I hear you snickering out there already…what does Rick Zullo know about the best restaurants in Italy? Precious little, I’m afraid. I’ve never claimed to be a gourmet, buongustaio, or foodie. In any case, my Sicilian wife is a great cook and we eat at home quite a bit (especially now with a piccolina in the house). But fortunately, I have a few friends that know quite a bit about the best restaurants in Italy and I’m not afraid to exploit them for the purposes of promoting my blog. I’m kidding, they’ve all offered to contribute voluntarily, for which I’m both perplexed and extremely grateful. Seriously folks, you will not encounter a more genuine or authoritative group of food writers than the all-star roster that I’ve duped into contributing to this effort. How did I come to discover these folks? Well, I was searching for restaurant information myself—both online and on the ground—and these names kept reappearing. Eventually I found their websites, bought their apps, and followed them on Facebook and Twitter. That’s when it occurred to me to create this little book, as a way of introducing them to my readers and to anybody who wants to increase their knowledge of Italian food culture, and make sure that their next visit to Italy includes some memorable dining experiences. Now, my little guide is only a “taste,” mind you. If you want the full meal, then I suggest that you visit their sites individually for yourselves. They are all involved in every aspect of food appreciation, from shopping at the markets, to leading food tours, to conducting cooking classes; these people are the experts with experience. So…let me introduce them to you:
Eleonora Baldwin is an American born, Italian raised citizen of the world. After a successful career in graphic design and in the motion picture business, she is now an active writer and journalist, blogger, gourmet vacation planner and photographer. Eleonora lives in Rome, and reports her insider knowledge and passion for a number of webzines, blogs and online food and travel platforms. Her writing appears regularly in several online food columns that focus on Italian recipes, culinary customs and way of life. Her blogs illustrate recipes, restaurant reviews, and useful tools for parents traveling with kids in Rome.
Gillian McGuire is a lifetime beach girl at heart. She now lives in Rome while falling in love with the Amalfi Coast. Luckily, la costiera amalfitana is a very easy drive from Rome and she has made many trips since moving to Italy in 2006. She spends the most time in Positano and Capri, but explores a little more of this incredible part of Italy with each trip south. When she’s not enjoying time on the Amalfi Coast, she’s in Rome, writing for her blog and helping others with their blogs, web presence and social media.
Judy Witts Francini, is a member of the Italian Personal Chef Association, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, a member of Slow Food International, and a student of cooking for over 30 years. She’s married to a native Florentine, Andrea Francini, whose knowledge of Florence provides her with additional valuable insights. Her blog, Over the Tuscan Stove, features weekly articles for those who want to keep current on Tuscany.
Monica Cesarato is a native Venetian who runs a B&B in Oriago di Mira, near Venice. She also conducts Venetian cooking classes and offers food tours of Venice. She’s a qualified language teacher, as well, with 20 years’ experience. Married to an Englishman and she lived for 10 years in England where she taught Italian. Monica suggests that you eat your way through Venice by sampling the various cicchetti (typical Venetian snacks) and local wines from The Veneto region, which will also give you some insight into Venice’s everyday life, and about the Venetian people and their culture.
The Best Restaurants in Italy
Of course, it’s presumptuous to talk about “the best restaurants in Italy,” because it’s always subjective, even when the opinions come from these known experts. Instead, let’s call these some favorite places of these well-established chefs and food writers. Their choices of favorite places are based on their personal assessments as well as the feedback they’ve received from others: the students in their classes, the clients taking their food tours, and the commenters on their blogs. So what are you waiting for? Click on the book cover to download the eBook now and keep this guide handy on your next visit to Italy. (If you’re already in Italy, better still!) BUT—if you really want a taste of the real Italy, contact these talented foodies directly for the full immersion experience. Buon appetito!