We all had hopes and plans this year. A global pandemic callously crushed them for many. For most of the world, leisure travel has been cancelled indefinitely with borders shut and a range of other restrictions.
Even with much of the world slowly coming out of lockdown, sadly so many Italophiles won’t get to Italy this year. We know it’s not the same but businesses across the boot have mobilized to provide the best of Made in Italy to homes across the globe. From interactive cooking classes with local chefs to Italian wine and gourmet food packages delivered to your door, here’s how to enjoy Italy this year without getting on a plane.
Local Aromas Online Italian Cooking School
The lovely team at Local Aromas are offering a super comprehensive set of Italian cooking materials including detailed instructions, gorgeous pictures and interactive videos through their online school. Your monthly or yearly subscription will get you making anything from pasta to meatballs in no time. It’s an impressive model for all levels of cooking and right at home you can learn and East the very best of Italy. Click here to book a class.
Casa Mia Food Tours
The dynamic duo of Eleonora Baldwin and Gina Tringali with their Casa Mia team are hosting online cooking classes. It’s an interactive way of learning how to make regional Italian dishes in a fun and informative setting. These ladies have a wealth of experience and knowledge that make for an incredibly useful and meaningful experience that will have you dreaming of Italy long after the class is over. They run a number of classes each month and you can view the schedule on their website right here.
My beautiful friends and favourite restaurant in Capri are bringing the best of their stunning island home straight to yours. They have a number of packages available for you to have their locally made products delivered to you anywhere in the world. I recently ordered the Faraglioni Pack which had 3 bottles of extra virgin olive oil, 3 Capri-made tomato sauces, a ravioli cutter, apron and – the best part – a personalised postcard from the island. They are also offering an interactive cooking experience whereby you purchase 5 Caprese recipes and received a dedicated one-on-one session with owner and chef Gianluca who will guide you through the recipe and answer any of your questions. There are a range of products and experiences to choose from and you’ll find all the details right here.
Take Walks Tours
One of my favourite Italian tour operators went global a few years ago. The thing I love about this company is their commitment to providing unique cultural experiences with very small groups. They moved quickly at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic and are offering many virtual tours via their website. Everything from watching the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace to a guided virtual walk through the MET in New York or Vatican Museums. And of course they have some food related ones too. From the comfort of your own home, learn how to make pizza or even pasta from some of the best local experts. View their Tours from Home range right here.
Rome’s most prestigious brand when it comes to specialty food and wine products is Roscioli. The brand has expanded exponentially over the last decade to include their famous bakeries and restaurant to a coffee bar and Rimessa Roscioli, a place for tasting and enjoying wine. Online you can order a range of products and even join their exclusive wine club. Find all the details here. Their new Community.Wine and VinumVersity is a free digital platform that provides an interactive and meaningful network for wine lovers, producers and sommeliers – aspiring and experienced – around the world. It boast bilingual videos that tell stories of wine and producers as well as interviews with industry experts. Access the community for free right here.
Dinner at Home – Learn how to cook https://lexapronorx.com with Italy’s fine dining chefs
From the team behind the global Immersive Show Dinner, this ‘fine dine with the chefs’ initiative brings together 3 big names in the Roman culinary landscape. Locally, they use high quality ingredients from gourmet food store, Ercoli but you can participate from wherever you are and use whatever you can get your hands on. The interactive lessons are in Italian and hosted by Stefano Marzetti (Ristorante Mirabelle, Hotel Splendide Royal), Giuseppe Di Iorio (Ristorante Aroma, Palazzo Manfredi – 1 Michelin star) and Massimo Viglietti (Ristorante Taki Off) who each put on a treat of a show with their fun and dynamic personalities. Visit the website here for more information and to book.
Hotelier Marie Louise Scio of the Pellicano Hotel group (properties in Lazio, Tuscany and Ischia) has just unveiled an online boutique that’s more than just a place to purchase goods. It’s a dive into the culture, lifestyle and DNA of Italy. Celebrating artisans across the boot, on the food front you can buy anything from pasta to oil to biscotti. Lose yourself in the site – when you can’t get to Italy, there’s really no place you’d rather be. Click here to visit Issimo.
Cooking with Rosy
My beautiful friend and Abruzzese soul sister, Rosaria runs cooking classes at her Pescara home with mamma Annabella. They channel her grandmother as they teach and share recipes that are family traditions. Think luscious homemade ravioli and the home style comfort of Pallotte cacio e uova. They are now offering classes online and they can find out more here.
The Giovale family have cheesemaking in their blood for over 400 years so you can bet they know their stuff! But not only that, their products – ranging from sheep to cow to goat’s milk varieties – are of a superior quality. The family business spin off has been Beppe e i Suoi Formaggi, a household name in Rome for a place to buy and eat cheese. They’re working on an online shop but in the meantime, you can order their cheeses and other artisan products via their Facebook and Instagram pages. Keep up to date via these platforms so that when you’re next in Italy, you can visit one of their sales points or even better – head to Beppe e i Suoi Formaggi (in the Jewish Ghetto or Mercato Centrale) for a cheese feast.
Photo credit: Andrea Di Lorenzo
This 6th-generation family run bakery in Veneto are shipping their bauletti (think, a cross between panettone and plum cake) and shortly cakes and biscuits too. In 2019, their Easter colomba was ranked the best in Italy by Gambero Rosso (Italy’s prestigious food guide) and we devoured the white chocolate and raspberry one at home in Australia. It was divine and I’m still thinking about it! They are currently shipping their bauletti cakes – an everyday leavened cake perfect for breakfast or any anytime treat. The lush, soft cake is available in flavours like cherry, apricot and salted caramel and even pear and chocolate. To visit their website, click here.
The d’Alessandro family have been producing wines on this Cortona, Tuscany property since the late 1960s. In 2013, the Calabresi family joined the business which has consistently gone from strength to strength wining national awards for excellence, particularly for their Syrah. The vineyards boast a restaurant and resort and for when you can’t get there, visit the website here and order wine for international shipment via email.
Enjoy these little tastes of Italy in your own home and keep dreaming until you can one day soon enjoy the real deal!
Signing off from Melbourne, with Italy always on my mind and in my heart.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or paid post. However, I am an affiliate partner for Local Aromas, so your booking may earn me a small commission. As always, all words and thoughts expressed are my own. Nobody tells me what to write or what to share.