What Foods to Eat in Italy

Pasta - most authentic Italian food

What to eat in Italy: best dishes to try in Rome and Milan, Florence and Venice, Naples? What are minestrone and carpaccio, lasagna and risotto, local street food made of ? Popular food that Italian themselves eat at breakfast, for lunch or dinner, typical menu. Main vegetarian dishes, authentic features of the national cuisine of Italy – in the article of good Time for Trip.

Those who had a chance to eat original dishes of the Italian cuisine in its homeland: in Rome, Milan, Naples, Bologna other cities, will confirm they are not only good and tasty but – in some cases – even unique. Not always, of course – tourist crowds have relaxed restaurateurs so much that they stopped paying attention to quality.

So foreign travelers are increasingly scribbling angry reviews, refusing to understand why they were so tastelessly fed in a previously seemingly such a good place.

But if they are lucky enough and will find an authentic pizzeria, pasticceria or gelateria where Italian eat themselves, their experience will be quite different. Much more delicious!

The characteristic features of original Italian cuisine are explained by the local climate and products that have become widespread in a particular place. However, although each region of the country boasts its own special recipes, some dishes are quite versatile.

So you can find and absolutely amazing pizza in the north of Italy. And taste excellent spaghetti bolognese in its far south

However, regional affiliation here matters, making the acquaintance with Italian food doubly exciting. And it would be quite logical to order tiramisu for dessert while visiting in Italy Venice or try all the variations of Pizza Margarita in Naples.

But stop wasting time – let’s get to the point!

Best Italian Dishes

that are must-try for tourists. We will move in accordance with the list approved by us. Although anyone, of course, have their own food preferences.


This is a real symbol of the Apennine country. Well known all over the world and often even brought from Italy as a gift.

And there is nothing shameful in doing so – even the factory-made spaghetti produced here is so good that you will enjoy it thousands of kilometers from Rome or Milan

The number of types of pasta in Italy is amazing. But two have become especially popular.

Tagliatelle Bolognese - the first you must eat in Italy

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Pasta Bolognese managed to become more popular than Bologna itself! After all, spaghetti with tomato and meat sauces is on the menu of restaurants even outside of Italy.

But in their homeland, Bolognese is usually eaten with tagliatelle pasta, which was invented here. This is said to be due its flat shape and rough texture which are better at grabbing the sauce.

Some tourists order tagliatelle noodles. But the essence of this will not change – do eat this dish in Italy, whether you find yourself in Rome or Venice, Sicily or Turin. As it’s a real culinary delight!

Spaghetti Carbonara

is an another incredibly popular type of pasta that is best cooked in Rome. This is because in “The Eternal City” carbonara is made not with bacon, but with pork cheeks.

They say that the cooking recipe of Spaghetti Carbonara came from the poor people. Once carbonaio was the main food the local coal miners were eating.


Today it’s impossible to imagine traditional Italian cuisine without pizza. This food is simply adored here, and the number of pizzerias in the country has long gone beyond all reasonable limits.

In some Italian eateries, the menu consists entirely of different types of pizza. Naturally, today there are enough places where you can see the process of its preparation with your own eyes

According to well-rooted Italian traditions, pizza dough is left to mature for 16-18 hours. And for the filling it choose only the freshest products. The local pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven, due to which the taste and aroma of all ingredients are best preserved.

Neapolitan Margherita with mozzarella and tomato sauce is a classic of the genre. But the number of varieties of pizza is several dozen. However, so far, only Napoletana Pizza is considered an intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO.

Pizza is one of the most popular Italian dishes


Yes, Italian dishes mentioned above are the most popular and well known in the world. But the list is not limited to pizza and spaghetti.

Soups aren’t so popular in this country. But you should try such a meal as Minestrone – a traditional vegetable soup that has become the embodiment of the features of national cuisine.

Initially in Italy, Minestrone was made from leftover main courses or inexpensive vegetables. Today main components of this soup are meat broth and fresh vegetables. Which, depending on the season, can be as much as you like.

Therefore, the consistency of the dish varies from liquid to incredibly thick. In some recipes, minestrone is supplemented with rice, pasta, pesto sauce. Before eating the soup, grated parmesan and fresh chopped greens are added to the plates.


If you value pizza dough more than toppings, take a look at Focaccia. As this authentic Italian dish is prepared in a similar way and therefore it is incredibly tasty.

Focaccia is commonly associated with Ligurian cuisine, where it is traditionally baked with olive oil and salt. But today you can find a bunch of varieties of this food: with rosemary and basil, cheese, tomatoes, olives.

In general, the real focaccia should be tasted in Liguria. But if you go, for example, to Tuscany – what tourist would not like to see Florence – try the local product. Differing in original taste.

We assure you, real Focaccia is just a poem. And even though in a detailed review walksofitaly.com it was placed only 11th in the list of the most popular Italian dishes, sometimes all you need to satisfy your hunger is a few pieces of Focaccia, olive oil and a pinch of Parmesan…

Focaccia - one of the main foods for a dinner in Italy


The list of food worth eating in Italy is unthinkable without Carpaccio, thinly sliced ​​meat or fish slices, seasoned with a sauce with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice.

Although the recipe of this dish appeared in Italy relatively recently, today it is included in the menu of all restaurants of national cuisine. For its preparation, most often raw beef tenderloin is taken, previously placed in the freezer.

It’s worth trying some versions of carpaccio. For example, those where instead of beef , venison or duck, tuna or salmon may be present

According to the local cuisine traditions, before serving, carpaccio is sprinkled with cheese and garnished with fresh herbs. Be sure to try the carpaccio with true Italian wine.

For example, venison is recommended to be served with red one: Barolo from Piedmont or Chianti from Tuscany. And tuna or salmon is supposed to be tasted with white wine like Pinot Grigio.


This Italian national dish is especially well prepared in Naples and Bologna. Although, of course, you can try wonderful samples in other cities as well.

Classical Lasagna is a multi-layered casserole in which the dough alternates with stuffing of minced meat, mushrooms or vegetables, soaked in sauce – the same bolognese. An obligatory ingredient of this food is cheese: ricotta or mozzarella parmesan, gorgonzola.

Lasagna - popular North Italian dish

Lasagna is something worth eating especially in Italy. In addition to the classic version with meat, many restaurants offer vegetarian lasagna.

What to Eat in Italy In
Rome Milan Venice
Bruschetta al pomodoro Minestrone Milanese Cicchetti
Pasta alla Carbonara Risotto alla Milanese Fritto misto
Carciofi alla Romana Panettone Tiramisu


Even if you think that rice dishes are best cooked in Asia, while in Italy, don’t ignore Risotto alla Milanese. Perhaps the most famous dish of Lombardy. In fact, the hallmark of the region!

The basis for Risotto alla Milanese is round-grain rice of special varieties, which is first fried in butter, and then stewed in white wine and beef broth. Finally, saffron and a bit of parmesan are added to the dish.

In other varieties of Italian risotto seafood, minced meat, vegetables or mushrooms may be added, sometimes all together!

Also, you can find unusual types of risotto: with apples and pears, berries, zucchini and eggplant, shrimp, bacon, or even truffles. In the latter case, of course, you should not count on cheapness!


This pungent, scarce mushroom is may be the most expensive foods in the world. And Italy is one of the few countries where it can be find in sufficient quantities.

Truffles grow in the wild, usually in Piedmont and Umbria. Although there are those who were lucky enough to find a delicious mushroom in the forests of Tuscany.

For collecting mushrooms here used specially trained dogs and… pigs – which have a fine sense of smell. There is no other way to find truffles – they grow underground

In Italy, grow 2 types of truffle: white and black. The latter is a little more common.

By the way, in October and November, that is, during the mushroom picking season, Italy hosts international festivals of white truffles. The most famous are those that take place in Piedmontese Alba and Tuscan San Miniato.

Often truffle shavings are sprinkled on pasta. They are also used in the preparation of omelettes, risotto and meat dishes.


This is not quite ice cream, although it is very reminiscent of it. Real Gelato is a national Italian delicacy made from milk, cream and sugar. Nuts, fruits and berries, fruit jams, coffee, and chocolate, honey and much more are added to it.

Gelato is prepared in special establishments – gelateria. The best of them are watching the long queues in the season

Gelato you must try in Italy in Rome or Milan

Although, we recommend you don’t become victims of advertising and treat yourself in a regular gelateries, where the locals do it. We assure – the taste of the product there will almost certainly not be worse!


Another Italian dessert, Tiramisu, hardly needs a special introduction. The secret of its popularity lies not only in the delicate taste, but also in the ease of preparation.

After all, to cook Tiramisu you need very few ingredients: Savoiardi cookies, mascarpone cheese, coffee, chicken eggs and sugar. And of course, chocolate chips or cocoa for sprinkling.

The best Tiramisu is considered to be made in Treviso. Although, in principle, this delicious Italian delicacy is common through the whole entire Veneto region.

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About Ann K 25 Articles
I love Italy, have lived there for more than 10 years. So in general, I know a lot about this country)