Category Archives: Italian Food

What are Your Favorite Italian Easter Dishes?

As in other countries with a long history of Christian tradition, Easter is one of the two most important religious festivals in Italy, rivaling only Christmas in terms of cultural significance. First instituted by early Christians at around the second century C.E., the Easter holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after he was crucified in Calvary. Although Easter this year falls on the 20th of April, this isn’t always the case because it is a moveable festival based on the Christian liturgical calendar. The date varies every year (from March 22 to April 25), but it is always held on a Sunday. In Italy, Pasqua, as Easter is called, is a national holiday, but the Monday that follows it is also a holiday and is called Pasquetta or Little Easter. The Italian celebration of Easter is marked with joyful festivities and feasts, a stark contrast [...]

Seven Dishes You Have to Taste in Rome

Roman food is a hearty, rustic affair with bold flavors and inexpensive ingredients that have their history in a less prosperous time. Despite its meager roots, signature Roman cuisine is renowned the world over for its great taste, filling nature and classy aroma. These are our picks for the seven dishes you have to taste in Rome. Pasta is Italy’s staple food. Estimates are that the average Italian eats roughly 60 pounds of pasta per year. Each region has its own typical shapes and sauces. Pasta in Italy is cooked al dente, which is slightly firmer than you might be used to. 1. Buccatini Amatriciana. Buccatini is a long, hollow spaghetti-like noodle and is usually served with an Amatriciana sauce. This classic Roman pasta sauce is made with tomatoes, onions, pecorino cheese and crispy guanciale, which is similar to bacon. 2. Cacio e Pepe. Cacio e pepe means cheese and [...]

How to Eat Like an Italian When Touring Italy

Delicious food is one of things that Italy is best known for. Pizza, spaghetti, lasagne and ravioli are just some of the images that come to mind when the words “Italian food” is mentioned. What the average person doesn’t know is that what we refer to as Italians food in the US are actually very Americanized variants of food from Italy. There’s no such thing as “Italian food” over there. Food in Italy follows themes that are reflective of the regions where they come from. For instance, Rome’s specialties include bucatini amatriciana and carciofi Romana. Florence is all about the divine Fiorentina T-bone steaks. Venice, on the other hand, is a seafood lover’s paradise. It’s a place for feasting on squid ink pasta and grilled scallops. Each locale’s cuisine has a distinct character that you may not have expected to be of Italian origin if you didn’t know better. When [...]

What to Eat on the Amalfi Coast

The scenic  Amalfi Coast in the southern region of  Italy is a gourmet wonderland.  Here are our picks for what to eat on the Amalfi Coast. A Sweet Start to Your Day Coffee on the Amalfi Coast is Neapolitan style, rich and flavorful.  Have a sweet start to your day with a light, sugar encrusted brioche with a cappuccino freddo.  Some places along the coast will make cappuccino freddo by filling a tall glass with icy coffee granite and pouring milk over it. Coastal Bounty The blue waters of the Mediterranean are filled with pezzogna (blue-spotted bream), spigola (sea bass), orata (gilthead), and rombo (turbot) to name a few.  Ask your server what is fresh that day.  Fish will usually be served lightly grilled with olive oil and lemon or Acqua Pazza (crazy water) style in a light herby, garlicky tomato sauce. Zuppe de Cozze  – mussels stewed in a [...]

Best Food Souvenirs from Italy

Some of the best souvenir shopping is in the small neighborhood alimentari shops, local grocery stores and in major Italian cities,  Eataly.  Here is our guide to the best food souvenirs from Italy Pocket Coffee It looks like a teensy tiny juice box, but it is filled with a shot of pure, brewed arabic espresso and chocolate.  Look for them at the cash register in bars or if you are on an Italian road trip at the Autogrill rest stops. Kinder Surprise This sweet treat was long banned in the United States because of the small toy prize inside.  During the summer there is a special version that is still in the iconic egg shape, but is eaten with a small, included spoon. Pasta is a great gift to bring back.  It is light and easy to pack.  Look for pasta from Gragnano, a small town in the mountains above [...]

Drinking in Italy

Scenic vineyards in Tuscany and Umbria, gurgling fountains of cold, clear water in Rome and Venice, but there is more to drink than wine and water!  Here is the Tour Italy Now guide to drinking in Italy. Water The water you see in fountains is almost always safe to drink.  Only if you see a sign stating “aqua non potabile” is it not safe to drink.  In Rome you will see small fountains all over the historic center.  There are over 2500 of these Nasone fountains, named for the large rounded spout.  To drink like the Romans, find the small hole on the spout and then block the large opening with your hand and a perfect stream of water will flow, creating a drinking fountain.  You can refill your water bottle with this free water and save some euros too. At restaurants and bars you will be served bottled water. [...]

What is Italian Food?

  What is Italian Food? To answer that question, let me start with a story.  An American was visiting Rome recently and  ordered a plate of spaghetti alle vongole, a dish he thought he was familiar with. It’s spaghetti in clam sauce, right?.  His food arrived and he started to dig in, but he felt like something was missing, so he called the waitress back and asked for some parmesan cheese.  Her face fell and she snapped “no” at the bewildered American and she headed back towards the kitchen. What happened here?  This American, one that had grown up with an with an Italian grandmother even, had broken a very important Italian food rule. No cheese with fish. So what is Italian food?  Chicken Parm?  Spaghetti & Meatballs? The answer starts with that there really isn’t something called “Italian Food.” Italy did not become a unified country until 1861. What [...]

How to Order Food in Italy

Italy is all about food.  It is one of the greatest pleasures during a trip to Italy.  There are a few things that are a little bit different in a restaurant than what you might be used to.  Here are our tips for how to order food in Italy. Where to Go Bar: Go to the bar for your morning cappuccino and cornetto (pastry)  At lunch or snack time you can get readymade sandwiches. At the bar you pay for purchases before you eat and the prices are often different of you sit at a table or eat standing at the bar.  Remember: panino – one sandwich, panini – more than one sandwich Tavolo Caldo Casual, inexpensive places that serve prepared food, often cafeteria style. These are great because you can see exactly what is on offer and just point to what you want.  Perfect for kids who have had [...]

The Best Gelato in Italy

How do you find the best gelato in Italy?  Come with us and see!. The writings of Pliny the Elder from over 2,000 years ago talk about a sweet dessert made from snow collected from the mountains, brought to Rome and mixed with crushed fruit for a sweet, cold dessert… The name gelato is  derived from the Italian word, gelare, which means to freeze. In Italy an ice cream shop is known as a gelateria. While the two words gelato and ice cream are sometimes used interchangeably they are not quite the same thing. Italian gelato is denser with less air incorporated into it and it has a lower fat content. Gelato is also served at a higher temperature than ice cream. Italians take their gelato pretty seriously.  There is even a Gelato University in the town of Anzola dell’Emilia, near Bologna where you can take courses on how to [...]

Tour Italy Now’s Dominic Siano in Huffington Post Travel

Tour Italy Now’s been a fan of Huffington Post Travel since its launch. We’re especially fond of the stunning slide shows they run, and often post links to them on our Facebook page and Twitter account. Yesterday Dominic Siano, founder and president of Tour Italy Now, made his publishing debut in Huffington Post Travel with the piece, “Italy, Land of Pasta, Now Does Gluten-Free Cuisine.” The piece is based on dining experiences Dominic had on his first Italy tour since discovering he was gluten intolerant, that is, sensitive to food containing wheat, barley or rye. (People with a severe allergy to wheat, barley or rye have celiac.) Several months before his Italy tour, Dominic had given up bread, beer and, perhaps hardest of all to forego, pasta. Can you imagine, going to Italy and not being able to eat pasta? From his first dining experience, in a restaurant in Milan, [...]