The Best Gourmet Food and Wine Experiences in Italy

Lunch in Tuscany, best typical food

How to discover the best food and wine experiences in Italy?

Artviva specialises in the highest quality, unique gourmet experiences in Tuscany and all around Italy.

Italy’s fertile and varied land and blessed climate combined with the Italian passion for excellence has created some of the world’s best food. Indeed the production of many Italian food products are subject to strict requirements by the government to protect its culinary reputation.

Why is Italian food the best?

Italian food and Italian cuisine is renowned the world over for being the best! Why is Italian food so good? Well aside from using simple, fresh ingredients in perfect combinations to time-tested recipes, the quality of the ingredients is gold standard.

The use of many pesticides and fertilisers used elsewhere is prohibited and specific procedures and government guidelines must be followed encouraging producers to focus on tradition, quality and reliability. If produced correctly the label of products such as prosciutto or Extra Virgin Olive oil can certify themselves as D.O.P. – (Protected Designation of Origin) or IGP (Indication of Geographic Protection) and this is how you can tell an authentic quality Italian product from cheap knock-offs.

food experiences in italy


What to eat in Florence, Italy?

Florence is famous for the Bistecca Fiorentine – a thick, rare cut of steak from the Chianina white cows of the Val di Chiana in Tuscany. This steak is prepared to make it tender, grilled briefly on all sides on a high heat, and seasoned simply for a true Tuscan experience. Artviva hosts the first and only original Florentine Steak Experience in an authentic Tuscan trattoria.

Bistecca Fiorentina – The Florentine Steak Experience

Florentine beef steak on a wooden platter with roast potatoes, bread and fresh salad

How to experience the wine harvest in Italy?

Grape-stomping or grape-treading is a unique wine experience in Tuscany where you can experience an ancient technique used to process grapes for wine! This fun and rare activity is a great day out and takes place in the autumn from around September-November each year depending on the weather that year for when the harvest is.

This traditional method of macerating grapes dates back to at least the 3rd century AD in the Roman empire. Indeed now we have modern methods – the mechanical wine press, a potentially more hygienic and efficient method to squeeze the juice of the grapes which also starts the fermentation process.

Grape stomping – seasonal wine harvest activity in Tuscany

grape stomping wine tour

What are the best food experiences in Tuscany, Italy?

Foraging for wild Tuscan herbs

With Artviva you can forage for wild herbs and vegetables in the countryside of Tuscany. The region’s top forager goes regularly to forage for Florence’s best restaurants – and now you can too! You’ll learn all about the local and seasonal edible plants you find on this enjoyable stroll through the forest paths.

Truffle hunting

With our special truffle hunting experience, you can journey into the Tuscan countryside. Enjoy scouting for truffles in the company of an expert hunter, then enjoy the fruits of your labour with a light truffle-themed lunch!


What are the best cooking classes in Florence?

If you’ve done the Florentine Steak experience, or perhaps are veggie or not a fan of rare meat, Artviva has plenty of other cooking classes in Florence for you to try.

Authentic Tuscan 4 course cooking class

For the full Tuscan cooking experience, this cooking class in Florence will teach you 4 authentic recipes. You’ll dine on your meal with wine in the center of Florence. With this full class, you’ll even get to learn how to make pasta! In this class you’ll:

  • Learn to cook an Italian “Antipasto”
  • Discover the art of home-made pasta
  • Understand what is the “Secondo” – the second main course
  • Enjoy making a typical Italian Dessert

Deluxe 3 course dinner or lunch

A similar but shorter 3 hour cooking class, held in a beautiful wine cellar in Florence. Skip the pasta course and learn the Tuscan essentials while enjoying a delicious meal with your friends.

Pizza making classes

Ever wondered why Italian pizza is so good?! The world over you’ll never find pizza as good as in Italy – especially in Napoli!  Rumour has it that the microorganisms in the water of Naples is what makes it’s pizza dough so unique and so – delicious! That’s why it can’t ever be truly replicated anywhere else.
Take a true Napolitan pizzaoila and all authentic ingredients and it will still taste different to Napolitan pizza! Nevertheless we can help you get as close as possible to the real thing – are you ready to make true Italian pizza with this pizza making class?!
pizza class

Pasta making classes

Making home-made pasta is a true Italian art! The packets of dry pasta you see in the supermarket are a long way from authentic fresh pasta and now you can learn how to make it! On this foodie experience our expert pasta chefs will show you how to make the “impasto” and how to create the different shapes you find. Now you’ll be able to make fresh pasta at home every day – once you know the secrets it’s easy! Take this pasta cooking class in Florence to learn the secrets of fresh pasta and delight all your family and friends with your new cooking skills! – Like a real Italian!

online pasta class

What to eat as a vegan or vegetarian in Florence, Italy?

Tuscan cuisine has plenty of plant-based traditional recipes. As is the case throughout Italy, vegans and vegetarians have no shortage of authentic and delicious food to try. Some examples of traditional Tuscan recipes that are “accidentally vegan” are: panzanella, cecina, pappa al pomodoro, ribollita and castinaccio. Artviva offers a range of vegan cooking classes in Florence and a vegan food tour of Florence.

Vegan and Vegetarian Cooking Classes in Florence

vegan cooking class florence

Vegan Cooking Class with Views of Florence

Enjoy cooking up fresh vegan pasta and baking Italian vegan cookies – cantucci with a top vegan chef in Florence. In a beautiful location overlooking Florence you’ll dine on your prepared food while watching the sunset with a glass of organic wine.

Vegan Cooking Class with Views of Florence: 4 Courses

If you’d like a longer experience you can learn the recipes to a 4 course meal in this extended vegan cooking class in Florence. Enjoy a 5 hour experience in a delightful kitchen with a top specialist vegan chef and enjoy your dinner in the garden – weather permitting! – with spectacular views.

Vegan Food Tour of Florence

Our vegan food tour is a perfect way to stroll through Florence and enjoy it’s vegan friendly offerings. Since there’s so much fresh local produce, and many traditional recipes, on this tour we’ll give you many tasters of what’s on offer.

vegan food tour in florence

Tastes of Florence -Food & Wine Market tour

The local food market:

 In Florence we have our popular food and wine tour that takes you to the buzzing central market of San Lorenzo. You’ll try local specialities such as “Lampredotto” while also learning about real balsamic, olive oil, and everything from the Italian breakfast – a coffee and “cornetto” – to the benefits of starting a meal with Prosecco!

This is one of our favorite tours in Florence and takes you from breakfast, aperitivo to lunch with wine and even finishes off with a classic gelato – you’ll be full and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. This food and wine tour in Florence can be adapted if you’re vegan, vegetarian or whatever dietary requirements you have please just warn us in advance.

food market sicily

Amalfi Coast:

Amazing Positano Cooking Class –

In our range of specialist gourmet experiences

Palermo, Sicily: Cook with a noble chef!

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