When someone asks you why do you like to visit Italy? You will probably answer to try the best food to eat in Italy, including its infamous pizza, pasta, etc. Italian cuisine holds a special place among travellers, despite the nation’s astonishing scenery and architecture, rich culture, and glorious history.

Italy’s fragrant and fresh gastronomy is highly appreciated by all, young and old, Italians and non-Italians. The primary reason for this appreciation is its varied and many choices to satisfy the palate of every traveller.

Another reason could be due to Italy’s glorious history. Over the past decades, the influxes of people travelling through Italy have left their mark. In a nutshell, Italian cuisine is simple and subtle.

Italy boasts many attractions; building up an appetite is necessary for every tourist. Here, we have curated the 10 best foods to eat in Italy on your vacation.

All these foods have essential Italian ingredients like olive oil, oregano, and basil. They are so delicious that you shout “Mamma Mia!” at an Italian feast.

Pizza

Pizza is the number one traditional food you can’t miss on your Italy trip. This dish needs no introduction, but pizza isn’t the same as in Italy.

pizza

The Italian peninsula has been home to pizza for centuries, but it wasn’t until Queen Margherita of Savoy visited Naples in 1889 that the famous Margherita was invented. It is believed that the queen summoned the famous pizza maker Raffaele Esposito to create an original pizza for her as she was bored of French cuisine.

The queen selected the ingredients like tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil for her pizza. After this, Raffaele Esposito called his pizza the Margherita and requested the queen’s approval to make it a royal dish.

In Italy, you will find two types of Pizzas: Neapolitan pizza, “pizza Napoletana” (thicker and smaller) and Roman pizza, “pizza Romana” (bigger, thinner, and crisper), which originates from Rome.

Cost: Neapolitan Pizza costs around $6 to $9.

Where to eat: Gorizia 1916, Carminiello, Starita, Pizzeria da Attillo, L’antica Pizzeria da Michele, etc.

Is pizza the national dish of Italy?

Pizza is considered the national dish of Italy. But it is also equally popular among other European nations.

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Pasta

When discussing the best food in Italy, pasta should be on our list. Pasta can surpass its contenders if you want any simple yet delicious Italian cuisine.

You will find 400 styles of pasta with a combination of eggs, flour, water, olive oil, and salt. Some popular types of pasta include fettuccine, spaghetti, penne, and tagliatelle. Each region of Italy portrays a unique style and vibe.

Pasta

You will get the best pappardelle in Tuscany, while Rome is famous for the fettuccine. Pasta can be prepared in different ways: creamy, with pesto, with fresh tomato sauce, or even stuffed.

But one signature pasta dish in Italy (especially in Rome) is Spaghetti a la Carbonara made with guanciale, egg, pecorino cheese, and black pepper.

Cost: A pasta dish costs around $6-$8.

Where to eat: Pasta e Vino, Osteria Da Fortunata, Antico Carbone, etc.

What are the four main kinds of pasta in Rome?

Gricia, Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, and Amatriciana are some simple kinds of pasta which are found in every nook and corner of Rome.

Arancini

These are fried rice balls stuffed with ragu or tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and Arborio rice. Usually, two types of arancini are there, Roman and Sicilian.

Coated in breadcrumbs, arancini are deep-fried to make them golden and crisper. That’s why; they got their name “Arancini”, which implies little orange.

arancini in italy

This dish is served with marinara sauce and can be found in all establishments, including pubs, bars, local vendors, and restaurants.

Start your meal with this Italian dish to introduce your taste buds to flavors that will further build your appetite for the subsequent courses.

Cost: $3 per arancini

Where to eat: Ke Palle, Tonnarello, Supplì Roma, etc.

Lasagna

Without mentioning Lasagna, preparing the list of the best food to eat in Italy is simply committing a crime.

One of the most popular foods in the world, this item is prepared with pasta sheets, meat, cheese, and tomato sauce. After that, it is baked in an oven. A vegetarian version of this dish is also available, where vegetables replace the meat.

Lasagna

Originating from the Naples region, this dish was cooked with bechamel sauce, ragu, and cheese. But now, the delicacy is often cooked with several international ingredients, transforming its look into what we know today.

Cost: This delicacy could cost $6-$8.

Where to eat: Taverna del Seminario, Al Gallinaccio, Diadema Restaurant, etc.

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Risotto

If you think rice is boring and monotonous, try this Italian food.

Risotto is one of the best foods to eat in Italy and is appreciated by all food fanatics. Though some may argue that Italians prefer bread over other carbs, a creamy Risotto will undoubtedly win the hearts of many.

Italian ingredients that are used in Risotto are high-end and luxurious. For example, Risotto alla Milanese is prepared with saffron, which is quite expensive.

Risotto in Italy

On the other hand, Risotto al Nero di Sepia is prepared with arborio rice, cuttlefish, and squid ink. All ingredients are mixed together with a creamy sauce made with butter and various spices.

To enjoy its flavor and decadence, always try Risotto at a fine-dining restaurant.

Cost: The dish starts from $12

Where to eat: Osteria Conchetta, Taverna Volpetti, Molto, etc.

Ossobuco

Italian cuisine is blessed with a lot of meat-based dishes. Travellers, who want to try different types of meat on their vacation, should taste this dish on their Italian adventure.

Ossobuco is a dish made with bone-in veal shanks cooked at a low heat to bring out the flavors of white wine, vegetables, and meat stock. Veal is the meat of cow calves, which is considered a delicacy in several European nations.

ossobuco in italy

The exciting part of the delicacy is when you finish the dish; you will get the taste of the bone marrow. The plate is called Ossobuco, which means “Hollow Bone”.

Cost: The dish could cost around $9-$30.

Where to eat: Trattoria Milanese, Luca e Andrea, L’Immagine, etc.

Truffles

Though truffles can be found in a few other places, Italy is the only nation that produces them in such a large quantity or quality.

Truffles in Italy

Between November and March, the forests of Piedmont and Umbria are home to truffles, a highly aromatic fungus that grows close to tree roots. They can be white truffles with a stronger flavor and smell or black truffles with a lighter flavor and aroma. Trained dogs find them.

Both truffles are considered one of the most expensive food items in the world. Truffles can enhance any dish, from pasta to salad to breakfast eggs, with a strong but enticing aroma.

Cost: $2150-$5200 per kg.

Where to eat: Osteria Barberini, Da Francesco, Tartufi & Friends, etc.

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Italian Cheese

Cheese has become an integral part of Italian cuisine for centuries. The Romans experimented with a wide range of cheeses by smoking, melting, and ageing them, which provided the foundation for numerous well-known cheeses that can be found today.

Italian Cheese

A good piece of cheese can be strong, soft, creamy, grained, sweet, or salty—who can say no to that? Each district of Italy has mastered a specific type of cheese.

According to the locals, Southern Naples is famous for mozzarella (prepared with fresh buffalo milk). On the other hand, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is found in Parma in the region.

Gorgonzola is the famous Italian blue cheese from the Gorgonzola region. It is one of the strong cheeses and is hugely appreciated in the country. Grana Padano, Pecorino, and mascarpone cheese are famous cheeses in Italy.

Cost: $9 for 500gm Cheese

Where to eat: Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of Bologna and Mantua are famous for cheeses.

Polenta

The Polenta is a typical northern Italian delicacy that the locals frequently enjoy. It is a corn mush that can be accompanied by meats, salads, and zuppa (soup).

You should try this delicacy on your Italy trip due to its strong flavor and simplicity. Initially, you may think it is bland or basic, but a well-prepared Polenta fritter or a stew with Polenta will satisfy your taste buds.

Polenta

You may plan for many activities and things to do on your Italy trip, so give a rest to your digestive system by trying this light dish.

Cost: The price of the dish could be around $4.

Where to eat: Le Lanterne, Il Gallo Nero, Ditta Trinchetti, etc.

Gelato

Do you have a sweet tooth? You will certainly have a blast on your Italy adventure with artisan gelato readily available in every nook and corner of Italy.

Gelato

Some of you find gelato similar to ice cream, but a true Italian will undoubtedly deny the fact. Gelato has lesser fat and stronger essence than traditional ice cream. Moreover, it is not mixed with water and air.

Gelato is prepared with fresh Italian ingredients; thus, you can only store it briefly. Gelato is smoother than ice creams, making it more refreshing while you enjoy it on the streets of Rome.

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Conclusion

By this point, you must be drooling all over your smartphone or laptop screen, so why not plan a trip to Italy to sample these delicacies?

Visit Bookit N Go and check the best deals for your Italian voyage. The company offers the cheapest hotels and flights for all major cities in Italy. Get more discounts on flights and hotels by using “BNG05” and “BNG07”, respectively.

FAQs

Why are Italian dishes so popular?

Italian dishes are popular due to their simplicity, diversity, authenticity, and freshness. The conventional recipes of the country have been passed down through generations; thus become staples in the country’s cuisine.