Citalia Celebrates World Pasta Day with Great Holiday Offers to Italy

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Celebrate Italy’s National Food on World Pasta Day with great value holiday offers from Citalia, the leading Italian specialist.

Friday 25 October is World Pasta Day and Citalia, the leading specialist in holidays to Italy, is offering great holiday offers to celebrate the day. Italy’s national food is celebrated in different countries around the world but the event was created at the World Pasta Congress in Rome in 1995. It is designed to promote the economic feasibility, gastronomic versatility and nutritional value of pasta. Held predominantly in Italy, this year will see the World Pasta Congress be held in Istanbul, Turkey.

The event brings together members of the International Pasta Organisation to discuss the worldwide pasta market. As well as the members’ conference, the day also consists of a number of talks on pasta, including its health benefits, a gala dinner and the opportunity to promote pasta as a global food eaten on all five continents.

A renowned staple food of Italian cuisine, the origin of pasta has caused some debate with many conflicting theories but it is proven to date back to the 14th century in Italy. Pasta is traditionally made from durum wheat semolina mixed with water and it wasn’t until the industrial revolution that pasta was widely consumed in Italy. Invented in Naples, a machine which mechanically kneads the pasta dough dramatically reduced the price of pasta to make it a more affordable option. As a result of this invention, pasta production spread throughout Italy and the rest of the world.

The amount of pasta eaten in Italy is higher than anywhere else in the world with the average Italian consuming 26kg of pasta per year. As well as being the world’s largest consumer of pasta, Italy also produces and exports more pasta than any other country; over 3.3 and 1.7 million tonnes per year respectively. Pasta dishes are one of the most important foods in the Italian diet with almost every region having its own ‘signature’ dish.

Citalia, the leading Italian specialist, prides itself on its expert knowledge and understands firsthand its traditions. Citalia’s long-standing relationships with hoteliers has allowed it to bring its customers great value offers to some of Italy’s most popular pasta regions.

We journey first to Bologna, home to the Spaghetti Bolognese. Bolognese, known in Italian as ‘ragu alla bolognese’, is the meat based sauce that we most famously have with our ‘spaghetti Bolognese’. The earliest documented recipe for Bolognese sauces dates back to the late 18th century in Imola, located near Bologna. Traditional bolognese sauce in Italy is a complex sauce which involves slow cooking a variety of ingredients; onion, celery, carrot, different types of minced meat, wine and a small amount of tomato concentrate. In Italian cuisine its customary to use the Bolognese sauce to dress tagliatelle.

Enjoy an Italy break to Bologna, home of the Bolognese sauce, from just £289 per person. Step into the region of this well know pasta dish and save up to £172 per couple. This Bologna holiday includes three nights at the four star Hotel Al Cappello Rosso, and return flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet. Based on departures 13 December 2013.

Take in another one of Italy’s popular regions, Sicily, popular for Pasta alla Norma. Pasta all Norma was popular in Sicily in the 19th century and was named after the Sicilian composer Bellini’s successful opera Norma, a way to honour both the dish and the opera. The traditional pasta is made with tomatoes, fried eggplant, grated ricotta cheese and basil and originates in Catania on the east coast of Sicily.

Citalia is offering a five night stay in Sicily from £715 per person. This Sicily holiday includes five nights bed and breakfast at the five star San Domenico Palace, private transfers, return flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet and a saving of up to £276 per couple. Based on departures 28 November 2013.

Enjoy a week on the Amalfi Coast and Naples, home to Paccheri con Vongole. The large round tube-shaped pasta which originated from Naples is most commonly served ‘alle vongole’, meaning with clams. Paccheri con vongole is a popular part of Neapolitan cuisine and is prepared by Italians either with tomatoes (‘in rosso’) or without (‘in bianco’), with garlic and olive oil.

Take advantage of Citalia’s seven night Amalfi Coast holiday and save up to £205 per couple. This offer includes seven nights on a bed and breakfast basis at the four star Hotel Miramalfi and return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways. This price is based on departures 11 April 2014.

Another favourite pasta sauce for many is pesto. Pesto originated in Genoa, Liguria and traditionally consists of garlic, basil and pine nuts blended with olive oil, Parmingiano Reggiano cheese and Fiore Sardo (sheep’s milk cheese). The word pesto means to crush, referring to the original method of preparation with a pestle and mortar. Pesto is commonly served with linguine which is the flat, thin and long form of pasta, giving the name Linguine al pesto from the region Liguria.

For pesto lovers, Citalia is offering a short break to Liguria, from just £379 per person. This Liguria holiday includes four nights on a bed and breakfast basis at the four star Excelsior Palace, return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways and a saving of up to £210 per couple. Based on departures 10 April 2014.

As well as being renowned for its ancient history, Rome is also known for a classic pasta dish, Bucatini all’Amatriciana. All’ Amatriciana is a Roman dish that is commonly made using bucatini pasta; which is wider than normal spaghetti with a hole running through it. The pasta sauce is made with guanciale (cured pork cheek), pecorino cheese and tomato. Originating from the town of Amatrice which is in the Province of Rieti of Lazio region, the dish became famous in Rome over the early 20th century.

Travel to Ancient Rome with Citalia from just £307 per person and save up to £100 per couple. This Rome holiday includes four nights at the three star Hotel San Remo on a bed and breakfast basis, return flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet and a saving of up to £100 per couple. Based on departures 24 November 2014.

For more information on Citalia and current offers, visit or call a travel expert on 0843 770 4443.

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Mark Cronin
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