Travel Geeks online: cities, culture and cuisine of Italy — 27 April 2021

Join us for a virtual Travel Geeks on 27 April from 19.00 to 20.00, when our expert panel will help us discover a different side to Italy.

By National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Published 18 Mar 2021, 11:13 GMT, Updated 9 Apr 2021, 10:29 BST
Whether you’re thinking of a culture-packed weekend, a luxurious summer holiday or an inspiring exploration of ...

Whether you’re thinking of a culture-packed weekend, a luxurious summer holiday or an inspiring exploration of new places, our panel will help you plan a perfect trip to Italy.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

***This event has already taken place. Watch the recording on YouTube or discover more events by National Geographic Traveller***

Join us for a virtual Travel Geeks on 27 April, when our expert panel will help us discover a different side to Italy. Moderated by a member of our National Geographic Traveller (UK) team, the hour-long conversation will look at how to go beyond the obvious.

It’s easy to feel you know Italy – but our event this April is here to make you realise there’s even more to discover. You may know it through city breaks to the big-hitters of Rome, Venice or Florence, trips to the beautiful Tuscan countryside or exploring its many gastronomic highlights via pizza in Naples or limoncello on the Amalfi coast — all of which are wonderful, but when it’s time to return, there’s a myriad of experiences you may not have considered — and our panel have lots of ideas to help you rediscover Italy.

If it’s a city break you’re longing for, there are so many possibilities beyond the obvious — we’ll discuss lesser-known places to try, plus the best way to plan a city-hopping trip, whether you want to explore cultural hotspots or combine a relaxing break with the faster pace of city life. We’ll talk about exploring Italy by train, taking advantage of the modern, high-speed rail network to jump between major cities or taking picturesque journeys via slow train to smaller towns and the practicalities of making the trip a no-fly option.

We’ll look ahead to future cultural highlights, unearth exciting events and ideas you may not have discovered and find out about the very best of Italian culture.

Any discussion of Italy has to include food: our experts will look beyond the obvious to talk about traditions, dishes and delicious ingredients you can find on your travels.

Whether you’re thinking of a culture-packed weekend, a luxurious summer holiday or an inspiring exploration of new places, our panel will help you plan a perfect trip, with top tips, exciting itineraries and getting you in the mood for travelling once more.

The panel

Left to right: Connor McGovern, Federica Rustico, Heather Green, Joe Hurd, Sarah Barrell

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

Sarah Barrell
A travel writer and journalist with more than 25 years in the field, Sarah is the author of From the Source: Italy, a travel guide cataloguing 60 recipes that define different Italian destinations and the stories of the chefs, communities and landscapes behind them. Former travel editor at the Independent on Sunday, a regular contributor to BBC Good Food and senior editor at National Geographic Traveller (UK), Sarah travels to Italy regularly, most recently to the lesser-known lakes region around Iseo to write a cover story for National Geographic Traveller. A fan of a gritty port city, Sarah has a long-standing love of Genoa, but also sings the praises of oft-maligned Milan, and she can’t think of anywhere better to ski than the Alta Badia region. Sarah is married to an Italian and loves cooking but is only allowed in the kitchen if she sticks to British and Asian recipes.

Heather Green
Heather first visited Italy at the age of 18 and fell in love from the start. She returned several times and after graduating in modern languages joined the travel industry and worked in Italy for a few years. She believes that no other country in the world offers such diversity: unparalleled history, wonderful culture, food and gastronomy, mountains, spectacular countryside, stunning coasts and beaches, plus wonderful hospitality, style and a very special vibe. Heather has worked for Citalia for 20 years and considers herself very lucky to be involved with such a fabulous destination. 

Joe Hurd
As a proud Yorkshireman with Italian heritage, Joe’s interests in cooking were inspired by Italian influences from day one. Joe’s cooking style is unfussy, accessible and always about flavour, and he’s passionate about sharing his knowledge of traditional Italian recipes, ingredients and cooking techniques with home cooks. As a chef, Joe has worked alongside Jamie Oliver, Gennaro Contaldo and the late, great Antonio Carluccio. Joe is also a regular guest presenter on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, ITV’s The Munch Box and on stage at festivals and events across the UK.

Federica Rustico
Federica is a globetrotter with a gigantic crush on Italy. She was born in NYC from a family of Italian diplomats and has lived in seven cities around the world: NYC, Tehran, Rome, Houston, Istanbul, London and Budapest. She founded her travel and lifestyle blog, Where To Go In, to talk about her travels and make readers fall in love with Italy. In the past years, Federica has collaborated with various online magazines dedicated to Rome and her blog has received several awards.

Connor McGovern, moderator
Connor is the commissioning editor of National Geographic Traveller and has always been happy discovering what Italy has to offer. He’s explored the catacombs beneath Rome, been grappa tasting in Valpolicella and had the difficult task of driving around Sardinia in the pursuit of its traditional sweets.


Photograph by Citalia

Travel Geeks is just an hour long and offers you the chance to hear from our experts and join in the lively conversation. Register now to join us from 19.00 to 20.00 on Tuesday 27 April.

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