Destination: Italy

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WHY VISIT ITALY

It is difficult to list the many attractions of Italy: Historic ruins, beautiful landscapes, artistic richness, flavourful cuisine, a light-hearted population, these are just some examples of what you’ll discover in your visit.

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Rome, its legendary capital, offers a dive into history through its Roman and Etruscan monuments, medieval and Renaissance architecture, but it is also in line with the present due to its dynamic and modern aspects.

Florence will not fail to seduce you: it is very popular with tourists in summer. This city is ideal to stroll through during the off-peak season, whether it be on the Ponte Vecchio which spans the Arno, or to visit the Uffizi museum or just around the city itself. Outside the city, you can discover the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany, a particularly beautiful area.

Venice in itself has become one of the symbols of Italy: Its charm is evidently due to its canals, its narrow streets without cars, and its beautiful palaces. A timeless place, the city boasts various must-see attractions; St Mark’s Square, the Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Church of St Mary of Health and the Bridge of Sighs are a few of the more famous, but you will also enjoy a stroll through the maze of narrow streets, and do not forget a soothing trip in a gondola.

Other stopovers of choice: Naples, located in the bay not far from Vesuvius and near to Pompeii, Milan with its opera house and its shops and lively nightlife, Assisi with its fortress; these are just a few recommended places of this incredible country.

You should also not miss the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

WHAT TO SEE IN ITALY

Top destinations in Italy are:

  • Rome
  • Venice
  • Florence
  • Milan
  • Naples
  • Turin
  • Taormina
  • Pisa
  • Genoa
  • Siena
  • Verona
  • Palermo

WHEN TO GO TO ITALY

Weather

The best period to visit Italy is from May to September.

If you’re planning to visit popular areas, especially beach resorts, avoid July and especially August, when the weather can be too hot and the crowds at their most congested. In August, when most Italians are on holiday, you can expect the crush to be especially bad in the resorts, and the scene in the major historic cities – Rome, Florence, Venice – to be slightly artificial, as the only people around are fellow tourists. The best time to visit Italy, in terms of the weather and lack of crowds, is April to late June, and September or October. If you’re planning to swim, however, bear in mind that only the south of the country is likely to be warm enough outside the May to September period.

Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Italy

January

Milan
Epifania (Jan 6). Costumed parade of the Three Kings from the Duomo to Sant’Eustorgio, the resting place of the bones of the Magi.

Rome
Epifania (Jan 6). Toy and sweet fair in Piazza Navona, to celebrate the Befana, the good witch who brings toys and sweets to children who’ve been good, and coal to those who haven’t.

February

Sicily
Festa di Sant’Agata (Feb 3–5). Riotous religious procession in Catania.

Carnevale
(weekend before Lent). Carnival festivities in Venice (venicecarnival.com), Viareggio (ilcarnevale.com), Foiano della Chiana (Arezzo), Cento (Ferrara), plus many towns throughout Italy.

Ivrea
Battle of the Oranges (Carnival Sun–Shrove Tues). A messy couple of days when processions through the streets are an excuse to pelt each other with orange pulp; carnevalediivrea.it.

Agrigento
Almond Blossom Festival (last two weeks). A colorful celebration of spring with folk music from around the world.

April

Nocera Tirinese
Rito dei Battienti (Easter Sat). Macabre parade of flagellants whipping themselves with shards of glass.

Florence
Lo Scoppio del Carro (Easter Day). A symbolic firework display outside the Duomo after Mass.

Alba
Truffle Festival (April 24–May 2). An opportunity to sample local delicacies as well as parades and a donkey palio.

May

Cocullo
(L’Aquila) Festival of snakes (first week of May). One of the most ancient festivals celebrating the patron saint, San Domenico Abate, in which his statue is draped with live snakes and paraded through town.

Naples
Festival of San Gennaro (first Sat). Naples waits with bated breath to see if the blood of San Gennaro liquefies..

Gubbio
Corsa dei Ceri (first Sun). Three 20ft-high wooden figures, representing three patron saints, are raced through the old town by ceraioli in medieval costume.

Countrywide
International Museum Day (mid-May). Museums throughout the country put on events and stay open all night to celebrate the international initiative.

Siracusa
Greek Drama Festival (mid-May to mid-June). Classic plays performed by international companies in the spectacular ruins of the ancient Greek theatre.

Countrywide
Cantine Aperte (last Sun). Wine estates all over Italy open their cellars to the public.

June

Florence
Calcio Storico Fiorentino (June 24). Medieval-style football and other festivities to celebrate San Giovanni, the city’s patron saint.

Verona
Verona opera season (from late June); arena.it.

Ravello
(from late June). Amalfi Coast opera and chamber music festival.

Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa, Venice
Regatta of the Maritime Republics (first Sat in June). Costumed procession and a race in replica Renaissance boats. Venue alternates yearly; 2013 is Amalfi’s turn.

July

Siena
Palio (July 2). Medieval bareback horse race in the Campo.

Palermo
Festino di Santa Rosalia (second week). A five-day street party to celebrate the city’s patron saint.

Perugia
Umbria Jazz Festival (second week). Italy’s foremost jazz event, attracting top names from all over the world; umbriajazz.com.

Lucca
Summer Festival (throughout July). International rock and pop artists perform all month.

Venice
Festa del Redentore (second Sat, third Sun). Venice’s main religious festival, marked with a fireworks display.

August

Countrywide
Ferragosto (Aug 15). National holiday with local festivals, water fights and fireworks all over Italy.

Siena
(Aug 16). Second Palio horse race; rossinioperafestival.it.

Pesaro
Rossini Opera Festival (mid-month).

Ferrara
Ferrara Buskers Festival (end Aug). Gathering of some of the world’s best street performers; ferrarabuskers.com.

Venice
(end Aug). Start of the world’s oldest International Film Festival; labiennale.org.

September

Venice
La Regata di Venezia (first Sun). The annual trial of strength for the city’s gondoliers and other expert rowers; it starts with a procession of historic craft along the Canal Grande.

Verona
(Sept 12). Street entertainment and general partying to celebrate the birthday of the town’s most famous lover, Juliet.

Naples
Festa di San Gennaro (Sept 19). Festival for the city’s patron saint with crowds gathering in the cathedral to witness the liquefaction of San Gennaro’s blood.

San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia
(Sept 23). Thousands of followers commemorate the death of Padre Pio.

October

Marino, Rome
Sagra del Vino (first weekend). One of the country’s most famous wine festivals, with fountains literally flowing with wine.

Perugia
Eurochocolate (third and fourth weekend). Italy’s chocolate city celebrates.

November

Countrywide
Olive oil festivals all over Italy.

December

Milan
Oh Bej, Oh Bej! (Dec 7). The city’s patron saint, Sant’Ambrogio, is celebrated with a huge street market around his church and a day off work and school for all.

Santa Lucia
(Dec 13). Milan opera season starts with an all-star opening night at La Scala.

Orvieto
Umbria Jazz Winter (end of the month); www.umbriajazz.com

Source: http://www.roughguides.com/

HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH ITALY

To travel within the country, you can go by bus or by train depending on your destination. Ferries serve Sardinia and Sicily. Renting a car is a very pleasant way to discover a country which has a very good road network.

by plane, the main airports are:

by train

by car

GENERAL INFORMATION ON ITALY

health tips & vaccination: none

local currency: European euro

local time zone: GMT+1 (+2)

electricity: type C, type F and type L (230 V – 50 Hz)

mobile phone operators:

WHAT TO DO IN ITALY

typical food in Italy

Being the Italian food culture so vast, it is difficult to name all the delicious dishes you could taste in this country, therefore I decided to name some unique, tasty dish divided per region. Bon Appetit!

Abruzzo
  • Cicoria, cacio e uova: soup of wild chicory and other vegetables with salt pork in chicken broth thickened with eggs and grated pecorino.
  • Coda di rospo alla cacciatora: monkfish cooked with garlic, rosemary, anchovies, peppers.
  • Indocca: a pungent stew of pork ribs, feet, ears, and rind with rosemary, bay leaf, peppers, and vinegar.
  • Pizza rustica: pork sausage, mozzarella, eggs, and Parmigiano Reggiano baked in a pie.
  • Virtù: soup made of pork, beans, peas, greens, herbs, carrots, garlic, onions, tomato, and pasta.
  • Agnello Agrassato: lamb stew.
  • Agnello alle olive: lamb cooked in an earthenware pot with olive oil, black olives, lemon, oregano, hot peppers.
  • Bucatini all’Amatriciana: bucatini (thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center) with a sauce of guanciale (cured pork cheek), pecorino cheese and tomato.
  • Maccheroni alla chitarra: noodles often served with a ragout of lamb stewed in wine and olive oil with tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, and peppers.
  • Mazzarelle d’agnello: lamb’s lung and innards wrapped in beet greens or chard and braised in white wine.
  • Polpi in purgatorio: octopus cooked with tomato, garlic, parsley, and diavolicchio.
  • Scapece di Vasto: pieces of raw fish, such as ray and smoothhound shark, preserved in earthenware vases with salt, chili peppers, and saffron.
  • Scrippelle ‘mbusse or ‘nfusse: fried crepes coated or filled with pecorino and served in chicken broth.
  • Timballo di crespelle: crepes layered with spinach, artichokes, ground meat, chicken giblets, mozzarella, and grated parmesan cheese
  • Zuppa di cardi: soup of giant cardoons from L’Aquila with tomatoes and salt pork.
  • Zuppa di lenticchie e castagne: tiny mountain lentils and fresh chestnuts in a soup with tomatoes, salt pork, and herbs.
  • Confetti di Sulmona: confectionary consisting of an almond coated in a sugar icing.
  • Soffioni: small cakes filled with sheep’s milk ricotta cheese and eggs, flavored with lemon zest.
Apulia
  • Burrata: fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains stracciatella and cream, giving it a soft, filamentous texture.
  • Cartellate: fried puff pastry rolls, typically impregnated of lukewarm vincotto (boiled grape must) or honey and covered with cinnamon, powdered sugar, or almonds.
  • Orecchiette alle cime di rapa: ear-shaped pasta cooked with rapini.
  • Purea di fave e cicoria: broad bean puree with chicory.
  • Riso, patate e cozze: a dish of rice, potatoes, and mussels.
  • Tiella: casserole of baked rice, potatoes, and mussels, enriched with onion and tomato.
  • Zuppa di cozze alla Tarantina: mussels steamed with chili pepper, garlic, tomatoes, white wine, and garlic.
  • Friselle: crunchy, dry bread made from barley flour, durum wheat flour, baked in a stone oven with a drop of olive oil.
  • Pane di Altamura: big sourdough durum wheat bread.
  • Puddica: two overlapping discs of dough enclosing a mix of onion, tomato, black olives, and anchovies.
  • Turcinieddi: grilled rolls made with liver intestines, lung or kidney rolled with parsley inside of lamb gut.
  • Taralli: backed ring made with wheat flour, lard, olive oil.
  • Sgagliozze: slices of fried polenta (cornmeal porridge).
  • Focaccia Barese: bread dough soft in the middle and crispy on the edges, covered with tomatoes, oregano, and some olives.
  • Linguine ai ricci di mare: linguine pasta with sea-urchins.
  • Bombette pugliesi: meat rolls sometimes stuffed, sometimes breaded.
  • Zeppole di San Giuseppe: deep-fried pastry decorated with custard and chocolate cream or sour cherries.
Basilicata
  • Baccalà alla lucana: cod with crunchy red peppers.
  • Lucanica: pork meat sausage seasoned with fennel seeds.
  • Cutturiddu: sheep meat stewed in fried onion, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, celery, and garlic. Served in an earthenware pot or heavy aluminum pans.
  • Orecchiette con la salsiccia piccante: ear-shaped pasta with a typical spicy sausage.
  • Pollo alla potentina: chicken braised with tomatoes, onion, white wine, and chili pepper topped with fresh basil, parsley, and pecorino cheese.
  • Rafanata: omelet with horseradish, potatoes, and cheese.
  • Crusch: air- and sun-dried peppers.
  • Pezzenta: sausage made from offals with spices.
  • Baccalà a ciaruedda: cod with onions and chili pepper.
  • Pupazzella: small round hot peppers in vinegar stuffed with anchovies and parsley.
  • Pasta with lu’ntruppc: pasta in a tasty sauce made with meat and sausage.
  • Calzone di verdura: baked pizza dough folded over a filling of chard, peppers and raisins.
  • Ciammotta: fried aubergine, peppers and potatoes stewed with tomatoes.
  • Ciaudedda: braised artichokes stuffed with potatoes, onions, fava beans, and salted pork.
  • Cotechinata: pork rind rolled around a filling of salted pork, garlic and peppers, stewed in tomato sauce.
  • Focaccia a brazzudo: flatbread with pork crackling, lard, and oregano.
  • Grano al ragù: wheat grains boiled and served with a rich ragout made of sausage and salted pork, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and white wine, topped with grated pecorino.
  • Peperonata con carne di porco: pepper and tomato stew with various pieces of pork.
  • Pignata di pecora or Pecora nel coccio: ewe cooked with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, pork, and pecorino in a clay pot called a pignata.
  • Scarcedda: Easter tart with ricotta and hard-boiled eggs.
  • Spezzatino di agnello: lamb stewed in an earthenware pot with potatoes, onions, bay leaf, and peppers.
  • Torta di latticini: cheesecake based on ricotta, mozzarella and pecorino with pieces of prosciutto.
  • Zuppa di pesce alla santavenere: soup containing grouper, scorpionfish, and other Ionian seafood with plenty of garlic and pepper.
  • Orecchiette con salsa piccante: ear-like pasta dressed with tomato sauce and the typical spicy salami.
  • Sanguinaccio dolce: sweet cream made with bitter dark chocolate and pig’s blood, accompanied with savoiardi biscuits.
  • Grano dolce: a pudding made of wheat grains, blended with chocolate, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and vin cotto (sweet wine).
Calabria
  • Satizzu: aged sausage made of pork meat with fennel and pepper.
  • Zippula: potato fritters.
  • Nduja: a soft, spicy spread made with pig’s meat and chili pepper.
  • Sardella: a creamy paste made from sardines with salt, chili, and spices.
  • Morzeddhu: stew of veal offal with vegetables and spices.
  • Pitta: a focaccia-style bread. Usually served with Morzeddhu.
  • Lagane e ciciari: tagliatelle pasta with chickpeas.
  • Maccarruni aru fierru: fresh pasta made of semolina and water, nowadays molded around a knitting needle. Served with different sauces.
  • Mazzacorde alla cosentina: lamb entrails (tripe, lung, heart, spleen, intestines) seasoned with garlic, hot chili, tomatoes, basil, oregano, virgin olive oil, and salt.
  • Purppetti alla Mammolese: meatballs made of minced pork meat mixed with eggs, soaked bread, goat cheese, garlic, chili pepper, parsley, olive oil, and salt.
  • Stocco di Mammola: dried fish cooked with vegetables fish and shellfish.
  • Melangiani Chjini: sliced eggplants, filled with a mix of their flesh, bread crumbs, goat cheese, shredded red pepper, parsley or basil, egg yolk and garlic.
  • Cipolla Rossa di Tropea: red onions with a delicate, sweer taste. Used in salads, various dishes and also to prepare preserves.
  • Frìttuli: stewed pork’s rind, along with legs, bones, ears, muzzle, tail, kidneys, and stomach.
  • Nzuddha: hard, unleavened biscuit made with flour, caramelized honey, anise liqueur, and other flavorings.
Campania
  • Casatiello: pie with Parmesan cheese, Pecorino cheese, eggs, salami, bacon, and pepper.
  • Gattò: potato casserole with ham, Parmesan and Pecorino cheese.
  • Insalata caprese: salad of sliced tomatoes, Mozzarella di Bufala (buffalo mozzarella) and basil.
  • Limoncello: lemon liqueur.
  • Maccheroni alla napoletana: pasta with a sauce made of braised beef, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, white wine, tomato paste, and fresh basil.
  • Mozzarella di Bufala Campana: mozzarella cheese made exclusively with buffalo milk.
  • Mozzarella in carrozza: fried mozzarella within two slices of toasted bread soaked in eggs and milk.
  • Parmigiana: pan-fried, sliced eggplant, layered with tomato sauce and cheese, and baked in an oven.
  • Impepata di cozze: mussels cooked with black pepper and olive oil.
  • Pizza napoletana: pizza with a thick crust, topped with tomatoes sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, basil, and olive oil.
  • Babà: small yeast cake saturated in hard liquor, usually rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream or pastry cream.
  • Pastiera napoletana: shortcrust pastry with ricotta cheese and candied fruit.
  • Sfogliatella: seashell-shaped pastry filled with ricotta cheese.
  • Struffoli: deep-fried balls of dough mixed with honey and other sweet ingredients.
  • Graffe: fried doughnuts made with flour, potato, yeast, and sugar.
  • Mustacciuoli: almonds and coffee cookies covered with chocolate.
Emilia-Romagna
  • Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar) and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia (Balsamic vinegar): very precious, expensive and rare sweet, dark, sweet and aromatic vinegar, made in small quantities according to elaborated and time-consuming procedures (it takes at least 12 years to brew the youngest Aceto Balsamico) from local grapes must (look for the essential “Tradizionale” denomination on the label to avoid confusing it with the cheaper and completely different “Aceto Balsamico di Modena” vinegar, mass-produced from wine and other ingredients
  • Cappellacci: large size filled egg pasta with chestnut puree and sweet Mostarda di Bologna, from Romagna.
  • Cappelletti: small egg pasta “hats” filled with ricotta, parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano and nutmeg, sometimes also chicken breast or pork and lemon zest, from Emilia, in particular Reggio.
  • Cappello da prete: – “tricorno” hat-shaped bag of pork rind with stuffing similar to Zampone, to be boiled (from Parma, Reggio Emilia, and Modena).
  • Ciccioli: cold meat made with pig’s feet and head from Modena.
  • Coppa: cured pork neck form Piacenza and Parma.
  • Cotechino: big raw spiced pork sausage to be boiled, stuffing rich in pork rind (from Emilia provinces).
  • Tigelle: a small round flatbread from the Modena Appennine mountains.
  • Crescentine: flatbread from Bologna and Modena: to be fried in pork fat or baked between Tigelle flatbread.
  • Culatello: a cured ham made with the most tender of the pork rump: the best is from the small Zibello area in Parma lowlands.
  • Erbazzone: spinach and cheese-filled pie from Reggio Emilia.
  • Fave stufate: broad beans with mortadella.
  • Gnocco Fritto: fried pastry puffs from Modena.
  • Lasagne: green or yellow egg pasta layered with Bolognese Ragù (meat sauce) and bechamel.
  • Mortadella: baked sweet and aromatic pork sausage from Bologna.
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano: long-aged cheese from Reggio Emilia,Parma. Modena and Bologna.
  • Passatelli: noodles made of breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano, cheese, lemon zest and nutmeg.
  • Piadina: flatbread (from Romagna) which can be smaller and higher or larger and very thin served plain or with many different fillings (typical is with Squacquerone cheese and Rocket).
  • Pisarei e Fasò: pasta peas with beans from Piacenza.
  • Squacquerone: sweet, runny, milky cheese from Romagna.
  • Tagliatelle al ragù: wide egg pasta noodles, served with a meat and tomato sauce.
  • Torta Barozzi or Torta Nera: a dessert made with a coffee/cocoa and almond filling encased in a fine pastry dough (from Modena).
  • Tortellini: small egg pasta navel shapes filled with lean pork, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mortadella, Parma Ham and nutmeg.
  • Zampone: stuffed pig’s trotter, fat, but leaner than cotechino’s, stuffing; to be boiled (from Modena).
  • Pan Pepato: very rich Christmas dried fruit and nut dessert with almonds, candies, and a lot of sweet spices.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
  • Frico: sliced cooked potatoes with onions and Montasio cheese, usually served with Polenta (boiled cornmeal).
  • Cjarsons: sort of tortellini with a ricotta filling.
  • Salam Tal Aset: a fatty, large, and thick sausage cooked in vinegar and usually served with onions.
  • Prosciutto di San Daniele: dry-cured ham.
  • Montasio and Brovada cheese.
Lazio
  • Bucatini all’amatriciana: bucatini pasta with guanciale (pork cured meet), tomatoes and pecorino.
  • Gnocchi alla romana: round disks made of semolina dough mixed with eggs, oven-baked with butter and cheese.
  • Carciofi alla Giudia: artichokes fried in olive oil, typical of Roman Jewish cooking.
  • Carciofi alla Romana: braised artichokes stuffed with mint, garlic and breadcrumbs.
  • Coda di bue alla vaccinara: oxtail ragout.
  • Saltimbocca alla Romana: veal cutlet, topped with raw ham and sage, and simmered with white wine and butter.
  • Spaghetti alla carbonara: spaghetti with eggs, guanciale (pork cured meat), and pecorino.
Liguria
  • Mesciua: a soup of chickpeas, beans, and wheat grains.
  • Piccagge: pasta ribbons made with a small amount of egg and served with artichoke sauce or Pesto sauce (Olive oil, garlic, basil, Parmigiano and pecorino Sardo cheese).
  • Trenette al pesto: pasta with Pesto sauce (Olive oil, garlic, basil, parmigiano and pecorino sardo cheese).
  • Stoccafisso “accomodato”: pieces of codfish sautéed with anchovies, herbs, with olives, pine nuts, and potatoes.
  • Panissa and Farinata: chickpea-based polentas and pancakes respectively.
  • Pansoti: triangle-shaped stuffed pasta filled with a mix of borage (or spinach) and ricotta cheese, they can be eaten with butter, tomato sauce or a white sauce made with either walnuts or pine nuts (the latter two being the more traditional Ligurian options).
  • Scabeggio: fried fish marinated in wine, garlic, lemon juice, and sage, typical of Moneglia.
  • Sgabei: fritters made from bread dough (often incorporating some cornmeal in it).
  • Torta pasqualina: savory flan filled with a mixture of green vegetables, ricotta, and Parmigiano cheese, milk, and marjoram; some eggs are then poured in the already-placed filling so that their yolks will remain whole when cooked.
  • Pandolce: sweet bread made with raisins, pine nuts and candied orange and cedar skins.
  • Panera genovese: a kind of semifreddo rich in cream and eggs flavored with coffee, similar to a cappuccino in ice cream form.
Lombardia
  • Mostarda di Cremona: a sweet/spicy sauce made with candied fruits and meant to be served along with boiled beef.
  • Panettone: Milan’s Christmas traditional sweet bread made with a yeast and egg dough along with the candied citrus peel, and raisins.
  • Pizzoccheri: buckwheat tagliatelle dressed with potatoes, greens (often Swiss Chard or Spinach), butter and Bitto cheese.
  • Risotto alla milanese: a stirred rice dish made with Vialone or Carnaroli rice flavored with saffron and beef marrow.
  • Torrone: a candy made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or hazelnuts.
  • Tortelli di zucca: ravioli with a squash filling.
  • Casoncelli or casonsèi: moon-shaped stuffed pasta filled with a mixture of bread crumbs, egg, parmesan, ground beef, salami or sausage.
  • Cotoletta alla Milanese: breaded fried veal cutlet.
  • Cassoeula: a dish of pork meat slowly cooked with vegetables and cabbage.
  • Ossobuco alla Milanese: cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine, and broth.
Marche
  • Brodetto: fish stew with tomato and spices.
  • Olive all’ascolana: fried stoned olives stuffed with pork, beef, chicken, eggs, and Parmesan cheese.
  • Ciauscolo: cured cold-cut made from the belly and shoulder of a pig with half its weight in pork fat and seasoned with salt, pepper, orange peel, and fennel.
  • Fegatino: a liver sausage with pork belly and shoulder, where the liver replaces the fat of other sausages.
Molise
  • Polenta maritata: slices of cornmeal fried in oil with garlic, layered with a filling of red beans and peperoncini and baked in the oven, a specialty of Isernia.
  • P’lenta d’iragn: a white polenta made with potatoes and wheat, served topped with tomato sauce.
  • Calcioni di ricotta rustici: round dumplings of pasta dough filled with prosciutto, provolone, and ricotta before frying them in olive oil.
  • Baccalà alla cantalupese: salt-cured cod with olives, grapes, and peppers seasoned with capers and garlic.
  • Ventricina: pork sausage flavored with fennel seeds and peperoncino.
  • Lepre a ciffe e ciaffe: hare marinated in herb-flavored wine and vinegar, before cooking.
  • Abbuoti: chopped lamb liver and sweetbreads mixed with hard-cooked eggs and stuffed into the intestine and baked.
  • Pezatta: a dish of stewed mutton with tomatoes and onions flavored with rosemary and hot peppers.
  • L’allullere: tripe dumplings, stuffed with sweetbreads, flavors, and lamb entrails.
  • Pizza con le foglie: corn flour flatbread baked with wild greens.
  • Picatelli: pastries filled with honey, grapes, and nuts
  • Panettoncino: a springy corn-flour cake with chocolate.
Piedmont
  • Agnolotti: small pieces of flattened pasta dough, folded over a filling of roasted meat or vegetables, eggs and cheese.
  • Bagna caôda: hot-dip based on anchovies, olive oil, and garlic blanched in milk, to accompany vegetables (either raw or cooked), meat or fried polenta sticks.
  • Brasato al vino: stew made from wine marinated beef.
  • Carne cruda all’albese: steak tartare with truffles.
  • Tajarin: thin tagliatelle pasta made of egg dough, served with butter and truffles or meat roast sauce.
  • Lepre in Civet : hare meat marinated in its blood with red wine and spices, cooked with butter and lard.
  • Salame sotto Grasso: pork salami aged under a thick layer of lard.
  • Panisci or Panissa: a dish based on rice with Borlotti beans, Salame Grasso, and red wine.
  • Risotto alla piemontese: risotto cooked with meat broth and seasoned with nutmeg, parmesan, and truffle.
  • Vitello tonnato: veal in tuna sauce.
  • Rane Fritte: fried frogs.
  • Riso e Rane: risotto with frogs.
  • Pere San Martin al vino rosso: winter pears in red wine.
  • Panna cotta: sweetened cream set with gelatin.
Sardinia
  • Casu marzu or Casu Fràzigu: a fermented sheep milk cheese, containing larvae.
  • Culurgiones: a kind of ravioli filled with potatoes, Pecorino cheese, and mint. Served with ragù or tomato sauce.
  • Malloreddus or Gnocchetti Sardi: small semolina gnocchi usually served with a tomatoe and sausage sauce and saffron (Malloreddus alla Campidanese).
  • Pane Carasau: a crunchy flatbread
  • Porcetto: roasted suckling pig cooked with myrtle.
  • Panada: a meat or vegetable pie.
  • Pane Frattau: Carasau bread soaked in water, tomato, egg and pecorino cheese, all made up in layers.
  • Seada: deep-fried in olive oil or lard, semolina dumplings filled with Pecorino cheese, served covered with honey or sugar.
  • Monzette alla Sassarese: snails pan-fried with wite vine, olive oil, garlic, parsley, and chili pepper.
  • Burrida a Sa Casteddaia: appetizer made with Gattucci di mare (little sharks), nuts, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and spices.
  • Su Succu: Tagliolini (a long, flat pasta) and wheat semolina, mixed with meat (sheep, beef, chicken), Pecorino cheese, tomato, and saffron.
  • Suppa Cuata or Zuppa Gallurese: layers of bread slices flavored with sheep stock, fresh cheese (Pecorino Sardo or grated Fiore Sardo), and chopped aromatic herbs (parsley, mint, oregano, wild fennel, nutmeg) backed in the oven.
  • Oriziadas: sea anemone (a jellyfish) usually battered and fried.
  • Fregula: semolina dough rolled into small balls, toasted in an oven. Typically prepared with tomato sauce and arselle (a shellfish).
  • Sa Cordula con Prisucci: braid of lamb innards cooked with peas.
  • Cascà: couscous (semolina) with different kind of vegetables
  • Ricci di mare: sea-urchins, usually served raw or with spaghetti (Spaghetti ai ricci). The pulp varies in color from orange to purple-red, tastes sweet.
Sicilia
  • Arancini: stuffed rice balls that are coated with breadcrumbs and fried.
  • Pane Cunzato: a sandwich made with bread, tomatoes, cheese (usually Primosale, a kind of pecorino cheese), and anchovies.
  • Pasticcio del Monsù or Timballo del Gattopardo: pastry dough baked with a filling of penne rigate pasta, Parmesan and a sauce of ham, chicken, liver, onion, carrot, truffles, diced hard-boiled egg and seasoned with clove, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
  • Panelle: chickpea fritter, often eaten as a sandwich.
  • Scaccia: flatbread stuffed in different ways, most commonly with ricotta cheese and onion, cheese and tomato, tomato and onion, tomato, and eggplant.
  • Granita: a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water, and various flavorings.
  • Sfincione: thick crusted pizza topped with onions, anchovies, tomatoes, herbs, and caciocavallo cheese (a strong cheese).
  • Pasta alla Norma: pasta with a sauce made with tomatoes, fried eggplants and served with salty ricotta cheese and basil or mint leaves.
  • Pani Câ Meusa: a sandwich consisting of a soft bread flavored with sesame (called vastedda or vastella), stuffed with chopped veal’s lung and spleen that have been boiled and then fried in lard. Caciocavallo or ricotta cheese may also be added (Pani ca meusa maritatu).
  • Pasta con le sarde: pasta with sardines and wild fennel.
  • Caponata: a sort of ratatouille made of eggplants, zucchini, onions, pepper, tomatoes, potatoes, basilic, capers, olives with a pleasant taste of sweet and sour.
  • Torta Setteveli: a cake made with seven creamy layers of chocolate and hazelnuts.
  • Cassata Siciliana: sponge cake filled with sweet sheep milk ricotta cheese and chocolate, decorated with candied fruits, marzipan (martorana), and royal icing.
  • Sfinci di San Giuseppe: fried puff pastry stuffed with sweet cheese cream from sheep milk, and candied fruits.
  • Cannoli: shortcrust pastry cylinder shell filled with sweet sheep milk ricotta cheese and chocolate chips, garnished with candied fruits.
  • Cassatelle alla Trapanese: soft crescent-shaped dough filled with sweet sheep milk ricotta cheese and chocolate chips, sprinkled with sugar icing.
Tuscany
  • Bistecca alla fiorentina: grilled Florentine T-bone steak traditionally from the Chianina cattle breed.
  • Fegatelli di maiale: pig’s liver forcemeat stuffed into pig’s stomach and baked in a slow oven with stock and red wine.
  • Pappa al pomodoro: a thick soup made of fresh tomatoes, bread, olive oil, garlic, basil, and various other fresh ingredients.
  • Ribollita: hearty potage made with bread and vegetables.
  • Panzanella: salad of chunks of soaked stale bread and tomatoes, sometimes also onions and basil, dressed with olive oil and vinegar.
  • Castagnaccio: plain chestnut flour cake.
  • Panigacci: not leavened round, thin flat-bread.
  • Lampredotto: cow’s stomach slow-cooked in a vegetable broth, seasoned with herbs, typically served as a sandwich with spicy or parsley sauce.
  • Lardo di Colonnata: cold-cut made by curing strips of fatback with rosemary and other herbs and spices.
  • Cacciucco: hearty stew consisting of several different types of fish and shellfish.
  • Torta co’ bischeri: round pastry cake with a rich filling of chocolate, boiled rice, raisins, eggs, pine nuts, candied fruit, nutmeg, and liqueur.
Trentino-Alto Adige
  • Canederli or Knödel: dumplings made with leftover bread and cold cuts.
  • Carnsalada e fasoi: aromatized salt beef with beans.
  • Speck: juniper flavored ham.
  • Strangolapreti: spinach dumplings.
  • Fasoi embragati: cooked beans, Lucanica sausage, onions, tomato paste, and laurel, usually served with Polenta (boiled cornmeal).
  • Strudel: layered pastry with a sweet apple and raisins filling.
Umbria
  • Lenticchie di Castelluccio con salsicce: lentil stew with sausages.
  • Minestra di farro: soup of spelt.
  • Piccioni allo spiedo: spit-roasted pigeon.
  • Barbozzo: cured, matured pig’s cheek.
  • Budellacci: smoked, spiced pig intestines are eaten raw, spit-roasted, or broiled.
  • Capocollo: sausage highly seasoned with garlic and pepper.
  • Mazzafegati: sweet or hot pig’s liver sausage, the sweet version containing raisins, orange peel, and sugar.
  • Prosciutto di Norcia: a pressed, cured ham made from the legs of pigs fed on a strict diet of acorns.
  • Bruschetta: grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt.
  • Impastoiata: Polenta (boiled cornmeal) with boiled beans and tomatoes.
Valle d'Aosta
  • Tortino de riso alla valdostana: rice cake with ox tongue.
  • Zuppa di Valpelline: savoy cabbage stew thickened with stale bread.
  • Capriolo alla valdostana: venison stewed in red wine with vegetables, herbs, grappa, cream.
  • Carbonade: salt-cured beef cooked with onions and red wine in a rich stew.
  • Minestra di castagne e riso: thick soup of rice cooked in milk with chestnuts.
  • Polenta alla rascard: cornmeal cooked, cooled and sliced, then baked with layers of Fontina and a ragout of beef and sausage.
  • Risotto alla valdostana: Fontina, toma, Parmigiano Reggiano and butter make this one of the creamiest of rice dishes.
  • Seupa de gri: barley soup with potatoes, onions, seasonal vegetables, salt pork.
  • Fonduta: fondue made with Fontina cheese.
  • Fontina cheese.
Veneto
  • Bigoli con l’arna: a type of pasta similar to Tagliatelle but bigger with a sauce of liver of the duck.
  • Lesso e pearà: boiled meats with pepper sauce, most common in the Province of Verona
  • Pasta e fagioli: a soup of pasta and beans
  • Polenta e osei: polenta accompanied with roasted wild birds
  • Risi e bisi: rice with young peas
  • Casunziei: two layers of thin pasta dough, usually filled with vegetables and ricotta cheese, and folded in a typical half-moon shape.
  • Fegato alla veneziana: a dish of slices of liver and onions.

souvenirs from Italy

  • Design hand-crafted jewelry
  • Fashion clothes, shoes, scarves, gloves, belts, ties and bags
  • Leather goods
  • Ceramics
  • Woodcarvings
  • Crèche Pieces, Christmas ornaments and Pulcinella dolls from Naples
  • Wood, ceramic, paper or terracotta music boxes
  • Cashmere
  • Soaps, perfumes, and fragrances
  • Venetian masks
  • Florentine paper
  • Venetian marbled paper
  • Murano glass plates, dishes, and tree ornaments
  • Burano necklaces
  • Modena Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pasta
  • Truffles and truffle flavored food from Alba
  • Parma ham
  • Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese
  • Modica chocolate
  • Ground coffee
  • Moka coffee maker
  • Limoncello lemon vodka from Campania
  • Olive oil of Tuscany and Apulia
  • regional food specialties and wines

SIMPLE DICTIONARY

Hello: Buongiorno

Goodbye: Arrivederci

How are you?: Come va?

Thank you: Grazie

What is your name?: Come si chiama?

How much is it?: Quanto costa?

Sorry: Scusi

Source:

http://www.thebesttimetovisit.com/
http://www.roughguides.com/

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