Tending a flock of sheep on the sunny slopes of Sardinia’s Scala Pradu can’t be easy. But at least those shepherds you meet on the walk eat well. Your lunch is their lunch, and you sit down together to a typical meal of pecorino cheese from the sheep baa-ing by the trail, sheets of crispy flat bread called pane carasu, cold meats, tomatoes, melon and wine. Life is simple, and oh so good.
In the mountain-rimmed Sacred Valley, Inca civilization is always close — and never nearer than when you dig into the quinoa at a picnic overlooking centuries-old ruins. As alpaca graze nearby and the Urubamba River flows past, you graze through a buffet of local specialties, served improbably with tablecloths, china and silver. In your glass: a chicha sour, made with the fermented corn liquor that’s been a Peruvian stable for centuries. Very civilized indeed.
As if Tuscan food isn’t fabulous enough. Eat it on the terrace at a 15th-century castle with the sun on your back and a light breeze rustling through the grapevines and multiply the flavors by a thousand. Massimo greets you with a home-cooked lunch. Nothing fussy, everything incredibly good and, of course, It would be wrong to refuse a glass or two of his homegrown wine. Now you understand why Italians are famous for taking hours over the midday meal.