Since 1533, when Catherine de Medici was accompanied by numerous cooks when she travelled to France to marry King Henri I, Italian cuisine has been considered the mother of all European fine cooking. Alice Vollenweider wrote her doctoral thesis on the influence of Italian cooking as reflected in language and has written numerous essays on contemporary Italian literature. In this combined travelogue, cookbook and literary guide, she provides delightful insights into the Italian way of life, which revolves around cooking and eating - the most sociable part of its culture. All the important regions of Italy are introduced by their food, and made even more palatable with many recipes and useful tips about people, places and pleasures.
Alice Vollenweider has written widely on Italian and French cuisine as reflected in literature. She has also worked as a literary translator, translating Luigi Malerba, Giacomo Leopardi and Giorgio Manganelli.