Italy: Food & Drink
When people think of Italy, one of the first things that come to mind is the food. A nation known for its hospitality, it is therefore not surprising that Italians take cooking seriously. Meals are a social and family event that should be savoured and enjoyed. A typical Italian meal usually follows a similar pattern: antipasto (selection of hot or cold appetizers), primo (a plate of pasta, risotto, gnocchi, polenta or soup), secondo (the main dish, usually contains fish, seafood or meat), dolce (dessert), caffe (coffee), and digestivi (liquors).
In historical terms, Italy wasn’t unified until 1861. Prior to unification, Italy’s cities existed as fiercely independent city-states that essentially developed in isolation of each other. As such, each region of Italy has its own specialities and menus. French and Austrian tastes and traditions have influenced northern Italy, while food to the south tends to feature more Mediterranean influences.
Popular dishes include:
Pizza: The best pizza in Italy comes from a wood-fired oven. Traditionally, it comes with a thin crust and does not contain as many toppings as North Americans are used to seeing.
Pasta: Synonymous with Italy, there are many different kinds of pasta and recipes are dependent on the region.
Risotto: This dish consists of rice cooked in broth until it reaches a creamy consistency. Often meat or fish-based, risotto is flavoured with different ingredients. Risotto is usually topped with Parmesan cheese (unless it is a seafood risotto).
Minestrone: A vegetable and beans soup that also contains pasta, rice or potatoes.
Tiramisu: This is Italy’s most famous dessert; a coffee-soaked sponge cake with mascarpone cheese.
There are various types of beer in Italy with popular brands including Peroni and Moretti, but they tend to be pale lagers. However, when it comes to alcoholic drinks, nothing tops wine in Italy. There are 20 separate wine regions in Italy, and the country is home to some of the oldest wine-producing areas in the world. Over 60% of the wine grown in Italy is red with Chianti being the most famous.
Coffee is another favourite drink in Italy. The Italian style is espresso. In the north of Italy, coffee is roasted medium, getting darker the further south you go.
Things to know:
Tipping isn't really expected in Italy, though you may certainly add a few extra euros for good service. Some restaurants will add a 'service charge.'
Italy Vacation Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Italy.
Learn about the history and culture of Italy, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Italy's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Italy for yourself. Start exploring...book your Italy vacation today!
Extend your Stay
Consider an additional stopover to your Italy vacation at one of Goway's other European destinations. You can choose from a Paris vacation, a London vacation or an Amsterdam vacation, en route to or from Italy.
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