A Foodie Tour of Italy: 27 Bucket List Food Experiences
How do you begin planning a foodie tour to Italy? With so many great things to do in Italy, even narrowing it down to food tours and experiences would still take years to hit the highlights!
But we are undeterred. You’ve got to start someplace, right? We wanted to create a bucket list just for all the great Italy food experiences — for the foodies, the buongustaios, the travelers like you and me who visit Italy just for the food!
Nothing against the culturally significant UNESCO heritage sites, endless ruins for archeology lovers, religious pilgrimage sites, and must-see sites for historophiles, oenophiles and cinephiles. They’re all well worth a visit. But in a country like Italy where you’re surrounded by good food, all we want to do is eat! #sorrynotsorry
A Foodie Tour of Italy
So we took the liberty of narrowing down a list of our favorite culinary experiences, activities, and exciting food tours for those of us who are all about the food in Italy.
Besides, we thought you’d appreciate a little help with narrowing down the dizzying number of choices for what to do in Italy when you want to experience this amazing country through food.
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What’s in this Italy Foodie Tour? (Click to Jump Ahead)
Venice • Bologna • Florence • Naples • Sicily
Emilia Romagna • Piedmont • Lombardy • Veneto • Trentino-Alto Adige • Liguria • Friuli Venezia Giulia
Campania • Umbria • Lazio • Tuscany
Puglia • Calabria • Sardinia • Sicily
Is Italy Bucket List Worthy?
Even still, 26 experiences is a mere drop in the bucket list — there are so many more so we’ll just keep adding to it. As bucket lists tend to do, we’ll end up adding as fast as we cross one off!
Included in this foodie tour of Italy are some of the more unique experiences we’ve had in our time spent traveling in Italy. We also asked several travel experts around the world to weigh in on their favorites as well.
What make these Italy things to do bucket list worthy? These are culinary experiences, a cut above the usual tours. They are food experiences to have in Italy with the added Wow factor on where to have them. The combination of enjoying certain foods and activities at the place makes them truly unique — like eating baguette in Paris, taking a spice tour in the souk of Marrakech, or sipping Vino Nobile in Montepulciano. The addition of place elevates the activity to an experience worthy of any Italy Foodie’s bucket list.
So start adding to your list and enjoy this Italy Bucket List for Foodies!
26 Top Food Experiences in Italy (by Region from North to South)
Visit Italy’s Food Markets
One of our favorite ways to experience the local food in Italy — no matter where we are — is at the nearest local market. Italy has so many markets where you can eat the regional street food or chat with the locals, but there are a few historic markets well worth mentioning:
In Venice, a visit to the Rialto Market is a must — it’s the oldest market in Venice. The Rialto market is a perfect example of the Italian dedication to seasonal food items. You’ll find fresh fruits and Italian cheeses to munch as you browse, fresh veggies, figs, honey and much more. Just next door under a very cool 19th century pavilion is the fish market.
One of the first places to visit when you arrive in Bologna is the famous Quadrilatero, adjacent to the Piazza Maggiore. The market dates back centuries and was the original location for the guilds of Bologna — from fish mongers, butchers and bakers to gold artisans. Today, the Quadrilatero is a great place for Aperitivo and dinner.
Just a few blocks from the Piazza del Duomo in Florence is the Mercato Centrale, the premier market in Firenze. This should be on your Florence must-do list especially if you want to experience the foods that Florence is famous for. Here you’ll find two floors in a beautiful historic glass and iron building. Fresh baked artisan breads, fresh pasta, sandwiches, pastries, and local street foods will have you overwhelmed at where to start. Start anywhere but be sure to finish with a gelato and espresso.
In Naples, La Pignasecca market might be small compared to some other markets in the city, but this historic market is famous for the traditional seasonal foods that are the essence of Naples. Local folks shop here at the stalls for fish, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Cafes, shops, enotecas, and vendors selling typical street food are found throughout the market. This is where to go to eat like a Neapolitan.
Further south in Sicily, Ballarò is the largest and oldest market in Palermo. This market will give you a full appreciation for the seasonal cuisine that Palermitans enjoy every day. Not only does the market have the usual local produce, meat, cheese, and fish stands, it is also a lively flea market where vendors sell all sorts of things.This is definitely a must-see market.
2. Visit FICO Eataly
If you’re the kind of foodie who loves their food experience served in a theme park setting, then FICO Eataly might be for you. The self-described Italy Food Theme Park is very popular with group tours as you might imagine, but if you go at off hours, the pace is a bit less crowded. You can experience everything from cooking classes and demonstrations to specialty wine dinners and events.
3. Take the Trifecta Food Tour in Emilia Romagna
Emilia Romagna produces so many of Italy’s significant food products, and three of these uber iconic foods — prosciutto, balsamic vinegar, and parmigiano reggiano cheese —can be experienced (literally from soup to nuts) on this food tour from Bologna or Modena. It is by far, one of the best Italy food tours you can take!
The original tour company who created their Italian Days Food Experience is still the best. If there is one foodie thing to do in Bologna you need to take, it is this one!
You’ll get to tour a local cheese factory to see the full process of how they make the King of Cheese, from the early morning milk delivery to tasting the final aged wheel of cheese, visit a small family-run acetaia where they age traditional balsamico di Modena in the attic for up to 25 years, and see the production of Italy’s famous prosciutto hams. If ever there was a must-do food tour, it’s this one!
4. Go Nuts for Nutella
If you love hazelnuts, Turin is one foodie city you have to visit! It’s the home of Nutella, the decadent chocolate-y, hazelnut-ty spread beloved by foodies around the world. The food brand is so ubiquitous in fact, there are more than several knock offs who only dream of borrowing some of that Nutella shine.
But while Turin may lure those with a heavy sweet tooth, eating Nutella at the source isn’t the only amazing thing to do in Turin for foodies. The city is also home to several other amazing food brands like Lavazza, Gianduiotto chocolates, and even one very fine spirit, Carpano vermouth.
5. Savor Slow Food in Milan
The region of Piedmont is home to Italy’s slow food movement which began in the 1980s as a sort of protest to the growth of fast food eateries in this part of the country. Passionate chefs, local growers, and other advocates for authentic Italian cuisine created this grassroots movement that continues today. In fact, the trend toward slow travel in Italy and around the world has this movement to thank.
In nearby Milan, there’s one place every foodie should visit — Osteria del Treno — and a great Milan food experience. If you recently saw Stanley Tucci “searching for Italy” around Milano, he made a stop at this famous osteria and his veal shank and potatoes looked amazing. The Osteria’s Sala Liberty ballroom was built in 1898 as a union hall for the Milan’s rail workers who worked at the nearby Stazione Centrale.
Since then, Osteria del Treno has been serving traditional slow food like Milanese occo buco and the beautiful amber-colored saffron risotto in the lively dance hall atmosphere featuring traditional live music. If your northern Italy culinary tour needs a real highlight, you can’t get much better than this!
6. Sip a Bellini at Harry’s Bar
Venice is known for many things, but some foodies still don’t know the original Harry’s Bar began here. Opened in 1931 by Giuseppe Cipriani and named for Harry Pickering, a long-time patron of the Hotel Cipriani bar, there’s enough legend and celebrity panache to make it worthy of a visit to sip its signature Italian cocktail — the Bellini.
Carnivores should also try the beef carpaccio — also famously invented by Mr. Cipriani right here nearly a century ago — or a traditional cicchetti. If you’d prefer your raw meat with something less fruity, try washing it down with a dry martini, rumored to be the best in Venice.
Speaking of cicchetti in Venice…
7. Eat Cichetti in Venice
The food is surely one reason why Venice should be on every Italy lover's bucket list. It doesn't matter whether you enjoy the highlights for just a few hours or over the course of two or three days in Venice, the cicchetti bars in the city are worth the trip alone.
Cicchetti are the tapas of the world-famous lagoon city, and the most popular food to enjoy with a sip of wine along one of the many canals after a long day of sightseeing — they’re as popular with locals as they are with tourists. Cicchetti is the preferred street food in Venice, as opposed to pizza as in other parts of Italy. Pizza isn’t a typical dish in Venice, as open fires, such as those used in pizza ovens, were long forbidden due to the high risk of fire.
Cicchetti comes in many different forms and flavors. Baccalà mantecato (stockfish spread) on crostini, Sarde in saor (pickled sardines with onions), and Mozzarella in Carrozza (breaded and baked mozzarella) are particularly popular. Especially in a city by the sea like Venice, seafood is naturally on the list of ingredients everywhere.
A very good place to try authentic cicchetti is the Bàcaro Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi (Fondamenta Nani, 992, 30123 Venezia) in the Dorsoduro neighborhood of Venice. The queue can be quite long here, which is always a good sign and proves the popularity of the dishes on offer here. But it’s faster than you think and we’ll worth the wait!
Explored by Phil from Journication
8. Take A Veneto Prosecco Tour
Over the last several years, Prosecco has grown in popularity across the world and becoming one of the most beloved Italian wines. But while many people enjoy a glass of Prosecco, far fewer know that you can visit the Prosecco vineyards and wineries of Italy, located just an hour away from the floating city of Venice.
Prosecco DOC is produced across the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of Northern Italy, while the highest quality Prosecco, Prosecco Superior DOCG, is produced in a small region between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in Veneto. Although Prosecco can be produced elsewhere, DOC and DOCG wines signify higher standards of production and higher quality products, a.k.a. the best Prosecco you'll ever taste!
You can reach Italy's Prosecco region by train from the cities of Venice or Treviso. Once you arrive in the area, you'll need to hire a Prosecco driver to get around, so that none of your party gets landed being designated driver. The majority of wineries welcome guests with open arms and will happily give you a tour of their vineyards and wineries, teach you about their production process and set up a tasting with their own wines, accompanied by delicious local meats and cheeses.
Being a small and relatively undiscovered wine region, a visit to the beautiful Prosecco hills is truly one of the most unique and exciting Italy culinary tours you can take.
Toured and tasted by Emily of London City Calling
9. Blend Food and Nature in the Dolomites
Mountaineering and backpacking have no place for the traveler in touch with local food, or do they? One visit to the Italian Alps (especially in the warmer months) answers that question. Hiking the Dolomites offers nature-loving foodies a healthy dose of food and wine to pair with their taste of the great outdoors.
Everyone should travel to Italy to experience the magnificent cities, but it’s a hustle and touristic bustle that can leave you or your family well-fed but drained.
The northern reaches of Italy impress the soul with the magnificent Dolomite mountain range of limestone craggy peaks and delicious little mountain huts along the trails serving Italian food that’ll make your heart melt.
Rifugio Averau, near the famous Cinque Torri WWI history experience and ski area, turns away most reservations despite being located on a rocky peak in the Dolomites. The best thing on the menu is a 30-year old ravioli recipe made with nuts and cheese that compels the biggest foodie to come back for more year after year, after every breathtaking hike.
But hunger is the best spice, they say, and when you combine a hike with a gourmet restaurant, the food of South Tyrol tastes even better.
Stay at one of the local mountain huts, like Rifugio Lazazuoi for a night you’ll never forget.
Experienced by Morgan at Crave the Planet
Bolzano is the perfect base from which to explore the Dolomites. Check out our recommended restaurants in Bolzano and places to stay!
10. Make Pasta al Barolo, Red Wine Pasta
Located in the heart of the Italian Alps between Lake Garda and the Dolomites, the mountainous province of Trentino is a Northern Italian culinary haven. Northern Italian cuisine is typified by hearty food that sees locals through the long (and often bitter) winters, with culinary influences from neighboring Austria, France and Switzerland.
The region’s food is hearty and unique, and they’ve even managed to make pasta dishes even better.
How? Add a glass of the local Trentino Teroldego, a rich and fruity red wine — and we’re not talking wine with pasta, we’re talking about wine in the pasta! Created from the deep, punchy red grapes that have been cultivated there for centuries in picturesque vineyards framed by the looming Alps, the addition of Teroldego adds an irresistible, fruity (but not too sweet) tipple to the pasta dough which creates an extra-savory, slightly bitter umami note, and an unshakeable feeling of wanting more.
You can find red wine pasta throughout Italy, and it’s popular in Chianti. But in Trentino, pasta al Barolo is a specialty, so taking a pasta making class to learn how to make it is the perfect foodie thing to do in Italy! And so you don’t feel bad that you ate all the pasta afterward, pasta al Barolo is so beloved that you can even find excellent pre-made dried red wine pasta to take home!
A cooking class in this region of Italy is a must, as well as the purchase of a bottle (or a case) of Teroldego… if the Italians haven’t bought them all already.
Tasted by Julianna at The Discoveries Of
11. Eat Pesto
If you’re daydreaming of seaside views and colorful houses perched high on clifftops, plan to visit Genoa, Camogli, Portofino or the Cinque Terre. The warm sea air rolls in from the Mediterranean and blankets the hills of Liguria, making ideal conditions for growing grapes and basil — lots and lots of basil! And fresh basil means fresh pesto sauce, the tempting green sauce you’ll find everywhere in the region.
Ligurian pesto varies in the ratio of ingredients from chef to chef, but is always made with basil, pignoli nuts, olive oil, either pecorino or parmigiano cheese, and salt and pepper. throughout Liguria, you’ll find one delicate pasta shape that blends well with local pesto — the twisty Trofie noodle is most often served, and often used as a topping on grilled crostini.
Friuli Venezia Giulia
12. Gorge on Liptauer Cheese
When you think of Italian cheeses, you might think of mozzarella, Gorgozola, parmesan or mascarpone. However, if you are visiting the Trieste region of Friuli Venezia Giulia area of Northeast Italy, you might notice large bowls of orange cream cheese in delicatessens. This is the famous local cheese called Liptauer.
The recipe for Liptauer is a closely guarded secret. Each shop, town and even family has their own way of making it.
Ingredients include ricotta blended with goats cheese, some Gorgonzola, anchovy paste, maybe some mustard, cornichons, cumin, bell peppers and the all-important paprika. The paprika gives Liptauer its orange hue.
Bringing together the influences of the surrounding countries of Austria and Slovenia, liptauer is a reminder that the area was once under Austro-Hungarian rule.
Gorizia, which shares a border with Slovenia, is the perfect place to try Liptauer. While the Italian family delicatessens use more Italianate ingredients like cornichons, the Austrian one are peppery, and crisp red bell peppers give an extra bite.
This spreadable cheese is creamy, peppery with a warmth from the paprika. Served on toast, as a dip or even served in small ice cream cones in Trattoria alla Luna, one of the best places to eat in Gorizia.
Sampled by Larch of The Silver Nomad
13. Eat Pizza in Napoli
If you’re a pizza lover — and especially if you are not — there is no better food experience to have in Italy than eating pizza in Napoli. After all, this is the birthplace of Pizza Margherita — just one reason you’ll love it if you’re not a particular fan of pizza — it just may change your mind forever about pizza.
Pizza in Naples Italy is bursting with flavor and rolled to just the right thickness. Though it’s lightly topped with a crushed tomato sauce and just a few dabs of bufala mozzarella, the dough always takes center stage. Baked in a 900° wood fired brick oven until the crust is toasty and the toppings bubbling, it’s a work of art.
Neapolitan-style pizza is slightly gooey in the middle, and you eat it with a knife and fork, or as a street food — folded in quarters and wrapped in paper to go. There’s nothing else like it in the world!
14. Taste Fior de Latte Cheese on the Amalfi Coast
Eating copious quantities of Tomato Caprese is one of the joys of traveling in Italy so you should definitely book a cheese production demonstration during your travels. In a three-generation family store near Bomerano, you can visit Naclerio in his home and cheese shop, and watch him make Fior de latte — the “flower of milk” — the other less-famous mozzarella cheese of the Amalfi Coast.
The family owns its herd of cows so its fresh cow's milk mozzarella cheese is locally sourced. In the front of the store is the retail shop. But in a separate demonstration room, visitors can see how milk is transformed into compact mozzarella balls or braided in long cheese skeins. Watch “il mastro formaggiaio” (the master cheesemaker) stir the cauldron with his blue plastic gloves, and his crisp white apron matching the bubbling milk.
After the milk is curdled, he removes the whey. The curd is immersed in the hot water. He kneads the curds then breaks off skeins to mold into mozzarella balls. They are sprinkled with salt from Sicily. He ends by braiding several skeins off cheese into "treccia." The demo ends with samples of cheese served with crackers.
Tasted by Terri at Female Solo Trek
15. Sip Limoncello on the Amalfi Coast
When life gives you lemons you can make lemonade, but why… when you can make limoncello. If you’ve been to the Amalfi Coast before, the bright yellow citrus fruit the size of grapefruit are lemons, and they grow everywhere under the sun along this beautiful stretch of coast in southern Italy.
Italians take their limoncello seriously too, and households regularly make their own as Americans make iced tea in the summertime. Limoncello is make from the skin of lemons, so the taste is bright and lemony, but will hit you hard if you drink too much. Sip a limoncello after a meal, what Italians call a digestivo. It’s the perfect ending to any Italian meal.
16. Go Truffle Hunting
One of Italy’s most exquisite (and expensive) foods is the truffle, and foodies to Italy can find all about truffles on a truffle hunting tour in Umbria, Tuscany, Piedmont, and Marche. It’s such a great experience!
You’ll learn about the time and expertise it takes to find these delicate morsels in the ground using trained truffle dogs (not pigs), and the differences between white and black truffles found in these regions of Italy.
And the best part is most truffle tours in Italy include a truffle dinner at the end of the tour at a local restaurant that specializes in cooking dishes that feature the earthy goodness of this prized local food.
17. Make Pasta in Rome
The only thing that may beat eating fresh pasta in Italy is getting to personally hand-make the entire dish with an Italian chef in the heart of Rome. Taking an Italian pasta making class in Rome is as iconic as you can get, and should be at the top of every bucket list for foodies. Throw in a glass or two of fresh Italian vino, and you will be truly living La Dolce Vita.
There are many popular pasta making classes in Rome, but the best ones all include a lesson from an Italian chef, include a couple different dishes of pasta and wine, and feature an amazing location like a rooftop patio, a family restaurant, or a visit to a local market. Most classes are open to the public, but are kept to small groups to keep the experience intimate.
In most Rome pasta making classes, groups can expect to meet plenty of like-minded travelers and foodies while hand rolling and shaping pasta. Amazing spiced aromas fill the air as pasta sauced is made from scratch and taught step by step. After the dishes are complete, the class dines together, toasting their new skills and new found friendships.
Made and devoured by Olivia of Girl With Blue Sails
18. Devour a Steak
Carnivores to Italy shouldn’t miss tasting one of Tuscany’s most famous foods, Bistecca Fiorentina, the classic Florentine style cut of beef. Devouring this two-inch thick T-bone or porterhouse steak is a bucket list item for foodies in Florence. The steak comes specifically from Chianina cattle, and the traditional preparation is uniquely Tuscan, seared on both sides on a grill over a bed of hot coals.
The steak is seasoned with just only salt and pepper, and brushed with olive oil using a sprig of fresh rosemary. It’s a steak lover’s dream — served rare, and enjoyed with a full bodied Tuscan red wine.
If you want a more social experience, try taking this tour for an entertaining Florentine steak experience complete with helpful info and a small group of new carnivore besties!
19. A Tuscan Food and Wine Tour at Agriturismo Marciano and La Lastra
If you are looking for a bucket list food and wine tour in Tuscany, it's hard to beat an experience that delves into the world of Italy's finest wines and foods, starting in one of Tuscany's most picturesque settings among the rolling hills of Siena. At Agriturismo Marciano, you can experience a wine tasting and tour of their organic vineyards producing wine under the name La Lastra.
Afterwards, you’ll sit down to a five-course meal, complete with wine pairings from the organic vineyard and eat family-style at the table getting to know other guests from all over the world.
Agriturismo Marciano is the perfect place to stay on your foodie tour of Tuscany because it has it all: a romantic farmhouse surrounded by organic vineyards and olive groves; a cooking class offering hands-on classes on how to make Italian dishes with local products; a tasting room where it's possible to sample the estate's wines and olive oils, and a restaurant with a menu full of fresh produce from the farm.
From Agriturismo Marciano, it's easy to explore other foodie destinations in Tuscany, including one of Italy's most beautiful cities, Siena. You can spend an entire day exploring the narrow streets of the city, with its colorful open-air market and numerous museums while sampling the fares of this heavenly country.
Enjoyed by Casandra from Karpiak Caravan
20. Take A Cooking Class in Florence
One of the best ways to experience the local Italian cuisine on your trip to Italy, is by taking a cooking class in Florence. The class runs for the entire day and involves going to the local market in the morning to pick up the ingredients, pass by a few family run cheese, bread, and meat shops, and then meeting the chef at his kitchen, to cook a three course traditional Italian meal.
The Italian cuisine is based on the simplicity of fresh, good quality ingredients. The dishes you are going to cook in this class are the classic bruschetta, tagliatelle al ragu, spinach and ricotta ravioli and panna cotta. The class is hands on, meaning that you will be involved in every single element of the preparation of the dishes, from chopping onions and garlic to making fresh pasta.
During the break, the chef will invite you to his little terrace above the kitchen, where he will treat you with his homemade Prosecco. He’ll also regal you with stories and a few secrets about Florence, from the drinking holes in the walls (literally!) to the strong ties within the neighborhood communities.
Back in the kitchen, you will get to enjoy the food you’ve just cooked, washed down by a couple of glasses of red wine.
Cooked with love by Joanna of The World in My Pocket
21. Learn to Cook Tuscan Specialties
Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci are at the heart of Tuscany's "Oil and Wine Road" (La Strada del Vino) along Italy's Etruscan Coast. This is one of the best regions to dive deeper into the top quality ingredients and food heritage of Italy. To do just that, check out the cooking classes and food tours by Chicca Maione of Cooking In Tuscany. Her collaborative home-cooked meal experiences are sure to delight your taste buds.
The owner of Casa Toscana, Chicca, is a charismatic host and fantastic home cook. She lives on the main floor of her Tuscan farmhouse, where she hosts cooking classes from her home kitchen. (She also rents out two apartments above and has started an online Cooking Club during the pandemic, if you'd like to expand your experience.)
Cooking with Chicca is an interactive cultural experience ending in a feast for the whole family. We had the opportunity to stay with Chicca and take part in a number of her cooking classes and tours. The delicious dishes we made ranged from hand-rolled pasta to chocolate almond cake. The recipes come from past generations in Chicca's family. When the ingredients don't come from her garden, she sources mostly from local producers. Delicious!
This is truly a food experience you'll never forget! Plus, just a short but vigorous hike up the hill from Chicca's house is a charming little village with cafes where you can truly experience Tuscany off the beaten path. This is a great spot to relax a bit, enjoy world class ingredients, and make lasting memories.
Home made by Michelle of Intentional Travelers
22. Watch the Pasta Ladies at Work
Foodies, if you’re heading to Puglia in the heel of the boot, grab your camera and phones and get ready for one of Italy’s most unique food experiences. Browse the narrow streets of Bari and you may have a chance to see — or even try your hand at —one of the region’s most amazing pasta making experience.
Ladies of the community often set up their pasta tables right outside their homes early in the day, and make the local pasta known as orecchiette, or pasta ears. Dough is kneaded then cut into appropriate sizes to make the little ears by hand. But don’t be shy — step up and ask for a lesson, and purchase a portion or two for later.
Want to learn how to roll like these ladies? This small group pasta making tour in Bari is perfect and you’ll devour what you make for lunch!
23. Taste Olive Oil
Puglia is known for the endless hectares of olive groves strewn throughout the region, which produce some of the best olive oil in Italy. So much goes into the production of Italian olive oil from harvest to the table, and you can immerse yourself in just this one food at several events, markets, and tours held in several cities. From cooking classes, and tours of olive oil factories, there is plenty of green to go around.
But when it comes to a feast for your palate, why not try an olive oil tasting? You’ll learn which olives make the best oil and taste the subtle notes of olive oil for a good understanding of how it flavors the many dishes in Italian cuisine.
24. Spice it Up with Calabrian Peppers annual Peperoncino Festival
If there’s one food that is ubiquitous in Calabria, it’s the fiery reddish brown Calabrian pepper! But don’t worry if you’re not a fan of too much heat — Calabrian peppers don’t have capsicum that’s off the charts hot, but they do have tons of flavor.
Calabrian peppers are a medium-hot chili (25,000 to 40,000 Scoville heat units) — more than jalapeños but slightly less than cayenne pepper. But here’s the thing: the flavor of Calabrian peppers is unique — smoky, fruity, and a touch salty. They’re a popular chili for many Italian dishes, but their usage goes well beyond pasta sauce, and they pair so well with the local seafood that is so much a part of Calabrian cuisine.
If you’re a chili fan, for nearly 30 years since 1992, the town of Diamante has celebrated the pepper in its annual Peperoncino Festival held each year in mid September. The 5 day event draws nearly 100,000 chili-loving visitors a year from around the globe.
25. Taste Sella & Mosca Wine
Known for its beautiful beaches that make it a perfect summer holiday destination, Sardinia actually has much more to offer beyond its striking natural beauty. Should you decide to visit, make sure to explore one of the best wineries in Sardinia and head to the lovely Alghero - a Catalan enclave on the northwestern coast of Sardinia - where you can book a wine tasting tour at Cantine Sella & Mosca, to date the largest and oldest registered vineyard in Sardinia.
A typical tasting experience actually starts with a tour of the vineyard. You will be taken around to discover the main buildings - the chapel that was built in the 1950s and the statue right next to it, contributed by prime Sardinian sculptor late Pinuccio Sciola; the cellar where the barrels are kept; the cellar where the most precious bottles are kept.
You will learn about its history and unique location - can you believe a proper necropolis was found on its grounds? - and more. The final stop is the actual wine tasting experience. You will have several options to book from, but perhaps you may want to opt for the signature wines, to try the vineyard's best sellers. In this case, the tasting will be accompanied by a lovely selection of local breads, cheeses and charcuterie.
And wine pours are actually quite generous, considering it is a tasting tour! Expect to pay between €30 and €45 for your wine tasting experience.
Tasted by Claudia of Strictly Sardinia
26. Attend the Salina Caper Festival
The ‘green island’ of Salina in Sicily’s Aeolian archipelago is lauded for its fruit trees and grapes, the latter used to make Malvasia wine. Another of the island’s most popular food products, capers, is so beloved, it even has its own festival day.
The Caper Festival takes place at Pollara every June in commemoration of the Mediterranean staple that’s grown in such large volumes on Salina, it’s one of the island’s biggest exports. Rich volcanic soils are perfect for cultivating caper shrubs, and you’ll find berries artfully sprinkled atop food in every restaurant (including at Da Alfredo where the Salina caper Pane Cunzato is the stuff of legend).
For the festival, chefs and local restaurateurs descend on the piazza in front of the village church to whip-up their best Sicilian recipes that showcase plump, juicy, sea-salty capers in all their glory.
Meanwhile the island’s winemakers set up booths and crack open their bottles. A ticket to the show affords you bottomless drinks and as many plates of antipasto and pasta Puttanesca as you can handle.
Though lesser-known, Salina’s Caper Festival is a fine example of Italy’s slow food culture and an absolute highlight of any foodie trip. Although it attracts visitors, it’s still very much a local affair and doubles as a celebration of the island’s unique culture and agricultural heritage.
Tasted by Emily of Wander-Lush
27. Eat Street Food in Palermo
There are a lot of reasons to visit Palermo, and the street food scene definitely ranks near the top!
What is wonderful about the city is that the street food is omnipresent and forms such an integral part of the locals life. From the cornetto with the very short (and very potent) espresso in the morning, to the canollo for midmorning snack and the pane con milza (spleen sandwich) after a night out on the town.
Fancy a brunch, Palermitan style? You got it, simply walk into your local rosticceria and pick up a variety of items considered among the best Palermitan street food.
When you go to order your delicious slice of heaven, there is one golden rule you must remember. When in Palermo you order an Arancina (with an a) and you will receive a round ball of rice filled with ragú.
The city of Catania (in the southeastern part of the Island) has Arancino (with an o) served in a shape of a cone. A centuries-old feud exists between the cities about the right shape and spelling of this street food, and you don’t want to get mixed up in this. Just eat and enjoy!
Devoured by Caroline of Veggie Wayfarer
Have we inspired you to add a few new things to your Italy Bucket List? What did we miss? Check back soon for more ideas on authentic experiences for foodies to Italy!