Program 718: Pastas You Should Know; In Sardinia; Gelato

Release Date: 06-17-2023


Italian food expert Fred Plotkin describes some of the unusual varieties of pasta that you can find in Italy — and the reason behind their different shapes. Historian Jeff Biggers explores the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, where sites dating back to the Bronze Age are found across the island. And tour guides from Tuscany and Sicily bring us the scoop on how to find the best gelato in Italy.


  • Italophile Fred Plotkin, co-author of "Rick Steves' Italy for Food Lovers" (Avalon Travel)
  • Historian Jeff Biggers, author of "In Sardinia" (Melville House)
  • Anna Piperato, tour guide based in Siena, Italy
  • Alfio diMauro, tour guide from Catania, Sicily

Additional Info

Program Extras

More with Fred Plotkin - Fred Plotkin tells Rick about the "cucina povola" of Italy, and how he used to prepare the rustic foods of his home region in Italy for tenor Luciano Pavarotti after he performed in New York. (runs 1:47)

More with Jeff Biggers - Jeff Biggers describes the cultural influence of Sardinia's shepherds in the area around Nuoro, including their distinctive Canto a Tenore choral music. He also recommends the big Festival of Saint Efesio each May. And he tells Rick if Sardinia is named for the fish, or if it's the other way around. (runs 6:59)