The ten best foodie destinations in Italy

The Guardian recently selected ten places in Italy where you can find the best local food and good wine. The selection represents, of course, a fraction of the possible foodie cities and regions in Italy but we love that they focused on some of the smaller towns that are less well known. Here’s our summary of the destinations and bed & breakfasts that they selected, including the best dishes to try while visiting these regions!

Funghi e Fate Farmhouse (Mushrooms and Fairies), Albareto in Parma
We love the name of this farmhouse in Parma – Funghi e Fate, which translates as Mushrooms and Fairies. It has something magical about it and so is aptly named and is run by John and Christine, who are husband and wife. In particular, they serve excellent breakfasts with homemade pies, jams from organic fruit and bread baked in a wood oven. The best time to visit Albareto is the autumn as the highlight of the farmhouse is surely the dishes with seasonal mushrooms gathered from the local woods.

Corte d’Aibo Farmhouse, Monteveglio in Bologna
One of the reasons why autumn is our favourite time to visit Italy is that it is the season when truffles, mushrooms and chestnuts can be found on many menus and Corte d'Aibo is no exception. It can be found 25 km west of Bologna, the city known (affectionately) as “The Fat One” due to its love affair with good food. Local specialties include pasta with meat sauce, risotto with truffles and Parmesan, and pork with peach sauce. One of the things that is special about this farmhouse is that is serves wines produced at the farm – you can’t get more local than that!

Il Frantoio Farmohouse, Ostuni in Brindisi
This is a family-run farm under the management of Armando Balestrazzi and his wife Rosalba. The farm is surrounded by olive and citrus groves, and an organic garden. Almost everything on the menu comes from the farm or from the local town and so the food is unbelievably fresh. Favourites are the fried waffles with fresh tomatoes, goat’s cheese baked with saffron and served with pear jam, the homemade pasta, and lamb served with potatoes and an almond salad.

Le Campestre Farmhouse, Castel di Sasso in Caserta
The Lombardi family, who run Le Campestre, lived in Belgium for several years and now run this popular organic farm and eatery in Castel di Sasso. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with rustic bread, olive oil and cheese always available. One unique thing about this farm in diners can also learn about how to make Conciato Roman, which is one of the oldest cheeses in Italy.

Valle Scannese Farmhouse, Scanno in L’Aquila
The menu at Valle Scannese, like Le Campestre, also has a strong focus on local cheese. It is an organic farm too and is run by Gregory Roll with the help of his family. It is pleasantly situated on the edge of the Abruzzo National Park and crops are grown biodynamically. The star attraction at this farmhouse is the homemade cheese, which is locally famous, but there are other types of traditional cheeses available from Abruzzo, as well as pasta and homemade desserts.

Caniloro Farm, Lanciano in Chieti
Caniloro is within easy reach of the Adriatic Coast – just a twenty minute drive away – and so it’s a great dining option if you’re holidaying in the region. The farm rears their own pigs and most things on the menu are homemade, including the flour and wine. As a special quirk, you can also learn how to make spaghetti alla chitarra or traditional pizza at the farm.

BeLocal, Alta Langa in Piedmont
Piedmont is the capital of the so-called “slow food” movement, where pride is taken in doing everything slowly and perfectly. The BeLocal scheme, which has recently established itself in Alta Langa, has brought to the region a new concept in farming whereby villagers sign up as hosts for the day, giving tourists a chance to experience community life with a local family. Holiday-makers can tour fields with grazing cattle, cereal and vegetable farms, wild forests and plantations of hazelnut trees, and can even visit the homes of their hosts to see what Italian life off the tourist trail is really like. As a part of the experience, guests can also pick their own vegetables and learn how to make local favourites, such as the traditional fritto misto alla piemontese.

Casale Farmhouse, Pienza in Siena
Casale is an organic farm belonging to the cheesemaker Ulisse Braendli. Here, in the Siena countryside, Braendli raises his own animals and produces a cheese that is locally famous. At the farm, holiday-makers can sample the cheese with homemade chestnut honey and semolina bread and, in the autumn, the restaurant offers linguine with ricotta and basil, and organic chestnut soup.

Tranchina, Scopello in Trapani
Tranchina is a real Mecca for food lovers and is run by Salvatore and his wife Marisin, who is originally from China. The restaurant is famous for its breakfasts and the menu changes daily depending on the catch of the day. That said, pasta with Trapanese pesto and red snapper are frequent menu favourites.

Pirapora Farm, Zambrone in Vibo Valentia
The view of the Gulf of Lamezia Terme is spectacular from Pirapora Farm and that, along with the food, is a major attraction of this authentic Italian bed and breakfast. It has a loyal base of clientele, who return year after year – no doubt for the fresh ingredients that are sourced from the surrounding fields and the friendly welcome. In the late summer and early autumn, holiday-makers can see the farm workers complete the grape and olive harvest, or they can help pick the apricots, figs, pistachios or peppers.

Any one of these locations could be included as part of a multi-centre holiday in Italy or enjoyed as a day trip. If you are thinking about a multi-centre vacation in Italy, contact us for a quote today: call a member of our friendly team on (UK) 0844 993 4139 or (US) 1-347-594-5500. All of our holiday quotes are personalised and tailored to your requirements.

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