Our Ultimate Edible Italian Bucket List

Ultimate Edible Italian Bucket List

If you were planning a trip to Italy, what would be on your “bucket list”?

Some people might say seeing the Sistine Chapel, climbing Brunelleschi’s dome, or exploring the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre.

Would it surprise you that my list gets longer the more I explore Italy? Most of the things I have added are completely based on dreaming of tasting my way through the country. You know we love to #traveltoeat. (I hope that’s why you’re here too!)

It’s true. I’m not one for checking famous sights off my list, but having an ongoing edible bucket list is right up my alley. 

 

How to travel like a foodie. {in Italy}

 

Before we lived in Italy, I knew that food is different from one end of the country to the other- each region having their specialties and customs behind them. But it wasn’t until later that I began to realize not only does each province has its own special foods- but each town, village, and valley do as well!

We could explore food our entire lives in Italy and not learn enough about this vast land and its rich culinary traditions. Below, I’ve listed all 20 Italian regions, as well as some of the regional specialties and food + wine resources in each one.  By the way, this list is by no means exhaustive, and I will be adding to it for sure.

Have a favorite I missed? Let me know!

 

Our Ultimate Italian Bucket list for Food Lovers.

 

Our Epic Italian Bucket List for Food Lovers

Abruzzo     

Try This

  • Arrosticini / Roasted Mutton
  • Maccheroni alla Chitarra

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Aosta Valley

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  • Polenta with stewed beef and red wine, or fontina cheese
  • Fonduta alla Valdostana (fontina cheese fondue)
  • Grolla Coffee (friendship coffee- made of grappa, coffee, sugar and lemon zest)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Basilicata

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  • Salsiccia Lucanica (a sweet or spicy sausage from Basilicata)
  • Pasta mollicata (pasta with anchovies and breadcrumbs)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Calabria

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  • N’duja, (a spicy spread made of pepperoncino and pork)
  • Cipolla Rossa, (Sweet onions from Tropea)
  • Lagane e cicciari (local pasta with chickpeas)

Food + Wine Experiences

Campania

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  • Pizza Napoletana
  • Mozzarella di Buffala (Buffalo milk mozzarella)
  • Tomato + Anchovy pasta
  • Sfogliatella pastry

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Ultimate Italian Bucket list for Food Lovers.

Emilia-Romagna

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  • Tortellini (small stuffed pasta)
  • Tortelloni (slightly larger stuffed pasta)
  • Tagliatelle with Ragù alla Bolognese 
  • Culatello di Zibello (prized Salumi of Emilia-Romagna)
  • The 3 Kings: Parmigiano, Balsamico, Prosciutto

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

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  • Bollito Misto (boiled meat platter)
  • Frico: (Montasio cheese and potatoes grated and fried)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Lazio

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  • Abbacchio alla Romana (Roman style Lamb)
  • Baccala (salt cod)
  • Involtini Alla Romana (Beef Rolls, Roman-Style)
  • Artichokes (carciofi alla giudea, or alla Romana)
  • Suppli (fried breaded rice balls)
  • Carbonara (Roman Specialty pasta with guanciale, pecorino romano, and eggs)
  • Cacio e Pepe (pasta with pecorino romano and black pepper- my favorite!)
  • Pizza al taglio (Roman Pizza by the slice)

Food + Wine Experiences

Want to make your own bucket list? Grab our Printable Guide +Template below!

 


Free Download:

The Smitten Italy Little Black Book

Delicious Adventures with Trusted Italian Food & Wine Experts

 

Ultimate Italian Bucket list for Food Lovers.

Liguria

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  • Focaccia di Recco (a specialty of Recco, focaccia stuffed with soft cheese- it’s AMAZING)
  • Lasagna al Pesto
  • Farinata (chickpea flatbread)
  • Trofie pasta with pesto, potatoes, and green beans.

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Lombardy

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  • Risotto (Classic in Milan is Risotto alla Milanese- with saffron. But you will find many different variations of risotto in Milan and all over Lombardy and other parts of Northern Italy.)
  • Osso Bucco (Milanese specialty- a veal shank. Often served with Risotto alla Milanese)
  • Polenta (cooked ground corn meal, often served with grilled meats or cheese. similar to grits)
  • Pizzoccheri delle Valtellina (buckwheat pasta with cabbage and Valtellina Casera cheese)
  • Costoletta alla Milanese (breaded and fried veal cutlet)
  • Panettone (a cake served at the holidays, traditionally wtih candied fruits)
  • Tortelli alla Zucca (stuffed pasta with pumpkin)
  • Taleggio (an amazing aged cheese, look for cave aged)
  • Gorgonzola Dolce (a soft Italian blue cheese from Lombardy)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Marche

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  • Brodetto all’Anconetana (a tomato based, spicy fish stew)
  • Vincisgrassi (baked pasta dish)
  • Passatelli (Pasta made from egg, cheese + breadcrumbs)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Ultimate Italian Bucket list for Food Lovers.

Molise

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  • Spaghetti alla chitarra (guitar spaghetti)
  • Allulur (tripe dumplings)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Piedmont

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  • Bagna Cauda: a hot dip made of olive oil, garlic, and anchovies.
  • Agnolotti (local pasta stuffed with meat or vegetables)
  • Vitello Tonnato (cold sliced veal with a tuna sauce)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Puglia

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  • Orecchiette with Cime di Rapa (broccoli rabe)
  • Panzarotti alla barese (deep fried pockets of dough stuffed with tomato or prosciutto and ricotta)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Ultimate Italian Bucket list for Food Lovers.

Sardinia

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  • Pane sardo- thin and crispy Sardinian cracker-like bread
  • Pilau, made of fregola (tiny ball-shaped pasta)
  • Culurgiones (large Sardinian ravioli stuffed with cheese and egg)

Food + Wine Experiences

Sicily

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  • Pasta alla Norma (pasta with eggplant, tomatoes and Ricotta Salata)
  • Arancini (fried stuffed rice balls)
  • Granita Siciliana (a frozen dessert)
  • Pasta con le sarde (pasta with Sardines)
  • Cannoli (pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese)
  • Involtini di Pesce Spada (Swordfish Rolls)
  • Cous Cous in some parts of Sicily

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Trentino-Alto Adige

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  • Canederli (bread dumplings with speck)
  • Strudel di Mele (Appel Strudel)
  • Speck (smoked, cured ham)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Ultimate Italian Bucket list for Food Lovers.

Tuscany

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  • Pecorino (Tuscan Cheese made of ewe’s milk)
  • Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine style steak)
  • Ragu di coniglio (rabbit ragu)
  • Lardo di Colonnata (cured meat from the town of Colonnata)
  • Panzanella (bread salad)
  • Gnudi- (“naked” ravioli)
  • Ribollita (a peasant soup made of stale bread and vegetables)
  • Cinghiale (wild boar, often served in ragu, or as a stewed or roasted meat course.)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Umbria

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  • Strangozzi pasta (local pasta shape, often served with truffles or ragu)
  • Porchetta (Umbrian street food)
  • Cinghiale (wild boar- served in ragu, or as a roasted meat secondi)
  • Truffles (anything and everything with Truffles, am I right?)
  • Sagrantino (a bold and spicy red wine from Montefalco, and one of our favorites)
  • Lentils from Castelluccio
  • Salumi (especially from Norcia)
  • Farro (an ancient grain used in salads, soups and sometimes as a replacement for rice in risotto)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

Ultimate Italian Bucket list for Food Lovers.

Veneto

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  • Sarde in Saor (sweet and sour sardines)
  • Risi e bisi (rice and peas)
  • Baccalà Mantecato (a local specialty of salt cod puree)

Food + Wine Experiences

 

All Over Italy 

Cooking classes + social dining experiences in many locations- see their specific website for locations and details.

Le Cesarine

Ristomama

BonAppetour

EatWith 

Ultimate Italian Bucket list for Food Lovers.

Here’s what is on my personal bucket list right now!

(and forever and always- returning to Alla Madonna del Piatto Cooking School in Umbria as often as I can.)

SO. MANY. DELICIOUS. THINGS. Do any of these pique your interest?

What’s on your list? Tell me in the comments below- and don’t forget to grab your guide & bucket list template here!


Free Download:

The Smitten Italy Little Black Book

Delicious Adventures with Trusted Italian Food & Wine Experts

 

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Ultimate Edible Italian Bucket List

 

p.s. This list is one I’ve been compiling for a few years and will continue to add to since there are so many things to taste and discover. Tell me about your favorites, so I can include them! This post was originally published on our food blog Merry Feast. It has been reprinted & updated with permission.

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  • It all sounds wonderful . If ever you do get the chance you have to spend time with Tania in Tropea at In Italy tours. I had a cooking class with Peppe and his family as well as the most amazing picnic overlooking Capo Vaticano. It really was special.

  • This is a great list thanks – some I have done and many I have added to the next trip!

    One recommendation is the Wild Food Italy Truffle Day – located near Montefalco in Umbria. An excellent all day food experience.

  • What a great list! Happy to say I’ve hit quite a few of these (including twice at La Tavola Marche). You should add a wine tour with Marco from Marco’s Way in Le Marche. Ashley at La Tavola Marche set it up for us and we spent a fabulous day drinking and eating with Marco! Can’t wait to go back to Italy and your list will make planning easy.

  • Ciao, Heather! Thank you so much for including the Girl’s Gotta Drink Piedmont Food & Wine tours! We hope you will be able to do one sometime soon! A presto! Val

  • The olive harvest week of active involvement at Poggio Etrusco in Umbria with cookbook author Pamela Johns is amazing. Olive picking, truffle hunting, laughter, pasta making, small restaurant cooking demos and hosts that make you friends at the first minute. I almost hate to recommend it because I want to be able to go back on a moments notice!

    • Ciao Julie- thanks for that info- it sounds so lovely! I love those kind of recommendations- where you’re almost afraid to tell anyone about it. Much thanks for deciding to share- it sounds very similar to our Olive harvest tour in Umbria. <3

  • Wow ~ so much deliciousness here. Thank you for putting together this list, and for including our Abruzzo Presto culinary tours. Also I love Latteria Studio in Rome ~ wonderful group of women who cook there! Grazie di cuore xx

  • Thank you so much for this! So much of our travel revolves around eating. This will save us so much time when planning what we should eat. Can’t wait to eat my way through Italy someday!

  • Yuuuuummmmmm!!! This post is making me so hungry!! I don’t have a food bucket list, but maybe I should. It would help me take a more measured approach to knowing what I’m eating, rather than just eating all the things. Although that has its benefits too…

      • I am thrilled spitless to have found your blog!!! OMG !! I now truly can’t wait to go to Italy, for the first time as it’s been at top of my bucket list for years. I can’t think of a better way to explore it and all of its regions, than by eating my way through it.
        YAY!! Your enthusiasm is contagious!