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What to Eat at 5 Italian Foodie Destinations

Posted on February 11 2020

An Italy without food would be like a queen without a crown. Besides its show-stopping vistas and shimmering coastlines, Italy’s heart and soul can be found at the bottom of a bowl of pasta, or inside a generous scoop of gelato.

 

That means good news: it’s tough to go wrong as a foodie traveling through Italia. But if you want to do it really, really right, we’ve got the answers right here.

1. Margherita pizza in Naples

If you’re the friend who always opts for the simplest of pizza pies, why not go straight to the source? The minimalist marriage of dough, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil was first created by baker Raffaele Esposito to honour Queen Margherita of Savoy’s visit to Naples in 1889. 

 

These days, this royalty-worthy dish can be sampled around the world (there’s even a certification available to restaurants that follow the proper artisan traditions), but everyone knows there’s nothing like the real thing.

2. Arancini in Sicily

Carbo-loaders, gather ‘round: there’s no better place than Sicily to gorge on fried balls of fluffy rice and gooey cheese (or minced meat) bathing in tomato or béchamel sauce. This sun-kissed island is the birthplace of arancini, a recipe that dates all the way back to the 10th century. Talk about a dish that’s stood the test of time.

 

As a bonus, visitors to this Italian island can roam around seven different UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including heavy-hitters like Mount Etna and the Necropolis of Pantalica.

3. Florentina steak in Florence

Yup, just when you thought Italy was all out of foodie surprises, it turns out that steak is one of Florence’s prized dishes! Carnivores will fall in love with bistecca alla Fiorentina, an impressive slab of t-bone steak that is traditionally sourced from the Chianina cow (a breed native to Tuscany).

 

Typically prepared on a wood grill and served rare, this dish is often so massive that it’s meant to be shared between multiple people. Take that as a challenge if you will – we’re not judging!

4. Carbonara in Rome

There’s something about a long day of touring world-renowned historic sites that works up a monster appetite, isn’t there? Rome, in all of its no-frills culinary glory, will have you covered with a heaping plate of spaghetti carbonara. A divine combo of fresh eggs, pancetta pieces, a sprinkle of pepper, and grated hard cheese (typically pecorino romano, parmigiano reggiano, or a bit of both) is a one-way ticket to foodie nirvana.

5. Limoncello on the Amalfi Coast

So, what happens after you’ve indulged in any of the above dishes during an Italian dinner marathon? Limoncello, of course. This digestif is easy drinking compared to more divisive varieties (looking at you, amaro!), making it the popular kid in town for locals and tourists alike. 

 

But don’t get it twisted: Limoncello isn’t made with your average grocery store lemon. These bad boys are much bigger with thicker skins, and thrive in the Italian sunshine. Light, tangy, and oh so refreshing, limoncello is best enjoyed while gazing out over the impossibly blue waters of Amalfi.

Italy is an undisputed foodie destination for good reason. All that’s left to do is pack a handful of elastic-waist pants (and your favorite SKYE swimsuits) and give your palate a taste of the good life.