friends having a picnic together outside

What To Bring to An Italian Picnic

Warmer weather means more chances to enjoy your meals outside! A picnic is a great activity to do with the family, friends, or the love of your life. There are so many ways to make a picnic truly special, but first, you’ve got to get the basics down. Here is a basic outline of what to bring to your very first Italian-inspired picnic.


Whenever you’re indulging in an Italian meal, you can never forget the wine. The perfect picnic on a gorgeous sunny day calls for an amazing white wine. Feel free to pop a bottle of bubbly prosecco for you and your attendees. Or, if you’re not a fan of bubbles, opt for a Pinot Grigio or a dry Sauvignon Blanc. Be sure to bring ice to keep the wine cold, and opt for plastic wine glasses or champagne flutes for easy disposal.


The best part of a picnic is the assortment of delectable finger foods to choose from. Small sandwiches are easy to make and pack, and also require very little clean up. Consider a caprese sandwich on a ciabatta roll with a gentle layer of homemade pesto. You can also add chicken and swap heirloom tomatoes for sun dried tomatoes for an extra juicy bite. You can also go super casual and traditional by pairing pepperoni, salami, capicola, and mortadella with a few slices of provolone to make the best Italian deli sub to split. Don’t forget to bring a little extra olive oil with you!


There’s something about enjoying a pickle during a picnic that really ties the entire event together. You can go for the usual cucumber and dill pickles, or you can make your very own Giardiniera, which is a pickled relish made from vegetables like peppers, carrots, celery, and cauliflower. Combining these ingredients with herbs, seasoning, vinegar and oil, then letting it pickle for 3 days, yields a delicious antipasto addition.


A picnic is all about eating a collection of fresh foods, so fruit must be included in the mix. Preferably, you want to bring fruits that are easy to eat and don’t leave much of a mess. So, you’ll likely have to prep them the day before to minimize waste. Peel and pack oranges, slice apples, wash and store grapes, and even add a few candied fruits to the mix, such as apricots or figs. If your sandwich consists of a rather funky cheese, this is a great respite from the strong flavors.


The best part of any meal is the sweet treat you get to eat at the end! Since you’ll likely be outdoors for a while and want to leisurely consume all the snacks you’ve brought with you, it’s best to avoid any frozen foods. Choose pastries and sweet breads instead, like biscotti or panettone.

Other Essential Items

If you’re looking for a mini list of the most important picnic items to bring with you, we’ve got you covered! Here’s what you should pack and purchase:

  • Blanket
  • Picnic basket
  • Napkins
  • Plastic wine glasses
  • Wine opener
  • Sunscreen
  • Disposable plates or reusable Tupperware
  • Disposable cutlery
  • A trash bag
  • Water

Most of these items can easily be found around your house. Whenever possible, choose biodegradable cutlery, plates, etc. to reduce your environmental impact. Trash can easily get blown away, even if you dispose of it in the proper bins, so taking this extra measure certainly makes a difference.

Choose Nico For Your Next Family Meal!

Getting the family together for dinner or brunch can be a real hassle, but when there’s fantastic Italian fare involved, who can put up a fight? Nico has a great selection of authentic Italian dishes to choose from, with specially curated cocktails to match. Join us for your next family outing, birthday celebration, or anniversary! Make a reservation today.

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