Italy may not be much larger than California, but the number of cultures and culinary traditions certainly add up to the country being recognized as a powerhouse of food. For many travelers to Italy, enjoying the art and the scenery is a large part of what makes their vacation. Nonetheless, there is a growing trend towards enjoying those things while you sample the unique cuisines of each different region.
Here are some of the top culinary regions of Italy:
Genoa: For a small coastal strip of land, it is hard to believe that Genoa once controlled much of the Mediterranean with its mighty fleet of ships. Its legacy lives on in nearby Monaco, where a Genoese family took over in the Middle Ages and still reigns today. The most famous dishes found in Genoa are likely Pesto and Focaccia bread, which can be eaten as bread, or used to form a pizza. Visiting the downtown area along the waterfront, visitors will find a variety of shops that have some of the most authentic seafood and pesto options available. Accommodations range from modern hotels to villas that can be surprisingly competitive when it comes to price. Transportation is also excellent, with train access from Milan as well as France.
Rome: There isn’t really a city in the world that can claim a stronger cosmopolitan heritage than Rome. The cuisine of the former capital of the Mediterranean is therefore also very varied, with adopted foods making their home alongside home-grown favorites. Spaghetti and pasta have been king here for centuries, with carbonara, alfredo and Amatriciana sauces being the most popular. Amatriciana is a blend of pork cheek, pecorino cheese and tomato sauce over spaghetti. Of course meat dishes like veal with artichokes are another must have for visitors. For those that like wine, Trebbiano is perhaps the most celebrated of all varietals in the region. Rome hotels are normally quite busy year round and the best way to find hotels that are in your budget range is to go online and look at a site like Hipmunk that specializes in providing detailed information about travel and hotel options in Rome.
Naples: With a long heritage going back beyond Pliny the Elder, Naples has long been considered one of the architectural treasures of Italy. And then, of course, is the fact that it is known to be the home of pizza, one of the most popular foods in the world. As some may know, pizza was being made here before Columbus discovered the new world. This makes the tomatoes that are found in pizza Neopolitan a relatively new addition. Just the same, with a variety of crust types including the thin crust that the city is known for, Naples is a pizza lover’s dream vacation spot. It is also close to Pompeii, where visitors can see some original Roman cafes that were serving customers 2000 years ago in a similar fashion to the sidewalk cafes found in the center of Naples. Hotels are competitive here but busy and using public transportation options is recommended as you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself more.
Going on a trip to enjoy Italian cuisine is a very good way for foodies to go directly to the source of the some of the most famous recipes in the world, see how they are made, and note the taste differences. As a bonus, in each city that you visit, there are normally short cooking course available that allow you to get a hands-on feel for how to put things together when you return home.
This article was written and provided by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, the ultimate platform for all your travel needs.