Contrary to popular belief, there is really no such thing as a national “Italian food”. Rather, what Italy offers is a variety of foods with distinct regional influences. Our travels through Italy have allowed us to sample foods from Piedmont to Puglia, and many points in between. Join us for a culinary journey through some of Italy’s most famous foods.

“They eat the dainty food of famous chefs with the same pleasure with which they devour gross peasant dishes, mostly composed of garlic and tomatoes, or fisherman’s octopus and shrimps, fried in heavily scented olive oil on a little deserted beach.”

Our Favourites

Each of these restaurants holds a special place in our hearts.  Often, it’s more than just the food itself. It’s the richness of culture, the wonderful people behind the scenes, the way a spot makes us feel at home.

Pear Carpaccio Salad with arugula, pecorino, walnuts & balsamic

Antica Cantina

Recommended to us by a foodie friend in Bologna, this spot lived up to the hype and then some. Great pasta and roast pork shank, but the real star? The Pear Carpaccio – trust us on this!
Foccacia with mortadella, stracciatella and pistachio butter

La Bottega – San Gimignano

If you get away from the heavily touristed part of San Gimignano you’ll find this gem. A favourite amongst locals, pilgrims and backpackers in-the-know they rock the food and the service!
Grilled Pecorino with balsamic glaze

Osteria Pinchiorba

We’re infatuated with this hidden gem in the small town of Gambassi Terme. Imaginative, delicious food – gnudi, fried pecorino, duck carpaccio – and super chill vibe. Find it and just go!
Fiorentina Steak

Osteria La Sosta Violante

The Fiorentina steak here is famous for a reason. But don’t miss their pici with pork ragu or their Paccheri with Tuscan bacon, onion and ewe’s cheese. Or their . . . you get the picture!
selection of Italian soups

Il Richiastro

This brilliant restaurant in Viterbo’s Old town is easy to miss. We were drawn through a portico into a courtyard by fabulous aromas. The food here is off-the-charts. Find it and enjoy!.

Trattoria La Lanterna

This family run trattoria came highly recommended by a local. Generous antipasti portions, and absolutely gorgeous pastas – easily in the top five of any pasta we’ve had anywhere.

Relive our travels in Italy

 Our First Trip To Italy

Adventures from Ivrea to Piacenza 

Exploring from Piacenza to Cassio

Italy From Berceto to Lucca

Travels from Lucca to Monteriggioni

Discovering Siena to Orvieto

Italy from Lazioto Rome

Other Great Spots:

We have eaten at each of these places, and genuinely loved our experience!   




This very casual hole-in-the-wall has a playfully confident vibe that matches the unique, antique space perfectly. They serve delightful fresh pasta dishes and superb local wines. Seek them out when you’re in Bologna – you won’t regret it.

Il Forno di Calzolari

This Bologna institution has a number of locations serving amazing breads, savoury foods and baked treats. Friendly staff and outstanding food make this a go-to for locals.

Salumeria Simoni Laboratorio

Just amazing. Ask your waiter to help you put together a salumi platter of meats and cheeses. Get wine. Experience unadulterated food joy. Get more wine. Relax!

Osteria del Sole

Take the time to find this Bologna institution. They’ve been in continuous operation since the 1400’s, and specialize in local wine and charming, welcoming atmosphere. Bring your own salumi plate, settle in and enjoy!

Eataly Bologna Ambasciatori

A lovely spot for a light lunch. Tasty sandwiches and desserts, and of course delicious coffee. An attached bookshop and upstairs grocer make for great pre- or post-lunch browsing.

Osteria Solferino

A delightful osteria with friendly service and fabulous food. They’re well-known for respecting traditional Bolognese culinary traditions while adding imaginative twists on old classics. Well worth a visit.


Small Villages and Towns:

Places we found while walking the Via Francigena. 

Farro, shrimp and burrata salad

Enoteca degli ostinati

After a hard day on the Via Franigena we were delighted to find this lovely Enoteca on the main square. Delicious pastas, good wine by the glass, and a life altering farro and shrimp salad.

La Bottega di Ines

We were delighted to find this spot for a special treat meal on our second night in San Quirico. The food is fabulous and the service impeccable. Well worth a visit if you find yourself nearby.
Pepperoni & onion pizza

Pizzeria Anima e Passione

We didn’t find many pizzerias that combined great food with a unique and energizing vibe. These folks rock it – they love what they do and it shows. Great people watching on the Piazza too!
Santhia - octopus carpaccio

Ristorante Gabriella

This local favourite does lovely pastas and pizza (be aware, the “personal” pizza is 30 cm!) in a smart casual setting. Their antipasti selection is stellar.The octopus carpaccio is a revelation!
Chicken Nuggets at Futura Osteria di Abbadia Isola

Futura Osteria di Abbadia Isola

Fine dining in a unique location at the base of a Benedictine Abbey established in 1,000 AD. Local ingredients, superb food and service – and recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand.
Lamian Soup with Braised Beef

Ravioli Wang

Pro tip: in Italy Chinese restaurants call their traditional dumplings “ravioli” so this is not some kind of fusion cuisine. If you’re in Siena and looking for a switch from Italian this is the place.

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Being a traveller and being a foodie go hand-in-hand. Food experiences immersed in culture and place ROCK! Explore all the wonders that food has to offer.

Our Favourite Foodie Resources

Maribel Tastes of Italy

We met one of our favourite Italian instagrammers “in the real” on our visit to Bologna. Maribel teaches pasta making and does great food tours in Bologna. 

Italy Foodies

Lori and Angelo are a travel writer and photography team who have been “slow travelling” Italy for ten years. They are a wealth of information on food travel in Italy. 

Italy Magazine

Eponymous magazines are always a good starting point for travellers, and this is no exception. Their food recommendations and commentary are well worth a look.