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Food and wine

Discovering Michelin-starred chefs while touring cities of art

3 free apps you should download if you enjoy haute cuisine

If you love wandering around Italy to explore the historical and architectural treasures as well as the food and wine scene that each city of art in Italy has to offer, then technology will come to your aid.

There are many free apps that allow you to find Michelin-starred chefs and restaurants and that will guide you in your visit to your chosen location. We would like to suggest a few of them to help you plan your trip among gastronomy and culture in the best possible way.

1. The Open City App: tourism and Michelin-starred cuisine in Milan

Created to revolutionise the way people visit a city, the Open City app focuses on the visitor, following his or her pace and tastes. Milan is the project's first pilot city. This is probably because the Milanese capital has realised that food is an exquisite art form, and has turned museums into signature restaurants.

The app will most certainly direct you to the MUDEC-Museo delle Culture in via Tortona: you will be enthralled by the collections of over 7,000 works of art and craft, and the ethnographic collections of everyday objects, textiles and musical instruments from all over the world.

Then you will be guided to the third floor of the marvellous exhibition centre to experience the award-winning cuisine of Enrico Bartolini from Pistoia. The restaurant bears the name of its chef and, after having won its third Michelin star, fits perfectly into the venue with its strong intercultural vocation, focusing on contemporaneity with clear references to tradition.

One example is the Bottoni di olio e lime al sugo di caciucco e polpo arrosto, a dish of Tuscan origin, reinterpreted in a modern key. There is also the Mediterranean langoustine in bouillabaisse, verjus sauce and olive seeds, and many other dishes that you will find on the varied menu.

A true journey through gastronomic culture, including great classics, seasonal innovations and original creations, in a crossroads of flavours, worlds and traditions.

2. INSIDER by TheFork: gastronomic excellence in Rome

Another service that allows you to browse, book and review restaurants is the TheFork app. In the INSIDER selection you will find examples of haute cuisine, ranging from the most traditional to gourmet expressions, each one awarded by gastronomic guides and praised by customers.

Excellence, passion and creativity are the criteria chosen for the list you will have at your disposal, which crosses Italy from north to south.

Let’s move on to the centre, to Rome, to Acquolina, in Via del Vantaggio. Again in this refined restaurant, housed on the ground floor of the luxurious hotel The First Roma, just a few steps from Piazza del Popolo, art merges with fine dining. Among original works, paintings and sculptures from the contemporary art gallery, you will savour the dishes of Michelin-starred chef Daniele Lippi.

A signature cuisine in the eternal city, characterised by skill and colourful dishes. Try the fish, shellfish and crustaceans of 'Some Like It Raw' or the spaghettone with urchins and 'nduja of 'Mare e monti'. Fish-based recipes, inspired by Mediterranean culture, permeated with a creative flair. In the elegant dining room, furnished in a modern style, you will find an innovative and fresh menu, based on the research and processing of excellent raw materials.

You will discover a balance of flavours in creations such as "Red mullet, duck heart, juniper and cherry" or "Mushroom, snail and parsley", but also in the simpler "Fagottello with basil, pecorino cheese, red prawn and lemon" or in the dessert "Passion cheesecake". The wine section is no less impressive.

3. TripAdvisor: the platform for first-class restaurants

If you are planning your holiday down to the last detail, have already chosen a city to visit and are looking for information on activities to do and restaurants to eat in, you will find the popular TripAdvisor platform very useful. You can also use it to search for dishes selected by award-winning chefs.

If you choose to go to the far south, you will find I Pupi di Bagheria, an excellent example of Palermo cuisine. Strolling through the City of Villas, amidst sumptuous Baroque buildings, you will reach Empireo with its cuisine by Michelin-starred chef Tony Lo Coco, who masterfully interprets the warm and colourful land of Sicily, drawing on a classic repertoire, lightened and transformed by his art.

Try the Stigghiola: it has nothing to do with the original version, prepared with lamb intestines. Yet, in this revisitation of the amberjack and cuttlefish dish, you will find the typical Sicilian dish. It may be the suggestion of the shape or the ash, as closing your eyes you will be taken right back to those ancient flavours. The same goes for cassata, a typical dessert enriched by espresso coffee. The handling of the entire portfolio of island aromas, from caper to fennel, is certainly skilful.

In short, you will be immersed in a cuisine that is the cradle of rich maritime and rural traditions, the memory of a popular and aristocratic gastronomic culture.

Here, then, is a new holiday concept: a cultural journey through art galleries, sculptures, paintings and archaeological sites, sublimated by a satisfying dining experience. The perfect mix of culture and taste.