When in Italy, the question isn’t “what to eat?” but ‘where to eat?”
Visiting Italy and not enjoying local pizza or pasta is like going to the beach and not putting your feet in the sand; it can’t be done! While typical Italian dishes are savored around the world, there really is nothing that compares to eating Italian in Italy. Ever since I have been travelling to Italy I have come to discover quite a few amazing restaurants; not only for the divine food, but also for the whole experience of atmosphere, friendliness, and the surrounding beauty.
I love sharing some my favorite restaurants with my guests on Delectable Destinations culinary tours. You’ll often see members of the family take care of everything from food prep to serving at many of these trattorias. Typically red and white checked cloths top the tables just like you imagine they would and the aromatic flavors of garlic, herbs and fresh tomatoes scent the air. Nothing captures the essence of a culture like the tastes, smells, food and wine of the local cuisine. You’re immediately swept into the taste of life in Italy.
One of my favorite pleasures on my culinary tours is introducing my guests to these hidden treasures that too many tourists miss or even purposely avoid during their travels. The masterful combination of the freshest ingredients and age old traditions is nothing short of genius. When in Scala on the Amalfi Coast, when the tour dates and times allow, we’ll always head over to Trattoria da Lorenzo. Trattoria da Lorenzo is one of the best fish and seafood restaurants on the Amalfi Coast but also the most delicious homemade gnocchi… it’ll knock your socks off. It’s the best gnocchi I have ever tasted! I have known the family for 12 years and even if they are closed, they will open for me and my guests. You’ll love this very special trattoria and the wonderful, warm family. Did I mention..? the food is incredible!
Another absolute favorite of mine is in Florence. Located on a small street across the Arno River, away from the usual tourist spots, you’ll discover Zeb. This little treasure is run by a mom and son team. They make everything from scratch every single day and also offer food and wine to take with you. Freshest food ever! Many people on my tours often wonder where I could possibly be taking them and why I have chosen this route quite literally hidden away off a beaten path that we walk. But once we arrive and enjoy the deliciousness being served… it is bliss. You won’t go wrong with any item on the menu but my personal dilemma at Zeb is choosing between their spaghetti with fresh truffles or the homemade ravioli with fresh ricotta and sliced pears. Hmmm… I can taste it now…
Carol Ketelson is the owner and operator of Delectable Destinations LLC. Dedicated to planning, co-ordinating and curating customized group tours to hand-picked destinations. As an experienced travel planner, Carol’s customized itineraries, specialized tours and off-the-beaten-path experiences create memorable journeys for her small groups of singles, couples, divorced, widowed and solo travelers seeking exceptional trips into the culture and cuisine of destinations around the world. Spring and Fall bookings invite travelers to taste delectable local cuisine, culturally rich traditions and mesmerizing sights. For over 10 years, Carol’s tours have captured the true essence of Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Spain, Ireland and India.