Italian food is the most popular cuisine globally, with people preferring pizza and pasta in over 20 countries. Plus, the country has some of the world's most beloved wines. It's no wonder Italy has made an entire market out of culinary exploration! Food is an important aspect of any vacation, and experiencing gastronomic traditions helps you dive even deeper into a country's culture and essence. In Italy, you can go beyond tasting your favorite dishes and pull up your sleeves to learn the secrets behind the recipes!
Tour some of the country's best culinary cities and regions, including Bologna in "Food Valley" and Naples, or go wine tasting in Chianti. Join locals for a traditional pre-dinner Apertivo in Rome and learn how to make Italian classics like lemon-infused delicacies, pesto pasta, and gelato. Learn about all the regions in Italy and where to find the best wine and gastronomy.
One of the best ways to explore Italian culture is through its food. Every city has its culinary appeal, but one of the best is Bologna, a foodie city set in "Food Valley" and featuring the region's famed cheese, meats, pasta, and balsamic vinegar.
Classic Bologna Food Tour
Bologna is known as one of Italy's best culinary cities. As you meander the historical city, you'll try some of the country's best coffee, explore a vibrant food market, meet food masters at work, and indulge in the classic Italian tastes and flavors. Start with an espresso from the best barista in the city, then continue to Quadrilatero and Mercato delle Erbe to peruse the markets and chat with masters of pasta. Then sit for a specialized tasting lunch at the oldest osteria in Italy. Try the region's most popular foods and pair them with local wine and, of course, gelato (Bologna is known for its exceptional pistachio gelato). Read More
It's one thing to taste Italian food, and it's another to learn the secrets behind the recipes! Italians love to share their food knowledge, and you can learn how to make your own dishes in different workshops.
Afternoon Gelato Making Class
Florence has a reputation for its exceptional gelato, so there's no better place in Italy to get a hands-on experience than at the family-run gelateria and gelato-making school, Perché No Gelato Academy. Roll up your sleeves and learn the ins and outs of producing that perfect scoop of creamy goodness with the help of a professional. Discover the differences between gelato and traditional ice cream, and practice the special techniques (and local secrets) unique to gelato-making. Choose your flavors and craft your own special scoop (or two or three!). Read More
Make Pasta Al Pesto in Portofino
Tour a hop plantation near the beautiful Portofino Natural Park, learn how to make pasta al pesto, and eat your lunch in the picturesque village of Portofino. Besides pesto sauce, you'll also discover the secrets behind traditional Corzetti (a hand-made pasta) and regional dessert. When finished with your cooking class, you’ll sit down with your teacher and savor your lunch along with some other specialties. Enjoy bites of local cheese, salami, and traditional vegetable pies, plus beer made from local hops (or a glass of refreshing white wine). Read More
Sorrento Lemon Tour & Cooking Class
Lemons find their way into many typical dishes of Campania cuisine, and that's because the region grows a very special type: Sfusato Amalfitano. This large lemon produces everything from limoncello to lemon jams, sauces, and honey. You'll try them all with a tasting and tour at a local lemon grove. Then visit the Museum of Rural Culture, Arts, and Crafts to learn more about the production process. Your newfound knowledge will help you tackle your lemon-themed cooking class, where you'll learn how to prepare an assortment of dishes featuring local vegetables and traditional pasta. Read More
Naples Farmers Food Market & Pizza-Making
Discover the secrets behind Naples’ original and world-famous pizza with a trip to the local market and a pizza-making workshop. Start with a traditional breakfast (an espresso and a pastry) at the always-bustling Pignasecca Market, one of Naples’s oldest street markets. Follow a guide through the stalls, finding all the best foods and local delicacies. In the historic city center, you'll visit one of the city's oldest pizzerias and learn how to make pizza from an official chef, called pizzaiolo or pizzaiuol, as they say in the Neapolitan language. To end your tour, make one final stop at Piazza San Gaetano for a limoncello tasting. Read More
Wine Tasting & Culture
Explore Italy's famous wine region of Chianti, a beloved region dotted with iconic hilltop castles. Join the locals as you enjoy this signature drink, and partake in other cultural traditions like the pre-dinner Apertivo ritual.
Chianti Castles Wine Tour
The Chianti wine region within Tuscany (set between Florence and Siena) is world-famous for its iconic landscape of verdant valleys, hilltop medieval towns, stunning castles, and endless rows of grapevines. Your first stop is under the walls of Castello di Brolio, where the renowned Chianti wine originated. The castle has its own winery to enjoy a tour and introductory tasting of the Black Rooster Chianti Classico wine. Other highlights include exploring some small villages, like Meleto, touring other vineyards, and savoring a traditional Tuscan lunch. Read More
Trastevere Sunset Aperitivo
Once a bohemian and arts-centric hub, Rome's Trastevere neighborhood still maintains its charm and laid-back vibes. The district is the perfect place to partake in the local Aperitivo ritual, consisting of pre-dinner drinks and snacks. With a local guide leading the way, you'll stop at four beloved eateries and taste over 16 delicious appetizers, main dishes, and sweets. Savor truffles, cheese, hams, DOCG wine, pizza, homemade pasta, gelato, 30-year-aged balsamic vinegar, and more! As you walk, enjoy the cobbled streets and quintessential Italian architecture, and observe how locals share a lively Aperitivo. Read More
How to Craft the Perfect Culinary-Inspired Italy Itinerary
Food in Italy fits into all vacation itineraries, regardless of where you want to travel! If you really want to explore the culture behind the country's gastronomy, it's best to spend at least one week in Italy. At the very least, pair the wine-rich region of Tuscany with cities like Rome or Naples. But if you want to expand your experience, add in Florence and "Food Valley," plus Cinque Terre, Sorrento, and/or the Amalfi Coast.
Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following culinary-focused trips in Italy: