Sawday's at home

Sawday’s at home: in Italy

In the first of our Sawday’s at home series, we invite your imagination to roam through Italy. There are recipes from food writers and our owners in the heart of Tuscany so you can create your own Italian feast at home, as well as virtual museum tours and some of our favourite inspirational articles to get you dreaming of future travels. 

Whether you’re missing perfect fresh pasta, sparkling blue seas or the shade of a vineyard terrace, we hope this keeps you going until we can all head south again.

Recreate the flavours

Missing Italy means longing for its food. If, like us, you’re craving those perfect combinations of fresh ingredients, then let these recipes from Sawday’s owners and food writers satisfy your Italian appetite.

Nearly egg-less pasta recipe

Luisa, owner of Il Rigo in Siena, has spent many years perfecting her almost egg-less pasta recipe. She shares her secret and talks through some of her go-to sauces from her beautiful farmhouse in Tuscany.

View the recipes >

Fagioli nel fiasco

This one-pot “bean stew” recipe is a firm favourite of Ilaria at Fattoria Barbialla Nuova. It’s a traditional Tuscan lunch, slow-cooked with beans and lots of fresh herbs!

View the recipe >

Elly’s Marche-inspired spaghetti

A delicious Spaghetti con cozze, ceci e Pomodori (spaghetti with mussels, chickpeas & tomatoes) recipe created and shared by chef Elly Pear’s in her Waitrose column.

View the recipe >

Virtual cookery class

Join Ilaria, owner of La Luna di Quarazzana B&B, on her virtual cookery class as she teaches us how to cook her grandma’s famous chestnut pasta.

Take me there >

Alfresco, of course

Although it literally translates as ‘in the chill’ or ‘in the cool’, the phrase al fresco always makes us think of warm, dusky evenings under canopies of trailing flowers. While we can’t be in an Italian garden at the moment, we can make the most of the warm weather to try and capture the feeling.

Elly’s Garibaldi Spritz

A simple, yet delicious Spritz recipe perfect for an evening aperitif in the sun. Created by Elly Pear and shared in her Waitrose column, after she loved drinking them at our farmhouses in Marche.

View the recipe >

Create your own alfresco setting

What better way to bring Italy to your home than to have a slow dinner out in the sun? We choose some of our favourite Italian places to stay and their gardens to give you inspiration for your own alfresco setting.

Get inspired >

Wine from the regions

Our Italian expert tells us the best wine to buy from the country’s different regions. Still dreaming of that wine you tried on holiday? You might just find its name here.

Take me there >


A little escapism…

It’s hard not being able to get away for a few days and dive into Italy’s colourful culture and rich history. While it might not be exactly the same, these articles will keep you dreaming of future travels.

A local’s virtual tour

Venetian photographer Giacomo Cosua takes The Guardian readers on a tour of his home city La Serenissima through films, music, books, podcasts and virtual reality.

Take me there >

Alastair Sawday’s  Travelling Light

Read a chapter from Alastair Sawday’s autobiography Travelling Light, in which he discusses how he fell, and stayed, in love with Italy over the years.

Read it now >

Remote tours of historical places

Musei Vaticani has created free virtual tours of some of the country’s most famous monuments, such as the Sistine Chapel and the Palazzo Apostolico.

Take me there > 

Postcards from Italy

Despite being on lockdown for six weeks, our resident expert Nicole has managed to keep her spirits high. This picture diary shares her past wanderings through Italy’s serene countryside.

Take me there >

Our favourite travel stories

Our content hub, Detour, is full of amazing stories from Italy – some are written by travel writers and others by ourselves,
using local tips from our on-the-ground experts and owners.

Lois Pryce in Cilento

“Of all the journeys I’ve made in the last few years, this one has a special place in my heart. I can still summon up the scent of the lemon and pine trees that lined the road, and the joy of jumping off a boat into the warm turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian sea. For a few glorious days, the modern world seemed a very long way away.”

Read the article >

Four reasons to visit Umbria

Umbria is Italy’s green heart – neat rows of olive trees thrive under deep blue skies and prized truffles hide under its rich black soil. Our in-country manager and inspection team love the region for its dramatic landscapes, the history of the buildings, the warmth of the people and the quieter alternative it offers to neighbouring Tuscany.

Read the article >

A foodie’s guide to Sicily

We sent food writer Rosie Birkett, a seasoned visitor of this Italian region, to explore Sicily’s foodie offerings. Here she uncovers her favourite of the island’s best dishes; including fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables and wine.

Read the guide >