Culture Travel

What to Eat in Each Region of Italy

Out of Italy's 20 regions, here what you should eat in each one.

When you go to Italy, you have an overwhelming number of food options to choose from. To help you narrow down the decision, we’ve compiled a list of the best selections from each region in Italy.

1. Valle D’ Aosta – Carbonade Valdostana

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This dish is polenta with beef stewed in red wine. Polenta is a hot porridge made from boiled cornmeal. The polenta is then paired with beer stewed in wine. 

2. Piemonte – Bagna Càuda 

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Bagna Càuda, meaning warm dip, is made by cooking chopped garlic with oil and butter until they combine. Then add olive oil, chopped anchovies, and walnuts. The dish is often served with artichoke, sweet pepper, and onion.

3. Lombardy – Risotto

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Risotto is a rice dish made by toasting the rice with butter, onions, stock. Other ingredients can be added like seafood, mushrooms, and sausage. 

4. Trentino Alto Adige – Strangolapreti

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Strangolapreti, meaning priest stranglers, is a dumpling made with spinach and stale breadcrumbs. 

5. Vento – Risi e Bisi

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This dish is rice and pea risotto, but unlike the risotto of other regions, this one is more like soup. The peas and rice are mixed in with a broth made from onions and cured-pork cut. 

6. Friuli-Venezia Giulia – Prosciutto di San Daniele

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Prosciutto is thin slices of uncooked dry-cured ham.  

7. Liguria – Pesto Genovese

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Served with pasta, pesto genovese, or simply pesto, is made of crushed garlic, coarse salt, pine nuts, basil leaves and hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano. 

8. Emilia-Romagna – Tortellini

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Tortellini was created in the town Bologna located in the Emilia-Romagna region. The pasta was said to have been created by an innkeeper who caught a glimpse of Lucrezia Borgia’s navel while she undressed. Inspiration struck, and tortellini was born. 

9. Tuscany – Bistecca alla Fiorentina

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This sirloin steak dish is made from veal or cow from the Chianina breed. The meat is grilled until rare in the middle and is often served with roasted potatoes or beans. 

10. Marche – Brodetto

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Brodetto, or fish stew, is a staple of the Marche region. The dish is usually assembled with the catch of the day cooked in a spicy, tomato-based soup. 

11. Umbria – Tagliatelle with Truffles

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This dish a simple, yet regional classic. All it calls for is pasta coated in butter and Parmigiano cheese top with as much truffle as you like. 

12. Lazio – Carbonara

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A traditional pasta dish from Rome, carbonara is made with egg, Pecorino Romano cheese, cured pork jowl, and black pepper.  

13. Abruzzo – Agnello Cacio e Ova

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Abruzzo is an area known for sheep, so it makes sense a local favorite would center around the lamb. The dish, meaning lamb in cheese and egg sauce, with the cheese typical a sheep milk cheese like Pecorino. 

14. Molise – Allulur

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Allulur is made with tripe, cow’s stomach, seasoned with garlic, parsley, and chili pepper. The dish is then wrapped in part of a sheep’s stomach and boiled. 

15. Campania – Pizza Napoletana

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If you’re looking to try authentic pizza, visit Naples, the place where it was first invented. The Marghertia is the most popular option made tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to represent the Italian flag. 

16. Apulia – Orecchiette Pasta

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The Apulia region has been called the south’s breadbasket as it is one of the biggest producers of olive oil and wheat. The area is known for its ear-shaped pasta, orecchiette. You can enjoy the meal with broccoli rabe, oil, seasoning, and some anchovies. 

17. Basilicata -Làgane e Cicciari

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Làgane pasta, also known as tagliatelle or pappardelle, is a wider style of pasta. In this region of Italy, it is commonly served with olive oil, garlic, and cicciari, chickpeas. 

18. Calabria – Zippuli 

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Traditionally a Christmas appetizer, zippuli is deep-fried fritters stuffed with anchovies, tomatoes, olives, cheese, or salami. 

19. Sardinia – Seadas 

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Seadas is a semolina dumpling filled with lemon pecorino cheese. The pastry is deep-fried and then drizzled with honey before serving. 

20. Sicily – Cannoli

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A popular Italian dessert, a cannoli is a tube-shaped fried pastry dough filled with ricotta cream. The creation is then decorated with pistachio or candied fruits.



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