Everyone knows Italy is famous for its delicious food. So when you’re enjoying la dolce vita, make sure you take your taste buds on a tour through Italy’s regional culinary delights. Whatever your destination - exploring arty Florence or hopping across the mesmerising waters to Sicily - here’s a round up of our favourite local specialities for you to try.
Sicily is a paradise for those with a sweet tooth. Cannoli, carefully crafted from fried pastry dough is filled with a rich ricotta cream, flavoured with candied fruit or chocolate. Originally enjoyed at carnivals, this delicacy is now eaten year round. Sicilians claim to have invented gelato, and the island is the perfect place to enjoy more adventurous flavours like basil, cinnamon and liquorice.
CRISP MUSIC BREAD
Discover music bread in Sardinia - the intriguing name comes from rolling the dough so thinly you could read a sheet of music through it. Thin and crispy and up to half a metre in length, music bread is served with almost every meal in Sardinia, sometimes topped with smoked fish or mascarpone. Straddling sweet and savoury, Sardinia’s delicious seadas are semolina pastries in the shape of ravioli, filled with lemon-infused Pecorino cheese, fried and drizzled with honey.
IN EMILIA ROMAGNA
You might be surprised to find out that spaghetti Bolognese doesn’t really exist in Italy! Native to the Emilia Romagna region, Ragù alla Bolognese is the closest you’ll get, however it’s only ever traditionally served with tagliatelle. Top with a generous sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for optimum authenticity.
While all the ingredients might be familiar, Panzanella is less famous outside of Italy’s borders, or indeed Florence. A fine summer lunch, this tasty Tuscan salad has lots of variations but always includes tomato, mozzarella and crusty bread. It’s made by soaking the bread in olive oil and vinegar, then leaving it to marinade in the fresh tomatoes.
We couldn’t possibly write a guide to Italy’s food without mentioning pizza! Visiting a pizzeria is a must-do in Naples and on the Amalfi coast. Known as the birthplace of pizza, Naples is home to two patriotic classics that feature the colours of Italy - pizza margherita and pizza Napoletana. The latter’s recipe includes juicy San Marzano tomatoes, fragrant basil and slices of buffalo mozzarella, native to the Campania region. When in Italy, do as the Italians do, fold your slice up and eat with your hands.