All posts by Welcome Italia

25 Feb 2020

Welcome Italia and Bellavita Expo merge together!

London 24/02/2020

An agreement has been reached between the two most important Italian food&wine events in London: “Welcome Italia” is now part of Bellavita Expo, which will take place on 26th and 27th October at the Business Design Centre in Islington.


The first Italian fair in London took place in 1888 under the patronage of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK, founded just one year before.


From that moment, the Chamber began consolidating its activities, becoming a landmark for the Italian community and all the Italian companies interested in doing business in the UK.

Since 2013, one of the Chamber’s main activities has been “Welcome Italia”, a B2B and B2C event based on a format able to attract both trade professionals and Italian food&wine lovers.


Bellavita Expo was instead established in London in 2014, becoming in a short time a leading event promoting Italian excellence in food&beverage abroad through professional trade fairs held in London, Amsterdam, Toronto, Hamburg, Varsavia, Chicago, Mexico City and Bangkok. In 2018, Vinitaly (Verona Fiere) and Cibus (Fiere Parma) created a joint venture with the organisers.


In 2019, more than 1,000 Italian companies took part in Bellavita’s events worldwide. In the same year, the London edition introduced Spanish and other Mediterranean producers as well, with outstanding results thus creating an incomparable reference for the gastronomic excellence of Southern Europe.


The President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce for the UK Alessandro Belluzzo welcomed the news with enthusiasm, saying that “synergy is essential in this particular moment, we unified the two most important Italian events of the food&beverage industry in London. This represents a strong action that will allow us to optimise the possibilities for Italian companies interested in exporting their products to the UK”.


Starting from 2020, Welcome Italia will represent the section of Bellavita Expo dedicated to Italian institutional representatives and regional collectives. The Chamber will involve Italian institutions whilst Bellavita Expo will focus on Italian private companies and other Mediterranean areas.


Aldo Mazzocco, CEO of Bellavita, stated that “London is the worldwide capital of international food. Bellavita Expo’s mission is to bring Italian excellence around the world. The Italian Chamber of Commerce for the UK is always in the first line in promoting the real “Made in Italy” and we are excited to welcome this brand-new partnership. Together we will offer to the Italian companies an exceptional opportunity of business and visibility on the UK market.”


The event will be B2B only and will take place on 26th and 27th October 2020 including a full program of conferences, round table discussions, tastings and cooking shows with the country’s most important opinion leaders and chefs.


For more information please contact:

Cosimo Bastiani



21 Aug 2019

ENIT Itineraries: Basilicata

The New York Times ranked it third in its list of “52 Places to Go in 2018″, defining it “Italy’s best-kept secret”. A region, in the south of Italy, quite undiscovered, but rich in minerals, in the middle of two seas. One of the oldest landscapes on Earth lay derelict and uninhabited for most part less than 70 years ago. Now, says Fleur Rollet-Manus, a shining example of human resilience.

In ancient historical times the region was originally known as Lucania, named for the Lucani, an Oscan-speaking population from central Italy. Their name might be derived from Greek leukos meaning “white”, lykos (“gray wolf”), or Latin lucus (“sacred grove”).  Starting from the late eighth century BC, the Greeks established a settlement first. Then with the foundation of Metaponto from Achaean colonists, they started the conquest of the whole Ionian coast. The first contacts between the Lucanians and the Romans date from the latter half of the fourth century BC. After the conquest of Taranto in 272, Roman rule was extended to the whole region: the Appian Way reached Brindisi and the colonies of Potentia (modern Potenza) and Grumentum were founded.

In the last few years, new productive sectors have developed: manufacturing, automotive, and especially oil extraction, but the region has a tourist vocation. Basilicata hosts Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019. With evidence of continuous settlement spanning over 9000 years, the labyrinth of rock-hewn homes (known as the Sassi, or “Stones”) fell into disrepair in the 1950s. Despite the ingenious ancient plumbing and cistern systems (which secured its Unesco World Heritage status) many inhabitants lived in poverty and were relocated to the modern city. Then, as craftsmen, web developers and punchy young Italians reclaimed the natural fortress, Matera has been transformed into an honeypot for creatives.

Walk down the winding road to the centre of Matera to reach the cave dwellings of Sasso Barisano. Best explored on foot, maze-like steps lead to alleys occupied by trendy bars, museums and boutique hotels burrowed in the rock. Running parallel to the area, the Unesco-protected Parco delle Chiese Rupestri di Matera comprises over 150 churches, hermitages and settlements spanning two millennia. Hike along the edge of the gorge for sweeping vistas. Stand on the Belvedere for sunset views. Inhabitants of Sassi relied heavily on community spirit. Using a communal oven, they had dinner all together and produced the bread of Matera, an horn-shaped bread that formed a staple part of their diet. Nowadays it is served up as a sandwich. They can be loaded with aubergine, courgette, cheese and pesto. Influenced by neighbouring Puglia, already described in a previous itineraries which could be combined with, you will find the same orecchiette pasta and fava bean puree on menus, and figs stuffed with orange ricotta and mint alongside courgette pies. Bundles of cruschi peppers decorate market stalls and kitchens. The slightly sweet chilli is dried in the sun for a month, before being fried in olive oil and served obviously with cave cheese and a glass of red Aglianico.

Brought to you by: ENIT – Italian National Tourist Board

08 Aug 2019

ENIT Itineraries: Rome

For this weekly update we didn’t choose an Italian region, but a city.
Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.

The Eternal City hides taste itineraries considered among the best in the world. Let’s imagine a day journey in Rome searching for its true local culinary tradition.
A typical Italian begins their day with a simple and light breakfast: in the bars of Rome you can enjoy a frothy cappuccino, or an Italian espresso and will find many types of fresh desserts. Don’t forget to taste the typical dish of the city: the “Maritozzo”, a sweet bread made with flour, eggs, honey, butter and salt, with or without raisins, which in Rome is the king of breakfasts. And ifyou really have a sweet tooth, choose the version filled with fresh whipped cream!

Let’s go then for a morning tour at the Colosseum. Located just east of the Roman Forum, the massive stone amphitheater was commissioned around A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty as a gift to the Roman people. In A.D. 80, Vespasian’s son Titus opened the Colosseum–officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater–with 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. After four centuries of active use, the magnificent arena fell into neglect, and up until the 18th century it was used as a source of building materials. Though two-thirds of the original Colosseum has been destroyed over time, the amphitheater remains a popular tourist destination, as well as an iconic symbol of Rome and its long, tumultuous history.

And now, we are arrived at lunch hour. Whether you choose a typical trattoria or a starred restaturant, Roman cuisine includes a vast selection of tasty dishes prepared traditionally or reinterpreted in a gourmet style by the city’s most famous chefs. You cannot visit Rome without eating at least one of the three most typical dishes: Carbonara, Amatriciana or Cacio e pepe. These are all succulent dishes based on products from the Roman countryside, accompanied with a generous sprinkling of pecorino (sheep cheese).

Free afternoon in Vatican City or in Via dei Condotti and then the aperitif in a traditional fraschetta. These rooms are usually very rustic and they serve appetizers based on meats and cheeses, such as the so called “fifth-quarter kitchen”, where all the parts of the pork once considered less noble are today sought after by gourmets such as trippa alla romana, coda alla vaccinara, coratella and pork rinds and beans with a fresh glass of Frascati white wine, or even a Cesanese of Olevano Romano, finishing at the sparkling Romanella DOC.

For the evening enjoy a walk alongside the Tevere River or a drink in one of the Terraces of the city. From both you can feel thankful for breathing the “Great Beauty”.


Brought to you by: ENIT – Italian National Tourist Board

31 Jul 2019

ENIT Itineraries: Apulia


“Apulia” is the Latin – and now English – name for Puglia, a south-eastern Region of the Italy, known as the “boot” of the country. The Ancient Romans considered this Region crucial for trades and commerce with Greeks and all the other people living in the Mediterranean Area, even though its weather is dry and warm constantly through all the year. Infact, ” A-pulia” in Latin stands for “land without rain”. This astonishing Region is well known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coastline. Starting from the north, there is the Province of Foggia, so called “the Granary of the south of Italy”.

Here, the yellow of the mature grains of wheat has charmed pilgrims walking through the Ancient Appia route to reach the medieval shrines such as Monte Sant’Angelo which was a popular pilgrimage site on the way to Jerusalem. Pilgrims travelled from as far as the British Isles to visit the “Celestial Basilica”. Ungaretti, the famous Italian poet, said about this golden sea between the mountains and the coast, that “No place anywhere would have more rights to be declared a national monument”. These wonderful places are near the Gargano National Park, an oasis of peace and beauty. Some small villages on the sea, like Vieste and Peschici, are known as the beads of the Region. These were fishing towns now converted in attractive tourist destinations, with their sand and rock coast, respectively, and their cliffs directly falling into the crystalline water.

Diomede, king of Argos coming back from the Trojan War, arrived in Tremiti Isles hijacked by a strong storm and their name became “insulae diomedee”. From some special spots on the seaside, you can probably hear even now the singing of the mermaids who attracted the sailors. You can search for these spots in Vieste, too, where they are called “cape of mermaids – Punta delle Sirene”.

Capital Bari is a vibrant port and crossroad of Eastern cultures, while Lecce is known as “Florence of the South” for its baroque architecture. Alberobello and the Itria Valley are home to “trulli,” stone huts with distinctive conical roofs, where you can eat handmade pasta, fresh vegetables like the typical turnip greens with Extra Virgin olive oil, tomatoes and mozzarella with daily baked bread prepared all the early mornings in wood and straw ovens. Puglia is wine, too. Especially red wine, matched with the fresh meat and vegetables of the Itria Valley, such as the NegroAmaro, Martina Franca and Primitivo from Manduria, town in province of Taranto, important base for the Italian Navy. But also white wine such as the Castel del Monte Bombino, Salice Salentino and Locorotondo, perfect with fresh octopi and squids.


23 Jul 2019

ENIT Itineraries: Emilia

Italy is known for its breathtaking landscapes, amazing food and the culture that has permeated the country since the beginning of times.

Emillia region, with a wide range of artistic cities, villages and castles to offer, constitutes one of the most original circuits of the country. The areas of Parma, Piacenza and Reggio Emilia where great protagonists of music, culture and cuisine have lived, extend from the great River Po up to the Apennines and enclose the core of the Italian Food Valley.

One of Emilia’s strengths is in fresh pasta: in the many restaurants and holiday farms spread throughout the region, you can taste from a selection including cappelletti, anolini and tortelli.
What goes along so well with pasta? Parmigiano Reggiano. A cheese that is produced in the exact same way as eight centuries ago, with the same ingredients, techniques and artisanal love. But it’s a cheese that can also be appreciated during an amazing aperitivo, with some traditional balsamic vinegar of Reggio Emilia, paired with Culatello, a traditional delicious cured meat, and Parma Ham, with its “sweet”, delicate and slightly salty flavour. And what’s food without wine? Toast with some Lambrusco, sparkling ruby red, Spergola and the splendid Malvasia, all produced in Emilia.

Emilia is also nature. The placid and horizontal nature of the Po plain, the longest river in Italy, which is mostly navigable. The nature of the rolling hills that are easily reachable from the main town centres. The nature of the green Apennines valleys, dotted with woods, lakes and trails.
It’s a land of monasteries and pathways marked out by the passage of medieval pilgrims headed for Rome. Emilia also offers spa resorts like the appealing Salsomaggiore, which along with Tabiano and Monticelli guarantee a wide choice of places for treatments and relaxation.

In Emilia you’re bound to come across places that ooze history: from the Roman artefacts to medieval manors, from Renaissance palaces to museums, from churches to the city walls, from the municipal theatres to the evocative squares.
Parma, Piacenza and Reggio Emilia are cities where the experience of art combines with the modernity of services in a lively and rich context of cultural events, with cutting-edge proposals in the fruition of art, culture and music. Emilia is also a land of fortresses, castles, historic dwellings and villages. There are more than fifty!
Giuseppe Verdi was born in this wonderful land, where he lived and composed his most famous arias. With the Verdi Festival and the Emilian opera program, the Maestro is confirmed as an advocate for our land at an international level.

Come and enjoy the taste of Emilia, a genuine and authentic land.


Sponsored by Enit

27 Jun 2019

Drago Conserve at Welcome Italia 2019

We are glad to announce that DRAGO CONSERVE will take part to Welcome Italia 2019!

Now in the business for over 90 years, “Ditta Sebastiano Drago” has represented for four generations the excellence in the field of fish preserves. Drago Conserve has been able to achieve this milestone thanks to the passion it puts at what it does and to the perfect mix of tradition and innovation.

Tradition, because the company is still owned and led by Giuseppe Drago, nephew of the founder Sebastiano Drago, along with Pierpaolo and Alessandro, his sons. They carefully select the raw materials, and just like it was done 90 years ago, they are rigorously processed and hand-crafted.

Innovation, because it has been able to add new and innovative products through the years to its line and always kept up-to-date with the tastes of its customers.
It’s not only fish preserves, but also spreadable creams and pate’, as well as amazing pasta sauces. Nonetheless, from the town of Siracusa, Drago Conserve is now present all around the world and you can even find its products on their e-commerce!

Don’t miss your chance to taste Drago Conserve products, come and join us at Welcome Italia 2019!

07 Jun 2019

Tickets OUT NOW!

Ah, Italy…the sun, amazing wine, olive oil, tasty food, the warmth of its people. Wouldn’t it be nice to plan a trip to Italy and enjoy all its delicacies? But it’s busy at work, flights are expensive, and sometimes you just don’t have the time!
Well, if you can’t go to Italy, Italy will come to you!

Welcome Italia, the leading gastronomic event dedicated to Italian excellences, has arrived at its seventh edition and is finally back to London! Three days of great food, wine and company, from the 18th to the 20th of October at The Royal Horticultural Halls, Westminister.

Friday 18th will be trade only so if you are interested in doing business with the exibithors along with conferences and seminars dedicated to the Italian food in the UK request you free pass HERE and subscribe to our B2B newsletter to stay tuned!

Come to have a taste of Italy and meet the companies that are bringing products of the Italian excellence from all the various regions in Italy! Try some of the best olive oil from the Southern Italy, experience great cheese from the North or amazing cured meats from Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Lazio…

And there’s more! You will be able to take part to masterclasses and tastings that will take place at the Cookery Theatre with the most important Italian cuisine chef’s in the UK.
So, grab your tickets now and get ready to impress your friends by preparing the best Italian aperitivo or dinner with the amazing products you’ll be able to taste and buy during the event!

Ticket is just £8 online (£10 at the door) and includes a goodybag of Italian products from our sponsors!

Kids under 12 go free (if accompanied by a paying adult)

Book yours now (via Eventbrite)!

22 Mar 2019

Italian food products in the department stores of London


Interested in expanding your business in the UK? London, with its fancy department stores, it is the dream of many producers, but which Italian food products have been able to reach what is commonly considered the “retailers’ Olympus”?

Apart from the renowned Harrods, there are many department stores spread around the city, offering the best selection of Food & Beverage thanks to their marvellous Food Halls.

The team of Welcome Italia visited four of them: Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and of course Harrods. From a detailed observation of the Food Halls and of the correspondent e-commerce, we were able to identify the range of Italian products available and create a detailed report, that will be useful to any business in the field that is interested in this type of market.

Findings point out that truffle-based products are experiencing a real boom in the UK market. Evergreen products are the extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic vinegar of Modena. This last is known as an elite product thanks to its fancy aged product range.

It has not been identified any emerging trend, showing that these types of stores do not cover the role of trend setter but are mainly focused on offering the excellence of Italian food already present in the UK market.

In the meantime, request our report on Italian food products in the department stores of London at

19 Mar 2019

Welcome Italia hosts the award-giving ceremony for the certification Italian Hospitality


We are proud to announce that Welcome Italia will host the award-giving ceremony of the prestigious certification Italian Hospitality, assigned to all the Italian restaurants of the UK, that were able to ensure compliance with quality standards typical of Italian hospitality.

This ceremony is part of the project “ITALIAN HOSPITALITY, ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN THE WORLD ” promoted by Unioncamere (Italian Association of Chambers of Commerce), based on the experience of the brand “Italian Hospitality” carried out with the operational support of IS.NA.RT (National Institute for Research on Tourism) and the Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad.

The aim of the project is to develop and promote the traditions of Italian food products by creating a certification recognised all over the world, able to guarantee the authenticity of the products employed and the training of the floor and kitchen staff.

The ceremony will bring together the most important players and guest of honour involved in the Italian hospitality in the UK, creating in this way worthwhile networking opportunities.


27 Feb 2019

Italian Food&Beverage export in the UK in 2018


Brits are increasing their Google searches in the field of Italian cuisine. Most of the times they look for “Italian restaurants”; however, they are also trying to learn some Italian recipes, mainly made with pasta or chicken.

However, Italian cuisine enthusiasts are not homogeneously distributed around UK: most of the Google searches come from the areas of Bristol, London and Cambridge.

If we look at the export value of Italian Food&Beverage in the UK in 2018, the number is around 1,6 billion of euro.

Italian Food & Beverage export for the UK (Period January-September 2018, Absolute values and per capita)
Tons Kg per capita Billion in €z

€ per capita

United Kingdom 1414.382 22 1.6


If we consider the single sectors, the most popular products are pasta, peel tomato and tomato purees, followed by beans and cheeses.

Regarding the wine sector, it represents the 14% of the overall Italian Food & Beverage export in the UK.

Italian Food&Beverage Export for the UK: Top 10 products per kg per capita
Regno Unito Kg per capita
Sauces 0,3
Rice worked with round grains 0,4
Rice worked with long grains 0,3
Peeled Tomatoes 2,1
Stuffed and/or cooked pasta 0,4
Pasta 2,5
Tomato puree 1,3
Apples 0,3
Fresh cheeses and dairy products 0,2
Beans preserved without vinegar 1,2




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