If you are anything like me you seek out the most authentic experiences every where you go. Food is an integral part of traveling and an important part of an area’s culture. Follow this guide to make sure you do not miss out on the local specialties around Italy!
You probably have already heard of this must-try meal for carnivores. The Bistecca alla fiorentina is a specialty here in Florence. Although the steak melts in your mouth you may find yourself with an empty wallet if you fall in love with this meal. Try buying the bistecca at the central market for half the price! Head home and feel like a real Florentine as you cook yourself a local favorite.
If you are looking for traditional Italian food such as pizza you are out of luck but anything seafood is a go. Having been to Venice twice now I have had the opportunity to experiment. I tried the risotto al’ scampi my first visit and it was delicious. My second visit I ordered fried fish and the pasta with cuttlefish ink. It may have not be the most Instagram worthy meal (black ink doesn’t look too appetizing) but it was unique and tasty!
For dessert try the tiramisu! A contested legend of origins it is said this delicious treat was invented in the city of Treviso. Over the years it has become a specialized after dinner delight in the region of Veneto where Venice resides. All I can say is I ordered it and will probably never have tiramisu in the states again.
Lastly, a Venetian meal is never complete without a Bellini.
Known as “la grassa” meaning “the fat one” it is hard to advise anyone on what to eat in Bologna. Anything you try will blow your mind. Mortadella and tortellini are a good choice! The Bolognese are so serious about their mortadella it has a protected geographical indication; it can only be called mortadella if it is made in Bologna. Any tortellini you try in Bologna will be freshly handmade and you will learn quickly the difference between tortelloni and tortellini!
After your meal you can boost yourself back up with both a dessert and coffee drink in one. A specialty drink that is difficult to find in other parts of Italy is the café al zabaione. A mix of custard made of egg yolks, sugar and liqueur in traditional Italian coffee, it is to die for. I got two during my trip to Bologna.
Pesto, pesto, pesto! Basil growing throughout the region led to the production of this worldwide favorite sauce. Traditionally on pizza or trofie pasta it is difficult to describe how incredible it tastes. During my visit I ordered bruschetta at a cute restaurant on the water in Vernazza and it came with pesto on top. It was the best pesto I have ever had.
Pizza. An easy one. Enough said.
If you make it further south than the Amalfi Coast be sure to try a cannoli in its region of invention. These delicious desserts will definitely make it hard to eat them elsewhere. Even a cannoli in Florence is enough to ruin them for good!
What is your favorite dish in these cities?