If your journey across Italy doesn’t include lots of tasty food, what are you even doing in this country? If you miss out on its delicious traditional cuisine, you can’t fully feel the spirit of Italy. Yes, it is full of beautiful locations, outstanding architecture, and rich history. But if you avoid its food parts. You’ll never get the full image of Italy. Isn’t it better to enjoy those views with some of those famous Italian dishes?
And never worry about those few extra pounds all those carbs provide, you’ll be walking around the sights for quite some time! Think only about the satisfaction of the tastiest dishes you’ve ever had.
With this list of Italian foods, I hope to cover the basics that you are simply obligated to try while in Italy. Note that this is my personal top 10 list and is based solely on subjective impressions. You’ll probably shuffle around a few places on it when you try them all yourself. In any case, each one of these is the deliciousness heaven for any food connoisseur.
Even with three simple ingredients, the local chefs manage to make it so flavorful and rich that no other “multi-meats with lots of everything” can compare.
The best way to enjoy pizza in Italy is sitting down in the evening at a small cafe accompanied by Italian cocktails. Ideally, where the chef is the owner. If you manage to find such an establishment, you’re in for a treat.
Where to try: Rome, Napes (both are drastically different; I suggest you try both types)
The beauty of this traditional Italian dish is in its diversity. Every tourist can find the kind perfect for their liking. The variety of shapes, sauces, and additional ingredients will astonish you. This dish is offered all over the country in various regional recipes.
Where to try: the whole of Italy (try at least a couple of regional types)
It comes in many varieties. However, when served alongside another Italian favorite of mine – prosciutto – it’s heaven on Earth for the taste buds. The traditional appetizer is simple yet savory – seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes.
Where to try: Tuscany
This is not your typical ice cream. In Italy, gelato is tender, creamy, and gently melts, releasing all that tasty goodness while cooling you. Perfetto!
Where to try: Rome, Venice
This calorie bomb is so savory that the extra pounds do not even come to your mind. There are two versions of lasagne: red and white. The former comes with tomato sauce and the latter without it. This is a layered dish that may include lasagne pasta sheets, cheese, bechamel, tomato sauce, various ground meats, and vegetables.
Where to try: Florence, Rome Trastevere
Bistecca Fiorentina is a 4 to 5 cm high T-bone steak that often weighs closer to a kilo (appr. 2 pounds). This grilled meat is usually served with lemon wedges. One steak will be enough for two!
The secret of this steak is in the particular breed and age of the animal.
Where to try: Florence
The rice is coated in butter to give the dish creaminess, then it’s cooked in broth with additional ingredients such as onion, parmesan cheese, truffle, seafood, etc.
Where to try: Milan
This is a light dish that can be served with a glass of wine or prosecco that is also great in Italy. Overall, Italian drinks are high-quality and delicious, just as its food.
Where to try: all over the country
The classic Roman polenta is served with tomato, sausage, and pork ribs.
Where to try: Rome
Osso buco alla Milanese
The Milanese variant of this dish comes with polenta or mashed potatoes. The added gremolata (garlic, lemon zest, and parsley) is the perfect garnish.
A useful tip: don’t forget to scoop bone marrow as you finish the dish!
Where to try: Milan
With this guide, try all the famous cities in Italy in one go!