Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy


Italian cuisine is renowned worldwide for its delicious flavors, fresh ingredients, and rich culinary traditions. From mouthwatering pasta dishes to savory meats and decadent desserts, Italy offers a gastronomic experience like no other. If you’re planning a trip to Italy, be sure to indulge in these best traditional Italian foods that showcase the country’s culinary prowess.

Cacio e pepe

It is one of Rome’s most popular pasta recipes. It’s extremely simple: just pasta, Parmesan cheese, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. It’s delicious.

Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

If you’ve tried this meal at home before, it was probably cooked with cream, but that’s not how the Romans do it. A small amount of boiling pasta water helps the Parmesan cheese melt and creates a beautifully creamy meal.

In Rome, there are numerous pasta options, including cacio e pepe and amatriciana (tomato and perorino cheese). Make sure to sample each of these pastas and determine which one you like.

Florentine steak

    A Florentine steak, also known as Bistecca alla Fiorentina, is one of Florence’s most iconic dinners. This popular cut of beef originates from the Chianina, an old breed of Tuscan cattle. This breed produces highly tasty meat.

    A Bistecca alla Fiorentina is made with a porterhouse steak, which you may have had before. Grilled to perfection, this 3-4″ thick dish requires just salt and pepper for preparation.

    Here are a few dishes you should check for on the menu in Florence.

    • Bistecca Fiorentina – a massive T-bone steak made from local Chianina cattle
    • Affettati Misti – A classic appetizer in Florence, this dish of cold cuts includes lardo, finocchiona, sbriciolona, and prosciutto crudo.
    • Appa al pomodoro is a tomato sauce thickened with bread and made using tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil.
    • Penne strascicate is a Bolognese-style sauce made with vegetables, tomatoes, red wine, and olive oil.
    • Ravioli gnudi are gnocchi made with spinach, ricotta, eggs, and Parmesan.


    Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

      The most popular pasta in Puglia, Italy, is orecchiette, which is made with durum wheat semolina and water and shaped like an ear. It means “little ears” in Italian and appears in numerous recipes and variations.

      One of the most common is orecchiette con le cime di rapa. Cime di rapa is comparable to broccoli rabe and turnip greens. It is sautéed and served with orecchiette in a basic manner. This is unquestionably the most iconic food in Puglia, dating back to roughly 1500.

      Antipasti (appetizers)

        Why limit yourself to one dish when you may sample a dozen exquisite bites? The name is derived from a Latin phrase that loosely translates to “before the meal” and is enjoyed in a number of ways throughout Italy.

        Antipasti is seen as a crucial component of the Italian dining experience, and it is supposed to prime the individual’s appetite for the delectable main courses that follow. Whether you try the crispy joys of bruschetta in Florence or battered artichoke hearts in Rome, you’ll be in for a savory treat.

        One of the most traditional ways to savor these delectable morsels is with a charcuterie board, which includes meats, cheeses, veggies, and bread. Make sure to try the salty Italian delicacy prosciutto, which is thinly sliced uncooked yet cured ham.

        Cured meats

          Italy is well-known for its various types of cured meat, such as Prosciutto and Guanciale, which are used in the renowned dish Spaghetti Carbonara.

          Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

          In Italy, you can get dozens of various types of cured meats. Each location has its own, and some are products of a specific provenance.

          Bresaola, for example, is from the northern region of Lombardy, specifically Valtellina. It is air-dried, salted beef that has been cured for two to three months. It has a distinctive dark red color. Speck is cured meat made from the same cut of pork as prosciutto, but with added spices and smoke. It comes from the Alto Adige region of Italy.

          Lardo is another cured beef delicacy that is widely available in Italy. It’s made from a thick layer of fat on a pig’s back, cured with salt, herbs, and spices, and comes from Tuscany.

          Napolitano Pizza

            What is the best Italian food list without mentioning the fan-favorite pizza? Despite different arguments regarding its provenance, nothing says Italy quite like this cheeky sphere.

            From adding a plethora of toppings to sticking to the classic no-trimmings sentiments of a margarita, pizza in Italy is simply unrivaled. Regional influences frequently shape Italian pizza styles. Here are some of the sorts of pizza you should look for:

            Pizza Tonda Romana – This circular pizza, a popular dish in Rome, has a distinct crunch to the dough. This capital city specialty is worth trying because of its crunchy and thin foundation.
            Pizza Napolitan – One of the most popular Italian dishes, this pizza is commonly found in Naples. It features a light, fluffy base that should be baked in a wood-fired oven.


            Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

              Risotto, a delicious rice-based dish from northern Italy, is a creamy main course that is both hearty and soothing. It is one of the most popular Italian dishes in the world. Rice was introduced to Sicily in the 14th century, during Arab rule, and gradually moved throughout Italy, increasing its popularity.

              Risotto is made by simmering short-grain Italian rice, commonly Arborio, in a broth until creamy and almost sticky. Common components include parmesan, butter, wine, and shellfish.

              Do you know how to separate the gold from the glitter of an original and high-quality risotto? A typical risotto has a certain consistency that is neither too dry nor too runny. The Italians refer to this balanced ratio as all’onda.


                When I first arrived in Lombardy, in the small Alpine city of Valtellina, and learned about this delicacy called Pizzoccheri, I had no idea what to anticipate. It sounds like some type of pizza. But it isn’t. In truth, it’s buckwheat pasta prepared with Valtellina Casera PDO, a hard, semi-fat local cheese, and served with potatoes and greens.

                This regional delicacy appears on almost every local cuisine, especially throughout the winter. It’s a hearty dish, for sure. It is the Italian equivalent of American Mac ‘n Cheese or French Tartiflette. It can be served as either dumplings or pasta strands.

                Pici Pasta

                Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

                  Pici is a type of pasta from Siena, Tuscany, that is thought to have originated in the fifth century BCE. It’s a popular pasta in Tuscany, and it’s frequently served with tomato sauce, wild boar ragu, or even cacio e pepe, notably in Rome.

                  The pasta is a thick sort of spaghetti that is completely hand rolled. It’s cooked with only semolina flour, water, and olive oil and served al dente, making it thick and chewy.


                    This hearty main dish, which translates to “bone with a hole,” consists of braised veal shanks cooked in a broth and vegetables, akin to a stew. The sauce is typically a tomato and white wine-infused concoction that softens the meat to the bone and produces a mouthwatering entrée.

                    Ossobuco, which originated in the Lombardy region of Italy in the nineteenth century, is a hearty dinner ideal for a cold winter day. This meal is frequently served with saffron-flavored Risotto alla Milanese.


                    Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

                      While not officially a dish, truffles are the spore-laden delights of the ground and are typically the centerpiece element in an Italian culinary composition. These underground mushrooms, sometimes known as ‘Tartufo’, can be found around the roots of trees.

                      The best way to uncover these delectable morsels is with truffle hunters and trained canines sniffing out their rich scents. These mushrooms are the essence of gourmet cuisine, whether served with risotto or tagliatelle. They are shaved on top of the dish to add taste and aroma, as in the tortellini dish above, and they can be quite pricey!

                      If you take a gastronomy tour in Bologna, you will have the option to seek truffles with pigs.


                        If you’ve ever wondered, ‘What do people eat in Italy?’ you’ve found the answer. Tortellini, or stuffed pasta pockets overflowing with flavor, is a must-try in Italy. According to legend, the shape of the tortellini was inspired by the goddess Venus’s navel.

                        These egg noodle delicacies hail from the beautiful hills of Emilia-Romagna and are typically packed with a variety of fresh ingredients. This comprises a variety of cheeses and meat. These delectable morsels should not be confused with ravioli, which has the same principle but is square instead of tortellini’s characteristic ring shape.


                        Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

                          Pronounced “nyo-kee,” this nutritious food is a one-of-a-kind concoction that is most commonly associated with northern Italy but can be found across Italy. While it may be tempting to include these round-shaped nuggets on your Italian pasta list, gnocchi is mostly made of potatoes.

                          The serving style for these dumplings, like those of the other items on this list, differs by area. In Verona, they are served with a tomato-based sauce, whereas in Lombardy, they are served with a cheese sauce. During a cookery vacation in Tuscany, you can learn to make your own gnocchi. Alternatively, you can try our own recipe.

                          Eggplant Parmesan

                            This meal, also known as parmigiana di melanzane in Italy, is made in the form of lasagna but with a vegetable twist. While the exact location is unclear, it is typically located in southern Italy.

                            This oozy main course is often made in a casserole dish by layering fried eggplant slices with cheese and tomato sauce and baking it. The end product is a rich and delicious supper that will undoubtedly haunt your gastronomical nightmares.

                            Ragù alla Bolognese is Italy’s national dish

                            Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

                              Ragù alla bolognese is a saucy and meaty pasta dish from Imola, near Bologna. Ragù is a beef sauce used in a variety of Italian recipes.

                              Although this meal is often known as spaghetti bolognese, ragù alla bolognese customarily includes tagliatelle pasta. It is an excellent example of Italian cuisine and is ideal for matching with Italian wines.


                                You won’t believe how tasty the slow-cooked pork is. A flavorful, fatty, and juicy boneless pig roast is a true Italian dish.

                                The pig is deboned and filled with aromatics before being roasted on a spit or in a wood oven, leaving the skin and fatty pieces intact, resulting in a highly flavored meat that is sliced and eaten over bread or on sandwiches.

                                Unlike some cuisines with a distinct origin, porchetta is claimed by numerous locations in Italy, therefore it may be found almost anywhere.


                                Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

                                  Suppli is a traditional dish from Rome and a famous street meal in Italy. A classic suppli is a ball of Arborio rice that has been cooked in stock and deep-fried till golden brown on the outside. Each suppli is packed with cheese, usually mozzarella or caciocavallo, as well as meats like salami, ham, or prosciutto. The suppli is then presented with a side of tomato sauce for dipping.

                                  Suppli are an excellent snack to take when seeing Rome; they can be purchased at street vendors around the city and sometimes cost only a few euros. For those wishing for a more substantial dinner, suppli can also be served as an entrée in restaurants. Suppli is sure to bring some delectable Italian flavor to your Rome vacation!


                                    Arancini is a traditional Sicilian meal made of deep-fried rice balls filled with ragù, mozzarella, and peas. The name arancini is derived from the Italian word “arancia,” which means orange, referring to its form and color.

                                    Arancini can be found all across Sicily, but Taormina is the greatest site to enjoy them. The balls are commonly offered as an appetizer or snack and may be found at restaurants throughout the city.


                                    Best Traditional Italian Foods You Should Try in Italy

                                      Caponata is another dish that must be tried when visiting Taormina. This typical Sicilian meal is made up of eggplant, tomatoes, olives, and capers cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce made with vinegar, sugar, and raisins. It can be served as a side dish or an appetizer, but it’s finest when eaten on its own with crusty bread.


                                      From the bustling streets of Rome to the picturesque villages of Tuscany, Italy is a culinary paradise that offers a feast for the senses at every turn. Whether you’re indulging in a slice of Pizza Margherita in Naples or savoring a bowl of Risotto alla Milanese in Milan, each bite is a journey through Italy’s rich culinary heritage and vibrant flavors. So, immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Italy, and savor the best traditional Italian foods that this enchanting country has to offer. Buon appetite!