Food, Food, Glorious Food

30 March 2015
Read Time: 1.9 mins

Everyone now is about the food. And the Italians are soooooooo about their food. So what better way to embrace Italy than to do it through their culinary offerings. This was Infinity Consultant, Theo Papas' experience when he spent a week-long tour in the centre of the Roman Empire – a place that lives and breathes its culture, its landmarks, its food and its romantic atmosphere.

 Italy is all over the sweet stuff. (Image: Theo Papas)
 An Italian Basilica - beautiful landmarks are everywhere.

“It was a pleasure to embrace and experience Italy – the neighbour to the site of my cultural heritage, Greece – a place that approaches food, wine and life with even more gusto (in fact I think gusto is an Italian word)!

The whole trip of central Italy was signified with food and wine, lots of “best of” food highlights - the best steak in Florence, the best lasagne IN MY LIFE, the most memorable Proseco on the Spanish Steps in Rome, the most delicious…

 It is all about the food - the BEST lasagne.(Image: Theo Papas)

Throughout our tour, we soaked up the ancient history and architecture, all with a very romantic vibe, where you could easily imagine yourself living in a bygone era.

There was always so much to take in with gorgeous views of the Tuscan countryside, or then travelling throughout the regions of Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti, and Florence - all these areas we discovered, were not only lush with breathtaking landscapes but also full of ancient towns with cobble-stoned streets, stunning cathedrals, old fortresses, and places that were rich with tasty food and great, great wine.

 A beautiful cathedral that we stumbled across.(Image: Theo Papas)

Of course for true eye-popping opulence, in case your senses haven’t been sufficiently assaulted, a trip to the Vatican Museum in Rome will surely fix that. The artwork and detail of the mosaics and artifacts were truly overwhelming.

 Vatican Museum, St.Peter's Basilica. (Image: Getty Images)

The beauty of our tour was that it was as much about the culture and the history, as it was about the food. This had the added benefit that you got to enjoy relaxed lunches and dinners, eating local produce like the locals.

One of my favourite memories was enjoying a beautiful and relaxed lunch, drinking Chianti in the place where the grapes were grown.

 And then it is all about the wine (Image: Theo Pappas)

And one of my favourite places was San Gimignano which is quite small medieval town in the province of Siena. This place is a lovely concentration of all the best things of Italy - it has incredible medieval architecture, in a hilltop setting with both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, and the town also is known for the white wine! The wine is called Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and is produced from the ancient variety of Vernaccia grape which is grown on the sandstone hillsides of the area.

 Abbey of Sant Antimo, Abbazia di Sant Antimo, 12th century, Romanesque architecture in Siena with grape vines of course.(Image: Getty Images)

I would recommend visiting central Italy to anyone, and if you are a foodie, well that is just a bonus.

The tour we took really enabled us to immerse ourselves in the Italian history and Italian way of life.

 Just your average back street. (Image: Theo Papas)

So go on – go and live a little of the “La Vita Dolce”, the sweet life - you deserve it.

Tara Young

The experience of travel changes a person. I see my job as highlighting what amazing travel opportunities there are to broaden your knowledge of that great big world beyond your doorstep and what you may learn about yourself on the way.