Top 10 Regional Dishes to Try in Italy

When you are traveling to Italy, you know you will find something tasty and delicious. There are so many regional dishes to try as you travel around the country.

Here is the list of what you have to eat in every part of Italy. Of course there are many more dishes to try! But here we have the classic regional dishes as recommended by chefs and foodies.

1. Pizza Napoletana

This regional dish is found in Southern Italy, Campania. The Italian pizza is most likely based on Pizza Napoletana which hails from the city of Naples. Made in a wood burning oven, this pizza has a thin crispy crust on the bottom. Toppings are simply fresh Mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes. 

2. Spaghetti alla Carbonara

This dish is found in Italy, Lazio. You may not have learned about the Lazio region but heard about the capital city of Rome the foods that are most traditional to roman cuisine are primarily based in high-quality simple fresh ingredients. Decadent carbonara which is actually a more modern culinary invention from the 20th Century. It can be made with cream and Italian American restaurants. But this is a big culinary nono in Rome. Make sure to try some original carbonara when you’re in Rome. 

3. Pappardelle al Ragù di Cinghiale

This dish is found in Central Italy, Tuscany. Tuscans have local specialities that are totally distinct. One is Ragù di Cinghiale or wild boar sauce which is served with long and flat thick noodles like pappardelle. Ragu meat sauce is prepared in a similar way to traditional bolognese. But because of the fattier cut used it’s richer and more decadent Ragu.

4. Risotto alla Milanese

This dish is found in Northern Italy, Lombardy. This region is home to the famed design metropolis of Milan as well as many small towns. The dish named Risotto has become a part of Italian cuisine. This dish preparation involves beef marrow and saffron. You may have tried other variations of risotto. However, Risotto alla Milanese is the classic and a must try dish.

5. Arancini 

Sicily is home to Arancini; a rice dish. Sicily has its own culture, tradition and its own cuisine. It is distinct from other regions of Italy. Preparing Arancini is a specific task. Balls of rice are filled with meat, peas and saffron. These fried rice balls make for the perfect appetizer but in Sicily they almost become an entire meal. 

6. Lasagna Bolognese

This dish is found in Southern Italy, Emilia-Romagna. If you are a foodie this place is paradise for you. The region is known for countless numbers of the Popular Italian foods like prosciutto.

The most iconic dish is Lasagna Bolognese. Pasta layered with meat and tomato sauce. This rich meat sauce gets its name from the city called of bologna. Naturally lasagne is famous the world over! But for the real deal, you must try it in Emilia-Romagna.

7. Strudel di Mele

This dish is found in Southern Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige. As everyone knows Strudel is famous in German and Austrian cuisines. But what is it doing in Italian cuisine? Northern Italy, however, offers different types of food than the rest of the country. Due to it’s shared borders of Austria and Switzerland, you’ll find a mix of cuisines. Strudel di Mele is also called apple strudel. Strudel di Mele is the historic dish, it includes raisins, pine nuts and spices to the apple to create a unique treat. It is delicious! When it’s cold outside, warm strudel is a wonderful treat.

8. Cozze allo Zafferano

Cozze allo Zafferano originates in Southern Italy, Abruzzo. Abruzzo is one of the least visited regions of Italy. That doesn’t mean International tourists think it is a worthless place in Italy. Tourists just don’t know that they should visit! We are here to tell you that it’s worth a stop. Abruzzo has incredible seafood as it has an Adriatic sea border. One of the main ingredients you will find in every dish of that region is saffron. This is because of the abundance in the area.

9. Tagliatelle al Tartufo

Found in Central Italy, Umbria, aka “the green heart of Italy”. The traditional food of this region is very rustic, straightforward and deeply satisfying. A particular dish item is popular and luxurious elsewhere is relatively common to eat here.  If you visit Umbria, you must enjoy the local truffles. Truffles are usually black and earthier than the famed white truffles of Northern Italy.

10. Orecchiette

Orecchiette pasta comes from Southern Italy, Puglia. The name Orecchiette translates to “little ear”. In the capital city, many women sell freshly made home Orecchiette. They usually sell on the streets outside their homes in order to make a living. The perfect traditional shape of pasta is prepared in a dish called Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa.

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