Italy Like David Rocco
Bring your love of Italian food to the place where it all started.
Picture the Perfect Italian Getaway
David Rocco has been traveling Italy since he was six, and is eager to share some of his favorite places and activities. Start your trip at the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, and gaze out at the beautiful Arno River.
David sits perched with Florence and its massive dome, Il Duomo, behind him. Looking down from above is an exhilarating way to experience a city and its life down below. Florence has many beautiful vantage points that mustn't be missed, like the San Francesco Church, which sits on a nearby hill.
A Toast to the Countryside
It's no secret that Italians prepare many of the world's finest wines, and that means visiting a vineyard is an absolute must. David walks down the rows of grape vines in Chianti, but Italy has many great growing regions to choose from. Visit Piedmont or Veneto if you're up north, and Lazio or Campania if further south.
Fruits of Their Labor
Italian grapes are responsible for more than a million gallons of wine each year, making Italy the number one producer of wine in the world. Build your palate by trying many different varietals.
Learn to Cook Like a Pro
It may be too late to learn Italian, but it's never too late to learn some Italian cooking. From a single-day class at a bed and breakfast in Rome to weeklong farm-to-table getaways in the Tuscan countryside, you can find a hands-on Italian cooking experience that's perfect for you.
A Gnocchi to Remember
Trying fresh pasta in Italy is a must, and missing out on fresh gnocchi would be a crime. When made properly, they're pillowy and light and nearly melt in your mouth. David makes his with ricotta and grana padano, but plain old potato works just as well.
Get the Recipe: Ricotta and Grana Padano Gnocchi
A Taste of Handmade Sauce
Traditional Italian marinara calls for crushing the tomatoes by hand. Stop into a small, family-run restaurant or pick up a bottle at a farmers' market to experience the delicate taste of tomato sauce made the traditional way. David likes to get his hands dirty making his own.
For The Love Of Cheese
Some of the best Parmesan Reggiano comes from its two namesakes, the Parma and Reggio Emilia regions of Northern Italy. It's so good that you'll want to take home a few pieces — or a few pounds, like David.
Best When Fresh
Whether up north in Tuscany or down south in Sicily, set aside time for visiting a farmers' market. Some are held daily, others monthly, but almost all sell the country's freshest produce. Look for olives if you're in the Puglia and Calabria regions, and tomatoes if you're up near Emilia Romagna.
Hunting for Gold
When it comes to specialty foods, truffles reign king. Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience and watch as specially trained dogs sniff out Italy’s finest truffles by their pungent smell. For truffles lovers, this is the ultimate treasure hunt!
Enjoy the spoils of the hunt with fresh truffles on your favorite dish. David sprinkles them on his eggs, but you can use truffles to accent pastas, meats and many other dishes too.
Get the Recipe: Fried Eggs With Truffles
Have a Seat Next to the City
Italy's cities are brimming with beautiful outdoor cafes and eateries. Take some time to sit back and relax with a rich espresso in hand and the lively Italian architecture all around.
Italy's love for food may only be trumped by its love for soccer. Celebrate the sport by kicking around a ball at a park or, even better, by getting tickets to a professional soccer match. Italy's premier league, Serie A, is home to many of the world's top players.
All the Hungry Pigeons
Venice's St. Mark's Square is infamous for its pigeons. The great piazza also boasts many important monuments, such as the St. Mark's Church and Clock Tower, and is considered the principal square of Venice. While it's no longer allowed to feed the birds, pay them a visit — all bazillion of them.
Travel in Style
Getting around Italy can be done by car, train or bus, but what's cooler than doing it by Vespa? Rent a scooter by the hour or the day, and then zip around through the beautiful, bustling streets.
Getaway by the Sea
The Amalfi coast and its natural landscape are a vacationer's dream. Picture vast mountains plunging steeply into clear blue water. Enjoy a seaside picnic at the banks of the Mediterranean like David and his wife.
End on a Sweet Note
Italy by night is a thing of beauty. From live music and dancing to street performers and lamp-lit sidewalks, there's lots to love. After dinner, enjoy serene views of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo, or a romantic stroll through Rome's Campo de Fiori. A cup of Italy's mouth-watering gelato ice cream is the perfect ending to a day of adventure.