10 Foods for your Italy Bucket List

It seemed like an impossible task. How can you decide on the top 10 dishes from Italy, especially since it’s one of the best foods in the world? Italian food is full of fantastic flavors and it varies from region to region – from hearty, rustic flavors in the North to fresh and light dishes in the South. From seafood to meat, from pasta to Risotto… and all the mouth-watering desserts! There really is so much to discover when visiting Italy. Yet, I hope this is an inspiring round-up of the different flavors to discover all over the country! So, here they are:

Italian Food Bucket List

Pizza Margherita in Naples, Italy
Yuichi Sakuraba

1. Pizza Margherita

Let’s start with one of the more obvious choices: the famous Pizza Margherita. Created in Naples by pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito in honour of Queen Margherita of Savoy, the renowned dish consists of three basic ingredients: basil, tomato and mozzarella. Just like many other Italian dishes, the simplicity of the dish makes it so tasty.

2. Cichetti (Small Venetian Snacks)

We all know about Spanish tapas. But, do you know Venetian Cichetti, too? The little plates feature just as much seasonal vegetables as fresh sea food and range from basic bar snacks to inventive colourful dishes. The small bites are served in local wine bars called “Bàcari” and offer an authentic taste of Venice.

Lemon & Prawn Risotto
Vanessa Chettleburgh

3. Risotto Scampi e Limone (Risotto with Lemon and Prawns)

A less obvious choice but, nonetheless, an absolute highlight when visiting Italy, particularly the Amalfi coast. Famous for its big and juicy lemons, chefs often use the citrus fruit in the local cuisine. The freshness of the lemons and shrimps make this dish perfect for hot summer days.

Steak Florentine in Italy
Marcus Eubanks

4. Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Steak Florentine)

If you want it a little meatier, you must try a “bistecca alla fiorentina. The traditional Florentine beefsteak is featured on almost every restaurant menu in Florence. For the prefect eating experience, the steak should be cooked over burning hot red coals and eaten rare.

Italian Eggplant Parmesan

5. Parmigiana Melanzane (Eggplant-Parmesan Bake)

Parmigiana Melanzana is an eggplant bake with tomato and cheese – a delicious option for vegetarians. Originally from the South, it can be found in all parts of Italy. The cheesy dish is also great with zucchini if your not too fond eggplant!

Orechiette Broccoli Rabe Pasta
Wei_Duan Woo

6. Orecchiette con Broccoli di Rape (Orechiette pasta with Broccoli Rabe)

Orechiette is a traditional pasta from the Puglia region. Fairly thick and freshly made, these “little ears” are difficult to find anywhere else in Italy. Just like all Italian cooking, the taste of the dish comes down to the freshness of its ingredients. That’s why this dish is perfect for the colder months as broccoli rabe hails in autumn.

Porcini Mushroom Pasta
Stuart Spivack

7. Funghi Porcini con Pasta al Tartufo Nero (Porcini Mushrooms and Black Truffle Pasta)

In October and November, truffles grow plentiful in the Tuscan region and will be offered in Tuscan restaurants en mass. So, if you decide to treat yourself to this luxury delicacy you should most certainly go for Porcini mushrooms with black truffle pasta!

Squid Ink Pasta from Italy
Jameson Fink

8. Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia (Spaghetti with cuttlefish ink)

Do you want your pasta a little bit more exotic than usual? Then try Spaghetti with cuttlefish ink! The black ink which is released by the mollusk is then infused into pasta. This traditional dish is from Sicily and absolutely addictive.

Italian Tiramisu Dessert

9. Tiramisu (Coffee flavored Italian Dessert)

Natural that we also need some sweet treats on our bucket list. So, why not the famous Tiramisu (one of the best foods in the world in my opinion)? Served all over the world, but nowhere finer than in Italy. The delicious dessert made by soaking lady fingers in Espresso. Said to be from the Veneto region, you won’t be disappointed trying it in any other parts of Italy – this I can guarantee you!

Italian cannoli dessert
Arthur Lee

10. Cannoli (Sicilian pastry Dessert)

This pastry dessert is a staple of Sicilian cuisine and is another must-try when travelling in Italy. Literally meaning “little tube”, the crispy shells filled with creamy ricotta will make you feel like you’re in heaven and are the prefect ending to your bucket list travels.

Guest Author

About Flavours Flavours have provided activity holidays to Italy since 1998. Destinations and activity options have expanded since the company first offered Italian cookery holidays, now sending guests also on painting, Pilates and Italian language holidays to Italy.  Guests enjoy en-suite accommodation in private villas during week-long breaks. Prices include all meals and wine with dinner, week long tuition in the chosen activity, airport transfers and day trips to local towns and wineries. All week long breaks are priced at £1599, with £100 included towards the cost of flights. Flavours never charge a single traveller supplement. To find out more visit Flavours on Twitter or Facebook!..


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2018-12-22T18:25:41+00:00September 20th, 2015|Categories: BUCKET LISTS, Europe, FOOD, Italy, TRAVEL|Tags: , |


  1. Izy Berry September 21, 2015 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    i want to try everything !!! alot of calories but it worth it

    • Annette White September 21, 2015 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      Yes! Pasta is almost always worth the calories 🙂

  2. Sandro Garcia September 23, 2015 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Oh Italy, don’t do it with a person that count points and need to stop with carbs.
    Wonderful plates!

    Lets go to Italy!

    Kiss from Nigeria

    • Annette White September 25, 2015 at 10:08 am - Reply

      It would be so tough counting points in Italy! I’m not sure if I’d use all mine on pasta, wine or gelato!

  3. rebecca September 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    These are certainly all going on the bucketlist. That pizza in the first picture reminds me of the amazing pizza I had all throughout Naples. this really makes me want to book a trip to Italy, just to eat

    • Annette White October 1, 2015 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      I definitely miss the pizza in Italy. I for sure need to do a trip back there just to EAT!

  4. Maddie October 16, 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Headed to Italy in two weeks to cross off a few bucket list goals – I’m excited for all of this food!

    • Annette White October 16, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      How exciting!! Make sure to eat a lot of Gelato too 🙂

  5. Geani October 16, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    That´s was great. I love italian foods. I have a special preference for pasta. Congrats for the article.

  6. Esther of Local Adventurer November 3, 2015 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Great job narrowing it down to 10. That must have been challenging. Italian is probably my next fave food after Korean, which is my comfort food I grew up on. This makes me want to book a trip back to italy asap. I think it may be one of few countries I like to keep going back to simply, because the food is so good.

    Now I’m curious what your 11-20 would be. 🙂

  7. Xplorato June 26, 2016 at 2:28 am - Reply

    i knew i should have eaten before i read this post 😀 yum and tasty read when i get a chance to go to Italy i definitely will give these a try

  8. wtglimo August 14, 2016 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    I like this blog. thanks for the blog. it was very informative and the pictures are captured very beautifully.

  9. stefan panaitescu June 20, 2018 at 2:31 am - Reply

    I loved eating risotto al seppia nero in Venice. I also tried the seppia al nero/polenta and the pasta but it is the risotto that I will never forget.
    i have tried cannoli in many italian cities but the only ones coming close to the Sicilian cannoli was from Genoa.

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