>  Trip 2023   >  Eating our way through Italy

Unlike Germany and Austria, everyone expects to eat sumptuously in Italy, and it didn’t disappoint. The cuisine is deeply regional — whatever foodstuffs we adored in one place would be entirely unavailable in the next. Each town had its own slightly different ragù, and its own twist on pastry. There was rather more seafood than we expected, rather fewer vegetables, and we got quite addicted to the €1.40 cappuccini.

The commitment to quality in ingredients was heartening. A shop in Rome wouldn’t sell us fresh ricotta until the heard that we were planning to eat it that day, and the guanciale was so good that we lugged a whole piece back to the UK. In Bologna, there were so many different superb stuffed pastas available, freshly made throughout the day, we just had to keep coming back to try more, and the roasted pistachio gelato was a total delight.

Some other highlights…


In Bologna, it was all local specialties: cured meats and Parmigiano-Reggiano
Anchovies and fresh burrata.
In Venice, Cicchetti — yummy things on bread — is the snack of choice.


Tortellini in Brodo was a Bologna favourite
Cacio e pepe in Rome.
Paccheri ripieni e fritti from La Laconda Gesù Vecchio — our favourite dish from the best restaurant we ate at in Italy.
In Venice: tagliatelle with pistachios, burrata, and little bites of scallops


The fish and seafood was especially bounteous (much to the children’s dismay).

One of many fishmongers in Bologna
Crispy fried squid from a trattoria in Naples
Shrimp in prickly pear sauce in Rome (a lovely dish at Mr Clood’s Bistrot – odd name, great restaurant)


In Naples, we ate pizza once a day. Firstly, it was great pizza, and secondly, it was super reasonable, rarely going for more than 10 Euros., often more like 6.


Mostly, we ended up eating sweets for breakfast, but every now and then we managed to put away a dessert after the standard multi-course Italian meal.

Donuts in Rome
Pan del doge in Venice
And tiramisu everywhere

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