Pink dining room at Piazza Duomo

There are almost as many ways to eat in Italy as there are to be a person. The twenty regions each foster their own unique flavours and techniques, and within those there are untold variations. Michelin star restaurants can be wildly creative, or classic, old-school affairs. Here’s our guide to the gamut of Italian fine dining, featuring some of the most famous restaurants in Italy, and some of the lesser known ones, too. 

Lido 84, Lake Garda

The lakeside dinner of your dreams is in lush little Gardone Riviera, among the cypress trees, oleanders and bougainvillea. This is a joyous, relaxed place to soak in the lake’s majesty, with chefs regularly bustling in and out of the jewel-like turquoise dining room to present dishes made using local sardines, raw mountain milk, olive oil, lemons and Wisteria flowers. 

Accursio, Modica

Modica is one of three Baroque towns in southern Sicily – it’s dazzling and monumental, and somewhat mind-blowingly nestled in a valley 25 minutes from the sea. Accursio’s tasting menu is a vivid introduction to the wildly varied cuisine of Sicilia, taking you from the coast to the mainland, the east to the west. 

Piazza Duomo, Alba

In Piedmont, unassuming Alba lures foodies in their droves with its Barolo wine, gianduja chocolates and highly prized white truffles. And for a seat in meticulous creative genius Enrico Crippa’s rosato pink dining room. This is one of the most awarded Michelin star restaurants in Italy – it’s had three for 13 years. Crippa’s 51-ingredient salad will change the way you think about foliage forever. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Piazza Duomo (@piazzaduomoalba)

Osteria Francescana, Modena

One of the most famous restaurants in Italy and indeed the world, Massimo Bottura’s colossus is quite used to being called ‘the best’. Bottura’s singular work must be eaten to be believed; his menus are influenced by art and the cultural traditions of his Emilia-Romagna homeland. This is Italian fine dining as exuberant theater. 

Read more about Michelin star chefs around the world. 

Joia, Milan 

Pietro Leemann was one of the first chefs to take Italian fine dining to the green side, and in 1996 his trailblazing Joia became Europe’s first entirely vegetarian venue with a Michelin star. Leemann’s dishes are indulgent, complex and brimming with surprises, and the dining room has all the cool, chic minimalism you’d expect from Milano. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Joia (@joia_altacucinanaturale)

Glass Hostaria, Rome

Cristina Bowerman draws on American and Asian influences, never forgetting that Glass is a Roman restaurant, located right in the middle of Trastevere, a cobbled neighborhood across the Tiber. In a super-modern space, in which glass wine cases are embedded in floors, Bowerman reimagines Roman classics – her Amatriciana-stuffed ravioli are yolky, silky, rich magnificence. 

Le Monzu, Capri

Picture a romantic table for two in Capri: white tablecloth, plate of exquisite cuttlefish, next to the window where the sun is setting over the sea and some dramatic rock formations. You are picturing Le Monzu, one of the Michelin star resaurants on our Ultimate Italy journey, and the only restaurant with a Michelin star in Capri (its tagline is “Where an extra star shines over the Med”) . It sparkles. 

What to expect when dining at a Michelin star restaurant. 

La Caravella dal 1959, Amalfi

As much a part of Amalfi as the lemons, La Caravella received its first star in 1969 at the helm of Antonio Dipino’s parents. It was later lost, but Chef Antonio won it back in the nineties with his imaginative reinterpretations of local dishes. Beneath spectacular frescoed ceilings, enjoy a Very Amalfi degustazione, ending with “the sun in a dish” – a legendary lemon souffle.

Casa Mazzucchelli, Sasso Marconi

A new star for 2024, Casa Mazzucchelli is just south of abundant Bologna, the city known for its ragus and brodos rather than its Italian fine dining. Brother Massimo takes the warm oak and bronze dining room and sister Aurora leads the kitchen, which is deeply devoted to bread. Look for Aurora’s leavening prowess in sourdough ravioli stuffed with chickpeas, lard and black cabbage, or in braised eel with corn focaccia.

Duomo, Ragusa

Michelin awards two stars to Chef Ciccio Sultano for what they describe as “an intimate portrait of Sicily”. Enjoy a five- or eight-course showcase of the island’s finest almonds, sea urchins, lasagna and cassata in an old apartment, opposite the dramatic Duomo di San Giorgio, which sits with its neoclassical dome and Corinthian columns, like a giant honey-coloured wedding cake. 

Enoteca Pinchiorri, Florence

In a former Renaissance palazzo, with a soundtrack of live piano, this is opulent, dreamy Florence in a nutshell, with three Michelin stars. It’s the sort of restaurant in which the sommelier will find you a glass of wine that pairs with your very soul, and the service is so immaculate the staff seem to float around you. The menu is a catalogue of wonders. 

Enrico Bartolini al Mudec, Milan

Chef Enrico Bartolini has been awarded more Michelin stars for restaurants in Italy than anyone else, and this one is his flagship. Find the exquisite dining room (all soft leather, taupe and gentle lines), on the third floor of Milan’s Museo delle Culture (Mudec). The ‘contemporary classic’ menu is rooted in Milan, but with influences and ingredients from all over Italy. 

Oasis – Sapori Antichi


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Oasis (@oasis_saporiantichi)

In the Fischetti family, the women have run the kitchen for 35 years now and the ricotta ravioli with walnut and seared garlic has been there throughout. Today, it’s Michelina and her granddaughter Serena collaborating on dishes that are open to the world, but faithful to local tradition. The restaurant also has a Michelin green star for its connection to the region – the Fischettis use mostly small-scale producers and make olive oil on their own organic farm.

Zia, Rome

Michelin describes Antonio Ziantoni as “a young chef of undoubted talent”. He has a lot of interesting things to say, and he does so through red shrimp with rhubarb and basil, and through tortelli stuffed with pork, plums, Parmesan and bitters, and through rice pudding with coffee and black cardamom. If you want to surprise and delight your taste buds, book a table at Zia. 

How many Michelin star restaurants are there in Italy?

In 2024, there were 395 Michelin star restaurants in Italy. 

Which city in Italy has the most Michelin stars?

In 2024, Rome and Milan topped the leaderboard, with 21 stars apiece. 

Read more: The essential guide to Italy for foodies