I am starting to plan a trip to northern Italy in late September (after the local school holidays) and would like some advice o the itinerary.
We are looking to eat well (obviously) and our goal it to eat classic Italian food. Our preference is simple local (slow) food, cooking where the ingredients shine, with flavour preferred to presentation i.e. the essence of Italian cuisine. We are four adults who do eat anything and drink everything but we are budget conscious and prefer value rather than "spending to be seen".
The current plan is to fly into Milan then head for Turin (good recent posts on the board), then head out to explore Piedmont, probably heading to Alba. After that we will head to the lakes for a week or so before dropping down to Bologna (again well covered on the board) and looping back to Milan for the last night. Maybe we will stop over in Verona, Modena, and Parma but I feel the best food experiences are going to be in the countryside rather than big cities (am I correct?)
I searched the board for Como and the lakes and found some useful info but much is quite dated. My questions:
1. Any thoughts on the towns/villages we should target based on their proximity to good food and wine?
2. Recommendations for good restaurants, accomodation (not too grand) or agriturismo's?
3. Is Osterie d'Italia a reliable guide?
Thanks in anticipation.