Experience

EATER Journeys: Rome & Florence

With a food scene liberally dunked in the olive oil of history, Italy serves up a truly incomparable eating experience. For Italians, cooking and wine are – well – their culture’s bread and butter, all of it farmed, grown and cultivated from the country’s alpine nose to its balmy tail. Tomatoes raised on rich volcanic soil; plump lemons pulled from the branches of Amalfi; focaccia freshly baked in the ovens of Florence. Good food is good culture. With the world-renowned culinary insight from our friends at Eater, we’ve brought together two of the most mouth-watering spots for you to tuck into; Rome and Florence.

WHEN IN ROME

Your gastronomic journey begins in the heart of Rome. On arrival, we will transport you deep within the city to Spalletti Trivelli, your base the next few nights. Set in a traditional Italian garden, this intimate hotel is the ideal spot for those who want to escape the bustle of the city without missing out on all the action. Once settled, tonight’s meal of classic cucina romana at Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto is sure to set the bar high. Here, you can check off most of your Roman food bucket list, from the rich cacio e pepe to tender lamb chops, washed down with a glass of classic Sangiovese. Or a few.

FROM BASIL TO BASILICA

Starting the day bright and early, your private guide will lead you out for a special tour of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. Beat the crowds with early access to the Vatican Museum to fully take in that grand beauty of the Sistine Chapel, followed by St. Peter’s Basilica, filled with renowned works of art. Finish the day at a Roman trattoria dedicated to la cucina povera, Italian peasant food. This restaurant boasts true Italian form, showcasing a simple use of local ingredients at their seasonal peak.

BEEN THERE, WINE THAT

The following morning, the stories of the Roman Empire come to life. With a day spent among the iconic ruins of this once mighty (and well-fed) empire, you’ll be served up everything from panoramic views on the historic Capitoline Hill to the eye-opening Colosseum. After a big slice of sightseeing, you’ll be ready for a well-deserved trip to Rome’s most traditional enoteche (wine bars) to savour the best wines Italy has to offer. The tasting tour, led by a professional sommelier, pours a delicious tutorial on the styles unique to the Italian peninsula. From there, it’s on to dinner to sample the soulful simplicity of Rome’s classics at Cicolini’s dining room, based in the Appio-Latino quarter. Chef Sarah Cicolini is one of the hottest young chefs in Rome today, serving up hearty plates of carbonara and a sumptuous trippa alla romana.

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FILL YOURSELF ON FLORENCE

Leaving behind bustling Rome, you’ll march onto the flavoursome city of Florence to combine elegance with hearty indulgence. You’ll spend the next three nights sampling it all, while sleeping it off at the sleek, minimalist Hotel Continentale, offering a chic taste of the Florentine way of life, just steps away from the famed Ponte Vecchio. After a relaxed afternoon, refreshing aperitivos are served at a 50’s style retro-Italian cocktail lounge, Manifattura Tabacchi, followed by dinner at Essenziale. Chef Simone Cipriani revisits Florentine classics and adds a creative flare of international flavors, such as replacing Parmesan for a sprinkling of dried raspberries over ragù pasta.

SAVOUR THE FLORENTINE FLAVORS

Food has always played an integral part in Florentine identity. Today will show you exactly why. Savouring wine, sampling gelato, and sinking your teeth into local cheeses, a local food writer will be your guide, taking you through the charming cobbled streets to source out these the best flavors around. Make sure to leave some room for dinner, of course, where you will be enjoying some of Florence’s finest wood-fired pizzas and small plates at Bottega Conviviale. Begin dinner with a plate of prosciutto and burrata, and move onto grilled local seafood, cacio e pepe filled ravioli, or gnocchi with gorgonzola.

GET HANDS ON IN CHIANTI

You’ve tasted the best Italy has to offer, now it’s time to test your skills in this intimate dining experience. Drive through the incomparably beautiful Chianti region to meet Giulietta, your host and cooking instructor. In her delightful villa, she’ll captivate you with tales of Tuscany and its celebrated cuisine. In a private cooking class, discover treasured recipes that have been passed down through the generations and learn to prepare focaccia, risotto con zucca, lasagna, and other beloved local dishes. After honing your culinary talents, enjoy the delicious lunch you just prepared, accompanied by local Chianti wines, of course. For your final evening, sit back and enjoy modern Italian meal with revised twists on local classics at Trattoria Moderna, a fabulous fine dining experience to toast the end of an unforgettable week in Italy.