,000 kilograms of fresh oranges for a re-creation of a historic fight between townsfolk and a ruling tyrant. Teams wage a full-on fruit war, and not even a red-capped declaration of sovereignty can protect you from getting juiced Carnival of Venice.

3. Carnevale di Venezia, Venice 

The original Carnival of Venice took place in 1162 to honor one of Venice’s victorious battles when the city was known as the “Repubblica della Serenissima”. To best understand Carnival of Venice, you need to understand the importance of the maschera or masks. The mask allowed citizens to behave wildly and adopt alter egos without the fear of social consequence. This Carnival takes place for the period leading up to Ash Wednesday in watery Venice, Italy.

4. Infiorata di Genrazno, Rome

Many Italian towns hold an Infiorata, a festival of flowers that trace their beginnings in Italy to the 13th century but the one in Genzano is possibly Italy’s largest and and certainly the most renowned. The official year of origin of the Genzano festival is 1778, when it was started to celebrate Corpus Christi (Latin for ”body of Christ”). It’s a high holy day in the Catholic church celebrating the Eucharist, perceived by Catholics as the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

5. Paris Techno Parade

Meet street music turned up to eleven: DJs, subwoofers, and sound-mixers sit atop decked-out flat bed trucks, which ply through a heaving sea of 400,000 people—mostly young, cool, and determined to live out loud. Parade participants are quick to point out the unifying spirit of the music, which despite its futuristic electro-sound, draws inspiration from tribal rhythms. “The beats are so loud they hit you in the stomach; the only thing you can do is obey them, and dance,” says one participant. The organizers have been keen to promote diversity, erase class and racial lines, and bring everyone into the same heartbeat.

Image Credits: Walks of Italy, Carnevale Di Venezia, Paris Saint Honore, Travelever, Wikipedia

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