8 Irresistible Italian Food and Wine Tours


Vineyard cycling trails, mountain markets, aperitivi culture – we’ve hunted high and low for the best food and wine tours in Italy. These are the foodie holidays that go above and beyond showing you how to make pizza and pasta, introducing you to everything from sprawling wineries to the tiny cafés that locals love.

Cuisine and Culture of Emilia-Romagna

Vineyards towards Modena

This eight-day holiday combines three of the foodie capitals of Italy – Bologna, Parma and Modena. As you’d expect, balsamic vinegar tastings and Parma ham-laden charcuterie boards feature highly on the to-do list.

You won’t be short on Michelin-star restaurants, either. The area around Parma is nicknamed the Food Valley, so many of the ingredients and wines are hand-picked from the vine-striped countryside.

Must-try: This region is the birthplace of Verdi, Ferrari and Pavarotti, so make sure to explore the opera houses, museums and universities that stack the streets.

Cooking break in Rome

Rome ristorante

Prefer your holiday hands-on? This Rome foodie break will get you rolling up your sleeves and learning how to make Italian classics like tiramisu and pizza in no time.

And it doesn’t stop there – you’ll also pack in walking tours of Rome’s foodie neighbourhoods and a behind-the scenes peek into the city’s best coffee shops and gelato parlours. It’s all rolled in to a five-day city break.

Must-try: The hotels and cooking lessons are right in the centre of Rome, so it’s easy to pop by the Trevi Fountain or Roman Forum.

Magic of Christmas Markets

Apple strudel, Merano

Christmas might barely be over, but any foodie worth their salt knows that the wine harvests and winter festivals at the end of the year are one of the best times to be in Italy. (That’s our excuse for thinking about Christmas markets already, anyway!)

A route around Turin, Verona and Bolzano is your best bet. Have dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Turin, sip spiced mulled wine at the Christmas market at the foot of Verona Arena, and see the craftspeople carve traditional nativity sets in Bolzano. Best of all, you’ll get the chance to catch the train up to the mountainous village.

Must-try: The elegant hot chocolate cafés in Turin. The city claims to have invented hot chocolate as Europeans know it, including a heady espresso-laced concoction that’s like an extra creamy mocha.

Sorrento & Amalfi Coast

Sorrento backstreets

You’ll be based in Sorrento on this foodie showcase of the Bay of Naples and Amalfi Coast. Our favourite bit is the Sorrento walking tour that winds its way past the town’s best limoncello shops, pizzerias and gelato parlours.

Must-try: Wine lovers should spend the day in Ischia – just an hour’s ferry ride from Sorrento. This little island’s volcanic soils are a greenhouse for Biancolella and Forastera grapes. 

Gastronomic Barolo Cycling Tour

Langhe vineyards, Piedmont

Our cycling tour trundles off the beaten track and into the golden hills of Piedmont. This north-west corner of Italy quietly gives Emilia-Romagna a run for its money when it comes to food and drink, dealing out Barolo vineyards, Slow Food cities, truffle forests and Michelin Guide hotels. Get there before everyone else finds out about this gem!

Must-try: The tour’s ingenious wine-carrying service. Any bottles you might collect on each day’s travels will be picked up, so your bicycle basket will always be empty for the next vineyard stop.

Shopping and Aperitivi

Florence market stall

This eight-day trip must be one of the most stylish food breaks in Italy. It gets you really stuck in to aperitivo – a distinctly Italian happy hour. It’s usually between 7pm and 9pm, when bars set out wine and snacks in preparation for the locals descending for a pre-dinner drink and chat.

This tour skips between the best cities for aperitivi: Milan, Turin and Florence.

Must-try: We love the Colle Bereto aperitivo bar on Piazza degli Strozzi in Florence. It’s just down the road from Florence Cathedral.

The Wine Trail

Wine Trail, Dolomites

The Wine Trail links together both world-famous and lesser-visited wine regions. You can take this self-guided tour at your own pace, but we recommend spreading the trip over 15 days to really get the most out of the northern wine regions.

Vineyards, cellars and bars are the stars of the show, although the settings aren’t too shabby, either. You’ll get to explore everything from big cities like Turin and Florence to laid-back Lake Garda.

Must-try: Bardolino is one of the jewels of Lake Garda. Time your trip for September – and book well in advance – if you’d like to visit its famous wine festival. 

Tasting Tour of Italy

Wine tasting in Alberobello

Don’t want to stop at one region? No problem – this self-drive tour starts at 14 days long, although you can choose to stay as long as you like in the recommended cities. Turin, Bologna and Florence are all represented.

The second half of the trip sees you sinking south from Tuscany, down into Umbria. You get the chance to stay at real character hotels with top-notch restaurants in little castle towns like Montefalco.

Must-try: Stop by the pretty city of Spoleto to taste-test the pistachio gelato at Gelateria Crispini. It was named the finest flavour at the Gelato World Tour Finals in 2017.

Fancy exploring Italy by its vineyards, Michelin restaurants and aperitivo bars? Check out our collection of foodie holidays and day trips. We’ve also put together a collection of Secret Eats in partnership with some our favourite food bloggers.