Why is Italy such a favorite destination of world travelers? The food. The art. Wine country. The food. The Amalfi Coast. The food. The language. The rich culture. Did I mention the food? All travel itineraries to Italy certainly include stops at local trattorias, osterias and ristorantes to sample the delectable cuisine. But, now, Italian cooks are taking it one step further and inviting travelers into their casas for a true home-cooked meal.
Home restaurants are becoming increasingly more popular in Italy. Italians are opening the doors of their homes to share recipes passed down from generation to generation. Guests enter an Italian home and are served traditional dishes native to the region they are visiting. Some home restaurants even allow guests to help in the meal preparation offering cooking lessons; prior to enjoying the fruits of their labor, of course. Eating in a home restaurant offers more than an Italian home-cooked meal. It allows the guest to experience the atmosphere in Italy at meal times. A time when people share food, wine, good conversation, and, of course, have a good laugh.
Just imagine having the opportunity to experience the hospitality and friendliness of Italians, learning about the area in which they live – from the local’s perspective – all while enjoying a meal that has been passed down from ancestors in the comfort of a home kitchen. Traveling through Italy with the opportunity to visit a home restaurant truly provides a traveler an authentic Italian culinary experience.
Perhaps the most popular network of home cooks is Le Cesarine, a name derived from the Roman emperor Julius Caesar because they are the “empresses” who preside over their kitchen. Unpaid women (and even some men) volunteer to open their home to guests. Le Cesarine are carefully screened and selected for their knowledge of local foods and cooking techniques, commitment to tradition and ability to communicate this passion to visitors from all over the globe. The organization was founded in 2004 and has since hosted over 300,000 visitors. From lunches and dinners to cooking lessons, wine tours and other events, visitors can make reservations at homefood.it/en. Meals typically range from 50 to 60 euros per person. It is with experiences like home restaurants that a tourist turns into a traveler. As a home cook will most definitely say to you, Buon appetito!