From its soft and chewy pizza doughs to the fresh creamy textures and comforting aromas of its pasta dishes topped with mouth-watering cheeses, it is little surprise that Italian food is one of the most revered cuisines in the world.
On your next trip to Italy, live a foodie’s La Dolce Vita and delve into the country’s enormous offering of rustic delights. Every region has different specialities — to make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve compiled a list of the must tastes to keep your tastebuds tingling.
If there is any time to indulge guilt free, it is on holiday, so why not treat yourself to a starter in the form of Ribollita? This hearty Tuscan soup is made of bread and vegetables, including cannellini beans, cabbage, kale, carrots, celery and onion. Enjoy it at lunch time and be fuelled for a full day of exploring.
The ultimate accompaniment to your pasta dish, these garlicky-tasting fungi delicacies are famous in Tuscany, Umbria, Piedmont and Le Marche. Starting at $95 an ounce and with certain prized truffles selling for a few thousand dollars apiece, these pricy pleasures make for a perfect celebratory treat — just keep an eye on the price tag!
Appropriately named the “King of Cheeses,” any dish on your trip to Italy should come topped with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano, an Italian hard cheese. Its spicy, nutty flavors make it a popular dish filling, condiment and independent food, paired perfectly with a glass of Chianti red wine.
A favourite worldwide, this beloved pizza comes in many forms, but nowhere does it taste quite like it does in Italy. When in Rome, make sure you try it: an ode to Italy’s effortless character, this delightful pizza dish is simplicity at its finest. Though a tomato base may be absent, the dish does not lack substance. Its base is brushed with olive oil and ingredients include ricotta cheese, garlic and mozzarella, topped off with a sprinkling of rosemary. Enjoy!
Served in a cone, with one flavor, multiple flavors, as a desert side or as the desert itself, gelato is everyone’s favorite holiday treat. And where better to try it than in San Gimignano, home to the world’s best ice cream? From champelmo, made up of sparkling wine sorbet and pink grapefruit, to cheese- and black olive-flavored ice cream, you’ll have your choice of the winning sweet at Gelateria Dondoli.
Head to this world-famous ice cream parlour on our Ultimate Italy Premium Guided Tour.
Another desert favourite to indulge in on your trip is Tiramisu. Head to Tuscany for the best selection of this inviting coffee-flavoured Italian classic. Made up of coffee, eggs, sugar, mascarpone cheese and cocoa, this flavourful pudding nourishes the taste palates.
Produced in the Chianti region of central Tuscany, this world famous dry red wine is cherished for its tasty Sangiovese flavouring, paired perfectly with a rustic Italian dinner. Known as one of the best wines in the world, experts suggest opting for 1999 and 2001 vintages for the most exceptional tastes.
Try Chianti wine for yourself on our Ultimate Italy Premium Guided Tour, where you can join Marchese Mazzei at his Tuscan estate, Castello di Fontertoli, and toast to your travels.