People fall in love with Italy and return over and over again.Why?
Italy after Covid. EVERYONE IS HERE.
I really believe that people went through an Italy withdrawl. I have always believed that coming to Italy is such a restorative trip. Inspiring to people on so many levels. The art, architecture, history and lifestyle. It’s understandable why everyone has swarmed back. But WOW… after years of nothing, this is overwhelming.
I just got back from a tour with a chef I have been working with since 2008. Every other year, we have toured a different region of Italy, discovering it’s best foods and artisans.
We were supposed to have gone to Sardegna in 2020.Our groups are usually limited to 12 or 15 but this trip everyone wanted to return to Italy, so our group was larger than normal.
Luckily we don’t do “normal” touristy things, but I search for off the beaten track experiences. Mostly meeting my friends.There is a lot of eating and drinking involved!
This year, we started in Rome and then came to Florence.Rome was all about the pasta! Amatriciana, Cacio e Pepe and the real Alfredo sauce.
I plan all our group meals as lunches and we eat like Italians! You really don’t need to have a dinner in the evening.
I love food based tours,I plan that people can come early and stay on to tour museums on their own, which is so much easier than in large groups.
We concentrate on the beauty of Italian cuisine, artisan products and shops and the “Dolce Vita”. Long lunches, touring the countryside, visiting markets and doing tastings and shopping to bring the flavor of Italy home with you.
Cooking demos. Chefs sharing their recipe secrets!
This was at a Roman market, tasting the Culatello, a fabulous prosciutto.
Outside of Lucca, we ate at a family restaurant and mom made us her famous Tordelli, a meat filled ravioli in a ragu sauce.
Our lunch in Testaccio area of Rome with Rigatoni and Cacio e Pepe served family style.
The shape of the pasta is also important! Rigatoni for the Amatriciana sauce and Tonnarelli for the Cacio e Pepe.
Our Pizza class was one of the highlights of the trip. Chef Giuseppe was tough and patient at the same time!
If you want to taste Fettuccine Alfredo, you go to Alfredo’s.
It’s NOT an Italian dish, but rather a dish created and made famous at one restaurant, the copied, often in correctly around the world. There is another restaurant in Rome at the original location which also makes it. No cream is used.
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Since I closed my cooking school, I do more tour planning and weeklong programs as well as my one day excursions for private tours. If you are interested in booking a tour, a day or a week, drop me a line.
I am taking bookings for next year.
Fall is finally on it’s way and we bought our first new oil while we were in Chianti.I saw that my friends from Pruneti had started their press! I can never wait to get the first pressings and buy several.
It’s such a seasonal treat! It’s packed with intense fragrance and flavor, so much you choke a little while tasting.
Like Chanel 5 perfume, a little goes a long way.
Drizzle lightly on your toasted bread for a Tuscan garlic bread, called Fettunta.
Olive oil is used a lot in cooking here as well, replacing butter.
Cookies and cakes as well.
I have already been buying pumpkins and squash in the market. Finally it is cool enough to really enjoy some of my favorite recipes on my site. Risotto is one of my personal favorites.
Let me know if you try it. It’s a perfect dish for an Italian menu for your Thanksgiving.
Saffron is also a local product which comes up in fall. I had my own little production going, then someone ate the bulbs!
I have one more tour this season, a 10 day Sicily coast to coast with my friend Susana Trilling from Oaxaca and her group.
Then I will start planning my 2023 tours and online classes as well.
your enthusiasm is life-affirming, your knowledge of where to go, who to meet (your friends), and what to eat when you get there: exactly what any food loving visitor to italy (and even those who live in other regions) need, want, love. Brava, dear leader!
Everyone really is here!