Modena Trattoria Aldina, a Review

The Trattoria Aldina is a restaurant that offers traditional Emilian dishes, and it’s located in Modena inside a building that houses other businesses, so it’s actually quite easy to miss the entrance. But the restaurant, its address being Via Luigi Albinelli 40, is off the beaten path going towards the city center and as such it’s frequented largely by locals, which is all the more reason to dine here, surrounded by friendly staff and true, homemade local dishes. The atmosphere in here makes it so that it feels like you’re about to have a hearty Sunday meal at an aunt or a grandma’s house, and since the restaurant is on the first floor, the overall appearance of the place is that of a real Italian house. Booking is not possible unless you plan on dining here with a group of people, but it’s fairly easy to be seated – you might have to wait just a little while at most.
The pasta-based dishes are excellent and 8 euros for a dish of tortellini in broth is truly a deal! The quality of the courses offered is amazing, especially when compared to the affordable prices. The ratio between quality and price is outstanding since the dishes of homemade fresh pasta with or without filling (tagliatelle, tortellini, tortelli, lasagne and more) cost only 7/8 euros.

The dishes I decided to order and try are as follows, but the choice spans across most of the traditional dishes and courses of a typical Emilian meal, and it ranges from different kinds of pasta, filled pasta (with diverse and seasonal fillings to satisfy every palate), second courses of meats, including veal, and a choice of side dishes (baked vegetables, mashed potatoes and so on) and cheeses.

I ordered a classic dish of tortellini in broth, a staple in the Emilian tradition, especially here in Modena, that proved to be excellent and affordable; as a second course, I strayed from the usual that would have customers order more traditional dishes such as pork shin-bone or tagliata, to order a horse meat tartare that was fairly good. As for what concerns the desserts, I tried both the excellent zuppa inglese (a trifle made with layered custard, chocolate cream, and sponge cake dipped in Alchermes) and the panna cotta with a red berries syrup that was quite good – the desserts available might change from day to day but the pillars of Italian cuisine are usually always on the menu, including tiramisu, mascarpone and more.

image
Great tortellini in brodo at Aldina’s – only 8 euros.
image
Panna cotta – Zuppa inlgese – Tartare di cavallo – Tortellini

5 Restaurants in Salento for Your Palates only

Written by Paola Fiocchi, Director, Passepartout Homes (www.passepartout-homes.com)

Having visited the region of Salento in Puglia for the past 8 years, I can pretty easily assure you, you won’t have a bad gastronomic experience in the heel of Italy.

Wherever you will end up eating, you will be greeted by welcoming hosts and mouth-watering dishes, made with simple ingredients. From starred restaurants to shacks on the beach, Salento knows a thing or two about good, honest food and wine.

crystal clear water of Salento
Salento in Puglia offers sun, crystal clears waters and excellent gastronomy.

Puglia provides most of what Italy consumes. Most of the grains for pasta, fish, olive oil and wine come from here. The region is covered by vast areas of ancient olive trees so it will come as no surprise that Puglia also produces over 70% of Italy’s olive oil (and 15 percent of the world’s olive oil). The region is also producer of 25 DOC wines most of which come from the Salento area.

Some of the region “signature” dishes include “orecchiette” (or “small ears”) because of their resemblance to small ears. Enjoy orecchiette with fresh tomato sauce, basil and strong ricotta cheese. Orecchiette with “cime di rapa” (sort of broccoli) are also a region’s favourite.

For breakfast head to the your local bar where locals enjoy a cup of freshly brewed espresso coffee and warm “pasticciotto” standing at the counter. The best pasticciotti can be eaten in Galatina where Pasticceria Abalone has been creating these pastries since 1745.

You will not get hungry during the day as there are plenty of snacks and appetisers available, including “frittini” , a mix of fried appetisers, “friselle”, a snack made of crunchy dry bread best served dipped in water and topped with fresh tomatoes, basil and extra virgin olive oil and “pucce, a sandwich made of pizza dough and stuffed with cured meat, cheese or vegetables; not to mention the round shaped “tarallini” crackers available in different flavours, excellent with a glass of cold rosé wine on the beach.

Here are my top 5 recommended places to eat in Salento. Spoil alert, expect the lovely aroma of freshly prepared meals and the warm welcome of their owners.

L’Altro Baffo in Otranto, where Chef Cristina Conte will serve you traditional Apulia dishes interpreted in a contemporary key, where tradition meets innovation. Expect freshly made pasta, fresh fish and seasonal ingredients. Our favourite dish is “chitarrine ai “ricci di mare” “, fresh pasta with sea-urchins, for those of you with really fine palates! A family run business located in one of the most scenic spots of Otranto under the shadow of the Aragonese Castle. Reservation highly advisable.

Lo Scalo in Alessano, a historic seafront restaurant built along the rocky coastal route between Tricase and Leuca. Seafood dishes will be prepared according to the catch of the day and served in an enchanting setting by the water. As dessert, excellent is “pasticciotto” with lemon custard. Reservation highly advisable.

Agriturismo Le Site in Corigliano d’Otranto, where most of the ingredients used in the kitchen are cultivated in the Agriturismo’s own fields. Excellent meat and an abundance of vegetables are served by this family run enterprise. Le Site also produces its very own olive oil as well as home-made jam and liquors, available for purchase at the restaurant. Le Site also offers a number of guests rooms for those looking for a lodging.

Cantine Menhir Salento located outside Otranto is a producer of some of the best wines of Salento, including Negroamaro or Primitivo. Here you can also reserve a table at their “Osteria Origano” where excellent traditional Apulia dishes are served. In summer you can dine al-fresco in their Mediterranean garden and may be entertained by live music.

La Porta Antica in Sternatia is a traditional trattoria where excellent pizza, meat and fish dishes can be savoured. Their speciality are the “antipasti” which I highly recommend to try in abundance. Portions are very generous! It is very popular with locals and during the weekend and summer months it can be very crowded. reservations recommended.

Cooking Lessons in Florence With Market Tours

As you have already gathered from Emiliadelizia.com, cooking and cuisine are one of the pillars of Italian culture. So what better way to live and experience the country and the city of Florence than to dive into its culinary secrets? This is what we’re offering to you: a complete tour for your taste buds and a training ground for your hidden cooking abilities with a professional and intriguing cooking lesson that can be booked through our website.

pastamakingflorence
Pasta making lessons in Florence

 

The experience you can book includes:

  • A hands-on cooking lesson of 3 hours for 2 people
  • A complete menu (wine and coffee included) or a monograph on pasta, pizza, desserts or seafood in the Italian cuisine 
  • Pamphlets in Italian and English
  • A certificate of attendance

If you decide to further make your way into the realms of Italian tradition, there’s the possibility to add an optional market tour with the chef to purchase the ingredients needed before the lesson takes place. This would be a great way to understand and explore tastes, products and options for the optimal cooking situation you’re about to experience with “Condon Bleu”’s cooking school’s professionals. Not only that, because exploring the markets of Florence will prove to be more than a culinary tour, but also a cultural visit among locals, to live the city from a different point of view.
Located in the hearth or Florence, the cooking school is inside a prestigious XVI cetury palace and offers a range of cooking lessons and courses geared towards all kinds of visitors, from locals to tourists looking for an extra way to experience what the city has to offer. And what a way do these cooking lessons offer! Creativity, professionalism and expertise are the motto of the school and the chefs and highly trained staff will ensure you’ll learn the secrets of Italian and Florentine cuisine.

Food Market tour in Florence.

We’ve also mentioned an optional market tour, and our suggestion is to take up on this chance and participate in this adventure among the streets and squares of Florence. Markets in Florence still have even today the same atmosphere of old times, which is definitely worth experiencing, to live up close the vitality and glee of Italian markets, with colors, smells and tastes and a wide range of different people meeting and shopping together.
There are many different markets taking place in Florence, throughout the week, like the Mercato di San Lorenzo, in the square and streets surrounding the Basilica of San Lorenzo in the city’s historical center. In Via dell’Ariento, the market hosts a wide selection of groceries and is the city’s most important market. Other notable examples of interesting markets of Florence are that of Sant’Ambrogio and the one taking place in the Parco delle Cascine.

cookingschoolflorence
Learn real Italian cooking in Florence

So, go the extra mile when in Florence and experience the city’s culinary traditions with this extraordinary offer, and learn more about typical Italian cuisine through this cooking lesson. Please enquiry for pricing.

 

How to Eat Like a Local in Venice try Al Bacareto and Al Prosecco

Venice is a unique and picturesque city, with many things to see and experience. If you’re going to visit Venice, you might have looked around online for suggestions on how to truly live the city, and what better way to do as much if not by eating like a local? In Italy, food plays a relevant part in everybody’s everyday life, and this is true for Venice as well. In this article, we’re going to talk about a little something that is typical of Venice, and one of the best ways to experience food and drinks like a local: the bacaro.
The bacaro is a typical venetian pub, which offers aperitifs, drinks, snacks and wines for a very reasonable price. They’re scattered all around Venice and both locals and tourists hang out in the multitude of bacari that dot the city. The term “bacaro” comes from the Latin name of “Bacchus”, the god of wine and harvest. Originally little warehouses the wine makers used to store the barrels of wine, now the bacari are establishments halfway between a tavern and a pub, perfect for a break between sightseeing and to enjoy a quick lunch, snack or evening cocktail.
But the choice when it comes to bacaro is wide, and while you can go wherever you prefer, literally entering the first one you come across, here is a list of the best known ones.

 

Eat like a local in venice
Where to eat in Venice like a Local – source

 

Al Bacareto

An historical place, located between Campo Santo Stefano and Palazzo Grassi. Here you can also enjoy first courses typical of Venetian cuisine (for a slightly higher price than normal bacaro snacks and drinks), or you can simply drink a ombra (literally “shadow” – white wine on tap) along with some cicchetti. The cicchetti are a tradition in Venice and the term refers to the quick snacks and dishes that can be eaten along with alcoholic drinks. Cicchetti include bruschetta or crouton with toppings but also meatballs, fried fish and more.

Al Prosecco Bacaro

Located in Campo San Giacomo dall’Orio, which is not your typical tourist destination inside the city, this bacaro managed to maintain a local atmosphere, perfect if you want to know what a bacaro frequented by locals feels like. With a wide selection of wines, tasty cicchetti and cheeses, the Bacaro Al Prosecco offers a great experience for anyone. If you’re around on Saturdays, oysters and fresh, raw fish is available as well.

Bacaro ‘do Mori’

Ever since the 1462, this bacaro has become a legend in Venice, counting Casanova among its clients through the years. Perfect to experience a light lunch surrounded by its historical atmosphere.

The bacari you can visit are many more than just these three, and each one is unique in its own way. Experiment different snacks and wines and live and eat your way into the city’s earth like a local. We offer a food tour in Venice where you can try all these specialites and cookery lessons to learn how to make them.

Bologna Foodie’s Vacation With Accommodation, Tour and Cooking Classes

Are you an Italian food connoisseur? Do you love parmesan cheese specialties and mouth watering ham? If you do then Bologna is simply the perfect place for you. Known for its scrumptious entrees and tantalizing dishes, Bologna promises a culinary experience of a lifetime. If you consider yourself a foodie, this unique tour features a self catering apartment stay in the central part of town. As part of your package, you will receive 1 pasta cookery lesson and an elegant 3 food gourmet tour. The lavish apartment has spacious rooms, and is perfect for those interested in expanding their culinary horizons and delights. There are also concierge services and convenient airport pick-up and drop off.

bologna food tour
Bologna food experiences – source

The Bologna Holiday Food Package.

The tour features a modern and contemporary apartment surrounded by a myriad of amenities. Explore the wonders of Bologna by visiting local eateries, restaurants, and cafes. Bologna is synonymous with world class cuisine, including mortadella, tagliatelle, fresh pastas, and delicious ham and salami platters. There are several delicatessens adjacent to your luxurious apartment as well. The second day of the food tour takes you on a trip to the local culinary arts school. You will have a chance to meet our professional chef who continues to receive stellar reviews from customers and critics alike. The chef will accompany you to the local markets to purchase fresh ingredients and everything you need for the cooking lessons.

The Cooking Class plus the Market  Tour

Once all the particulars are taken care of, you will head to the chef’s kitchen for the lesson and meal preparation. This includes traditional Bolognese classics, such as fresh egg pastas and tantalizing sauces. The third day of tour includes the famous gourmet tour, which includes the local parmesan far and cheese production venue. You will love sampling local favorites, including Parma ham and Balsamic vinegar. The guided tour features an English speaker for your convenience. The 3 night tour and stay costs is indicated below and it is per person. This is inclusive of guide services, transportation, and cookery lessons. If you love Italian cuisine, the Bolognese tour will truly achieve your desired results. Since these tours are based on availability, it is advised to book your reservations now.

 

[wpsc_products product_id=’606′]

Exploring Tuscany With a Personal Tourist Guide

I started working as a tour guide in Tuscany in 1987, when I was 23. I’m now almost 51. I started with German guests. As a tour guide I travelled almost everywhere through Europe (France, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece) and also to Canada (Ontario and Québec) and to New York. In 2002 I specialized as a licensed tour guide for Lucca, a medieval town in Tuscany. I am also a graduated translator and interpreter and I’m about to get my second deegree in ?Mediator in Foreign Languages and Cultures’ at the University of Siena. I speak fluently following languages, beside Italian as a mother tongue: German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese. I speak also Swedish at a A2 level and I’m dealing also with Russian (A1 level) and Chinese at the moment! Continue reading

If you are are looking to visit Tuscany or any other area in Italy with an experienced local guide please keep reading below. This can truly enhance your vacations! 

This tour is guided by: Massimo

I started working as a tour guide in Tuscany in 1987, when I was 23. I’m now almost 51. I started with German guests. As a tour guide I travelled almost everywhere through Europe (France, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece) and also to Canada (Ontario and Québec) and to New York. In 2002 I specialized as a licensed tour guide for Lucca, a medieval town in Tuscany. I am also a graduated translator and interpreter and I’m about to get my second deegree in Mediator in Foreign Languages and Cultures’ at the University of Siena. I speak fluently following languages, beside Italian as a mother tongue: German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese. I speak also Swedish at a A2 level and I’m dealing also with Russian (A1 level) and Chinese at the moment!

Meeting the clients.

I will meet my guests either in Montecatini Terme, a very well-known spa resort in northern Tuscany, where I am at home, or in other towns like Florence, Siena, Pisa, Arezzo, etc. but also outside my region, all over Italy, and show them the beauties of my country.

In which area in Tuscany are you specialised?

I’m of course specialized for Tuscany (my ‘highlights’ are Lucca, Florence, Siena, Pisa, Pistoia and Arezzo), but I can also guide my guests through other regions like Lombardy (Milan, etc.), Emilia Romagna (Bologna, etc.), Umbria (Assisi, etc.). We will do a guided tour in town, where we can organize a lunch break in a typical restaurant, then also hire a car or minivan to travel through the countryside and see something else of our marvellous landscape.

What the clients can see? 

We can also visit some typical farms producing wine and olive oil, cheese, ham and other alimentary products, we can also taste and do shopping in town or in wholesale factories where they produce and sell typical handmade products such as leather shoes, bags, marble or alabaster souvenirs, etc. It will last up to about 8 hours with some breaks for a coffee or so.

The costs of my tours depend on how we will organize them, i.e. if I have to move to my guests hotel/house and live there with them for the whole period or just meet them each morning at their premises.

tourswithmassimo
Explore Tuscany with Private guide Massimo

 

Rome Tours With Traditional Osteria Lunch and Food Crawl

Interesting tour lead by native Roman Vincenzo who will combine Rome’s ancient history with a food crawl and gourmet osteria Lunch. Not not be missed.

rome
Visit Rome with local guide vincenzo source

 

Ancient Rome

Explore the wonders of Rome with an exciting 3 hour tour. The spectacular tour covers the Roman Coliseum, which features breathtaking exteriors, interiors, and ancient architecture. The Forum Romanum is also a must see and is home to the Senate, Arch Septimius Severus, basilica Julia, and Maxentius basilica. The world renowned city also showcases the Arch Titus, Arch Constantine, and Capitol Hill. The walking tour features picturesque backdrops and lavish scenery at every turn. You can also enjoy world class cuisine set in an elegant Roman restaurant for a slightly additional cost. We will arrange a meeting point for all clients that are ready to experience the allure, and essence of Rome.

Vatican City

As the epicenter for Roman Catholicism, Vatican City is a haven for countless tourists. Your 5 tour starts at St. Peter’s basilica, which includes interiors, exteriors, and Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece sculptures: Bernini Baldachin, Piet, and more. You will also get to see the square and the magic of the Vatican Museums – Borgia’s flat, Raphael’s rooms, Greek cross room, Round room, Muses room, and the world famous Sistine Chapel. The tour also includes the Tapestry, Candelabra, and Geographic Maps galleries that are a must for ancient art lovers, aficionados, and enthusiasts. After a day of exploring Roman architecture at its finest, wind down with a traditional Osteria lunch and fine wines served to perfection. Meeting point for all visitors will be at the entrance of the Museums.

Pope’s City

The 4 hour Pope’s City tour includes the major sights of the downtown area: Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Colonna Square, Hadrian Temple, and the Pantheon. The latter features Raphael’s tomb, along with the Italian Royal Family of Savoy tombs. The tour also includes Campo dei Fiori, Navona Square, Marcellus’ Theater, and the ancient Jewish ghetto, which features Octavia Gate. Meeting point for the tour will be discussed with clients, and you will be able to sample traditional Italian dishes via food stands. I do have passes for all spots desired!

Tour Guide Profile – Vincenzo

I was born in Rome and a licensed tour guide since 2009. I am also an art historian, and my clients are mainly English speakers. As a native Roman, I want to help you explore this fascinating and beloved city!

Chauffeured Tours of Verona, Palladian Villas, and Lake Garda

Guide and Chauffeur name: Laura

I am a professional private-taxi driver, English speaking. Most of the time I cooperate with my partner’s agency which offers any kind of rental car service with driver dedicated to transport of passengers, available 24/7 all year long.
We offers any kind of travel to agencies, to businessmen and tourists, personal travels for individuals or groups, to and from any destination as well as airport/stations transfers. Reliability, punctuality and courtesy, knowledge of English, German and French languages are our strengths. 

The Services Offered:

I offer trips on board of top quality cars (Minivan Ford, Mercedes Viano and Mercedes Class E), for visiting and discovering the area of Garda Lake, Palladio Villas and Vicenza, Mantova, Bergamo , Franciacorta, Soave (the area where I live) and Mezzane and Illasi Valley (is the extension of the Valpolicella area) wine tastings and tours at major historical local wineries , food tasting at Villa de Winkels in Tregnago, as well as Amarone wine tours in Valpolicella classica area. All these wineries are ready to introduce their products ( english speking) and to host the guests at any time.

I offer free consulting for visits throughout the province of Verona, Garda lake and the surrounding areas, also recommending restaurants, agriturismo where they can taste many Veronese and lake specialties, and partecipate at a cooking classes.

The Guide Experience.

The large amount of contacts gathered over the past years allows me to recommend routes, tracks, tours, as well as accommodations in cozy and comfortable apartments, B&B, hotels in the center of Verona and nearby.

The tour guides who I can introduce to, will be more than glad to accompany the guests to visit Verona and the province in order to let enjoy the wonders of art, history and culture of this beautiful city.

Tours from Verona.

verona
tours from Verona – source

 

 

Market Tour and Cooking Class in Milan

You will meet the guide early in the morning for a market visit in the center of Milan followed by hands-on cooking class at Atelier dei Sapori School. Here you will be welcome by Cristina, Paola e Patrizia chefs and food lovers who will lead you step by step in preparing recipes of the Milanese and Italian tradition.

What will you cook?

You will prepare a complete menu Appetizer, First dish, Main dish, Dessert.
THE BEST PART? At the end you get will sit down and eat all you made.
To remember your experience you will be given a cooking diploma.

cooking school in Milan cooking school in Milan2

 

Food Market Tour in Milan.

Street Market
Food in Milan – source

Milan continues to be a haven for tourists and visitors that love world class cuisine and fine wines. From local eateries to posh and elegant cafes, the city is blanketed by a myriad of restaurants and food markets. The latter are perfect for those than want to sample local favorites, while shopping for fresh Italian produce and delicacies.

Mercato V Alpini

Mercato V Alpini is one of the tiniest yet top food markets in the city. Situated in a lavish and wealthy area, the market is known for its choice selection of fresh fruits and veggie stalles. Tourists can also stroll at a leisurely place, while shopping for genuine leather bags, wool, cashmere, and lovely floral arrangements. As a central hub for locals and visitors, the market features a classy outdoor café with steaming coffee, tasty snacks, and tantalizing beverages. Largo V Alpini is also adjacent to the market, and showcases a range of shops within a newly renovated area. With convenient underground parking and two residential towers that date back to 1955, you will simply love the immaculate weather and the history that surrounds this popular 19th century locale.

Mercato Garigliano

Located in the heart of Quartiere Isola, this lively street market features continental cuisine and the latest in Milan fashions. Tourists can also purchase house-ware tools at unbelievably low prices. With live music and street vendors at every turn, the market showcases the perfect blend of historic and contemporary architecture. No truer is this than when it comes to the recently revamped Porta Nuova skyline.

Mercato Papiniano

This is the largest food market in town, which is set in a trendy and upbeat neighborhood. Visitors will enjoy the wide selection of high quality wood products and clothes. With fresh fish, fruits, dairy products, meats, and veggies daily, the market is a simply a must for all tourists and locals. There is also an Italian delicatessen and a variety of Indian and South American stalls for your convenience.

Tour Of Florence’s Most Elegant Balcony, Fiesole.

A Walking tour around Florence to discover Italy like a local. 

fiesole
Discover Fiesole – source

 

Total distance covered Km: 10
Escursion time : 5 hours
Meeting time: 9 am Fiesole main square

This is an itinerary that will show you all the beauty of Florence from its most elegant and
prestigious balcony: Fiesole.
Beginning from the heart of the Etruscan town, the walk winds through charming alleys, ancient churches, Etruscan tombs, olive groves and woods, villas, and stunning city views. Soon you leave the asphalt to enter the Park Monte Ceceri a path used for centuries by generations of stonemasons to reach the quarries of sandstone –

Michelangelo himself came here to learn his art – and with which most of palaces and castles in the surroundings are built with the stone mined here. Along the
walk memories of Renaissance artists like, Leonardo, Rossellino, Da Maiano, that lived and worked here. The way ends in the lovely hamlet of Settignano where the writer D’annunzio, Eleonora Duse,  Lord Acton, lived last century.

On request, I may organize a group lunch in a trattoria al fresco.
* Language: Italian / English
Tour lead by Angelica Turi