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adventureseeker Mar 28th, 2006 06:46 PM

Foodies.....Help w/ Italy trip.
Planning our first trip to Italy in October. We love to experience all the food each region has to offer...

Please help with...

1)after researching, not much is mentioned of Parma. Modena or Bologna. Do the beaten path regions of Tuscany/Umbria have the Parmigano, Balsamic Vinegar and Meats that P & B is known for?

2)we're interested in immersing ourselves in such activities as watching or making olive oil, wine, cheese, etc. Any info on where/if that is possible?

3)are there any "foodie finds" in the way of shops, culinary classes, dining experiences, etc. that is on/off the beaten path?

Buon Appetito!

Lexma90 Mar 28th, 2006 06:54 PM

You can find balsamic vinegars and various salumi all over Tuscany and Umbria - I'm sure the folks from Emilia-Romagna would say there's is better, but you can taste your way to a decision yourselves! (Are you just going to Tuscany and Umbria, or to Emilia-Romagna as well?)

You can definitely visit vineyards, and one of the things you'll be shown is how they make the wine. I'm sure there are places that show their olive-oil-making process and cheese-making, though I've never done it.

Re foodie finds, searching this site will give you names of classes and restaurants, and probably shops as well. A book that I've found helpful (and, to be honest, I bought it used) was The Food and Wine Lover's Guide to Tuscany, by Carla Capalbo. Good particularly for stores and markets; not so good, I thought, for restaurants. It looks like you could use the book to locate places to visit cheese-making and olive-oil-pressing.

Enjoy planning your trip!

knoxvillecouple Mar 28th, 2006 07:03 PM

We went to a great little olive oil museum (with lots of photos, some old machinery, a gift shop, of course, and a tasting room) near Montecchio in Umbria. Also went to the Falesco winery for a tour and tasting near Montecchio. I think you can find pretty much everything you'd want to find and eat in MANY regions of Italy.


ekscrunchy Mar 28th, 2006 07:48 PM

Let us know exactly where you are going and we can give you more information. I did not understand..are you going to Parma, Modena and Bologna or to Tuscany/Umbria or all of those places?

adventureseeker Mar 28th, 2006 08:02 PM

Thx for all the suggestions.

We are definitely going to Tuscany/Umbria regions. We'd like to squeeze in a day trip to Parma, Bologna and/or Modena if deemed necessary. That is what I am trying to determine at this point. We're still very fresh in the planning stages.

Eloise Mar 28th, 2006 08:05 PM

Foodies' heaven in Modena is the Osteria Giusti.

Osteria Giusti
46 Vicolo del Squallore; 39-059/222-533; lunch for two $45.

Price is without wine and as listed in "Travel & Leisure" in 1999; adjust sharply upward.

Reservations necessary.

ira Mar 29th, 2006 06:04 AM

Hi AS,

You can find our daytrip to Bologna in
Ira’s Trip Report (Italy);tid=34451044


ekscrunchy Mar 29th, 2006 06:20 AM

This is a huge topic but I will give you some ideas of less-widely-known food specialties of Tuscany and Umbria. If you are a food-fanatic, this may be very basic information so forgive me:

Tuscany: Pici, the eggless pasta of southern Tuscany. Pecorino in various stages of ageing, also in southern Tuscany particularly around Pienza. Various salumi including Tuscan prosciutto. the finocchiona sausage of Chanti, and the famous lardo from Colonnata (you have to try this!) Farro from around Lucca, which is variously described as spelt or emmer in English. Lentils from Lucca area and also Casteluccio near Norcia in Umbria, considered among the world's finest lentils.
For wines, you have all the various Tuscan products and the famous Vin Santo. I would recommend visiting one of the makers of this dessert wine; we had a tour and tasting at Avignonesi near Arezzo and it was fascinating. They make a variety called "eye of the partridge" of which there only a few thousand cases produced a year. This is very expensive but worth seeking out.

In Umbria the salumi of Norcia are famous throughout the country.

I wrote a very food-centric report about my recent trip to Tuscany and ER which you can read:;tid=34743272

adventureseeker Mar 29th, 2006 07:06 AM

Grazie to all for your excellent recommendations.

to: eckscrunchy. a BIG thank you for educating us and fulfilling my request so perfectly. We're by no means food-experts...we just love to try the best the regions have to offer. Thank you for posting your report.

ekscrunchy Mar 29th, 2006 07:12 AM

My pleasure. I would recommend that you read, and perhaps take along, a copy of Fred Plotkin's book "Italy for the Gourmet Traveler." Another good one is Faith Willinger's "Eating in Italy."

adventureseeker Mar 29th, 2006 07:22 AM

Ekscrunchy: Grazie once again for the book recommendations. I am overloading myself w/ great reads on the regions. These are 2 that I haven't been exposed to.

Ira: Thank you for sharing your report. I gained the insight and excellent info about Bologna and Amalfi that I was seeking.

adventureseeker Mar 29th, 2006 07:41 AM

Ekscrunchy, I just finished reading (and printing) your amazing food-centric report....Bellisimo! Such a wealth of info and must-read for all us foodaholics!

ekscrunchy Mar 29th, 2006 08:09 AM

Thank you! I am now in the midst of preparing for a trip to Spain, one of the primary purposes of which is to eat the lechazo, suckling lamb, in a few small towns near Segovia. The partridge of Toledo and the suckling pig of Segovia are also on the menu, with huge lashings of acorn-fed Iberian ham!! Hopefully I can write a detailed report someday soon!!

Another excellent book about Tuscany and Umbria, not just food but all aspects of life, is from the Collected Traveler Series: "The Collected Traveler Central Italy" by B. Kerper.

ira Mar 29th, 2006 08:28 AM

You're welcome, ad.


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