The Ultimate Italian Food and Dolce Vita Tour
Calabria – where organic is not a label. It’s a way of life.
Pizza, spaghetti, cappuccino, bruschetta. This is where many people’s knowledge of the Italian kitchen stops. And that’s fine. But Italian food, the way it’s produced, made and served in Italy is, quite literally, miles away from what sneaks under “Italian food” all over the world.
That’s why we at Take me to Italy decided to not only show you the amazing places of Italy, but show you secret "foody" spots : eating fresh local dishes in family owned and operated trattorias, far away from tourist eateries, strolling through vineyards, olive groves and, we kid you not, making a loaf of bread under the supervision of chatty Italian nonnas! The abundance of finest Italian local wines on this tour goes without saying! So let’s start our virtual dolce vita Italian food tour while we prepare for the real deal for you, upon request!
But first things first! Let’s learn a very important Italian word: SAPORI. It means “flavours” and you will hear and see this word all over Italy. Because, if life has no flavour, how can it be “la dolce vita” (it. sweet life)?!
The Sapori of Italian cuisine are so mesmerising and intense that your senses will go wild!
In Calabria, a region in Southern Italy, tastes and smells are brought to a whole new level. What do we mean by that? Sure, you’ve tasted dry tomatoes, but forget tasting them from a glass jar or a can! On our Calabria tour, the locals just hand-pick them from the sunny place where they naturally dry then drizzle over some freshly pressed olive oil mixed with basil or some other savoury spice. Oh, and don’t ask if it’s organic. The locals don’t really know what it means. They’ve never eaten anything that’s not organic.
One special delicacy that Italy is famous for are cheeses! Italians enjoy them with wine, grate them over meat and pasta dishes, and generally give them great importance in the traditional Italian kitchen.
SAY CHEESE! OR EVEN BETTER – TASTE IT!
A small Calabrian town by the name of Satriano may have a population of just 3,000 people, but they know their cheeses! Casefecio Marci has been making the finest cheeses of Calabria since 1957. Fiordilatte, Ricotta, Provola Scamorza affumicata, Caciocavallo and Caciotta – let’s get to know the Italian cheeses!
And what about the other important ingredient of the “dolce vita” food experience? Of course, we are talking about Italian wines!
FUN THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE!
The town of Strongoli is the home of Ceraudo winery where you can taste the most famous wine of the Calabrian region called Ciro and also take a very special tour of the vineyard: a tractor tour! Nothing will take the stress away better than gazing at green vineyard while sipping Ciro at the front seat of a small tractor – that’s a promise! the perfect compliment to Calabrian wines are dried figs, olives and cheese.
WHO’S PUTTING THE BREAD ON THE TABLE?
In Australia, we are not so big on bread. Bread making might seem like a long and highly skilled endeavour, but in Italy it’s a matter of principle and tradition. In Calabria, a small place called Asfalantea guards a secret to a perfect bread. And they’re happy to share the knowledge! Get ready to make your own bread and eat it too! Cheerful Italian grandmas or nonnas as they’re called, will show you everything and let you knead the dough! So pull up your sleeves, you’re in for some tasty adventure and fun that will stay in your memory for a lifetime!
I’LL HAVE FISH. WITH A VIEW.
Calabria region is also famous for some great fish dishes! The sea is pristine blue and rich in many delicious fish that local fishermen catch in the traditional way with small boats and harpoons. Scilla, sometimes called “the Venice of Calabria” and one of the most beautiful places in whole Italy, is one of those fishing villages where the fish on your plate in any restaurant has probably been caught just a couple of hours ago! One of the most popular Calabrian fish dishes is pesce spada or swordfish! Even folks who are not fans of fish will probably like swordfish because of its mild taste and boneless structure (it really looks like a pale steak). It’s seasoned and cooked in many different ways, sometimes grilled with just olive oil and some garlic cloves, or with lemon and capers, made into stuffed rolls or added to a pasta dish. To really make the most of your pesce spada dinner in Scilla, try the restaurant overlooking the sea shore and casting a breathtaking view on the neighbouring Aeolian islands! Now that’s some dolce vita stuff, right there!
If you’re a food lover and culinary enthusiast, tasting the real traditional Italian dishes, wines and delicacies while soaking up centuries old history tales and admiring Italian culture and art is the definition of a perfect Euro trip! “Perfetto!” as Italians would put it!