Missing Italy? For those of you who may not be able to travel to Italia just yet, here are a few ways you can stay connected and experience Italy at home...
From a unique online cooking school, a wine crash course lesson from a local sommelier, truffle classes from a real Italian truffle hunter, Italian language lessons, online art lessons, virtual tours in remote locations in Italy, food tasting boxes with local Italian products, or free content.
There is plenty to choose from! Check out the list I put together below:
The Italian Online Cooking School with the Foodie Sisters in Italy. These two amazing women and founders of Local Aromas, a family run Italian food and wine experiences company based in Rome, Italy, created a unique online Italian cooking school in order to stay connected with their clients and all those people that for one reason or another could not make their way to Italy but still love all that is Italian. When you subscribe to their school (for only $27 a month) you'll have access to over 120 recipes from the most traditional Italian cooking books - some never before translated into English! Not your average online cooking class, The Italian Online Cooking School combines cooking and storytelling with beautiful visuals. You'll learn how to make authentic homemade Italian food and learn the history and origins behind each dish. Every step-by-step video makes cooking a delicious Italian meal not only fool-proof but fun. Click here to learn more.
Wine crash course with a local sommelier in Italy. This condensed course from a local sommelier in the Castelli Romani (the wine region of Lazio just outside of Rome) has been created specifically for wine lovers who want to learn more about the wonderful world of wine but don't necessarily have the time. To say this $30 course (yes that is the correct price) is a steal is an understatement. Michelle Smith's expertise is extensive, as is this course. Not sure how, but she's somehow managed to fit a ton of information into a brief online course of only one hour. Divided into 4 videos, you'll learn how grapes are grown, how wine is made, and the sensory analysis and techniques to carry out a wine tasting. Click here to learn more.
Italian Lessons with a REAL Italian. For those who struggle with studying or with the Italian language in general, Italian with Davide is a godsend. Once you sign up, you can watch the course whenever and wherever you want. So you can learn at your own pace. Davide's online videos are fun, engaging and strategic. Each lesson follows a specific learning path and structure so nothing is randomly taught. You will go from point A to B, making daily progress almost effortlessly. And the content that Davide has specifically chosen is the perfect introduction and flow for English speakers to get used to the Italian language. There are two levels: Beginners (which is 18 hours long and made up of over 125 videos, 900 plus exercises) and Intermediate (with 9.5 hours of content, 80 plus videos and over 500 exercises). And if all that wasn't enough to convince you, Davide offers WhatsApp support so for any questions, you can contact him directly. Or you can join the private group on Telegram and interact with the other students throughout your journey of the Italian language. There is seriously no better time (or way) to learn Italian then with Davide. Courses just opened up this Friday but registration ends this upcoming Wednesday, May 26th. So hurry and sign up today!
Il Doppio Creative Art Studio in Rome has come up with a unique and rather innovative solution to continue taking part in (as well as supporting) the arts. They are offering Livestream Zoom Lifedrawing Sessions broadcast live from their studio theater in the heart of Rome. Every week is a different theme and live model. Open to all levels, beginners to pro. Tickets are only 15 euros so click here to sign up and help support the arts!
Another unique offering is by Studio Cassio. Due to the current situation, they have moved their normally in-person mosaic courses online. They have two course levels: Basic Roman Mosaic or Advanced, teaching you the traditional Roman techniques and tradition. You'll not only learn about the history and the art of mosaic making, you'll also be supporting a family-owned business that has been around for nearly two centuries. To learn about this wonderful organization and their courses, click here.
Matteo Truffles the Truffle Hunter. AKA the King of Truffles, at least in the Lazio region of Italy near Rome. Matteo is the master of everything truffles. From truffle oils and products that he can ship directly to you in the U.S., to truffle lessons, fun content and videos, and how to be a truffle hunter. He was one of the first people to create the most unique experience in Italy - truffle hunting in the woods with his adorable truffle hunting dogs. After which, he will cook you a multi-course dinner, all dishes featuring the delicious truffle as the star ingredient. He can also organize private events, experiences and dinners upon request. To learn more, go to Matteo's website.
ShengoXp, share and go experiences, decided to launch an entirely new product in lieu of the recent travel restrictions. With their unique ShengoXp Live Virtual Tours and Experiences which all come with a special tasting box, you can experience Italy from anywhere. From a live stream tour of a cheese factory in Molise and guided cheese tasting, to a virtual visit of a local olive oil mill in Umbria where you get to speak with the local producer before tasting their products. Or for the perfect gift (even if for yourself) you can order one of their Shengo Boxes featuring handpicked local Italian products and delicacies, they literally bring Italy right to your door! Click here to learn more.
Saula Giusto, founder of Roma Wine Experience is quite the powerhouse here in Rome. Esteemed wine sommelier, she has a wide range of offerings to her clients past and future. Since most of them can't come back to Italy just yet to experience her fabulous wine tasting classes and events in person, Saula has come up with different ways to interact and engage her customers, connecting them to the wine community and wine producers here in Italy. Besides her 'Smart Wine Tastings' and another secret new project she is in the midst of launching, Saula also partakes in an unconventional podcast dedicated to the world of vino called Wine Soundtrack, Follow her on Instagram to see the fresh content and latest wines she is recommending: @saulagiusto
I may be a little biased but, my dear friend Josephine (Jo) writes the most charming cooking blog. Featuring recipes, dishes, food history and other personal tidbits. Cooking lover or not, her food blog posts read more like whimsical short stories. To get a taste, check out her blog: Frascati Cooking That's Amore
And last but certainly not least is the blog of another dear friend of mine, Testaccina. Before I even met her in person, I had used her blog as a resource and point of reference before moving to Rome. And even now! Testaccina is literally my go-to for everything. She is always in the know of the latest openings, where to dine and drink, the best spots, shops, sights, secret locations and travel tips...even the best walks around the Eternal City. You name it. Testaccina knows everything to do and see in Rome (and beyond). So when it's time to plan that trip to Italy again, you know where to start your travel research...testaccina