If you love food, your trips to explore Italian and European cities may just be planned around food: one of the best ways to do this is Food Tours, the subject of our post today.
Food tours are journeys that revolve around discovering food, that is, tours featuring restaurants, shops, producers, local dishes, local ingredients and cooking classes, organized by gourmet enthusiasts who have decided to share the culinary souls of the cities where they live with others.
There are various reasons to take a food tour:
- To discover the best places to eat authentic local cuisine
- To get to know neighborhoods and sights, perhaps off the beaten track, that you probably would not otherwise see
- To meet other people who love food as much as you do, people who won’t make you feel self-conscious if you spend 10 minutes framing the perfect shot of your plate before starting to eat
Very often, food tours are led by people who were not been born in that particular city but chose to live there as adults. The point of view is therefore of someone who did not grow up surrounded by local flavors, but who knows how to distinguish and appreciate them even more than locals: strange as it might sound, just think of the way many foreigners have developed such a discriminating appreciation of Italian food.
Thanks to food tours, even locals can learn about and sample the most beautiful and delicious dishes to be found in the neighborhoods of their own hometowns .
If you’re interested, then, here are some suggestions for food tours you can take in Italy and Europe.
Whether on the road to discover the blueberries native to the Modenese Apennines or at dinner in a vineyard in the hills of Bologna, Itexist offers wine and food packages that showcase the tastiest roots of selected areas of Emilia: all you have to do is visit their site and make your choice, they take care of everything else.
The Emilia Story Tellers organize Artisanal Food Tours, participatory itineraries focused on food and cooking designed to reveal the best examples of Emilia-Romagna culinary excellence: from Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar and homemade pasta to educational farms. Bonus: if you are travelling with a dog, they offer dog-sitting services so you can enjoy your dinner or cooking classes while your dog enjoys the city.
In Milan, the project Sauce Milan was launched during the Expo. This food and wine information website is run by three food writers, only one of whom is Italian: they pave the way for you to explore the Milanese capital through three itineraries touching on different parts of the city. The tours can also be customized according to your eating and drinking preferences.
People go to Rome for the Colosseum and to enjoy a meal under the skies of the eternal city: here, Gina Tringali and Eleonora Baldwin founded a Roma Casa Mia Italy Food & Wine, a service that takes tourists into the hearth of the Testaccio, the farmer’s market at Circo Massimo, or on tours dedicated to trends such as Street Food.
In addition to organizing tours in Rome, Casa Mia also takes you to Naples, Florence and Sicily.
Rome also hosts food tours by Katie Parla, a food and wine journalist born in New Jersey who has written several books on Roman cuisine and wine culture: you can choose between cucina povera – simple home cooking, Jewish food, a visit to Trastevere or a cooking class.
A maximum of 6 people and an obsession with authenticity: these are the keystones of the Florence tours organized by Coral Sisk, a food writer from Seattle who moved to Florence where she founded Curious Appetite: Coral has created a FAQ about her tours that will answer all your questions.
The last recommendation in Italy is Turin, where Guide Bogianen have come up with various itineraries to help you discover one of the most fascinating cities in Italy, the home of gianduiotto, vermouth and Europe’s largest open-air market.
And Europe? Here are three quick ideas for three capitals we are especially fond of:
- Lisbon, a city of a water and hills, bursting with tradition and charm: you’ll get the chance to discover the city’s gourmet nooks and crannies with Taste of Lisboa .
- Even a month would not be enough to uncover all of London’s newest food and wine offerings, but you can start with a tour by Context Travel, which carefully select their “teachers” and guides from among real food experts: here is one example of a tour you might book .
- Berlin is vast and multi-layered, with ethnic food alongside Michelin-starred restaurants, organic and hip options you can enjoy even by bike: we suggest two tours food designed with care, by BiteBerlin and Berlinfoodstories.
Now all that’s left is to wish you happy travels!