Italy is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and, perhaps above all, its mouthwatering cuisine. Each region in Italy possesses its own unique dishes and culinary traditions, making the country a veritable paradise for food lovers. Here, we've handpicked some must-try Italian dishes that you should savour on your trip to this beautiful country.
Arguably the most famous Italian dish worldwide, the authentic Pizza Napoletana awaits you in Naples. This delicious dish is lightly topped with ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, fresh basil, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. The D.O.P. label guarantees traditional techniques, ingredients, and flavours, ensuring you enjoy a truly Neapolitan experience.
In Rome, you can savour another classic: Pasta Carbonara. This creamy pasta dish features eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, guanciale (Italian cured pork cheek), black pepper, and spaghetti or rigatoni. Unlike its many international variations, the traditional Italian Carbonara does not contain cream.
A staple of Lombard cuisine, Risotto Alla Milanese is a creamy, golden rice dish that tastes as heavenly as it looks. Saffron infuses the rice with a vibrant hue, while bone marrow, lard, and cheese add richness. Often served with osso buco (braised veal shanks), this is a delicacy not to be missed in Milan.
A Tuscan speciality, the Fiorentina Steak is a thick, T-bone steak from the Chianina cattle breed. Traditionally grilled over a wood or charcoal fire, this dish is favoured for its succulent and rich taste. Paired with a local red wine, it makes for a perfect dinner in the rolling hills of Tuscany.
No trip to Italy would be complete without sampling Gelato, the Italian version of ice cream. With its origins in Sicily, Gelato comes in a wide variety of tantalising flavours, from traditional chocolate and vanilla to exotic fig and pistachio. Visit Gelateria Dondoli in San Gimignano, a former "Gelato World Champion", for a real treat.
Last but not least, don't forget to taste Limoncello, a popular Italian liqueur. Made from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, it's known for its refreshing, tangy flavour. The Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Peninsula are the primary producers of this delightful digestif.
Packed with aromatic ingredients, vibrant flavours, and a wealth of regional diversity, the culinary scene in Italy is nothing short of astonishing. Each dish tells a story of its locale and the people who live there, promising an unforgettable gastronomic journey for any food lover willing to explore.