It’s time to head outdoors for that most Italian of past times – eating outdoors al fresco.

Literally translated, al fresco means ‘fresh’ or ‘in cool air’ – and we can certainly offer some of that in good old Blighty. So with half term holidays looming, we are planning the ultimate Italian picnic for the park, beach or festival and getting that al fresco buzz whilst on the move.

Start things off properly with some drinks and pop some Prosecco – Italy’s answer to Champagne – Prosecco has smaller, finer bubbles making it easier to sip and comes with a far more affordable price tag. Many supermarkets offer single glass versions now too – perfect for a picnic rug. Plump for a lovely Italian Peroni or Birra Moretti for those who prefer beer or a Montano cider, made in the northern most parts of Italy in Trentino. For the non-alcoholic drinkers a fruit flavoured San Pellegrino, made from water, freshly-squeezed sun-ripened Italian citrus fruits and sugar will do the trick.

Finger food is an easy way to savour any Italian picnic so try our carb and protein-packed potato and pepper frittata  (you can find our recipe here) wrapped in greaseproof paper or our caramelised red onion chutney and goat’s cheese tarts (click here for the recipe) . We’ve given them the picnic-test and you can definitely hold food in one hand and a drink in the other!

For those who love to BYO – build-your-own – nothing beats the Doriana cracker (handily wrapped in small portions of four) with a selection of cheeses, prosciutto, salamis, olives, cherry tomatoes and olives. Another great addition is focaccia, a bread that melts in your mouth with a salty zing. Lay them all out on a big cutting board and decorate with seasonal succulent, ripened fruit like apricots, cherries, figs or strawberries.

As a finale, those with an extra sweet tooth, will be easily satisfied by our gloriously indulgent Amaretti fruit and nut tiffin (recipe here).

So food and drink at the ready, grab a large rug, some glasses, napkins and knives and you’re ready to relax and unwind beneath the imaginary cypress trees looking over the hills of Tuscany.

Giorni felici – happy days.

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