10 Traditional Dishes You Must Try in Italy

Spread the travel bug!

One of the best things about Italy is its food. If you can roam on the streets on every Italian city and not be tempted to enter any of the traditional restaurants you come across, then “Self-Control” must be your middle name!

Well, when it comes to us, willpower isn’t our strong suite. So, we went to as many places as time allowed. We even put on almost 5 kilos each after this adventure, but I can assure you the food is totally worth it.

Here’s a list of the best traditional food to stuff your belly with when visiting Italy.
Oh yeah (and this is a must) – make sure you still leave some room for a glass or (bottle ^_^) of Italian wine!

1. Pizza

Hey, I know it’s something overrated and that you can eat pizza pretty much anywhere in the world, but you need to try it in the place where it comes from at least once in your life.

And yes, that means a little day trip to Napoli. Trust me, the pizza is so delicious and cheap there, you will regret not getting to enjoy it – yes, even a single bite! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience, to say the least.

We enjoyed our pizzas at Pizzeria Dal Presidente – highly recommend that place, especially for the atmosphere.

2. Trippa alla Romana

Well, for those who are faint-harteded, this is definitely not an amazing option. You’d be better off ordering a pizza again.

Don’t get me wrong, you should still try it once just to cross it off your bucket list, but – between you and me – it’s not my favorite.

Although the cheese topping and the mint definitely help with the trippe flavor, it was still too much for me. But hey, I still believe you should explore everything that Italy has to offer! And yes, sometimes that means taking a little tiny bite from trippa alla romana.

3. Cicchetti

Ok, this is the most dangerous one – both for your wallet and your calorie intake.

These small bites are served in Venice and, honestly, they are extremely delicious, interesting, and cute. You can’t have just a few to satisfy your curiosity. No way! You will try every one of them while roaming those cozy Venetian streets in search for your perfect spot.

And, of course, cicchetti always go well with a glass of prosecco or Aperol spritz.

4. Cacio e Pepe

A perfect example of a traditional dish that combines simplicity with ​deliciousness.

It simply translates to ” Cheese and Pepper,” and it will stuff your belly for a long time.
You can find it in almost any restaurant. Plus, I’ve got some good news too: It’s one of those budget-friendly pasta dishes!

Alternative tip: You can also try any pasta that features sea food.
The taste will leave you speechless, since the sea food is so fresh.

We tried 2 different sea food pasta dishes:

This one is a mix of mussels, shrimps, octopus, and we enjoyed it at Il Porticciolo in Manarola, Cinque Terre.
And this dish is a combination of homemade pasta and sea urchins served at La Scaletta,  in Pisa.

5. Risotto alla Milanese

Just like the name says, this a traditional dish you should try in Milano.

The simplicity and the deliciousness strikes again!
Rice will never feel boring again because Italians got the idea to combine it with saffron!

We enjoyed our fair share of risotto alla Milanese at Antica Osteria Milanese.

6. Horse Meat

I know it sounds weird, but it’s honestly delicious!
The meat is cut so thin that it will be perfectly done when it arrives in front of you.

As far as I know, horse meat is a traditional dish in Verona city. This is why we chose to have it here, at Osteria Giulietta e Romeo.

If you still feel hungry and a little bit adventurous you can also try their homemade pasta with donkey meat. We tried it and it was yummy!

7. Osso Bucco

osso bucco milan milano italy must eat traditional food

image found on Serious Eats.com

This is another trademark dish from Milan.

The dish consists of a piece of meat and bone selected from a calf’s leg. It is served with mash potatoes or risotto alla milanese.

8. Porchetta

Time to try the famous Italian steak –  Porchetta!

If you find yourself in Italy, don’t forget to try this one.
You can find it almost anywhere and you can order it to-go too!

9. Tiramisu

You must try this internationally-acclaimed dessert in its home country!

And by that, we mean in Venice. After all, what is more romantic than staying with your significant other at a table near the Venetian canal and sharing this dessert?

I am always competitive and try to get a bigger slice than my boyfriend, so no romantic dinner for us in Venice, haha!

10. Panna Cotta

This dessert will surely help you enjoy that hot Italian summer.

Whether you opt for forest fruits or caramel as toppings, you will be astonished by this creamy and refreshing dessert.

No matter what you choose, make sure to enjoy at the fullest your trip to Italy and don’t forget that almost anything pairs well with a glas of prosecco and gelato!

​If you have any suggestion, don’t forget to mention them in the comments and make everyone day a little bit sweeter!


Spread the travel bug!

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