The Italian formula for happiness is as simple as it is effective. Combine the captivating flavors of centuries-evolved gastronomy, relaxed walks in cities full of timeless treasures, and the charm of a contemporary culture rooted in ancient traditions.
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The cuisine of Lazio has maintained its characteristics over time, with some slight influence of the local Jewish community and today is known throughout the world. Carbonara, a pasta dish from Rome made with egg, cheese, bacon and pepper, was created in the middle of the 20th century and you can find in all restaurants of Lazio. Saltimbocca is a Roman veal dish with prosciutto ham, sage leaves and white wine. Carciofi alla giudìa is one of the best known dishes of Roman Jewish cuisine. It is a speciality of the Roman Ghetto, where it is served in Jewish restaurants.
Campania has a great deal to offer to food lovers. The pizza served here is the best in the world. This region has enchanting destinations, such as the Sorrento Peninsula, the Cilento coastline, Capri and Ischia: in these coastal areas seafood is the local staple. No dish captures the flavors and simplicity of Campanian cooking better than the Caprese salad: sun-ripened tomatoes, basil leaves and olive oil complement the region’s excellent mozzarella di bufala. To end, the deliciously sweet rum babà, a small yeast cake soaked in a lemon or orange and rum syrup, and can be found all over Campania.
Ligurian cuisine is one of the best in Italy. Genoese pesto is the most popular pasta sauce and is made with simple ingredients: basil, pine nuts, parmigiano cheese, pecorino, garlic, salt and olive oil. Focaccia in Liguria is a must: you can try it in the many traditional bakeries found in the historical center. The fresh seafood from Monterosso, Cinque Terre has a great flavor, especially marinated with lemon juice, white wine vinegar and olive oil. Mussels, “cozze” in Italian, from the Gulf of Poets are famous in Northern Italy.
Although Sicilian food has a lot in common with Italian cuisine, it also has Greek, Spanish, French and Arab influences. Pasta con le sarde, a pasta dish with a combination of sardines, golden raisins and pine nuts and Pasta alla Norma, originated in Catania, are the most popular pasta dishes typically Sicilian. Sweets are another specialty. Examples include cassatas, granita and cannoli with their typical ricotta cheese filling and candied fruit.
A characteristic Lombard dish is risotto, most famously risotto alla milanese (seasoned with saffron), with rice-based food being highly common throughout the region. Other famous Lombard dishes include cotoletta, cassoeula and ossobuco. The region also offers several delicacies and desserts, amongst which the most famous ones are mostarda and panettone. Regional cheeses include Robiola, Crescenza, Taleggio, Gorgonzola and Grana Padano. Panettone is an Italian type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan, usually baked and enjoyed for Christmas.