The absolute worst part of any trip is the waiting! You book your flights, accommodation, tours, then have to wait months for it to arrive.
So, if you’ve planned out your perfect Italian itinerary but are itching for your trip to arrive, we’ve got your back. Here is our guide to bringing Italy to you, perfect for while you wait for your departure date AND for extending your trip even longer when you get home!
Let’s face it, everyone has dreamed about eating their way through Italy. There is something so magical about Italian food, its homey and delicious, simple and accessible. Even to foreigners, Italian food feels incredibly familiar. Don’t be afraid to try and bring the food to your home, there are plenty of authentic Italian dishes you can cook yourself.
We’ll begin by keeping it simple. Head down to your local delicatessen and get yourself some good quality Italian cheeses, meats and vegetables in oil. You’re going to make antipasto. All you have to do is unpack your food and lay them together nicely across a wooden board. That’s it!
We suggest grabbing mozzarella balls, prosciutto, artichoke, sundried tomatoes, olives, and some ciabatta for a traditional experience. Pick at the antipasto platter and pile cheese and meat onto some bread for the perfect bite. Don’t be afraid to dip some ciabatta into the tomato or artichoke oil either for a flavour explosion in your mouth. This is a great way to bring Italy not only into your home but also into your friends as well!
Okay, so you have some cooking abilities, and you’d like to show off a bit. No worries, let’s do this!
Pizza can be made relatively easy, from scratch too. The dough used to make the base can be made in an afternoon and you can even make your own pizza sauce. If you’re making home pizzas though try to remember the Italian way, and don’t overload with toppings. Keep it simple and elegant.
Try and make a Neapolitan inspired pizza. Put a thin layer of your tomato sauce across the base, place slices of fresh mozzarella across the top, sprinkle a few fresh basil leaves and cook in a very hot oven. Once it’s out, drizzle with olive oil and get ready to dig in!
Many people are scared of making their own pasta, but you might be surprised to learn its quite a simple recipe! Using high-quality ingredients and with a bit of patience you’ll have the pasta of your dreams.
The hardest part about making pasta is having the confidence to actually make it. All you need is flour and eggs to make yourself some nice noodles. Once they’re made, boil them for two minutes in salted water and top them off with some fresh pesto, make a delicious carbonara, or toss through a slow-cooked ragu.
If cutting the pasta feels a bit too daunting, skip that step and make lasagne instead!
Finish off your delicious meal with a creamy gelato. This unique ice-cream has been enjoyed by Italians since the 1600s and is loved by the young and the old. Today, there are over 5000 gelateria across Italy, so you’ll be sure to find one whenever you have a sweet craving.
While you’re still at home though you can still get your gelato fix! Gelato has gained popularity around the world and there are many high-quality gelateria across the globe. Search for traditional flavours such as hazelnut, pistachio and chocolate. Grab a take-home tub and easy as that dessert is ready! All you need to do now is grab it out of the freezer and dig in.
Alright, you’ve bought Italy to your dinner table, but what are you pairing it with? You need the perfect drink.
Italy has some of the world’s most famous wine regions. Grab yourself a bottle of Italian red and drink the afternoon away.
Italy is one of the biggest wine producers in the world. Chianti is one particularly famous Tuscan wine. This rustic, cherry-scented wine is renowned for its excellent taste and ability to pair with a wide range of food. Try it with rich pizza and pasta for a truly Tuscan experience.
If you prefer something lighter, why not try some prosecco? This ‘poor man’s champagne” has finessed over the years and is now a popular choice in and of itself. This sparkling white is best served chilled in a tall glass. Give it a go with your antipasto plate, we think it’d be divine!
After something to pair with that hazelnut gelato you got? Try a Vin Santo. This sweet dessert wine is perfect for cutting through the creamy gelato and finishing your meal on a bright note.
A popular thing to drink after a meal in Italy is a digestif. These alcoholic drinks are meant to settle your stomach and help you digest your large meal. Though not everyone believes they are useful in that way, we’ll happily get behind any excuse to have one last drink before bed.
Digestifs are usually small and bitter, one of the most popular choices is amaro. Pour it into a glass with ice and slowly sip it straight for a lovely end to your evening of Italian food and drink.
The real deal
Okay, no matter how amazing your cooking and bartending skills are, the sad reality is that nothing tastes as good at home as it does in Italy.
Book your food tour with us today and start counting down the days until your sipping red and slurping spaghetti in this beautiful country!
Related article: Italy’s Best Regional Food