Chef Adam Swanson's foodie guide to Italy

Celebrity chef Adam Swanson joins forces with Trafalgar to take you on a gastronomic tour of Italy.

Italy is well-known for its abundance of delicious produce and tasty dishes, but this can make it difficult to know where to start your foodie adventure.

Arming yourself with a chef can make the process slightly easier, so we decided to ask Adam where his favourite places to eat in Italy are. 

Who could be better qualified to take us on a culinary journey than someone who is known as the 'King of Pasta' and star of TV series, Adam's Pasta Pilgrimage?

Follow his guide below or jump on Trafalgar's Italy's Finest trip where Adam will be on board to show you his favourite haunts personally. 


"If baccala (dried salted cod) is up your alley then Dar Filettaro a Santa Barbara is a must. But be warned they only serve baccala with vegetables and salad. It’s tiny and cheap and people queue to eat here, so get in early!

"Visit the amazing all organic Pizzeria Alma Buona to try the incredible pizzas and beautiful wood fired bread. This is where I’ll be taking my Trafalgar guests on their first night and they’ll be getting their hands dirty and learning the technique of how to hand stretch and cook the ultimate pizza from the best pizzaiolos in town.

"When in Rome I think of this amazing pasta dish called Amatriciana which comes from the town Amatrice, which is about three hours from Rome, which was hit by an earthquake a few years ago. This dish is simplicity at its best. It consists of Guanciale, (cured pigs cheek) tomato sugo, olive oil, bucatini pasta and pecorino (sheep’s milk cheese). You will be able to find this on most menus in Rome. Here is my recipe of this amazing dish."


"Known for its renowned Palio Di Siena horse race, its hidden gem is the Panforte. Easiest way to describe a panforte is a very dense and rich fruit and spice Christmas cake. But this dish has been around for thousands of years and can only be found in Siena."


"When in Florence you must stop and take some time to look at the spectacular cathedrals, but I believe the true beauty is in the Florence Food Markets - the open-air fruit and veg markets are unbelievable. When you venture inside you will see and smell all the local ingredients and goods on offer. My guests will be taken through the markets by one of my favourite Italian chefs who will whip show his tips and tricks and whip up a meal for us. You also need to try the ancient dish of Florence called Trippa – tripe that’s been slow braised for many hours, the stomach of cattle and sheep, but it’s delicious."

"Il Cebreo is a great restaurant,but the best part about this place is the trattoria around the side that uses the same kitchen at half the price.

"The small town of San Gimignano is cute and very special to me. I met a wonderful woman on my Trafalgar trip last year by the name of Eve. She was 89 and we would meet at a local coffee shop just metres from her home. It is also home to the best gelato shop in Italy Gelateria Dondoli. It’s been voted to the best gelati in Italy and what a selection of flavours. I can’t wait for my guests to try this amazing gelati."


"A must to visit in Burano is called Il Gatto Nero (The Black Cat). A few years ago, I was lucky enough to film at this restaurant. It’s operated by a father and son and they only believe in using the freshest local seafood available. This will be our final dinner on my amazing trip through Italy this year and I truly can’t wait to go back with Trafalgar.

"Trattoria Alla Madonna, is another place in Venice you need to visit. I stumbled into it just across the Rialto Bridge, just a few lane ways to the left as you go over from Piazza San Marco. It boasts local traditional food that’s inexpensive and you have to try their marinara. My wife and I always remember this place."


"Osteria Del Sole is the oldest pub/bar in town dating back to 1465 and what an experience you’ll have here. What’s great about it is that you bring your own food and buy your drinks at the bar. They serve local beers, wines and digestives. The rules are if you sit on a table with complete strangers you are to share your food and wine with them and with this, you create memories and new friendship."


"Now this place is a completely hidden gem. La Stalla, located in a camping ground, is a restaurant not to miss. It’s located underground in a cave, with an open-fire kitchen where only women cook. The food is to die for and you need to try the slow wood fired potatoes, ohhh and the sausage, quail and polenta."

For more information visit Trafalgar.

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