With summertime comes warm weather, sunny skies and school-free kids, making it the perfect time for a picnic! In Italy, picnics are a treasured pastime that encourage the entire family to come together, eat great food and enjoy the outdoors. This summer, grab your family and friends and celebrate the season with an Italian picnic.
Finding the Perfect Picnic Location
The perfect picnic begins with a prime spot. It’s best to choose a slightly shaded location (or bring an umbrella) to avoid overheating and sunburn. While a good location is key, there are some other things you won’t want to forget.
What to Bring
Nothing is quite as frustrating as forgetting something important and not realizing it until it’s too late. To avoid that mishap, here’s a checklist for your next Italian picnic:
- Large blanket
- Ice packs
- Salt and pepper
- Condiments (preferably in small jars or packets)
- Napkins (we recommend cloth napkins—less waste and they’re less likely to blow away in the wind)
- Utensils (even if the food doesn’t necessarily require them, it’s good to have some on hand)
- Small cutting board and a knife
- Trash bag (for easy clean up)
- Moist towelettes
- Picnic basket/tote
Italian picnics typically begin with a fresh cheese and meat board as an antipasto. Soft cheeses like buffalo mozzarella and sharp, aged cheeses like pecorino pair nicely with cured meats.
Raw vegetables, such as carrots and celery, offer a nice healthy crunch to the mix and are great for those with dietary restrictions. Additionally, olives and a fresh loaf of foccacia are delicious starters to any Italian meal.
RELATED: 9 ITALIAN CHEESES YOU NEED TO TRY
No Italian picnic is complete without wine! It’s best to stick to classic Italian wines, such as a chianti classico, rosato (more commonly referred to as rosé) and sparkling prosecco. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, here is a list of great picnic wines and what they pair well with.
For a non-alcoholic option, Italian sodas are a fan favorite among children and adults alike! They are super simple to make and don’t create a big mess, which is perfect for a picnic.
While it’s tempting to stick to wine and homemade sodas, make sure to keep hydrated with water, especially on a hot summer day!
The Main Course
Make sure to not fill up on wine and appetizers because the main course is substantial and one of our favorites! While there are plenty of great Italian picnic foods, nothing is quite as delicious as the muffuletta sandwich.
Packed with Italian meats, cheeses and a roasted red pepper tapenade, this hearty sandwich reminds us of our childhood. Click here to learn how to make one for your next family picnic.
If you’re not too full from the muffuletta, finish your Italian picnic with some classic Italian cookies. Try the ones we serve at Mici, like the florentine or pignoli, which are both great for picnics because they’re small, easy to transport and are a light dessert after a heavy meal.
At Mici, we’re all about family, and we have such fond memories of our family picnics. It’s a tradition we celebrate with our own children today and hope that you and yours will enjoy an Italian picnic this summer too!