It should come as no surprise that the first thing on our list of seven things to do in Italy is EAT. Italian food is one of the most beloved cuisines in the world, but there’s more to it than pasta, pizza, and gelato. Culinary traditions ingredients vary among locales, and ingredients are always regionally and seasonally inspired.
Northern Italian cuisine tends to be more heavily influenced by European neighbors like Switzerland and France. Northern Italian dishes are based on locally produced meat and dairy, and favors risotto, gnocchi, and polenta. Southern Italian cuisine displays more Greek and Arabian influences, and includes the pasta and pizza dishes that are so popular in North America.
However, the diversity of Italian food is even more nuanced than north vs. south. Here’s a quick guide to the distinct culinary traditions of ten of Italy’s major regions.
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