Ah, Verona – the city of love. The city of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. We live only 45 minutes from Verona and yet (thanks to COVID-19), I hadn’t been until just recently. We decided on a food tour as a unique way to visit Verona, the renowned city of love. This choice was partially because food is one of the only ways I can get my husband Brandon out of the house. But it was also because I thought it was a unique way to experience Verona! We also wanted to support local businesses – the tourism industry everywhere (but especially in Italy), has taken a major hit. So come with me on this incredible, edible tour in Verona, the city of love.
A Food Tour in Verona - Osteria del Bugiardo
The first stop on our food tour in Verona was Osteria del Bugiardo, where we had some incredible wine and bruschetta. Fun fact about bruschetta: I didn’t know until I moved to Italy that I was actually pronouncing it wrong! I was using the British pronunciation (no idea why, I’m American) of bru-sheh-ta, when it’s actually pronounced bru-skeh-ta. This is how the Italians pronounce it and, according to Google, the American pronunciation. But I digress! Back to the amazing bruschetta we tried on our food tour in Verona at Osteri del Bugiardo!
Ever seen bruschetta like this? I know I hadn’t before coming to Italy! Our amazing tour guide Enrico explained the toppings on each one while my husband and I marveled at just how creative Italians are when it comes to their incredible dishes! Gorgonzola and pumpkin puree on bruschetta? Who would have thought that would taste so incredible! The wine was also amazing, we tried an exquisite Valpolicella here, which is made in the Verona province.
A Food Tour in Verona - La Bottega della Gina
Our next stop on our delicious Verona food tour was La Bottage della Gina. Just looking at this quaint little pasta restaurant it was clear it was somewhere only locals go. The front of the restaurant displayed a variety of beautiful hand-made pasta that made our mouths water just looking at it.
Since I’m terrible at making decisions, I got a bowl that was basically a sampler of each pasta. I chose to get just butter and parmesan on it as that’s what was recommended. It was incredible! Truffle in pasta, pumpkin in pasta, cheese, beef? Everything was absolutely delicious! Plus, it was just plain pretty to look at!
A Food Tour in Verona - La Vecia Mescola
This stop on our Verona Food Tour was somehow even more amazing than the first two! This was a much more formal spot and likely a little pricier than the other options. The décor was absolutely stunning and the presentation of the delicious food we got to try was even better.
In addition to the pretty pasta pictured above, we got to try some braised beef and horse. Yep, you read that right. Italians and other Europeans eat horse, you can even get it on pizza. I’ll admit I was a little squeamish at first but I’m pretty open to trying everything at least twice – plus, I wanted the full authentic experience. So I tried it and honestly, it was really good! The meat came with a side of mashed potatoes and polenta. Polenta is similar to mashed potatoes but is made from cornmeal that can be served as a hot porridge type food, or cooled and solidified into a loaf that can then be fried or baked. It’s a common food in Italy and while some Americans I know don’t like it (some refuse to even try it) – I like it! I definitely preferred it this way, served like mashed potatoes.
A Food Tour in Verona - Pasticceria De Rossi
We finished up our food tour in Verona at a lovely and quaint pasticceria. At this point we were stuffed and nearly in a food coma from all the incredible food we ate on this truly amazing food tour. So we finished up with a cappuccino and some tasty pastries. Our guide got us two risino, a traditional Veronese dessert. Risino is a delicious pastry with a filling that’s similar to rice pudding. I can’t wait to visit Verona again to get some more!
Where you can book your own food tour in Verona, Italy
I’m sure after reading about and seeing all that delicious food, you’re wondering where you can go to book your Verona food tour! Our tour was through “Do Eat Better”, a company that has food tours throughout Italy, Spain, and France. All of the tours utilize local guides for a truly authentic experience. Our guide, Enrico, was a native to Verona and made our tour truly memorable. We actually came across the tour on AirBnb and booked through the app. However, you can also go on their website to book your tour, and check out everywhere else they offer food tours! While COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to relax here in Italy, the tourism industry is still suffering throughout Europe and we should do everything we can to support local businesses and guides.
This was my first food tour and it opened my eyes to just how much you can learn and experience about a new place through their cuisine! Shortly after this, I did a food tour in Tucson, Arizona – one of two UNESCO recognized cities of gastronomy in the United States. I can’t wait to do even more food tours throughout Europe and the US! Have you ever done a food tour? Let me know how it was in the comments!