Kicking things off with the big daddy of Italian cuisine, forget anything you once thought about pizza: here in Italy, pizza making is a form of art. Think ultra-crisp stone-baked dough, tomatoes bursting with the countryside from which they were grown, creamy mozzarella, and simple toppings scattered with fresh basil leaves. Try the classic Margherita for a masterclass in simple pleasures, or spice it up a little by diving into toppings like salty prosciutto and punchy white anchovies.
In Italy, the word ‘pasta’ doesn’t even begin to sum up the sheer volume of amazing dishes on offer. From simple spaghetti carbonara in Rome to fresh seafood pasta in Sicily, wherever you are, try to sample the locals’ favorites – there’s a reason they’re popular.
Try one of the rarest pasta dishes around by heading to the picturesque island of Sardinia, home to our Baia de Mo Beachclub and malloreddus Alla campidanese – a unique gnocchi-like pasta served in a rich tomato, sausage, and saffron sauce. It melts in the mouth and will leave you wanting more and more…
Next up in the carb corner, we have risotto – a comforting rice dish cooked lovingly over low heat with onions, wine, and stock, before being finished with a generous grating of parmesan. In its simplest form, that’s all there is to it, but when paired with other ingredients – such as green vegetables and fresh seafood – you can see why it’s in the carb hall of fame.
Moving with the risotto theme, a favorite snack amongst locals is arancini – small deep-fried risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella or meaty ragu. Arancini makes the ideal pick-me-up after an energetic morning or perhaps one too many glasses of Italian wine the night before!
Italy’s southern Ionian coast is renowned for fantastic seafood, and when you set eyes on its deep, clear waters and beautiful shoreline, you’ll see why.
Enjoy a stay at our Airone Beachclub and you’ll be in prime position for indulging in the popular local swordfish dish, Pesce spade concapperi Alla Calabrese – Calabrian swordfish cooked with capers, parsley, and lemon to the rest of us. It’s a refreshing, healthy dish perfect for balancing the next item on our tour…
Coffee and famous tipples
Italians love coffee – and they love it strong. While you might see milky cappuccinos at breakfast time, locals tend to take their caffeine hit in short, sharp espresso form, barely pausing to take a seat. So before you hit the slopes or take to the water, do as the Italians do, and start your adventures with a morning coffee.
World-class wines aside, Italy is home to some game-changing drinks. During the colder months – particularly in the north of the country – you’ll find the perfect thing to warm your cockles: bambardino. A fortifying mix of Advocaat, brandy, and whipped cream.