how do I find a no commercialised food tour of italy? I'm wanting something that feels personal and not themed
Heidi, I m not sure which part of Italy are you planning on visiting, but my best advise to you is to organize a tour yourself.
The best way to do is to pick a region and check its famous chefs based on your interests and things you are most curious about. You pick several places, write them an email and book a hotel nearby - some of the schools/restaurants usually have a hotel next to them. You will be surprised how easy and less cheap it is, plus it will give way more value to you in comparison to those touristy general tours.
My favorite is Tuscany. And here are some of my favorite chefs with their schools.
- Silvia Baracchi - born in Tuscany and madly in love with local cuisine. She knows loads on how to cook wild meat and make cheese, Tuscan bread with lamb. She is a Michelin star chef and famous for making complicated things very easy and with modern touch. Try to book her at the family restaurant Il Falconiere (http://www.ilfalconiere.it/categorie/cucina-toscana).
- You can also spend a whole day at Locando Del Molino (http://www.locandadelmolino.com/categorie/piatti-tipici-della-toscana) - beautiful place (used to be old mill), where you can find out a lot about cooking anything with meat, pasta, too. And there is wine, amazing wine). Cortona
- Dario is a guru of top class meat, his steaks are favorite amongst many celebrities. If you are traveling with a BF/hubby - I highly recommend) Even visiting his restaurant (located in Panzano in Chianti is incredible foodie experience. He is a charming personality) Book in advance (http://www.dariocecchini.com/).
- If you are up for something cucina alta and excellent wines - try to get an almost ungettable spot at Enoteca Pinchiorri (http://www.enotecapinchiorri.it/); 3 Michelin stars say it all. Located in Florence.
- If you are a truffle lover, head straight away to Piemonte. Mind the time of the year.
Hope this helps.
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This is a tough and ambitious task. I have simply lots of friends in Italy and that is how I get close to the real Italian traditional food and celebrations. What I can do is to give you a contact to some people from the regional touristic board in Ferrara and you could ask them to help you. Does this suits you?
I totally share the same sentiments with you and felt a bit annoyed how all food tours in Italy are way too commercialized this days. My best memory was actually when my bed&breakfast host, together with his mom, prepared a home-cooked Italian dinner for me. I was so heartened by it, and the hospitality of the family is something unmatched by commercial tour operators I guess..It was such a personal and memorable dining experience for me and my friend.
We then got inspired to create a site called BonAppetour, where the idea is to connect travelers, like yourself, to local families, for a homedining experience. We now have more than 150 families in Italy, offering home-cooked Italian gourmet feast, with a personal touch.
I've actually recently came back from a 3 month trip to Italy, visiting and selecting each and every single of the hosts you find on the platform. I truly believe in creating meaningful food experience, and hope you could enjoy them during your visit to Italy! Do check it out, and do buzz me if there's anything else I can help you with. :)
So many different possibilities about experiencing good food you can have in Italy!
We have wines, oil, truffles, salami, hand made pasta (maybe you like to learn some cooking recipies too?..) every town has its tipical tastes to offer, according to the special products of the area: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish..
And in any season you can also find small town fairs where tipical food is always offered.. specially in Le Marche Region, where I actually live
Moreover of course you can choose among haute cuisine, such as Symposium http://www.symposium4stagioni.it on the hills nearby Pesaro or self-service with special "fish brodetto" Pesceazzurro www.pesceazzurro.com Fano or the "piadina sfogliata" at Pizzeria Il Ragno D'Oro in Urbino, but pizza obviously in Naples, marvelous sweets in Sicily and so on...
I confess, a "grand tour" of Italy through its food would really be my dream, too! :-)
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Check out the tours at Context Rome or contact Elizabeth Minchilli online.