Italy is synonymous with food, and yet Italian food abroad is often lumped together as homogenous pizza and pasta dishes. Did you know, however, that Italian cuisine is extraordinarily regional? While the Neapolitans may be eating pizza, the Romans will be eating pasta carbonara, the Milanese risotto, and the Florentines bean soup… the variations are endless!
Want a literal taste of Italy? In Italy there is a huge range of “Italian” food and where each dish originates from via our foodie map of Italy…buon appetito!
There's so much more to Italian cuisine than spaghetti and pizza.
The twenty different regions found across the country, from the cooler mountainous north to the almost tropical islands of the south, are each home to particular traditions, customs, dishes and ingredients which help create their unique identity.
Discover just how diverse Italian food can be.
Italy's culinary universe goes far beyond pizza and pasta. From the top of the boot in Milan to the tip of the toe in Sicily, there's a wide array of cuisines and regional specialties to explore.
With one of the world’s best loved cuisines, Italy is a perfect destination for foodies.
Pizza and pasta are adored the world over, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Italian cuisine. Also on offer are legendary cheeses, elegant pastries, famous cold meats, inspired salads, rich stews, herb-infused roasts, indulgent desserts and of course gelato, arguably the world’s finest ice cream. Whether you dine in Michelin-starred restaurants or rustic canteens, expect to be constantly surprised by the range and variety of fresh ingredients.
Every city, town and village in Italy has its own local delicacies, making every snack stop a gastronomic journey and every mealtime a feast.
Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta) Fonduta
The Aosta Valley’s recipes are highly conditioned by the mountainous landscape of this region.
It is possibly the only region in Italy where the pasta is not one of its main ingredients.
The cuisine on this place is simple and influenced by Germanic countries, with recipes made by soups, sausages and meat. The most important recipe of Aosta Valley is the Fonduta, a cheese founde made with the more typical cheese of the region: The Fontina.
Probably you do not know anything about Emilian cuisine What if I say Tagliatelle alla Bolognese? Bologna is the capital of this region and, obviously, is the origin of this famous sauce.
In Emilia Romagna is also typical the Lasagna al ragù (with Bolognese sauce) and the Prosciutto di Parma, Parma’s ham.
Lombardy Risotto alla Milanese
Lombardy is different from the rest of Italy in some aspects, one of them is their preference for the butter instead the olive oil and the use of more rice than pasta.
Piedmont Risotto Tartufato Piemontese
Piedmont is one of the richest regions of Italy in terms of food.
It is the bigger producer of rice, so they are famous for their risottos, like the Risotto tartufato piemontese, made by rice, cheese and the exclusive Tartufo bianco d’Alba, one of the most expensive truffles in the world.
Trentino South Tyrol Canederli
Because it borders on Switzerland and Austria, Trentino South Tyrol has a cuisine very similar to the one in these countries.
The Strudel di mele, a dessert with rolled dough and stuffed with apple, raisins, pine nuts and cinnamon, or the Gulash (the same recipe as in Hungary) are very typical dishes in this region
Veneto Baccalà alla Polenta
In Veneto, in addition to the gondolas, are very typical dishes made by fish, seafood and, obviously, pasta. Baccalà alla polenta is one of its more famous recipes, mixing codfish with polenta, one of the most popular ingredients in Northern Italy.
Abruzzo Cozze allo Zafferano
Abruzzo’s cuisine is truly influenced by its two different sides: the mount and the coast. Both have in common two tastes, the chili pepper and the saffron, presents in many recipes from this region.
Lazio Spaghetti alla Carbonara
In Lazio, the recipes are usually simples and easy, but delicious!
The star dish of the Lazian cuisine is the Spaghetti alla carbonara, a recipe very widespread and imitated around the world. The original ingredients for a great Carbonara are eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, guanciale (similar to bacon) and black pepper.
Marche Brodetto Fish Soup
There are two different kind of recipes in Marche: The typical ones of the coast and the ones of the interior.
Molise Baccalà con le Patate
The Molise cuisine, similar to the Abruzzo one, has also many differences between the coast and the interior.
Tuscany Tagliatelle al ragù di Cinghiale
The Tuscan cuisine is simple but very rich. One of the most famous dishes of pasta in Tuscany is the Pappardelle con il sugo di lepre, pasta with a sauce made by tomato, garlic, onion and hare.
Umbria Zuppa di Farro
The Umbrian cuisine is rustic and traditional. There are many soups, such as the Zuppa di farro (cereal soup with tomato, carrot, cheese, prosciutto and onion) or the Zuppa di lenticchie di Casteluccio di Norcia (a lentil dish very appreciated in Italy), but also pasta recipes with tartufo, one of the most prized and famous ingredient of the Umbrian cuisine.
The olive oil is one of the most used and better ingredients in the Apulian cuisine.
The cuisine of Basilicata, very influenced by Campania and Apulia, is focused on the pork meat, the vegetables and the chili pepper.
Calabria Bruschette con la n’duja,
In Calabria, pasta, pork meat and vegetables are very important for its cuisine.
Campania Pizza Margherita
Campania is synonymous of pizza. In Naples and surroundings, you can taste the best pizza in Italy, and sometimes the simplest: The Pizza Margherita, made with mozzarella cheese, basil and tomato.
Pesto alla Genovese Like many Italian specialities, pesto (from the Italian pestare, to crush or grind) has long outgrown its original home, the port city of Genoa. And like many Italian specialities, its culinary genius lies in its simplicity just basil, garlic, sea salt, Parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil.
Ribollita Ribollita means “reboiled”, a reference to the fact that in the impoverished past this rich, rustic Tuscan soup of cannellini beans, cavolo nero, carrots, celery and more, was the reheated minestrone of the previous day, but with the addition of stale bread and other inexpensive leftovers and ingredients. Few soups are heartier or tastier.
Tiramisù This “pick-me-up” dessert is another now ubiquitous Italian dish, with several cities and regions claiming its invention, the most persuasive case being made by Venice.
Selected website travel blogs to Italian region Food Cuisine Tips in Italy
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