The answer to that question should be everything. Italian food is in the top three world cuisines. Fact. And you really can’t say you’ve eaten proper Italian dishes unless you’ve eaten them where they were created. The regional variances also mean you can travel the length and breadth of the country and find something new. With some recipes dating back to antiquity, Italian cuisine is famous for taking simple (and cheap) ingredients and turning it into something spectacular on a plate. While the seafood and meat here are unbelievable, if you’re vegetarian you’ll always find something fabulous on the menu to eat.
When it comes to saying what city has the best food in Italy, we’re bound to provoke arguments - in fact when we asked our in-house Italian experts to reveal the best Italian cuisine from their region there were some lively disagreements.
As each city, town and village across Italy will lay claim to being the best. So we’ve decided to take you on a culinary journey from the mountainous Alps at the top to the toes of the boot in the south, selecting the most iconic dishes, so you can make up your own mind.
We selected for you also the best 4 dishes ever to not to miss at all, look the map and book!
When it comes to saying what city has the best food in Italy, we’re bound to provoke arguments - in fact when we asked our in-house Italian experts to reveal the best cuisine from their region there were some lively disagreements. From spaghetti and spritz in Venice, to risotto in Milan or chocolate on the Swiss border in Piedmont, everyone had their favourites.
Each city, town and village across Italy lays claim to being the best. While the Sardinians will fight for a suckling pig dish, the Sicilians are more likely to vote for arancini. So we’ve decided to take you on a culinary journey from the mountainous Alps at the top to the toes of the boot in the south, covering places like Rome (Lazio), Abruzzo, Puglia and Tuscany along the way too. We've selected the most iconic dishes, so you can make up your own mind.
Our top four are on the map so why not book a visit to try them for yourself?
The coast, canals and carnivals mean that Venice is probably one of the most visited places in Italy. And while it might be more famous for its architecture and romantic gondola rides, the food here is pretty wonderful too.
Fashion, finance and fun are the main reasons people visit Milan, the capital of the region. But head here and you’re on the doorstep of the Alps and celebrity hotspot, Lake Como.
Bordering France and Switzerland, the name literally translates from Latin as the foot of the mountains. The biggest city in the area is Turin (Torino), which is hugely popular with tourists looking for awesome architecture and some fine dining and wine.
North West (coast)
To the south of Piedmont is the crescent-coastal region of Liguria, better known as the Italian Riviera. And it's only a stone's throw from Monaco if you fancy a trip over the border. But you should have plenty on your plate here as Genovese cooking is amazing.
Probably one of the poshest parts of Italy, there are amazing ancient cities featuring renaissance architecture and in Bologna, you have the oldest university in the world. To the east, you have some wonderful seaside places once you’ve had your fill of sightseeing.
The part of Italy that looks like Instagram invented it, the lush countryside and vineyards have had the Brits falling in love with Tuscany for hundreds of years. Florence, famous for its Renaissance architecture and art and Pisa (yes, for that tower) are among the city break highlights here. And it’s also a hit for Italian foodie holidays.
The centre of the ancient Roman Empire, if you’ve been anywhere in Italy, chances are you’ve headed here to visit Rome. The city of a thousand sights is one of the world’s best open-air museums, but the rest of the region is well worth a visit. And when it comes to Italian food, there are some great local specialities to try.
To the east of Lazio on the Adriatic Coast is the region of Abruzzo. If you love the great outdoors, this is the place for you as it’s full of national parks (they even have bears) for walking, kayaking and other active pursuits as well as lovely quiet beaches. A trip here is a great chance to work off all those calories you’ve consumed.
The heel of the boot is one of the sunniest parts of Italy, and it’s a bit sleepier and authentic than the more touristy Amalfi Coast. You’ve got coastline for days and there are loads of pretty ports and towns to visit including the famous whitewashed stone huts with the conical roofs (Trulli) in Alberobello. The ingredients here are always mega fresh, and the locals will always claim this is where the best food in Italy is.
One of the most beautiful and dramatic coastlines in the world, millions of people have this region on their travel bucket list. You’ve got the cool capital of the area, Naples, you’ve got the picture-postcard prettiness of Amalfi and Sorento. And then there are the eerie ruins of Pompei in the shadow of Mt Vesuvius, a must-visit. It also tops the list for many for foodie holidays to Italy.
Southern Italian Island
The toe of the boot, and in fact the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily has some incredible beaches and amazing monuments. It also has an active volcano in Mt Etna, which is an unusual UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll find a different side to Italy on a visit here.
The second largest island in The Med is in fact an intriguing mico-continent, so-called because it has everything from sandy beaches to rugged coastline and loads of forests and unspoilt nature to explore. They also have some tremendous food to enjoy on your holidays to this beautiful island. Here’s what you should try.