From the canals of Venice to the ruins of Rome, from art in Florence to the fashion in Milan. From the beaches of Capri to the opulent shore of the Amalfi Coast and the countless things to do in Umbria, no other place in the world is quite like Italy.
But please, be honest with yourself—when you travel to Italy, there is only one thing on your mind—FOOD. I’m talking thin-crust pizza, thick cuts of stinky cheese, pasta, prosciutto, gorgeous red wines, and cannolis. Please, PLEASE don’t forget the cannolis.
Given the rolling green landscape that fills much of the countryside, travel between Italy’s food towns is best done by train. Sites like GoEuro make train travel and ground transport in Italy just as easy as air travel, providing you with one portal to research and book your entire itinerary. Even better, you can book tickets for Trenitalia, Italy’s primary train operator, directly on the GoEuro website.
So if you’re ready to jump on board and eat your way through Italy, these are four spots in Italy to both eat and explore. With the locals of each region all swearing that their city has the best of everything, it might be time for you to find out for yourself.
Eating Your Way Through Naples
Naples, or Napoli, is a beautiful city known for its many cathedrals and vibrant history, earning it the badge of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. But beyond that, this beloved place is known for having the best pizza in the world.
True Neapolitan pizza must meet certain requirements, being exactly 35 cm, rolled by hand, and made in a wood-fired, domed oven. And it’s the local ingredients that really makes it so special.
The best time to come taste this amazing creation is during the annual Pizza Fest or Pizza Village, but if you can’t make it, then try a Margherita pizza at Pizzeria Brandi or Da Michele whenever you visit.
Chow (Ciao!) Down on Seafood in Venice
Venice is a city literally built on the water, which means one thing—fish abound! Though it’s most well known for those famous gondola rides through the canals, there is another side of Venice well worth experiencing: the seafood!
And due to the city’s history of commercial trade, the seafood dishes in Venice have a distinctly Middle Eastern influence. It’s a combo you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the world.
The thing about Venice, though, is that there’s only one way in and one way out—by boat. That means you won’t be riding an Uber from the airport, you’ll be booking a Venice airport water taxi instead!
What to Eat in Modena? Cheese, Duh!
Modena is one of the wealthiest cities in Italy, filled with extravagant museums, cinemas, plazas, universities (one of the oldest in Europe), libraries, and even private car collections. Did you know Enzo Ferrari was born here? You know, that Ferrari.
In Modena, you won’t have to walk far before stumbling upon world-renowned cheese. The parmesan we get in the States doesn’t hold a match to the parmigiano reggiano you’ll find in Modena. Parmigiano reggiano is named after the handful of provinces that produce the cheese, kind of like a strange acronym. If it wasn’t produced in one of these provinces, it’s illegal to give it this name.
Visit the 4 Madonne Caseificio dell’Emilia factory, where you can witness the creation of this beloved cheese for yourself. And, don’t miss a meal at Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant run by chef Massimo Bottura, who incorporates parmigiano reggiano into his menu.
Wine and White Truffles in Piedmont
Located in northwestern Italy on the border of France, you will find the scenery here in Piedmont to be like something out of a fairytale; one in which prince charming is a nice, tall glass of wine. After all, this area is famous for producing some of the best wine in the world. Of course, nothing goes better with this wine than a fine dish made with white truffles from the city of Langhe.
Truffles are a rare food known as “the diamonds of the kitchen,” and before tasting one, why not spend the day truffle hunting first? While Langhe is remarkable, don’t forget to pay a visit to the other cities in the region as well. Most offer an excellent mix of Italian history and modern culture.
The Best Thing to Eat in Sicily—Dessert
An island off the southern coast, Sicily is nothing like the mainland. In addition to the gorgeous scenery and architecture here, you’ll find the people to be just as proud of their city and heritage as they are of their food.
To fill your stomach, enjoy the delectable seafood dishes, containing a mix of Arab and Spanish influences, as well as the famous Arancini, which are Sicily’s own fried rice balls. Save room for dessert and taste a nut biscuit at one of the local markets, and maybe even a cannoli. Okay, definitely a cannoli.