12 Foods To Try While You’re In Italy

Food is one of the most honest expressions of culture. It defines local culture, reflecting ideas about their people, economy, history and traditions. And Italy is so rich in dishes that it is worth trying right where it comes from.

Foods to try in Italy

Many dishes of Italian cuisine can be found in restaurants around the world, as proof that Italian food is really good. Even so, even the most famous ones are made in a very special way in their place of origin.

Napoli Pizza

Foods to try in Italy – Pizza

Every good Italian food tour should start with… PIZZA! While Naples and the Campania region have many excellent traditional Italian dishes, they are known throughout Italy for having the best pizza in the country.

Very unique Neapolitan style pizza. This is a classic Margherita pizza, with a thin crust, cooked to perfection in a traditional brick oven. The toppings are just tomato sauce, whole basil leaves and buffalo mozzarella, simple but oh so delicious.

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You can’t visit Naples and not try pizza.

Ribolitta

Traditional Italian food - Ribolitta
Traditional Italian food – Ribolitta

Tuscans are famous for their rustic soup that has kept them warm for centuries. In Italy, as in many cultures, leftovers can be boiled together in traditional dishes. Ribolitta is the Tuscan version of “leftover” soup.

Seasonal greens, cannellini beans and leftover crust combine to form this thick, hearty soup. In fact, it’s the bread that thickens it. Whether it’s served for lunch or dinner, you’ll be tempted to swap spoons for forks!

risotto

Dishes to try in Italy - Risotto
Foods to try in Italy – Risotto

Originating in northern Italy, this creamy rice dish can now be found all over the country. The rice and broth are gently stirred over low heat until they become a thick, thick dish and topped with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, turmeric, mushrooms, seafood, or spices, depending on the dish you put in. It can also be served as a standalone dish and should always be enjoyed hot.

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Risotto is very popular in Milan, where saffron risotto (Risotto Milanese) is featured. It is also a signature dish of Venetian cuisine, where you will find a famous dish called Risi e Bisi, or rice and peas.

In areas where porcini mushroom season is celebrated, you’ll find Wild Porcini Mushroom Risotto. Another variation can be found in Naples and the Amalfi Coast — Risotto al Limone, with lemon. Delicious!

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Bottarga

Foods to try while in Italy - Bottarga
Foods to try while in Italy – Bottarga

This delicacy of salted fish eggs is usually made from tuna fish eggs, but sometimes swordfish is also used.

Although bottarga is a specialty dish found in Sicily and Sardinia, it has also made its way into the cuisines of southern Italy and parts of Tuscany. With an intense taste and a hint of bitterness, this delicacy is not for the faint of heart!

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Osso Buco

Italian Food - Osso Buco
Italian Food – Osso Buco

This dish is a specialty of the Lombardy region and is traditionally made alla Milanese. With chunks of beef bone, vegetables, gremolata (a mixture of chopped herbs), white wine, and stock, you’re sure to love it! You may find levetis served with risotto or polenta and paired with a strong red wine like Chianti or Nobile di Montepulciano.

Stuffed zucchini flowers

Stuffed zucchini flowers
Stuffed zucchini flowers

These bright orange flowers, greased and lightly fried, are filled with seasonal local cuisine. While you can enjoy this delicacy all over Italy, a tourist favorite is in Sorrento. The flowers are filled with delicious flavored cheese!

Regardless of the preparation, pumpkin flowers are always delicious. Pair it with a small glass of limoncello for a dish you won’t soon forget.

Bistecca Fiorentina

    Bistecca Fiorentina
Bistecca Fiorentina

This Florentine-style steak is made from Chianin beef, which is prized throughout Tuscany for its beef. When grilling, use a rosemary brush to coat the meat with olive oil.

Steaks are simply seasoned using only salt and pepper. While you can ask for something better done, be prepared if you don’t set it to be done with blood.

pesto

Foods to try in Italy - Pesto
Foods to try in Italy – Pesto

Pesto comes from the Liguria region in northwestern Italy, where fresh basil is abundant all year round, especially in the warmer months. A simple sauce made with varying amounts of basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmigiano or pecorino cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper.

The exact proportions of ingredients are usually left to taste and can vary greatly from place to place. Spinach or parsley can also be added to reduce the strong basil flavor and create more complex flavors.

Tasting different versions of pesto in the cities of the Cinque Terre has become a pleasure for tourists.

arancini

Arancini - traditional food from Sicily
Arancini – traditional food from Sicily

Arancini, or “little oranges”, is fried rice believed to have originated in Sicily. Rice arborio, commonly used in risotto, is cooked and formed into small balls, coated in breadcrumbs and put in a frying pan. But that’s not all. This delicious snack is usually filled with mozzarella or fontina cheese or a meat ragu sauce.

You may also find them stuffed with a mixture of ragu and peas. Although they are also served in Rome, they go by another name – Suppli. The version here is usually filled with ragu and mozzarella.

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Italian pasta - tortellini
Italian pasta – tortellini

Whether we are talking about lasagna, pasta carbonara, pasta with ragu sauce, bolognese, tortellini or any other pasta, pasta is one dish that you must try when you are in Italy, if you want to know what it really tastes like.

Sardinia in Saor

Foods to try in Italy - Sarde di Saor
Foods to try in Italy – Sarde di Saor

Sarde di Saor, a truly authentic Italian dish made from grilled or fried sardines. The fish is mixed with raisins and pignoli nuts and onions boiled in oil and added with vinegar. The vinegar base is followed by a hint of sweetness from the onions, giving the recipe a sweet and sour touch. Venetian history and culture are woven into the fabric of this dish, which is best served chilled or at room temperature.

Gelato and cannoli

Sicilian cannoli
Sicilian cannoli

You can’t go to Italy without trying gelato and cannoli. Like pizza and pasta, these two desserts are found all over the world, but their true taste can only be enjoyed where they originate.

Also check out the places to visit in Florence – the most impressive sights!


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