My girlfriend and I are traveling through Italy in early June and would love some seasoned eater and travelers advice.
A bit about us.
We travel very often, and would rather spend our money on a flight and an off the beaten path meal than a fine dining experience in our own town (SF and LA). We are active in the kitchen and love the slow food movement. We cure our own meat, roll our own pasta, brew beer, and I have built several brick ovens and computer controlled meat smokers. Needless to say, we not only love food, but love the process and the artisans who take pride in their craft.
Our upcoming trip is a quick one, but since we are both focused on the same thing, are hoping we can avoid tourist traps.
Unfortunately we don't speak Italian, but will have our iPhones ready with a dictionary.
Our current plan is to fly into Milan and make our way south. Our only requirement is to make it to Sicily for a few days and eventually back to Rome for our flight home.
So, with 9 days, what are the must do food lover experiences from Milan to Sicily.
We have read quite a few threads on each city (Florence, bologna, Rome, etc)....but were hoping for a higher level sense of how to plan our trip.
Is each city best seen on foot? We are happy to walk several miles a day. Are the artisans outside the city and we need a car? Is there amazing food to be had on the roadside in the country? If you could pick 3 best foodie cities, which would they be?
Our budget is flexible, but we get far more excited by a great rustic meal than a fine dining experience. Maybe even a few home meals? Also, recommended cooking classes are great too.
Sorry if this has so many questions, and our excitement is transparent. We probably should have made this a month long trip.