You probably won’t be surprised to hear that many of our favorite memories from our tours to Italy revolve around — you guessed it — FOOD.

This is, after all, the birthplace of some of the most delicious eats the world has known. Everyone has a fave among the classics, of course, the dishes we tend to think of when we think of “Italian food” — we’re talking spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, and of course, pizza.

And we indulge — oh, do we indulge! — in all of that comfort food. But we also give our guests the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zones too and expand their foodie horizons.

Here are some of the yummiest moments from our tours:

Lunch at a buffalo farm

fresh buffalo cheese and Italian Fix dinner crew

The locals come to the buffalo farm we visit in Salerno on our Southern Italy tour from as far away as Naples to line up with their coolers for the fresh bufala milk products they sell here. They make everything in the morning, and it’s all gone by mid-afternoon, that’s how high demand is on the daily!

Good thing too, since everything here is unpasteurized, so it’s in its most naturally delicious state. Our lead guide, Tommaso, literally dreams about their bufala ricotta and can rhapsodize about it for a solid 30 minutes. It’s so melt-in-your-mouth fresh that by evening it will have turned, and trust us, you’ve never tasted anything like it.

For lunch they make us lasagna made with sheets of bufala cheese instead of pasta. Yes, you read that right — an all-cheese lasagna. In other words, the kind they serve in heaven.

Eating fresh oysters in Bari

our tour guide and guest eating fresh oysters alongside a photo of fresh sea urchins

This was a major highlight for our tour guide, Gina. Everyone headed down to the port of Bari one afternoon, and she described the scene as “something you hardly ever see in Italy anymore — straight up old school.” Fishermen were laying out the octopus they had just caught right off their boats to sell, and had crates of fresh oysters and sea urchins that you could walk right up to buy and slurp up individually. Local kids were running up to them with paper plates in hand. This was truly next-level street food — sea-level street food, Italian style!

Making orecchiette in Lecce

our Southern Italy guests enjoying their cooking class in Lecce

our Southern Italy tour in a cooking class in Lecce

One of the loveliest days we spend on our Southern Italy tour is with the fabulous Gianna, in Lecce. She takes our group to the local market to shop for ingredients, and we spend the afternoon learning how to make fresh homemade orecchiette pasta, traditional pittule, chicken rolls, and peaches in wine for dessert.

The whole atmosphere transports you to another time, a group of women gathered together to hand-make pasta, learning from the “main mamma,” laughing, gabbing, enjoying the moment and one another. There’s no multitasking here, there are no modern interruptions — it’s just you and the dough and a bunch of new friends.

The food is simple, light, perfect for the hot southern weather. The fresh pasta gets laid into a pan already prepared with a cherry-tomato sauce. It’s cooked very slightly, with a little bit of chilli and some basil. It’s a really beautiful experience, and you can taste the Italian summer in every mouthful.

Lining up for panini in Sicily

We eat out at some fancy restaurants on our tours, with all out multi-course menus planned specially for Italian Fix. But that doesn’t mean we’ll turn down a 5-euro panino at the market. There’s a stall we go to at a crowded market in Sicily where waiting in line with the locals is part of the experience. The panini they sell here are not only beyond delish, but watching the guy make them is a show unto itself.

Making pesto on the Italian Riviera

our cinque terre guests enjoying our pesto making class and lunch

Picture yourself in a villa on the Italian Riviera, making pesto from fresh basil in a 300-year-old mortar. The guests on our Cinque Terre tour get to do exactly this, and then feast on their homemade pasta and fresh panna cotta in a lush, flower-filled garden with the rolling Ligurian hills as a backdrop. It’s one of the loveliest lunches we enjoy together.

Aeolian Island boat spaghetti

swimming in the sea in Sicily

We’ve tried to put our finger on what makes the spaghetti we eat on our boat tour of the Aeolian Islands during our Sicily tour so special. Is it the fresh tomatoes the captain uses for the sauce? The sea salt lingering on our lips after floating in the crystal clear water all morning? The active volcano sparking in the background? Whatever it is, there is nothing like wrapping up in a warm, sunbaked towel, hair dripping down your back, and sitting down to a meal amongst friends on a gently bobbing boat off the coast of Sicily.

Apericena in the Cinque Terre

an aperitivo platter in Manarola at Nessun Dorma

One of our favorite rituals in Italy is the aperitivo, the pre-dinner drink that exists just to bring together friends at the end of the day, to chat, to smile, and to work up an appetite for dinner. Well, the Italians have invented a way to improve upon it, and we’re big fans. All our tour clients experience this way of eating. The apericena is a cross between the aperitivo and cena, or dinner itself. Traditionally the aperitivo is served with nibbles — chips, peanuts, and tiny appetizers you get for free with your drink. In recent years though, bars throughout the country have upgraded their snacks to the point that you end up feasting on a veritable buffet of goodies and don’t need to eat dinner afterwards at all. Oh yeah, we’re all about this kind of progress!

Street pasta ladies in Bari

women making pasta in the streets of Bari

Near the port, there is a street where the local women set up shop outside and make fresh pasta that they sell. They gab and laugh with one another and with our guests as well, all while deftly flicking off perfectly shaped shells and twists that are then dried on racks and screens.

Looking for some delicious ideas to spice up your next trip to Italy? Here are a few places we love, that we take clients to on our tours to Italy for women.

The Champagne & Oyster Bar at Le Sireneuse in Positano for fresh raw seafood and feeling like a movie star.

Torre Aurora in the Cinque Terre for it’s gorgeous views of Monterosso, and because who doesn’t want to eat in a 16th-century tower built to defend against pirate raids?

Ristorante Bruno in Positano for the homemade seafood pasta and jaw-dropping views of the bay.

Gelateria Ercole in Pizzo to taste tartufo gelato in the town where it was invented.

Da Alfredo on Salina in the Aeolian Islands for their almond granita with fresh whipped cream.

Antica Guetta in Bonassola for the farinata with burrata.

Masseria Montenapoleone for an incredible meal in the Puglian countryside.

Interested in joining us on a tour, to experience some of these foodie moments for yourself? We’ve got day tours and overnight tours waiting for you. If you’re not already on our mailing list, add yourself here. Questions? Write us at ciao{@}italianfix.com. 

3 Responses

    1. Hi Deanne,
      We’d love for you to join us on our Southern Italy tour in 2019!
      We’ve just released our tour dates, and we have three dates to choose from: June 3 – 13 or September 28 – October 8, 2019.
      Registration opens next week and we have are offering a special VIP experience to the first 14 ladies who register! On this tour it’s a sunset table at Le Sireneuse, Positano’s famous champagne and oyster bar. We’ll score you a great table, add some great friends, and pick up your tab — up to 100 euro per person.
      I’ll be waiting to see your name on our guest list, Deanne 🙂

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