Italy has countless draws and attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Not only is the history rich, and sights breathtaking, but the cuisine is just as divine. These hand-picked Italian food destinations are must-visits on your itinerary!
Take a wine tour while traveling in Tuscany. Ranked number three in the top wine-producing areas of Italy, the region has magnificent views of its vineyards that continue for miles. Climate is one of the most important factors in wine-making. Tuscany’s hilly terrain exposes the grapes to ample sunlight and produces batches that are picked at perfection.
You’ll explore the wine cellars and learn about the fermentation process of the grapes. Some are over 50 years old while others are young and ready to be consumed within one to two years. Most tastings will include 6-8 different wines to try and can range from very light, sweet white wines to dry, robust wines so remember to use the spit cup provided. But if you would like to go prepared, learn beforehand how to taste wine at the made-in-italy website.
One of America’s favorite foods. While you can find a pizzeria on relatively every corner in NYC, make your way to the coast of Naples for the real deal! Chain restaurants have nothing on the mom and pop shops that use recipes handed down from generations. Cooked to perfection inside the warm belly of a wood-fire oven, this old-school method brings out the best flavors in Naples’ pizza. Instead of paying by the slice, like we do in the U.S., the cashier will ask how much you want, then weigh the pizza and charge you accordingly.
Need a recommendation on what to order? Opt for the Margherita pizza. The iconic item has a ‘springtime look’, with fresh basil and thinly-sliced tomatoes on top a smooth bed of mozzarella cheese over its thin crust.
TAKEAWAY: The Margherita pizza is named after Queen Margherita, wife of the King of Italy during the late 19th century!
The Lombardy region in Italy is popular for its rice dishes, especially risotto. Risotto alla milanese is the most well-known style, originating from the city of Milan. This delicious staple has an unmistakable creamy consistency. White wine, garlic, grated Parmesan cheese and saffron bring out the big flavor in risotto. Prepared with slices of sausage or chicken, you will often find it served as the dish prior to your entree- so eat up, but save room!
We give the credit of inventing fettuccine alfredo to Alfredo di Lelio. In 1914, di Lelio created a sauce with Parmesan cheese and butter and poured it over plate of fettuccine pasta for his pregnant wife. He opened a restaurant in Rome and the trendy dish spread like wildfire! Around all of Europe, it was known as “Pasta al Burro” or pasta with butter. Surprisingly, cream was not used in making the sauce, although America’s version of fettuccine alfredo uses heavy cream as a main ingredient. Head to Rome for the one and only original!
In the Manhattan equivalent, Milan is a city that requires a lot of energy to keep up with its fast-paced lifestyle. Here, you won’t need an app to find a cafe, for they are plentiful. Order a singe shot at the bar and drink it while it’s hot. Hence the name espresso, meaning express— it should be consumed quickly. Espresso should not taste bitter. If it does, that means too many grams of coffee were extracted from the coffee beans and there is an extremely high dose of caffeine packed in that little cup, which is not good for the heart.
And don’t add milk! Italians frown upon milk-based drinks in the afternoon. They believe it is too heavy on the stomach and will disrupt your meal during the day. So leave the cappuccinos reserved for breakfast orders only.
TAKEAWAY: Coffee deadens your taste buds. Italians never serve coffee until the absolute end of the meal, as not to interfere with the taste. Americans are used to eating dessert with coffee; however this lessens our ability to really taste the food with full capacity.
An authentic gelato experience will exceed any childhood memories at the ice cream parlor. With flavors ranging from Stracciatella to Hazelnut Praline or even Mascarpone Nutella you can’t help but fall in love with this sweet treat! Stop by any gelateria in Florence for the best way to wrap up your guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery. Gelato is creamier and denser than ice cream because it has less air in it- so you’re getting your money’s worth!
Bakeries all around the world have replicated the Italian Tiramisu dessert- and no place does it like Venice. The “Floating City”, home to over 250 thousand citizens literally has buildings on stilt-like foundations; and instead of cars, people drive boats through the waterways! With a setup this unique, it’s no wonder Venice is home to the sophisticated delicacy. Coffee-soaked ladyfingers lay tucked in with a sweet mascarpone cream mixture, and sprinkled with chocolate shavings for a light and smooth indulgence.