Due to their shape and color, these delightful little fried rice balls get their name from the Italian word for orange. Arancini are usually stuffed with ragu sauce, meat, cheese and sometimes vegetables, depending on where you get them. They aren’t available everywhere, but are most commonly found near Sicily. Might even be worth the trip there…
Potatoes on Pizza
While you’re sure to be eating many pieces of pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) be sure to try pizza with thinly sliced potatoes and rosemary on top. It’s surprisingly delicious. A little starchy, but you’re in Italy so calories don’t count . . . right?
This cold drink could be a lifesaver on those hot Italian days. Available at most coffee shops, caffè shakerato is a frothy espresso drink shaken with ice cubes and “dolce” if you’d like it a bit sweeter. To make it a little more interesting, ask the barista for some Baileys added in.
This is also a perfect, refreshing dish for a hot day. Similar to cucumber and tomato salad, panzanella includes chunks of bread soaked in oil and vinegar, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and basil. The dish is considered Tuscan, but you should be able to find it elsewhere as well.
For a fast, on the go lunch, try a street food pizza fritta. It’s pizza dough fried rather than baked, and topped with traditional pizza sauce and cheese. Might not be quite as diet-friendly as the panzanella, but definitely a delicious option worth trying. Your best bet for finding them would be in Naples.
If your favorite Italian restaurant at home doesn’t have the option of bigoli noodles, you’ve got to try them while in Italy. Bigoli noodles are thicker than spaghetti noodles, and more dense and tubular. They are usually served with a simple sauce of red wine and topped with roasted wild duck. A delicious meal, especially when topped with parsley and Parmesan.
Risi e Bisi
Other than being really fun to say, this classic Venetian dish is deliciously flavorful. It consists of rice, peas, and some seasonings. It’s akin to a risotto only slightly soupier. It’s best in the spring when the peas are freshly harvested.
Osso Buco Alla Milanese
Choose this over chicken parmigiana, which is actually an American dish. Milanese consists of veal shanks braised in white wine and various vegetables and gremolata (a dressing made with parsley, garlic and lemon zest.) If you’re slightly more adventurous, be sure to try the bone marrow inside the veal bones . . . it’s a very richly delicious flavor.
Similar to a hearty American chili, ribollita is a delicious Tuscan dish. It has modest beginnings as it was invented by servants who used their master’s leftover meat and vegetables to make soup—ribollita means “reboiled.” However do not let this dissuade you! This bread and vegetable soup has become one of Tuscany’s most delicious dishes.
Tortellini in Brodo
If you’re a fan of Chinese wonton soup, try this Italian equivalent. Tortellini in brodo is cheese-stuffed tortellini served in a simple chicken broth and topped with a little bit of Parmesan cheese. This dish is incredibly simple yet delicious.
Brioche e Gelato
If you’re in the mood for a sandwich and desert at the same time, you’re in luck. Go to the nearest gelaterie and order a brioche bun stuffed with classic delicious Italian gelato. You might just discover your new favorite sandwich.
Torrone is an Italian nougat candy made of honey, egg white, toasted nuts and citrus zest. If you’re a chocoholic, not to fear! You’re able to get a chocolate dipped variation.