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Dining in Italy

Dining in Italy Aaah…Italian food! Who doesn’t love the fragrant aroma of the delicacies most often associated with this very food-oriented country? In Italy, dining well is a priority and it’s easy to tell, when visiting restaurants in Italy, how each meal is treated with reverence. Food and wine hold an important place in the heart of Italians and such Italian food culture easily rubs off on those who visit.

Much of what you eat in Italy will depend largely on the part of the country you’re visiting. Northern Italians love cream sauces and on restaurant menus in that region, you’re likely to find abundant use of butter, polenta, and cheeses. Italian food in the Central region of the country will lead you to familiar dishes that have become popular the world over.

Experience stuffed pastas in the Emilia-Romagna district, prosciutto in Umbria, bruschetta in Rome, and exquisite olive oils and meat dishes in the hills of Tuscany. Restaurants in the Central region are among the best in the country. But leave some room for Southern Italian food, like the pizza in Naples (home to the world’s first pizzeria), the lamb in Calabria, the pasta in Sicily, and the sweet green olives of Sardinia. In Italy, dining is an exquisite experience!

Hosteria Cane e Gatto in SienaFor travelers, Italian hotels boast fine restaurants that will allow guests to experience a variety of gastronomical delights. Italian food culture is alive and well in these restaurants. Hotels in Rome, popular with tourists, might boast a small coffee shop where you can enjoy a light breakfast (calazione) of espresso and brioche, a panineria or sandwich bar for lunch, and also a five-star establishment where the food and wine will take your breath away.

Hotels in Florence are also known for their excellent eating establishments. Don’t hesitate, however, to visit those tiny, out-of-the-way Italy restaurants…the ones tucked into a small space on a side street. They’re often favorites with the locals and usually serve incredible Italian food.

Of course, while you’re in Italy, you’ll want to sample some of the country’s fine desserts, including the perennial favorite, gelato. Available in dozens of flavors, this favorite Italian food is creamier than the American variety of ice cream and not for the calorie-conscious!

Italians love their wine and serve it freely with both lunch and dinner. A wine tour of Italy will give you the opportunity to try a variety of fine Italian wines, like the outstanding dessert wines of Sicily, the Asti Spumante of the Piedmont region, the Chianti of Tuscany, and the red Cabernet of Sardinia. Italian restaurants often boast long wine lists, especially at Italy hotels, so be sure to choose a local favorite as you travel to different regions.

Take a look at our list of recommended Restaurants in Italy!