There’s no question about it: If trying regional cuisine is one of your favorite things to do while seeing the world, Italy is an ideal place to go. Here are six of the top culinary moments to experience on tour in Italy.
Play sommelier in Barolo
Of Italy’s many renowned vintages, Barolo is referred to as “The King of Wines.” This full-bodied red reigns in the Piedmont region, where Nebbiolo grapes are crushed down to create the vino revered in the eponymous commune of Barolo and beyond—and you can sit down at a wine tasting on tour to rate it for yourself.
Indulge in aperitivo in Turin
Italian culture is distilled to its essence at Torino’s historic cafes, which are the ideal places to do as the locals do: talk with good friends and eat good food. Want to get in on the action? Take a seat during aperitivo, a leisurely social hour enjoyed by sipping pre-dinner cocktails alongside complimentary noshes as the afternoon melts into the evening. The cafes are also the spots to order acclaimed chocolate and coffee, two of the city’s specialties. Start your day at Caffè Mulassano, said to pour some of the best espresso in Turin, and end it at Caffé Torino, Negroni in hand.
Test your cooking chops in Bologna
Bologna is referred to as La Grassa—the fat one—and is the place to savor hearty cuisine typical of the Emilia-Romagna region. Want to try the city’s culinary highlights for yourself? Embark on a Food & Wine Tour and visit a local agriturismo, or farm stay, where you’ll whip up regional pasta dishes such as tortolloni and tagliatelle al ragù.
Taste the perfect pizza pie in Naples
While you really can’t go wrong ordering pizza anywhere in Italy, the bustling city of Naples lays claim to what is arguably some of the best. It’s here that chefs churn out true Neapolitan pies made simply with tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil, and biting into a slice is the ultimate in simple pleasures.
Sit down for dinner on a family-run farm overlooking Sorrento
If you think Sorrento is lovely at ground level, just wait until you see it from above. Set off into the hills on the Rustic Italy: Farmhouse Dinner & Wine Tasting excursion to taste homemade dishes at a family-run agriturismo. Jaw-dropping views, flavorful food and wine, welcoming atmosphere—this is the classic Sorrento you’ve always dreamed about.
Savor la dolce vita in Sicily—literally
Of the many things to discover about Sicilian cuisine, one of the most appetizing is the fact that the region has made an impressive name for itself in the realm of confections. One of the island’s most notable pastries? Cannoli. Candied fruit, fresh ricotta filling, and a crunchy outer shell combine to form this sweet treat that’s become a favorite for locals and travelers alike. The granita, gelato, and a famous dessert called cassata are also not to be missed!