Virtual Vacations

Welcome to Italy Via Houston

Ever wanted to be magically whisked away to museums, art, wine, and pasta dinners? Let’s go.  You don’t even have to pack a bag. Enjoy the culture of Italy while supporting local businesses.


Start your day off with a strong doppio espresso and beat the crowds to the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Start the tour here, and don’t forget to look up in the Sistine Chapel.

Local Houston Pairings

Fellini Caffe: all locations in Houston are pick up and curbside, and you can order on Grubstreet or Uber Eats. Grab some gelato while you’re at it.

Caffe De Firenze: both locations are pick up and curbside. Order online at their website, and if you’re downtown, it’s free delivery.

Minuti Coffee: all locations are pick up and drive-through, and if you want delivery, they use DoorDash.

A little culture 

A chance to hear one of the greatest opera singers in the world? Yes please! Scoot up to Milan and catch Andrea Bocelli’s “Music for Hope – Live from the Duomo di Milano.” 

After the concert, let the crowds disperse and peek inside the Duomo itself. We love the views from above and the crypt down below.

Milan is the design capital of Italy, so check out the Triennale di Milano, their most renowned museum dedicated to design. Its Triennale Decameron program offers daily artists, designers and architects talks through their Instagram account (can be seen and heard live on the official Instagram account (@triennalemilano). Other activities are held on the official Facebook and YouTube accounts.

All the pasta

Ready for lunch? Let’s learn from the best so we can replicate it at home. Osteria Francescana’s own Chef patron, Massimo Bottura, can teach you all the secrets to making a hearty and approachable Italian meal, no matter your skill level. (Every day at 1:00 pm CST)

When you travel, there is nothing better than being welcomed into a home kitchen. In Italy, the Pasta Grannies do just that. Check out their YouTube channel and follow along with nonna as she makes traditional pasta dishes. Can’t get enough of the nonna’s? Follow Pasta Grannies on Instagram @pastagrannies, too!

Local Houston Pairings

Need a personal pasta professor? Practice your pasta chops and schedule a Virtual Private Pasta Class via Pasta Social Club (based in Austin, TX.)

Cooking not your thing? No problem. All these places do take out or delivery.

Paulie’s: this classic Houston pizza and pasta joint has its usual carryout running on regular hours. Delivery 3 mile radius with $25 minimum. 

La Griglia: straightforward classic Italian for pick up and delivery. 

Coltivare: pick up and delivery, and oh, cocktails and wine!

Giacomo’s: starting curbside on April 14th.

Get the heart racing

There is possibly nothing more exciting in Italy than the Siena Palio. Neighborhood competition, bareback horses, and a very narrow track makes this a must see. 

When you’re done in Siena, check out the other cultural options in Venice, Rome, and Palermo.

La dolce vita!

Living the good life means taking time to savor the small things, and nothing is more enjoyable than the traditional Italian “Aperitivo” hour. Pick your favorite piazza and grab an aperitivo (we love aperol spritzes and negronis) with hearty snacks. 

At Home Help

An aperol spritz is easy to make if you have the right ingredients. If you’re looking for something with a little more punch, think about a negroni. Mommymixology has a great online tutorial for making the perfect one. Next step? Raid your pantry for some olives to enjoy alongside some fresh bread and olive oil (Insider Tip: Sprinkle some flake salt on top of the olive oil!). In Capri, olives are also paired with salty potato chips (or Marcona almonds).  

Local Houston Pairings

Montrose Cheese & Wine: wanna really up your aperativo enjoyment? These folks have everything you could want. Pick up on Saturday’s only, so plan ahead.

Time to retire

You’ve had a full day! Why not have a night in with dinner and a bottle of wine (or two, we won’t judge) from some of our favorites listed below?

While you’re opening that wine or cooking, set the mood with this Italian inspired Spotify playlist.

Make sure to end your evening with an Italian film or original series, or tune in to food and wine expert Katie Parla’s Podcast, Gola, as she talks about Italian food and culture. 

Buona Sera!

Local Houston Pairings

Dinner + Wine = Perfection

Camerata: while you’re picking up pasta at Paulie’s, go right next door and grab some wine from the very knowledgable folks at Camerata. They have a great Italian section, and delivery anywhere within the loop.

Squabble: although not totally Italian, they have some great pastas and are taking over Better Luck Tomorrow’s Pasta Tuesday’s. Pick up only. 

Pizaro’s Pizza: two locations, a full menu, and great Neopolitan pizza. Pick up or delivery via DoorDash.

Mastrantos: Heights eatery with an Italian slant, also delivering wine!

Nobie’s: hot food, but also packaged pastas and sauces to go, and 20% off all wine. Feel like a chef with none of the pressure. Call to order and pick up only. 

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