Things to eat and drink in Italy

Food in Italy

When in Italy, eat and drink like Italians do. Here is a short guide that will help you to navigate through typical Italian offerings:

Antipasti (appetizers)

  • Salumi locali misti (assorted local sausages, cold cuts)
  • Formaggio locale (local cheeses)
  • Calamari Fritti (deep fried calamari)
  • Prosciutto (thinly sliced cured ham, usually served with melon or figs)

Primi (first course)

  • Minestrone (vegetable soup)
  • Pasta e faggiole (Tuscan bean soup)
  • Pasta con tartufo (pasta with the truffles, may be very expensive)
  • Pasta con porcini (pasta with wild mushrooms)

Secondi (second / main course)

  • Bistecca Fiorentina (large steak, typical of Florence / Tuscany)
  • Abbacchio Scottaditto (young lamb grilled, typical of Rome)
  • Funghi Porcini alla grilla (wild mushrooms prepared on the grill)
  • Pomodori con basilico (tomato salad with olive oil, side dish)
  • Coniglio (wild rabbit – Tuscan specialty)

Dolci (desert)

  • Tiramisu (literally “pull me up” cake – must try).
  • Panna Cotta (literally “cooked cream” – must try).


  • Acqua Minerale Frizzante / Naturale (mineral water, carbonated / flat)
  • Birra alla spina (draft beer)
  • Vino rosso della casa (inexpensive house red wine)
  • Vino bianco della casa (inexpensive house white wine)
  • Prosecco (dry sparkling white wine)
  • Amarone, Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello (famous dry red wine)
  • Verdicchio, Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Falanghina, Ribolla (famous dry white wine)
  • Grappa (after dinner strong distilled drink)
  • Limoncello, Fragolino (after dinner semi-sweet liqueur – a “must try”)


  • Caffe’ Normale or Espresso (strong, small shot of espresso)
  • Caffe’ Corto or Ristretto (even smaller and stronger portion)
  • Caffe’ Lungo or Americano (more water, less coffee)
  • Caffe’ Corretto (espresso fortified with Grappa)
  • Caffe’ Latte (shot of espresso with a lot of milk, usually served to kids).
  • Caffe’ Cappuccino (shot of espresso with foamed milk, usually served in the morning)

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