Ask anyone: what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Italy? The food, the wine. (And the history and culture, of course), but most people get a vision of pizza and pasta dancing around their head when asked. And for a lot of people, experiencing all of the different types of food (and drink) that Italy has to offer is a central aspect of visiting the country on holiday. But Italy is relatively huge—301,000 square kilometers worth of huge—and is composed of twenty unique provinces. All of those provinces have distinct cultures, with which come distinct taste in food that is dependent upon what grows or lives in the area. And while it would be great to visit every province, every tiny town in the country, that most likely isn’t going to happen on a typical holiday to Italy. But worry not—you can experience every popular, delicious and unforgettable type of food that the country has to offer. All from the capital city of Rome!
Venetian (known for polenta, risotto and seafood):
- Osteria Barberini (Via della Purificazione, 21) will serve you amazing risotto; located about half a mile from the Trevi Fountain.
Roman (known for pasta, veal, bruschetta):
- Agata e Romeo (Via Carlo Alberto, 45) extensive selection of Italian cuisine—particularly pasta and meat dishes.
- There are a handful of restaurants in the largest hotel district in Rome (next to Termini rail station), and they are all of quality (this one in particular has lasagna to-die-for).
- Vladimiro (Via Aurora, 37) has a roast veal dish that is very popular among its patrons.
- Terra di Siena (Piazza di Pasquino, 77/78) A pricier choice, but worth the extra few euro for excellent Tuscan-inspired food.
- Dal Toscano (Via Germanico, 58-60) The Tuscan beans are worth trying, as are any and all of the soups on the menu.
- Da Nino (Via Borgognona 11) Traditional preparation of beans in glass flasks. Old world feel.
Campania/Naples (known for pizza, gelato):
- Pizzeria da Baffetto (Via del Governo Vecchio, 114) is one of the most popular pizzerias in the city—there’s a constant line out the door.
- Pizza Ciro (Via della Mercede, 43) can curb your appetite after visiting the Trevi Fountain, as it is just a few blocks to its north.
- Gelateria dei Gracchi (Via dei Gracchi, 272) Grab some of the city’s best gelato between the Vatican City and the Tiber River.
Sicilian (known for fish, eggplant and sweets)
- Mizzica (Via Catanzaro, 30/36) The dessert menu here is extensive—cannoli, biscotti, gelato, granita, etc.
- Capricci Siciliani (Via di Panico, 83) Patrons rave about the seafood dishes (including the swordfish)!
- Sicilainbocca (Via Emilio Faà di Bruno, 26) The eggplant pasta dishes here are authentic and delicious.
There are many more regions and dishes and restaurants not mentioned in this list, but this will help if you’re looking to cover the basic—but incredibly delicious—menu of Italy!