The best-known Italian dishes in the world: the full list


Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world.

Without a doubt, it is the country with the best and most diverse cuisine on the planet.

There are tragic imitations of Italian cuisine around such as fettuccine alfredo, spaghetti with meatballs, and pineapple pizza.

In this huge bustle of foreign travelers, in addition to the mix of regional recipes, seasonal dishes and crazy overseas imitations, figuring out what a tourist arriving for the first time in Italy expects from our gastronomy is not so obvious.

But what are the typical Italian dishes best known to the millions of visitors who come to our country each year?

We asked the many travelers who come to Liguria, and we studied a lot of data, articles and statistics on the subject.

In this post you will find out what are the most popular Italian dishes in the world, the most requested by foreign travelers.

Inside you will find the history, tradition, and some trivia about each dish on the list.

Are you ready? Let’s start

1. Pizza


pizza, perhaps, originated in Naples, the city that claims its paternity and where it is certainly familiar with the addition of tomato sauce to top the thin layer of dough.

It soon became one of the glues of national unity and the gastronomic flag of our country in every corner of the world, with sometimes discrete and often improbable results we find pizza everywhere we go.

But Naples certainly was the birthplace of the Margherita, the most famous and simplest of pizzas, which with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil also brings the colors of our flag back to the plate.

The story goes that Queen Margherita of Savoy, during one of her stays in the city at Villa Rosebery, wanted to try that popular, straightforward and immediate food that so many of her subjects consumed, and Brandi’s pizzaiolo in Chiaia let her try and named that preparation after her, which has remained linked ever since to the best-known and perhaps most consumed of pizzas: the Margherita precisely.

A tour of gastronomy Italy will not be able to do without a true Neapolitan pizza, perhaps enjoyed in Spaccanapoli and without the enrichment of too many unnecessary ingredients.

Of course in this day and age there are good and even excellent pizzerias all over the country, and often this humble dish becomes a pretext for being a base of excellent dough with gastronomic refinements placed on top as toppings, but the pizza of the basic consumer whether Italian or foreigner remains basically a two-way choice between the soft Neapolitan-style pizza or the crispier Roman-style pizza.

Other regions offer similar preparations among the best known are the Palermo “sfinciuni” or the preparations of the Riviera Ligure di Ponente where we find Sardenaira in Sanremo or Pisciarà in Bordighera or Pisciadella in Ventimiglia.

But if you want to enjoy a great, real pizza, it is in Italy that you must do so: Where we find pizza and similar preparations Italy, Naples, Rome, Palermo, Riviera Ligure di Ponente.

2. Baked lasagna


The basis of it all is a staple of Italian cuisine: fresh pasta accompanied by one of the world’s best-known condiments, ragù alla Bolognese, more often known simply as bolognese.

Bologna cradle of one of the richest and most tempting regional cuisines in the country is the capital of ragù; a sauce made starting with a sauté of celery, onion and carrot to which finely minced beef and often small additions of pork and tomato paste are then added, long cooking over low heat to obtain a thick sauce full of moods and aromas that goes to season fresh pastas such as tagliatelle or stuffed ones such as classic tortellini or even, in our case becomes the protagonist of lasagna al forno.

Generations of “sfogline,” women involved in the preparation of fresh pasta, have rolled out millions of miles of pasta, cutting it into the most varied shapes, one of which is the classic rectangular lasagna, which is briefly boiled, drained and dried, alternating with layers of meat sauce and béchamel sauce sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese, repeating the operation several times brings us to the lasagna package that will finish cooking in the oven.

Italy has other ragouts and other lasagnas; the most poetic ragout harks back to the unforgettable Eduardo de Filippo with his poem “O rrau” dedicated to his mother’s unsurpassed ragout and which becomes iconic in the preparation that Sophia Loren-Rosa Priore performs, step by step, in “Saturday, Sunday and Monday”

The most famous lasagnas to follow are those in the Marche region known as vincisgrassi or in Venice where lasagna becomes “Pasticcio ” or in Calabria and Sicily where hard-boiled eggs, meatballs, and salami are added to the meat sauce between layer and layer or even in the more vegetarian Liguria where a very light and tasty version of lasagna baked with pesto has become popular in the last 30 years.

3. Spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti and Italy are an inseparable pair in the collective imagination of gastronauts everywhere, spaghetti are cooked on every continent, all tourists and visitors who come to our country demand them over and over again.

Is spaghetti Italian? Marco Polo’s fantasies aside, interpreted in some even distorted way it can be said so; dried pasta is first mentioned by King Roger’s geographer Al Idrisi around the year 1100 when he describes long strands of pasta stretched out in the sun to dry near Trabia in Sicily.

For centuries, Neapolitans and Palermitans will call each other leaf-eaters and sugar-eaters, but there is no doubt that the pasta that is widely felt to be Neapolitan originated in Sicily and then expanded its range of production to those regions on the sea that at the time had ports and an ideal climate for drying the product. Among the most famous remaining areas in addition to the Neapolitan area is the province of Imperia with the port of the capital city, which over the years became one of the major hubs for the arrival of durum wheat.

Rome, however, became the capital of spaghetti, and “Carbonara” has great merit in this, becoming over the years one of our country’s most famous dishes; it was born almost by accident with bacon, powdered egg yolk, cream of milk, and cheese, all of which were dowries from the allies who liberated Italy, and because of the imagination of a young Bolognese cook who assembled them as a pasta sauce in preparing a lunch for American Officers.

The recipe has varied little over the years and to this day calls for guanciale ( introduced in the 1960s ) instead of bacon, egg yolk, cheese; gradually with the passage of fashion the cream disappeared in favor of the taste of the preparation

In a gastronomic tour of a pasta capital Rome, accompanying the carbonara is the legendary “amatriciana“, actually originally from Amatrice on the Abruzzo border ( guanciale, pecorino cheese and tomato ) or its ancestor the “gricia“( same ingredients but without tomato ) or the ” cacio e pepe” not an easy fusion of pecorino cheese, black pepper and pasta cooking water; it is not always spaghetti almost always amatriciana is offered with bucatini and cacio e pepe with tonnarelli, which is a variation of Abruzzo’s spaghetti alla chitarra.

4. Pesto

From Nice to the French border to the Cinqueterre, our sauce made from basil and a few other ingredients is the true gastronomic flag of the region.

You say Pesto and you say Genoa, you say Liguria, the basil seedling perhaps on the balcony in the old can of preserves is one of the icons of the Liguria of yesteryear; but the sauce is alive and current and now known all over the world, a clear demonstration of this is the heterogeneous mass of competitors who every year after rigorous selections, here and there around the world, face each other with pestles in the halls of the Ducal Palace for the World Pesto Championship under the stern and good-natured direction of the King of Pesto: Roberto Panizza

Like almost every recipe even famous pesto’s origins are uncertain and confusing, only in the late nineteenth century is some written record found but certainly the sauce predates it by a long way.

The most credited hypothesis would have it evolve from a sauce made of yogurt, garlic and dried fruit, of Middle Eastern origin and brought back by the Crusaders: it fits and is not far removed from the current nut sauce, the classic condiment of Pansotti, the large “pot-bellied” ravioli typical of Genoese cuisine.

Over time this sauce meets basil, which comes to us from India, and depending on the course of political and trade relations in the Genoese Republic, the type of cheese used also changes.

To date, the recipe sees as ingredients in addition to Ligurian basil (outside our region this plant tends to have a mentholated flavor), garlic perhaps from Vessalico which is a Slowfood presidium, Italian pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and Sardinian pecorino cheese, extra virgin olive oil and coarse salt.

True pesto should know no “heating” from blenders or other gizmos of our time; the good old mortar and pestle remain irreplaceable for getting the most out of it.

Chefs all over the world are using pesto in a wide variety of ways, but in our country pesto is the main condiment for pasta whether it is fresh. In Genoa, wide lasagna known as “mandilli de sea,” or trofiette or gnocchi, or dry and in this case long pasta: the ligurissime trenette to which chopped green beans and diced potatoes are also often added.

On the other side of the border, pesto or pistou is synonymous with soup; in fact, in the area of the old County of Nice, a leaner pesto, without pine nuts and with less cheese, becomes the ideal complement to a beautiful summer soup of vegetables and legumes, precisely the ” Soupe au Pistou.”

5. Ravioli, Tortellini and Agnolotti

ravioli pesigu

Large is the family of stuffed pastas in Italy; from the far north to Sicily, there is almost no region that does not have one or more stuffed pasta preparations in its traditional cuisine; many well-known, others less so inside the pasta casing we find the most varied fillings, but over all stand out:

  • Tortellini long and perhaps forever disputed between Modena and Bologna, have a pork filling with prosciutto and mortadella and are eaten strictly in meat broth;
  • Agnolotti del plin, a traditional Piedmontese dish, have mixed meat and vegetable fillings and are served topped with roast gravy or butter and sage or even alone on a napkin to fully savor the flavor.
  • Ravioli from the Ligurian tradition, Genovese in particular; the filling consists of meat cooked in tomato sauce, chard and borage ; a curiosity: Liguria is the only Italian region where ravioli with fish filling can be found in traditional cookbooks as early as the late 19th century.

6. The Focaccia


A humble dough of flour, water, yeast and salt, with the final touch of EVO oil; starting in Liguria, it has conquered Italy and the World with its endless variations.

The quality of the flour, which must be durum wheat, richer in gluten, the quality of the extra virgin olive oil used and the dexterity of the person preparing it, including the final dimples on the surface of the dough and a very hot oven, are the basis for the success of this preparation.

Endless are the classic variants in Italy, among the best known:

  • La focaccia genovese, the mother of all focaccia, the simple dough enriched with coarse salt and EVO oil on the surface
  • La focaccia di Recco, a whole story from the legendary Manuelina who invented it forward: two layers of dough enclosing mounds of Ligurian cheese, now replaced by crescenza or stracchino, which melt together in baking and give rise to a masterpiece of taste
  • La focaccia with onions; on the surface slowly stewed onions is also a Ligurian specialty
  • La Florentine schiacciata, thinner and crumblier than the Ligurian one
  • La focaccia barese, sprinkled with fresh cherry tomatoes and black olives
  • La focaccia messinese, with escarole, chopped tomato, olives and fresh tuma cheese

Then came fast food, but it failed to oust the flatbread from its throne; it lives with it and uses it with the thousands of variations that have resulted from it: in the basic dough with the use of flours from the most diverse grains or enriching the basic dough with coloring foods, and then the toppings or fillings.

The humble flatbread is pliant, and this simplicity has determined its success, which, unchanged, has lasted forever, and indeed is growing.

7. Risotto


Rice one of the symbols of northern Italian gastronomy, makes its appearance in Italy instead in the deep south, brought by the Arabs appears in Sicily around the 13th century.

From there, after bequeathing the splendid arancini, he went up the boot with the mediation of a stop in the Naples area, which, through the Aragonese connection with the Sforzas of Milan, introduced rice to the Lombards. Once it was brought to the Po Valley it never left it, finding in those lands the ideal place to be successfully cultivated.

Just as focaccia lends itself to interpretation so risotto is a pliant ingredient in the hands of housewives, cooks for fun and great chefs.

But if we think of a risotto then the first reaction immediately makes us think of “risotto alla milanese”; yellow from its L’Aquila saffron, mellowed by the best butter, left on the wave after mantecatura.

Many anecdotes trace this recipe back to Renaissance times, in fact until 1800 there is no evidence to validate these fantasies; from the 19th century onward rice, until then consumed only boiled, began to be processed differently and the first “pan-fried yellow rice” appeared.

But rice does not remain the preserve of the Milanese alone, and here it is:

  • In Veneto we have the splendid rice with peas Risi e Bisi;
  • In Venice, at the famous Torcello inn an invention of Arrigo Cipriani: the Spring Risotto with vegetables from the lagoon;
  • i Roman Supplì: soft croquettes with minced meat, tomato and parmesan cheese;
  • the baroque Neapolitan Sartù, regal timbale with a thousand ingredients;
  • in Apulia the Tiella of rice, mussels and potatoes
  • the Panissa or Paniscia of upper Piedmont enriched with many parts of the pig
  • and at the bottom of the boot the aforementioned and legendary Arancini Sicilians at the origin of this story.

Out of the chorus and tradition the Risotto di Mare or alla pescatora or as those who prepare it prefer to call it, a certain tourist preparation also from recent years and under whose name one can find authentic masterpieces or preparations to forget…

Watch where you eat it!

8. Polenta


Water, cornmeal and salt. Stop.

A little patience in constantly stirring the mixture over the fire in its pot, and after a scant hour you will be able to pour a splendid thick but still flowing, gold-colored preparation onto the board.

A poor preparation that is therefore ductile and ready to accept pairing with meats or fish, with cheeses or vegetables, and in some cases to become a dessert as well.

Polenta as we know it today is made almost solely from cornmeal, but maize, one of the ” seeds of Eldorado” as the products that arrived following the discovery of the Americas were often called, only began to be used in Europe in the mid-1600s while the history of Polenta or Polente is as old as the world, with evidence not only from the Puls of Roman armies, but to go all the way back to the Assyrians and Babylonians.

After a period of rejection and abandonment, let us not forget that polenta was often the only food available to entire and vast strata of the population and therefore synonymous with need and poverty , today it is experiencing a new youth, in restaurants in northern Italy it is difficult not to encounter it at least in the winter period, in the home it has become synonymous with reunion and conviviality and leaves the cooks with a thousand possibilities of use, if we want to remain in the tradition:

  • In the valleys of Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta we find the Polenta Concia, topped with soft cheeses that change depending on the area of preparation: fontina, tome and more…
  • Staying on the cheese unfailing the Polenta and Gorgonzola, a cheese that seems created specifically to melt in the heat;
  • classic in the Veneto region the Polenta and Codfish;
  • in Trentino the Polenta col toccio (gravy) of salamino;
  • just for the record we report the Polenta and Osei, birds whose hunting has been banned for many years now.

… and then the leftover polenta gives a way to unleash every cook’s imagination.


  1. in the Venetian region is very popular the Polenta Bianca, made from a type of white corn and often served with cuttlefish al nero; an exceptional result in terms of taste and color;
  2. in and around Valtellina is very popular the Polenta Taragna, prepared with buckwheat flour and consequently very dark in color.

Polenta also becomes a dessert, simply fried and sweetened or in now-historic preparations such as the Polenta and Osei bergamasca which recalls in a sweet version (sugared polenta covered with almond paste and topped with chocolate birds).

9. The Minestrone

Although it has a thousand different facets, vegetable minestrone is a dish that unites the country from the far North to the deepest South; a signature dish of Italian dinner until the 1970s, it suffered the oblivion of so many other traditional regional home-cooked dishes, but now it is raising its head again, and the variety of soups our country can offer tickles the taste buds of foreign visitors, especially those, increasingly numerous, from Eastern European countries and the North who have ingrained the habit of including a soup in their meals.

The base is a mixture of vegetables to such an extent that the very word “minestrone” has become synonymous, often unfortunately in a negative way, with great mixing, with enormous confusion and in fact our minestrone is basically a very anarchic recipe, certainly codified but with wide margins for personal interpretations and regional differentiations both among the vegetables and legumes and for the types of pasta that accompany it, for example

  • In Lombardy instead of pasta we find rice;
  • Veneto will never run out of beans;
  • beans and green beans in Liguria, along with basil and often the finishing touch of pesto;
  • In Rome we find artichokes;
  • wild herbs and legumes characterize the soups of Abruzzo and Molise;
  • in Naples the addition of tomato is inevitable;
  • turnip greens appear in Puglia and there is no shortage of pecorino cheese.

The “poverty” of minestrone is sometimes ennobled by additions of a protein element that may be present in the soffritto such as lard or bacon, in many areas the crusts of parmesan cheese were added before being burned and wiped clean, rarely some pieces of meat or perhaps a bone with some meat…

Also because after all: a good bowl of soup makes the servant master feel.

10. Fiorentina


The Florentine steak evokes in the collective memory a large porterhouse steak; few outside of Florence know exactly what it is and what to expect after ordering it.

More often than not, a piece of meat arrives on the table that is perhaps even abundant, charred, uneven in thickness, and difficult to cut. The traveler should know that there are two cuts of the Florentine steak and they are known as fillet steak and rib-eye steak; generally outside of Florence, only the former is known when it is good.

True Florentine steak is made from specimens of the Chianina breed. The meat is to be matured for about 20 days and when cut looks like a classic Tbone steak.

The weight should range from 750 g to kg. 1.250 with a minimum thickness of three fingers. Before cooking, the piece of meat must be brought to room temperature.

The flame should bring it to a very high cooking temperature and the times should not exceed 4-5 minutes on each side. No addition of flavorings in cooking. Just some coarse salt at the end.

Needless to say, the T-bone steak has only one “rare ” cooking time, and the inside should be just lukewarm. Chi do not like rare cooking is better to order another dish.

The Florentine steak doesn’t want side dishes, but the tradition in the city was to accompany it with the very Tuscan fagioli nel fiasco-a dying dish that involved cooking cannellini beans, left to soak overnight, in a flask spagliato over the embers of a bread oven.

A few sage leaves, EVO oil, good freshly ground pepper and enough water were put in the flask along with the beans drained from the soaking water. A cooking time as long as three hours, which explains why in the absence of ovens, flasks, and patience this side dish has practically disappeared

11. Fried Mixed


As popular as it is snubbed by the most refined cuisines, with no real roots in traditional cooking and no codified recipe, Fritto Misto di Mare has become one of the iconic dishes of Italian-style eating over the past 50 years.

It is true that there are “Fritti misti” in some regional cuisines such as in Piedmont where the most diverse and seemingly contrasting ingredients such as sausage and apples or semolina and liver are fried in clarified butter. Or in Rome where the traditional fried food is vegetables and cod.

But in none of these traditional kitchens can you find recipes for Fritto misto di Mare, and yet, from the 1960s onward, starting from the French border and arriving at the Slovenian border, after touring all the Italian coasts including the islands, you will not find a seaside resort where this specialty is not offered.

Fried food is convivial, makes one cheerful and perhaps happy, is eaten in company and more easily with the fingers.

What is needed for a good stir-fry?

Variety often comes from what one sea offers rather than another: baby squid, anchovies, small sardines, sole, mullet, shrimp, hake, but if those who offer it are serious about it, you will always have a mouthwatering dish on your plate.

In more recent years, the habit of introducing seasonal vegetables into the fried food composition has taken over: it diversifies and perhaps lightens things up a bit (the conscience? 😁).

A curiosity: the best fritto misto in Italy is eaten in one of the most luxurious places on the peninsula and far from the sea: at Vittorio’s, a three-star Michelin restaurant near Bergamo, not exactly overlooking the sea…

12. White Truffle


The white truffle, a mushroom that grows and matures underground, has become one of the status symbols of rich and elegant eating.

It travels from the four corners of the world, arriving in the Mecca of white truffles: the Langa.

And the Langa has rightly made it one of its symbols in symbiosis with some of the world’s greatest and most famous wines, above all Barolo.

Known from antiquity, but less so in France and for this reason does not appear in the great classical cookbooks of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.

Despite endorsements from the likes of Rossini, famous gourmet, as well as Marilyn Monroe and Alfred Hitchcock in the more recent past.

It is not yet cultivable despite thousands of attempts, and related scams, hence the justified myth of its rarity and almost by a law of counterpoise it is dug up under the ground by humble half-breed dogs. However, its price is far from affordable and ranges depending on vintage, quality, and size from €3,000 to €6,000 per kg.

Although even with truffles improbable pairings are ventured, almost all consumers remain on the classic: the grating with the ever-present truffle slicer is the best on a beef jerky, on the ultra-traditional Piedmontese tajarin, perhaps made with disproportionate amounts of egg yolks per kilogram, on fondue alla valdostana, and on a few other classics.

Autumn, from late September to early December, is the great truffle season. Alba, the heart of the Langa region, where the “Truffle Fair” is held every year, is the navel of the world of this highly prized mushroom, around which a high level of tourism has developed, giving rise to facilities that are among the best in our country.

13. Anchovy (or Alice)


The most famous of the so-called blue fish is one of the flags of Italy’s traditional regional cuisine, we find it almost every season of the year, and in our country as well as throughout the Mediterranean it is fished along all coasts.

In contrast to other bluefish, which are often looked upon with suspicion because of too many bones or meat that tends to shrivel when cooked, the anchovy triumphs on the tables of every seafood restaurant and is sought after and appreciated by all kinds of customers, a fact that also makes it a product of great commercial interest.

On the Italian coasts, in Liguria and Campania especially, the tradition of salting anchovies is alive, although no longer homemade, to be consumed only desalted or to be added to a thousand preparations or to be the basis of them: who does not know the legendary Piedmontese Bagna Cauda ?

Desalinated anchovy is then also preserved and marketed in oil.

However, the triumph of this fish is on the table, and in front of a plate of fried anchovies there is no local consumer or tourist who can resist.

If we have to take a region at random and identify it with anchovy, without denial Liguria: it is the one in which home cooks have managed to decline it in the most imaginative and diverse forms.

Meanwhile raw, when Italy was far from the good contagion of fish served raw, in western Liguria anchovies were served freshly marinated in lemon juice, drained and served with good Evo oil.

Then we find them stuffed, with green vegetables or with potatoes. Or still open cutlet breaded and fried. In cupcake even.

In the Levant, again, in that wonderful soup known as “Bagnun d’Anciue.” Here the popularity was so great that even the great De Andrè celebrated them in one of his pieces:

“…anchovies make the ball, which underneath is the albacore, if you don’t throw the net, it won’t leave you one….”

14. Stockfish and cod


A non-Mediterranean fish, a fish that comes from the Great North, has, for historical reasons, become the basis of a plethora of Italian regional dishes and one of the most widely consumed fish products until not so many years ago.

At its base is northern cod in its noblest variety (gadus morhua), one of the world’s most commercially important fish, which finds its most important market in our country.

The two versions stockfish, the fish first salted and then air-dried in the Norwegian fjords, and cod, salted in layers in barrels are equally popular in Italy. More in the North the former, more in the South the latter.

But how is it that this fish has had such great luck with us?

A concatenation of cause-and-effect due to historical and geographical reasons: the Council of Trent and the subsequent Counter-Reformation along with all the dictate regarding dogma and behavior at the faith level, also arose an exponential multiplication of the so-called “lean” days in which no meat of any kind could be consumed.

The far-flung coastlines, the fishmongers owned by nobles and convents, and the taxation to be able to fish in rivers, lakes and streams gave way to the consumption of this preserved food that had until then made timid appearances.

It was the skill of Olaus Magnus, a Nordic bishop and cartographer, who sensed the commercial potential of cod and became its main sponsor: Venice and Genoa the two major Italian ports of the time became the capitals of cod, and it was precisely around these ports of call that the culinary tradition related especially to stockfish developed, and so in Genoa we find:

  • the salad of stockfish and honeycombs (the bacilli);
  • the stewed stockfish with black olives, peppers, and potatoes that reaches as far as Nice where it becomes “Estocaficada.”
  • the fritters (friscioei) of stockfish;
  • the peculiar “brandacujun” typical of far western Liguria and having assonances with the Provençal “brandade.”

There is some confusion in Venice with calling codfish stockfish; overcome this stumbling block we find mostly:

  • Venetian-style baccalà mantecato; even more similar to “brandade” in that it does not involve potatoes.

While Veneto’s most famous cod-based dish remains stockfish-based:

  • Vicenza-style salt cod.

15. Tiramisu


Never has a dessert conquered the whole world as quickly as the very Italian Tiramisu.

If one wants to give credence to relatively recent events and not to highly romanticized stories that want it created by a 19th-century Treviso maÎtresse as the Viagra of the time, the creation of Tiramisu should be placed in the mid-1960s. Also in Treviso and no doubt on recollection of a recipe from memory (from Carnia ?) at Le Beccherie restaurant.

The ingredients that form the basis of Tiramisu certainly make one think of some restorative as well as mouth-watering function: ladyfinger cookies soaked in coffee, egg and mascarpone cream, cocoa and so far the classic base then enriched by a touch of alcohol, marsala and with hazard a little diluted rum.

After a regional and tentatively national gestation, and in this regard it can be said that this dessert is one of the few truly widespread throughout the country.

In the early 1980s, the popularity of Tiramisu infected the entire world, and already in the 1980s it became the cult dessert in restaurants in the Big Apple. New York, becomes for our dessert, as for a thousand other fashions the springboard to world fame.

In Italy we find Tiramisu a little bit in all restaurant segments, it is loved by young and old, and everyone has their own recipe.

Even great chefs and the best pastry chefs have come to grips with Tiramisu, creating curious and interesting interpretations of it, but after all, even in the humblest pizzeria you can find a version that is more than good, and if you think yours is the best you can always submit to the Tiramisu World Cup that has been held in Treviso for the past few years.


Here we are at the end of this journey into the imagination of travelers who decide to enjoy typical local cuisine.

Thanks to this list, you will know exactly which restaurant to recommend to tourists who have just arrived in Italy and ask you for information on the street.

For those who have been here for a while, however, you can suggest the countless hidden regional specialties, or look at the calendar and guide them to seasonal dishes they may be unlikely to get a chance to try.

In any case, rereading all the dishes on the list, it cannot be said that they are misinformed abroad. There is no image that does not evoke the memory, smells and tastes of truly exceptional dishes of our cuisine.

Did any foreign tourists insistently ask you for any dishes that I did not list? Did I miss something? Write it in the comments and share with us your opinion about the most popular Italian dishes in the world.

55 thoughts on “The best-known Italian dishes in the world: the full list

  1. Michele says:

    Good article.

    We spend one month in different regions of Italy every year. Nothing new to us, but if you’ve never been to Italy the author has listed a good sampling of Italian cuisine.

  2. Zoe Campos says:

    It’s interesting to know that pizza was born out of simply putting tomato sauce on a thin layer of dough. I’ve been an avid fan of how Americans create their own pizza but a part of me wants to try making an authentic Italian one. Maybe I should do my own research and check how they usually make it before shopping around the market.

  3. Eli Richardson says:

    I love that you talked about traditional Italian dishes. Recently, my wife and I started to try different types of cuisines. We want to try Italian food this weekend, so we’ll be sure to order a few of your suggestions! Thanks for the tips on what dishes to choose when visiting an Italian restaurant.

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