The Best Wine and Food Tours in Italy

12th July, 2017
When in Italy, one activity which should be participated in is a food or wine tour. For a blend of incredible wine and food, there is simply nowhere like Italy, and it is no surprise that these types of tours have grown in popularity over the years. It seems like every corner of Italy is steeped in history and there is also something which will intrigue and captivate you. A tour in Italy is the perfect way to really make the most of your visit. We have narrowed down our favourite tours which can be found throughout the country.  

Organised Tours  

Food, wine and cookery tours and courses are among the most popular activity to do. Many Italian chefs want to the basic principles of traditional Italian food, using authentic ingredients such as rabbit, wild boar and spelt.  

Itineraries are becoming progressively flexible, moving from week-long tours, with hands-on lessons and visits to local markets, vineyards and producers, to drop-in courses lasting anything from a morning to two or three days.  

You may want to choose somewhere that is especially renowned for its cuisine or has a stronger recognition than the usual regional element to its food, such as Bologna, Parma, Sicily or Piedmont, or a coastal area such as Amalfi for fish and seafood. If you want to discover a specific region’s cuisine, it makes sense to book a holiday to that area. Most specialist companies offer Tuscan and Umbrian bases, but some of the more established operators venture to more unusual locations such as Piedmont, Le Marche and the Veneto.  

Independent Trips  

There is an array of short courses which can be taken throughout the country. We suggest contacting an Italian school directly. In Bologna, La Vecchia Scuola Bolognese which was established in 1993, has a great range of courses which start from €50 and are suitable for all abilities and ages, including children. Their “Lesson and Lunch” courses are offered for guests, with lunch included.

Similar short courses can be booked independently in other cities, such as Florence. The Food & Wine Academy of Florence aims to help those looking to be taught the ways of traditional Tuscan food and wine. There is every opportunity to sample local food as well as taking the chance to prepare a meal from scratch.  

Wine tours can also be booked independently. In Chianti, you can easily organise tastings yourself. However, in emerging areas such as Sicily, where estates are less used to visitors, it is worth contacting a vineyard before your visit to see if it is something they offer.  

Our Favourites  

  • Arblaster & Clarke offer expert-led tours and “wine walks” to Italy for over 25 years, including Tuscany, Piemonte and the Venetoand Sicily. 
  • Smooth Red offers "wine weekends" to Puglia, Amalfi and Piedmont, plus longer trips with cookery lessons and other extras.  
  • Martin Randall Travel runs culinary workshops small-group tours of Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Veneto.  

This type of activity can be enjoyed when staying at our luxury villas in Italy, and can be the perfect way to get some authenticity to your holiday.