We spoke with Federica Tucci, Managing Director of TFL Tours (Italy) to learn more about travel in Italy.
Q: How would you describe the regions of Italy for visitors who haven't been there?
Italy is one of the most varied and attractive countries in the world. From North to South the landscape changes drastically:
Q: Tell us about the people and the culture.
Italians are warm, welcoming people who love to relax, celebrate and socialize with family and friends. Celebration and relaxation usually take place around the table where they can enjoy the traditions of the Italian cuisine. In Italy conversation is a form of art. As you walk in the streets or stop at a café in one of the many squares, you will notice Italians of all ages engaged in passionate and animated discussions.
Q: When is the best time to visit and why?
Italy's best time to visit is certainly spring and fall.
Q: What are the top sights and hidden gems?
The top sights are certainly:
These places are on the bucket list of most of the first timers to Italy and we agree that all these places should be seen at least once in a lifetime.
Italy is also full of hidden gems. The ones I like most are Umbria and Piedmont.
Q: What are your personal favorite sights that most tourists might miss?
The areas I love are:
Q: What foods would you recommend people try?
Q: Do you have any tips for people planning a culinary tour in Italy?
We are capable of organizing amazing culinary tours in our country. Piedmont, Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria and the Amalfi Coast are the best areas for this. We have itineraries that combine visits to special wineries, farmhouses and cooking classes.
Q: Can you describe your most unique culinary tours?
We offer dozens of culinary tours in Italy. Here are some ideas:
In Florence we have a culinary tour which includes stops at the famous San Lorenzo food market, with tasting of local products like ham, cheese and focaccia. Then to a local Enoteca for tasting of extra virgin olive oil and local wines and a tasting of the famous Italian gelato. Of course our guide will explain the food and the traditions mixing them with the local art.
We have several cooking classes that can be offered all over Italy. Some of them take place in proper cooking schools, some others are held in local restaurants with unique flavor or in beautiful country estates.
Both in Tuscany and Piedmont we offer the truffle hunting experience: With the help of their faithful dogs, our truffle hunters will personally guide you through the stunning Tuscan or Piedmont countryside in search of the prestigious truffle.
In Emilia Romagna we organize wonderful food experiences to taste the local products: Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese), Balsamic Vinegar from Modena and Prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham).
In Tuscany in September we can have guests take part in the grape harvest or, if at the end of October / beginning of November, the olive harvest. Of course all these experiences will be followed by delicious meals prepared with the freshest ingredients of the season.
Please send us a message if you have any questions or comments about anything you see in the e-zine. We'd love to hear from you!