Vegan food holiday in Italy

“A vegan food holiday in Italy? You read that right. Spend a week learning how Italians approach veganism with zero compromise on ingredients and taste – and taste the spoils along the way.”


Venice | Bologna | Modena | San Gimignano | Rome

Description of Vegan food holiday in Italy

See the B side of one of the most exacting cuisines in the world on a vegan food holiday to Italy.

Watch Venetian farmers unload their produce from their canal boats to sell at the Rialto market. And ragu alla bolognese can move aside; in Bologna, you’ll learn recipes for vegan versions of some Bologna classics. Down in tower-topped San Gimignano, meanwhile, you’ll get to know the vegan wines at the historic Wine Museum. You’ll finish off in Rome, where you’ll eat at a 30-year-old veggie and vegan institution.

Travel is mostly by rail on this Italian vegan holiday, so although you’ll pack a lot in you’ll move at a leisurely place, led by a foodie expert who’ll teach you how to say the magic words when ordering your morning espresso: senza latte.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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09 Oct 2020
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Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your holiday not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are travelling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are travelling through. All solo travellers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travellers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

As a leading global tour operator in the responsible travel space each of our locally-run small group adventures takes the environmental impact of tourism into serious consideration. Our new Vegan Food Adventures continue in this regard, while bringing a nuanced range of environmental and sustainably-minded issues to the fore.

Veganism is about more than just food, of course. It’s an entire movement, a shift away from animal products generally. The travellers on our Vegan Food Adventures may not necessarily be strictly vegan themselves, but may more generally prioritise health and wellness, as well as the environmental impact of industries catering to the production and distribution of animal products. As such we ensure that all produce is locally sourced along the way, that we eat in locally owned restaurants and support local food producers and artisans with a focus on vegan and plant-based/non-animal venues and activities.
For these unique Vegan Food Adventures, we’d of course love to offer trips that visit vegan hotels and use nothing but vegan alternatives to products such as leather, but the logistics of doing so make it impossible at this stage. Perhaps one day! For now, the focus of our vegan trips is of the epicurean variety – quality, local, authentic vegan cuisine done by those who do it best, in some of the most incredible places around the world.

In Italy we connect travellers with locals engaging with plant-based foods, beginning with the first dinner of the trip at ‘La Tecia,’ the first all-vegan restaurant in Venice. Combining traditional old world flavours with modern touches, their focus on vegan fare and organic produce makes for a special start to the journey. We also visit a vinegar maker in Modena, the site of the ‘real’ Balsamic vinegar and learn first-hand about the proud tradition behind its artisanal production using the wild yeasts of the region. In addition, our local leader will introduce responsible travellers to the many market vendors, local personalities and home cooks throughout the trip, not to mention a biodynamic winemaker harnessing natural agricultural cycles to produce top-level wines.

In Rome our team has sourced local restaurants specialising in both Italian cooking techniques and vegan preparations, so travellers can feel confident that their meals are being prepared by experts who understand vegan traditions. We also feature a farmstay and cooking class in San Gimignano where travellers can meet and dine with a local family, after visiting a wine museum and an award-winning gelateria. The experience gives a unique cultural insight and enables us to support local businesses in rural areas.

We also encourage travellers to take individual steps to help promote responsible travel and suggest bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

The Impacts of this Trip

We’ve seen a high level of interest in our Vegan Food Adventures ever since launching them last year. While India and Thailand were natural choices for destinations offering delicious and authentic vegan options, Italy may be a bit more unexpected for some people. We really wanted to give vegan travellers to Italy a high level gastronomic experience that would rival other, more traditional food tours to the country. We connect customers with a passionate local leader and small growers and producers while maintaining a focus on traditional foods, including a wide variety of pastas (dried, without eggs) and sauces, pizzas (cheese-free but with an endless range of toppings), fresh vegetables enjoyed raw, stuffed, or roasted with olive oil, soups, stews, and of course eggless gelato and fresh fruit sorbets.

As with each of our Real Food Adventures you will not only enjoy the culinary but also the cultural highlights of the destination. One of the highlights of our Vegan Food Adventures is the opportunity to engage with local cooks and chefs and to learn their native cuisine first hand and hands -on. The itinerary includes hands-on vegan cooking classes with local experts, including the chance to prepare all-vegan regional specialties of Bologna.
In addition, we maintain a commitment to employing local leaders and to increasing the number of female leaders across the business.

On this Vegan Food Adventure, we have sourced local leaders who are themselves either vegan or vegetarian with a working knowledge of various forms of veganism and related issues. This allows clear communication and understanding and also means that our leaders can navigate public spaces as a local and can certify when vendors are adhering to our responsible travel practices.


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