Italian Cuisine by City or Region
Our Guide to the Best Italian FoodYou say Italy, and we say…we’re hungry! Ready for the culinary journey of a lifetime? Here’s our breakdown of what to eat and drink in Italy by city or region.
Pro-tip: The La Dolce Vita tour of Rome includes a cooking class so you can come back and whip up Roman classics at home!
Pro-tip: Stop for cicchetti during the Venice stop of our Unforgettable Italy tour package!
Turin & the Piedmont regionTruffles and wine anyone? The area abounds in black or white truffles, especially near Alba which dedicates a whole festival to this delicacy every fall. Join an authentic truffle hunt in local woods to help collect this curious brand of fungi. The region’s idyllic landscape also produces two of the world’s most acclaimed red wines: Barolo and Barbaresco. Locals even make a mean stew cooked with Barolo wine—brasato al Barolo. Hazelnuts are also grown here and used to make another of Piedmont’s most famous exports, Nutella.
Florence & the Tuscany regionTuscany thrives on simple, delicious country-side cooking. To start, go for crostini di fegato, a typical Tuscan appetizer of toasted bread and chicken liver. Florence fancies its meat, like the classic bistecca alla fiorentina, a T-bone steak usually served very rare. Freshen up with panzanella, a cold bread salad with tomatoes and basil, or warm up with ribollita, a vegetable and bean soup ideal for colder days. Top off your meals with flavourful Chianti or Montalcino wine and end it with a sweet cake called schiacciata alla Fiorentina.
Pro-tip: Embark on a Florence Foodie Walking Tour—part of our Wonders of Italy tour package! The Tuscan Discovery option also takes you to the Chianti region for some delectable wine-tasting.
NaplesTwo words: pizza napoletana. This is where it was invented, this is where you should eat it! Pair pizza with pastries like the textured and shell-shaped sfogliatella, dusted with sugar and stuffed with ricotta or almond paste.
SicilySicilian cuisine bursts with the flavours of local produce: locally grown capers, pistachios, and freshly-fished seafood. Pick up to-go treats like arancini, breaded rice balls often stuffed with mozzarella and ragù, or sfincione, thick crusted Sicilian-style pizza. Dig into pasta con le sarde, a superb sardine dish and caponata, a side dish of eggplant and various vegetables. Cool down from the hot Sicilian sun with granita, sweetly flavoured shaved ice and treat yourself to the island’s prized invention: the cannoli.
EverywhereBefore or after you eat anything, no matter where you are, you must drink coffee in Italy. Order a caffè and an espresso will quickly be served, to be imbibed on the spot and never to go. Cappuccinos are best enjoyed at breakfast, and don’t order an Americano, do order a caffè lungo. For a bit of a kick, go for the boozy caffè corretto and for a cold concoction, ask for an icy caffè freddo.
What’s NextFor something delicious off the beaten path, try the Easy Pace Gourmet Italy tour, which takes you around the foodie regions of Tuscany and Bologna, including wine tastings, food tours and cooking classes.
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