As travel restrictions and environmental awareness convince holidaymakers to keep local, staycations are booming. Italy is a favorite destination of holiday makers worldwide and while you may not be able to visit just yet, you can always recreate some of the charm at home. With the weather getting warmer and warmer now is the perfect time for Italian-themed picnics packed with healthy foods.
The best Italian picnic foods
In Italy a day out in the countryside is known as a ‘scampagnata’. Going on your own scampagnata is a great way to mix up your day out. While Italian food may sound daunting for a novice chef, the truth is many of the most iconic Italian dishes are deceptively simple to make. The secret is quality ingredients. Caprese salad is a simple but delicious dish containing only six ingredients; sliced mozzarella, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh basil, sliced tomato, fine sea salt and black pepper. Antipasto is a common Italian starter consisting of finger foods like sliced cheeses and cured meats. Assembly is quick and simple, making it perfect for picnics!
Frittata are essentially slow-cooked omelets containing a variety of foods from potato to leftover spaghetti. Often referred to as a “fridge-cleaner” dish, frittatas can be made using virtually any filling making them ideal for using up leftovers. As a result there are dozens of popular frittatas for you to experiment with! If you’re feeling in more of a sandwich mood, turn your frittata into a ’panino con la frittata’ with the help of some freshly-baked bread. Italian sandwiches are famous for their use of quality so be sure to do some reading as there’s definitely one out there for you.
Cannoli is a staple Italian dessert sold as a treat on streets across the world. While the dessert looks elaborate the shells (which can be bought ready-made) are by far the most difficult component. The filling is simply a mix of beaten sugar, ricotta and mascarpone which one may choose to liven up with things like pistachio nuts.
Finding the perfect picnic spot
Of course food isn’t the end all be all of a successful picnic, the location is just as important. Though finding the perfect spot can be tricky, modern technology can provide some serious assistance. Of course for many of us our first stop will be Google Maps. Here not only will you be able to find the closest parks but you will be able to preview them using Street View, giving you the opportunity to select the ideal spot long before you arrive. The same holds true for popular beaches and hiking trails. While Street View may not officially reach these places, you’ll often find that individual citizens have taken panoramic photos in these areas and uploaded them for everyone to see.
Staycations have never been more popular and are a progressive and convenient way to holiday without the fuss. With summer on the way the Mediterranean isn’t far from our minds. With that in mind, a well-planned picnic is the perfect way to bring a little bit of Italy to your own home!