What's not to love about the Italian cuisine? I ate some amazing food during my entire stay in Italy and I want give you some great recommendations on what to eat and where to eat.
Pasta & Vino (Wine)
How could you visit Italy and not try the pasta and the wine? It is impeccable to say the least. I had the Bucatini (a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hollow center in the noodles) with bolognese sauce, a meat-based sauce. My meal was paired with a smooth red wine, Corvina, native to Venice, Italy.
Try the Lasagna, thank me later.
Lasagna is one of my favorite pasta dishes and the plate I ordered in Italy did not disappoint. It was flavorful, well-prepared, and it was a great portion size. Not pictured: the warm bread that paired perfectly well with the lasagna.
The lamb chops in Italy were well-prepared and the presentation was prefect. Although they were not as well-done as I typically prefer, they were tasty. The lamb chops paired well with a salad and wine.
Sure everybody loves pizza, but nothing compares to the real, authentic Italian pizza. My favorite is the Margherita pizza, keeping it simple with the tomato sauce, cheese, and basil on top. You don't have to sit down at a fancy restaurant to enjoy some good pizza either; instead you can find some great local options from the pizzerias on your walks through the streets of Rome, Milan, or the Amalfi Coast.
Save room for dessert!
A delectable dessert that is loved my so many. Tiramisu is a combination ladyfingers dipped in coffee, a whipped batter of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavored with cocoa. If you love tiramisu, definitely try some in Italy.
These small sponge cakes layered with custard are so dainty and delish. They taste great alongside some dessert wine, like Passito di Pantelleria from Sicily.
Italian Gelato is in a class of its own. I can't think of anywhere else in the world where there is better-tasting gelato. Stop by any local Gelateria for a few scoops of some of the best gelato you've ever had.
I prefer my gelato on a waffle cone, but of course it also served in a cup. There are countless flavors, with some of favorites being Malaga (rum raisin) and Zuppa Inglese (English soup).
Here are some of the most popular flavors of gelato:
Stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate chips)
Cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate)
Cioccolato al latte (milk chocolate)
Fior di Latte (Milk Flower)
Most gelaterias separate their gelato flavors by type: chocolates, creams, fruits, nuts, etc.
Speaking of fruits...Italy has some of the freshest looking and tasting fruit I've had in a long time. I'm especially a fan of their fruit juices made from freshly-squeezed fruit puree.
More Wine? Yes Please
While you can often find a variety of red, white, and sparkling wine in Italy, red wine is the most popular choice for the locals and tourists alike.
In addition to wine, also try some of Italy's most signature drinks: Aperol Spritz (Milan) and Limoncello (Amalfi Coast).
Limoncello is a signature liqueur made from the lemons grown in the Amalfi Coast. The lemons are marinated in alcohol and then mixed with a water and sugar based syrup. It is best paired with Prosecco to accomplish the famous, Limoncello Spritz.
You can't have the limoncello without the fresh lemons from the Amalfi Coast.
Restaurants to Try:
Antico Ristorante (Rome)
Royal Art Cafe (Rome)
Ristorante Savini (Milan, also featured in the House of Gucci movie)
Chez Black (Positano)
That's Amore (Rome)
La Fontanella Sistina (Rome)
Unik's (Rome, complimentary appetizers)
Some of the restaurants I mentioned may require you to make a reservation, but most of them will happily seat you and your guest(s) when you walk in.
Fun Fact: "That's Amore" is also the name of a popular Italian song by Dean Martin that was featured in Disney's Enchanted and in several other classic movies.
When in Italy, eat as much as you wish. There are so many great food options to enjoy and flavors to savor. From the main courses and wines, to the desserts, you will leave full and happy when dining in Italy...or as I like to say: Eatly.
Whether you choose to dine in or dine out, stop and smell the flowers while you're there. Bon Appetit!