In this episode, co-host Katy and I discuss Italy authentic experiences. Travelers can connect with the culture by spending time with locals who show us their world and what they do. I picked nine of my favorite authentic experiences to highlight, and we discuss them in order of most easily accessible to most beyond the obvious for the average Italy trip.
Dinner with locals. I recommend Home Food (my experience here) or Bon Appetour.
Shopping at artisanal stores. Take a tour of Florence’s Oltrarno neighborhood, or visit a few on this list.
Stay in a Farmhouse, called an Agriturismo. There are many different types of farmhouses travelers can visit or stay in. Examples include an olive oil farm, a wine farm, a cheese farm, a farm that raises animals or just vegetables. There are thousands of agriturismi in Italy – start your search here. Or, if you’d like to work in exchange for room and board, join the WWOOF organization and see what opportunities are available.
Wine Tours. Visit small family-owned wineries to connect with the wine maker and understand the process. Italy has lots of “wine routes” with small producers including the Strada del Barolo in Piedmont, the Strada del Vino Valpolicella (where Amarone is produced) near Verona, Strada del Vino e dell’Olio Chianti Classico (oil route as well!), Consortium of Brunello producers in Tuscany.
Visit a Cheese farm. Do a Parmesan factory tour, in Parma. Visit Podere il Casale in southern Tuscany, just a few minutes outside the town of Pienza. See how Mozzarella di Bufala is made in southern Italy.
Pizza making in Naples. The birthplace of pizza! There are lots of great pizza making classes in Naples and the Amalfi Coast.
Truffle hunting with a truffle hunter. This can be done in Tuscany, Umbria or Piedmont during truffle season which is about October through March.
Go Fishing with a Local Fisherman, on Lake Trasimeno in Umbria or in one of the fishing villages of Liguria
Take a Cooking class with an Italian mamma. I loved this cooking class in the Dolomites.
Those are my 9 recommendations for Italy authentic experiences!
If you haven’t already, go listen to our podcast about Luxury Travel in Italy or about Luxury Hotels.
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