Visit Italy while sitting comfortably on the sofa. The virtual project, created by Voaigo, to support the tourism sector waiting to return to travel in our country. Here are the tips on where to go (and what to eat) reported by the experts
"Italy has always inspired the world through its creativity and its ability to rise again." Thus began the article that the authoritative American magazine Forbes dedication to #ItaliaDalDivano, the original virtual journey through the historical, scenic and gastronomic beauties of our country made by 20 young people – selected from tourism experts, travel bloggers and journalists – and made accessible through their Instagram profiles during the quarantine days spent at home. As many as 40 stages, far and wide for Italy, from Alta Badia to Pantelleria to discover – while comfortably sitting on the sofa – cities of art, medieval villages and more or less known corners of the Peninsula, with the hope to be able to visit them soon, as soon as it is possible to travel safely.
The idea of the format is of Alessandro Candini is Omar Pancani Voiago, a platform that creates personalized travel experiences: "When the lockdown began, we asked ourselves what we could do to help Italy and support the tourism sector in this difficult time. The project started as a game after sharing a virtual tour of Alicudi, the smallest island of the Aeolian Islands. A lot of appreciation messages arrived immediately from our followers, followed by requests to share other trips. Hence the decision to create a digital format to promote Italian destinations. The contribution, free of charge, of our friends scattered throughout Italy was fundamental, and they immediately responded with great enthusiasm to the appeal ".
Accomplice in captivating graphics – created by the designer Luca Boscardin – #ItaliaDalDivano has captured, from day one (the project started on March 22 and ended on May 1 with the final video), the attention of millions of users on social networks, crossing national borders. After Forbesin fact, also the Australian radio and television broadcaster SBS he wanted to interview Alessandro and Omar to talk about the project.
The protagonists of #ItaliaDalDivano, besides Voiago, are: Paolo Balsamo, Francesca Barbieri, Sara Farris and Marika Zanardi, Stefania Fregni, Marika Laurelli and Diego Miele, Sophie Minchilli, Matteo Nicchia, Annie Ojile, Ciro Pipoli, Valentina Raffaelli, Virginia Simoni , Alessia Sora and Elena Marchi, Salvatore Spatafora, Marco Valmarana and Manuela Vitulli.
In this wonderful journey the images and descriptions of the typical regional dishes, linked to the food and wine traditions of the different Italian territories, could certainly not be missing. And given that according to forecasts, the next holidays will be proximity, we asked each of the participants to report an Italian destination to visit and the specialty to try.
Bari – Manuela Vitulli @manuelavitulli
Among the destinations that I told for #ItaliadalDivano is my Bari. I chose it for the emotional bond but above all because, after years in which it was mistreated, it now deserves the right consideration: a wonderful city, where traditions are still deeply rooted and where the visitor is warmly welcomed. And if we talk about Bari traditions, the orecchiette (whose name derives from the similarity of this fresh handmade pasta with small ears), prepared on the doorstep by the ladies of the old Bari who live in the so-called via delle orecchiette, are a symbol of Puglia and goodness.
Modena – Stefania Fregni @mymodenadiary
I love Modena, the city where I was born and where I live, so much that I also dedicated my blog to it. In these days spent at home I missed the little things: the walks to the market, the tour in the center and the greeting to the Ghirlandina tower. Never taking everyday life for granted is a great lesson I learned during this quarantine. As for the typical Modena dishes, my favorites are: tortellini, tigelle (slang name of the crescentine) and fried dumpling (strictly preceded by the article "il" and not "lo", I recommend).
Salento – Sophie Minchilli @sminchilli
Puglia is certainly one of my favorite regions of southern Italy, in particular Salento. A place where culture, recipes and traditions seem to have crystallized and continue to keep the memory alive despite the galloping pace of modernity, with its frenetic rhythms. The Salento cuisine is renowned for its simplicity, thanks to a deposit of exceptional raw materials: if you come to Salento you absolutely must taste the Sagne Ncannulate, a pasta made from durum wheat flour handmade and served with a simple tomato and ricotta sauce strong ('scante).
Ischia – Annie Ojile @personalitaly
I chose Ischia because it is absolutely my favorite place, both in Italy and in the rest of the world. It is a magical island, less known than Capri, the most glamorous sister. Everyone can find their ideal size: there are 5-star hotels and hidden beaches, rarely visited by tourists. As for food, the specialty to try is the bruschetta with the typical Ischia tomatoes, whose flavor is made unique by the volcanic soils in which they are grown.
Rome – Livia Hengel @liviahengel
Rome is the city where I was born and where I spent the last 10 years of my life. The Eternal City is the place I know best in the world, but nevertheless it never ceases to amaze me with its nuances and centuries of history. And although it is one of the most visited capitals, it is full of hidden places, secret museums and panoramic terraces to be discovered. Among the cult dishes of Roman popular cuisine, my favorite is Cacio e pepe, so perfect in its simplicity.
Naples – Ciro Pipoli @ciropipoli
For my trip with #ItaliaDalDivano I could only choose Naples. I am hopelessly in love with my city, with its strengths and weaknesses. As a Neapolitan, I think it is right to also show its positive side, because, as Pino Daniele sang, "Napule is all about playing and to know everything or munno but they don't know the truth". Speaking of food, you must try – although it may seem obvious to say it – the original Neapolitan pizza. Famous all over the world, this goodness is capable of instilling joy from the first bite. And it doesn't matter if you eat it at home, on the seafront or in a restaurant, the important thing is to enjoy it with friends.
Venice – Marco Valmarana @marcovalmarana
Venice is the city where I was born and to which I am deeply attached. A bit like most Venetians I am very proud of my lagoon origins. Legendary and timeless, telling Venice may seem easy, but grasping its true essence is not at all simple. The traditional dishes that I recommend to try are: Cipriani carpaccio (born from an idea of Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of the famous Harry's Bar), Venetian schie (very small gray prawns caught in the lagoon and served fried) and spaghetti coe cape ( spaghetti with clams).
Gubbio – Paolo Balsamo @paolobalsamo
Lucano transplanted to Umbria, for #ItaliaDalDivano I told the place I love and that most of all makes me feel at home: Gubbio, the most beautiful of the medieval cities, in the green heart of Italy. From a gastronomic point of view, the white truffle certainly deserves a mention, a treasure of the earth that fills our dishes with unique aromas and flavors. If you love this product, or want to discover it in all its forms, Gubbio is the right place. Personally I am crazy about it. I point out the appointment with the National Exhibition of the white truffle of Gubbio which takes place every year during the bridge of the dead.
Salina – Alessandro Candini & Omar Pancani @voiago
With Salina it was love at first sight. The first time we went in 2016 and since then we go back every year, and not only in the summer. The island literally stole our hearts and souls. It is now part of us. The "green princess" of the Aeolian islands is a riot of nature and traditions. If I think about food, more than a dish I am reminded of his capers (from 27 May they will become a new Italian DOP) in particular those of Maurizia who with his small Sapori Eoliani farm gave birth to his son Roberto's dream, flown to heaven too early. And then the granite of Pa.Pe.Ro in Rinella: our favorite is the ricotta one with cocoa drops, to be savored looking at the small bay of black sand while a hydrofoil approaches the marina.
Pantelleria and Ustica – Salvatore Spatafora @foodmakersicilia
Both born from the riots of an underwater volcano, Ustica and Pantelleria are fragments of earth and rock surrounded by blue: the first is located in the Lower Tyrrhenian Sea and is only 36 miles from Palermo, the second is in the center of the Sicilian Channel, more close to Africa than to Europe. And if in the collective imagination these two islands are paradise for those looking for a relaxing holiday by the sea, in their hinterland they hide an agricultural soul to be discovered: in Pantelleria the symbol product is the Zibibbo grape, grown in alberello, from which the famous raisin wine is obtained; in Ustica the small and delicious lentils are renowned, recognized since 2000 as a Slow Food Presidium.
Val di Fassa & Lake Garda – Virginia Simoni @ragoutfood
For #ItaliaDalDivano I made a virtual stop in Val di Fassa, in Trentino, and in the northern tip of Lake Garda, up to my homeland, Biella. They are the places of my childhood, where ancient crafts like that of the margaro, shepherd in the Piedmontese dialect, still resist. I also told about the rite of transhumance of the herds, starting from my neighbor Lauro Croso towards the summer pastures on the Biellese Prealps. The margari produce typical cheeses such as toma and maccagno, at the base of polenta concia, the main dish of Biella and, above all, of the valley of the Sanctuary of Oropa. It is a very creamy type of polenta, seasoned with lots of butter and mountain cheeses.
Marche – Francesca Barbieri @fraintesa
The Marche is a unique region: you can go trekking in the greenery of the San Bartolo park, walk in the medieval villages in the province of Ascoli and enjoy the quiet and tranquility of these magical places. You can dive into the crystal clear waters of the Conero Riviera, or discover the Dante legends of the Rocca di Gradara, interspersing everything with pleasant gourmet breaks. Among the typical products of the area, the truffle of Acqualagna deserves a mention, the capital of the truffle, home to the fair of the same name. To best enjoy it, the advice is to sprinkle it on a plate of steaming passatelli, a typical Marche recipe, obtained from a rich and fragrant mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese and eggs.
Calabria and Molise – Valentina Raffaelli @ valentina.raffaelli
Among the destinations that I have narrated for #ItaliaDalDivano, I would like to point out two unusual itineraries, in Calabria and Molise. Last year, together with my partner, I crossed these two regions on board our Big Blue camper. In Calabria we tried morzello, a tripe specialty that is eaten in a circular bread, the pitta. It should be eaten greedily before it gets too drenched and starts flaking. Not a small feat, considering that it is hot and spicy, but delicious. In Molise, instead, taste the caciocavallo, the typical regional product, and a nice plate of tagliolini with truffle. The Molise mountains are in fact rich in precious truffles, even if they are often exported and passed off as coming from the most renowned places for the production of precious mushrooms.
Lipari and Filicudi – Matteo Nicchia @matt_nc
If I think of Malvasia, sweet summer memories come back to me when I taste this wine on the large terraces of an Aeolian house or on a boat, admiring the lava that comes out of Stromboli. The grapes are harvested late and then left to dry in the sun and wind. My grandmother used to hang it on reeds or woven reed racks. And then there are the capers, always cultivated in the Archipelago, which spontaneously grow almost everywhere, among the dry stone walls, the alleys and the gardens. In the kitchen we islanders use them everywhere: with fish, on pasta, in salads and as pates for bruschetta. They are harvested by hand, between April and August, and preserved in salt. The cucuncio instead is the fruit, since the caper represents the bud of that beautiful flower that looks so much like an orchid.
Sardinia – Sara Farris and Marika Zanardi @cera_una_bolla
Sardinia is our second home, the place where our soul takes shape and rediscovers its perfume. We are made half of the sea and half of Cannonau – the most common black grape variety on the island – with sunny eyes and feet in the sand like juniper roots.
Alta Badia – Alessia Sora and Elena Marchi @alta_badia_official
Through the story of our land we wanted to share the beauty of the Dolomites and the nature that surrounds us every day. From these majestic mountains we learned that in the dark moments, even if we are still, we never remain motionless. We can be far away, but not alone. Distant, but still united. Our favorite Ladin dish is turtres, pancakes stuffed with spinach and ricotta which for our grandparents represented the main course on Saturday, served with a hot barley soup.
Genoa – Marika Laurelli & Diego Miele @ gate_309
Among the Italian destinations that we have told for this virtual journey is Genoa, an amazing city that still retains its historical soul, despite being projected into the future. As for the gastronomic aspect, we recommend trying the famous Genoese pesto. Symbol of excellence of Made in Italy, it is the second most famous sauce in the world after tomato sauce, and aims to become a UNESCO heritage site.