Italy

15 Secrets To Authentic Eating In Italy

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Think of Italy and you can’t help but think of food.

Pizza, pasta, gelato, cappuccino…oh, the list could go on and on!

Italy tempts you with unique regional specialties, fresh seasonal dishes, savory antipasti, and mouthwatering desserts.

In fact, there are so many options that sometimes just making a choice can be overwhelming!

So, if you’re looking for some inside food intel for your next Italian trip, this post is for you.

It’s your lucky day because this post is all about eating in Italy, courtesy of my many years of living in this beautiful country.

And eating my way up and down the boot, of course!

Authentic Italian Pizza

Perhaps you are wondering why you would need to know how to eat in Italy? A country that is well-known for its fine cuisine.

Well…

Most of the food in Italy is good, sometimes it is sublime and occasionally it is mediocre or disappointing.

And it is one of those things can be quite easy to get wrong, especially when following the well-worn tourist paths.

Food is truly one of the best things about visiting Italy, so it is worthy of knowing a thing or two before you travel.


Healthy Eating In Italy

Everyone dreams of exploring Italy like a local and finding authentic Italian adventures.

You know, things like wandering prosecco vineyards, dining al-fresco in charming restaurants, or eating prosciutto right from the source in Friuli.

Really, who wouldn’t??

Authentic Eating Italy

Italy has a rich and healthy food culture, that is truly second to none.

As an advocate for wellness travel, I think that Italy is one of the best countries to explore healthy eating. Mindfully enjoying nourishing food is a part of my daily self-care routine.

You don’t have to look much beyond the Meditteranean Diet to find foods that benefit your mind & body.

And the act of dining, well…it’s a social activity of leisure. How about that for supporting well-being!

A trip to Italy will inspire you to find pleasure in eating local, seasonal, and healthy foods. Food is authentic Italy, at it’s best!

People often ask me about eating in Italy, so I wanted to share some of what I have learned over my years of living here.

These tidbits are sure to help you dive deeper into your culinary adventures. So you can seek out more of the good food experiences, and hopefully, avoid the bad!


15 Secrets to Authentic Eating in Italy

Here are 15 inside things worth knowing for your Italian travels, to help you eat well..in every sense!

Italian Chocolate Molten Cake

Location

Vere away from high volume tourist areas when choosing where to eat. Quick turn-over doesn’t make these very appealing places.


Menu

Avoid choosing places with photos, English, or multiple language menus as they tend to cater to tourists.


Opening Times

Find a restaurant that opens around 7 pm. Italians eat late & local places don’t cater to early diners.

Food Sign at Italian Festival

Menu Fisso

Try a Menu Fisso (set menu) for lunch. It’s a set price working person’s lunch, not a tourist menu. It’s a good bet for the stomach and wallet!


Local Specialties

Food in Italy is highly influenced by regional identities. Research before you go & dive into foods right from their source. Think pizza in Naples or prosciutto in San Daniele.


Seasonal Dishes

Italians eat seasonally, so choose fresh dishes that highlight seasonal produce. Pumpkin gnocchi anyone?

Bowl of Pumpkin Gnocchi

Prima Colazione

Head to the local cafe to experience food culture 101 and take part in the typical Italian breakfast ritual of coffee & a pastry (brioche or cornetto).


Panini

Grab your lunch sandwich to go & find a place to sit and enjoy the local scene. It’s a great way to people watch!


Gelato

When choosing a place to get gelato, look for the words “produzione propria” or “artiginale”. Both mean that the gelato is made on-site, the old fashioned way.

Authentic Italian Gelato

Picnic

Buy some salami, cheese, & olives and dine alfresco. Then find a bench or a park to enjoy the outdoors. Oh, and don’t forget the wine!


Eat Outside

Join in! The Italians sure know how to make the most of the outdoor ambience & enjoy the fresh air, even in the smallest spaces.


Find A View

Eat or drink somewhere with a view. It’s guaranteed to provide memories that you won’t soon forget!

Table with a Cappuccino and Pastry in an Italian Outdoor Cafe

Be Adventurous

Try a few new dishes or even share a few with your friends. You’re in Italy after all, so sample as many different things as you can!


Be Present

Eat mindfully. Take in the aromas, look at the goodness in front of you, & savor every single glorious bite.


Take Your Time

Meals in Italy are a time to enjoy both the food & the company. So sit back, relax, & take advantage of the slower pace of life.


Now, check out Eating in Italy (Must Know Dining Tips), and then….

Go & book your next trip to Italy, your culinary escapades await!

until the next time…
…live well – travel well – be well

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teacher, photographer, traveler, & coffee lover who calls italy home

Welcome to T & I! 
I'm Deanna, Your
Guide to Travels That
Inspire Well-Being...

Wellness is my path & passion. Integrating my experiences in Education & Sports Medicine, with my love of travel, I created T & I to champion adventures that enrich the mind, body, & spirit. It's a space of empowerment, inspiration, & well-being. Join me on the journey...

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An insider's perspective on traveling Italy. Essential tips & insights to help you make the most of your trip to the boot!

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