Italy Is All About The Food


Sure, Italy has some spectacular scenery, art, and maybe just a bit of interesting history, but let’s face it. the first thing that came to our minds was the food from Italy. The Italians are known for so many delicious cuisine – the pasta, pizza, parmesan, balsamic vinegars, and of course the oven braised beef. All of it had us licking our chops several days before getting into the country, and we were never disappointed.

If gluttony is a sin, then God has never been to Italy. Fact.

So as we sat in Palermo, a few days from wrapping up our journey, ambitions were lacking and our waistbands were unsurprisingly tighter. We chose our brief stay there to reflect on all that we indulged in (while stuffing our faces with cannoli, of course).


No shock that we consumed A LOT of pasta. And when the noodles come fresh as they do, it’s hard to resist. We both thought that after a month in the country, we would get sick of it. But we did not.

Carbonara - Bari, Italy

Fresh Spaghetti Carbonara – Venice


Bologna - Spaghetti with Shrimp

Spaghetti with Fresh Shrimp – Bologna


Bologna - Lasagne and Tagliatelle

Lasagna and Tagliatelle – Bologna


Favignana - Spaghetti with Peppers and Tomato in Garlic Sauce

A form of spaghetti with tomatoes and hot peppers in garlic sauce – Favignana
(This ranked as Dalene’s top meal in all of Italy)


Trapani Pesto Spaghetti

Red Pesto Spaghetti made with tomato and almonds that is very typical of Trapani.


The Italians like to keep their pizza simple – no thick-crusted, 10 topping pizzas here. 1-2 toppings is normal and always thin crust. And if you didn’t know, they normally don’t cut the pizza when they serve it to you. Each region does it slightly differently – an example is that in Trapani, Sicily the pizza is not made with traditional tomato sauce. Instead the crust is lined with olive oil, garlic and plum tomatoes.

Amalfi - Pizza

Prosciutto, peppers, and plum tomato – Bari

We are told that the best pizza is in the Naples region, and as we are heading there next, you can guess what we’ll be having!


A baked ball of risotto that has been coated in breadcrumbs. It is normally filled with Ragù (meat sauce), tomato sauce, and cheese. Depending on the region or area you are in they can also be filled with mushrooms, ham, or peas.

Bari - Arancini di Riso

Ham and cheese arancini – Bari



Originating from Italy’s central and southern regions, panzerotti and calzone are essentially a closed pizza pie (panzerotti being the smaller of the two). Most common fillings are tomoto sauce and mozzarella cheese, but mushrooms and ham are often used.

Bari - Panzerotti

Panzerotti – Bari


Burano - Calzone

Calzone – Burano



Shops line the streets with some of the finest meats and cheeses in the world. Fresh prosciutto, parmesan cheese, and mortadella from Bologna can’t be missed. And a little tip from the locals – try a few drops of balsamic vinegar on a chunk of parmesan cheese.

Bologna - Meat and Cheese Vendor

Meat and cheese vendor – Bologna


Bologna - Mortadella and Parmesan

Mortadella and parmesan appetizer – Bologna



A waiter in Venice with limited English asked us if we wanted “Something to sweet?” after dinner. That question is now a permanent part of our daily conversations to which the answer is almost always “Yes!” How could we resist…

Bologna - Tiramisu

Tiramisu – Bologna


Catania - Canoli

Cannoli – Palermo (A sicilian dessert meaning “little tube” A fried pastry dough with a sweet filling made with ricotta cheese)


Favignana - Mini Eclairs

Mini eclairs – Favignana



We also sampled a lot of different wine. We didn’t stray too far from the house wines offered as they were always very good and less expensive. But at Mama’s place in Bologna we were introduced to Lambrusco. It is a sparkling red wine that can be described in one word = Delicious.


Lambrusco Frizzante  (sparkling red wine) – Bologna

 Please excuse us now as we wipe off some drool and go for a quick jog…

**You may notice that there were bites taken out of a lot of the food. This usually was the result of my not being faster with the camera than Dalene is with the fork!

Having troubles traveling internationally with celiac? Check out these detailed gluten free restaurant cards (ITALY).


24 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • January 4 2012

    Oh. I think my stomach started growling at about the third photo. Mmmmm.
    Paige AllOvertheMap recently posted..Don’t forget the… gifts for family travelers

    • January 5 2012

      Sorry! Hope you got some good pasta to fill the void! 🙂

  • January 4 2012

    Ah yes, Italian food! This will definately be one thing that I will miss on my travels, especially so what with being Italian!

    • January 5 2012

      I would like to know how all Italians don’t weigh 500 lbs. Because I know I would if I lived there!

  • January 4 2012

    Really miss Italian food! By far the best food we had last year 🙂 Your photos made me so hungry – I think we need to have Italian for dinner tomorrow 😀
    Dani | Globetrottergirls recently posted..Goodbye 2011: Our year of travel in pictures

    • January 5 2012

      And I want Thai for dinner! Switch? 🙂

  • January 4 2012

    I love the fact that you can travel all over Italy enjoying different specialities in different regions and it’s all fabulous. Looks like you found a good restaurant on Favignana. Soooo hungry now!

    • January 5 2012

      I had no idea that the specialties varied so much by area, but we sure had fun discovering them all! That restaurant in Favignana was AMAZING, and that pasta dish was the most delicious thing…probably EVER!

  • Mom
    January 4 2012

    OMG! Now I’m stomach is definitely growling & no Italy close by. Yum,yum,yum !!!!

    • January 5 2012

      Sorry Mom! You need to go to Italy. 🙂

  • January 5 2012

    Holy cow. I m drooling. It’s 1 a.m. and now I am craving pasta and pizza. YUM! I remember gorging on Italian food when I was there, and NONE of it was bad.
    Amanda recently posted..5 Things to Love About Ottawa

    • January 5 2012

      It was ALLLLLL good. SOOOOO good. And I still crave it, even after over a month of gorging on it!

  • Alouise
    January 4 2012

    Italian food is the standard, pretty much everyone likes it, type of cuisine, and from this post I can definitely see why. It all looks so yummy.

    • January 5 2012

      SO YUMMY, and so different to the kind of pasta we eat in North America. Not to sound all snobby traveler or anything, but I never ate pasta before I went to Italy. Really.

  • January 6 2012

    Hey! I’m enjoying your photos. We too, loved Italy for it’s food: pasta, pizza, gelato, pastries and coffee. I’d go back in a heartbeat for the best pizza in Naples – Pizzeria Trianon
    Merrill recently posted..Merrill Mixer, Tour Director

    • January 8 2012

      Ah, we missed trying pizza in Naples (just gorged in Amalfi instead). SO GOOD!

  • January 7 2012

    La Dolce Vita…Italy truly is the sweet life. We spent some time in Italy two years ago and Maria spent an additional week in Como last summer. Our memories are full of delectable, nutella, gnocchi, pizza and the singsong of the Italian language. Reading your post, brings those memories to life. Looking forward to our return…
    Culture-ist recently posted..Worldwide Crowdfunding Initiative Pays Ecuador $116m to Save Rainforest

    • January 8 2012

      Okay, so it’s 10pm, I haven’t eaten dinner, and just read your comment. It’s killing me as much as our post would – haha! 🙂

  • Kim
    January 7 2012

    OMG!!!!!!!!!! We are so going back to Italy just to gorge once again. Best food in the world.
    Kim recently posted..A Winter Visit to Bagby Hot Springs

    • January 8 2012

      I know! I want to go back. Now.

  • January 9 2012

    Wow, you seriously just made me miss Italy in one blog post more than anything anywhere has since I left there 7 months ago… amazing. Now I can’t wait to get back and it’s nice to see it from someone else’s perspective to remember just how good it is!!

    Love your guys’ blog, seriously. I’m just catching up on your train journey now that it’s over! 🙁
    Annie recently posted..2012: New Year’s in Sydney, Australia

    • Pete
      January 10 2012

      Thanks Annie! Every time I look back on this post I miss Italy too. The food and scenery was some of the best we have experienced.

  • January 16 2012

    Yum, I can’t wait to try the food. Spaghetti Carbonara, spaghetti with almonds? (yum), pizza, desserts. Yummy. Would love to see a pic of the inside of an Arancini, if you have one. And yes, I’m hungry now.
    Tricia recently posted..Where Should We Go In….Chile – Part One

    • January 16 2012

      Ugh, I wish we had taken a photo of the Arancini on the inside! It’s a gooey mess of cheesy risotto, and this one had a few bits of ham and peas in it. Could have done without the peas, but we still gobbled them up regardless!

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