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In even the tiniest, most unassuming hilltop Tuscan village, there’s a trattoria worthy of Michelin stars. Often family-run for years and years, you can tuck into lovingly homemade food in the atmospheric surroundings of an ancient stone building.
Fresh, wholesome ingredients from the sun-drenched land all add to that unmistakeable Italian flavour.
It’s not just about pasta and pizza. Along the coast and on the islands you can’t miss a seafood supper with the catch of the day.
After a hard day on the beaches of Sardinia, sit down to fregola, tiny semolina pasta in a clam stew, or a seada, a deep-fried pastry stuffed with fresh sheep’s cheese and topped with warm honey.
In Tuscany, be sure to try the bistecca di Fiorentina – Florentine steak from the special breed of Chianina beef, and a dish of heart-warming fagioli – cannellini beans stewed with tomatoes, garlic and sage. Naturally, it simply has to be washed down with a glass or two of Chianti.
In tourist hotspots such as Venice and Rome, there are plenty of tourist-friendly ristorantes plying for your trade, although you only need to wander off the main piazzas to find more genuine and good-value places to eat.
Just fancy a snack? Pick up a focaccia oozing with mozzarella and prosciutto. Italy abounds with enticing delis and charcuteries – stock up on fresh ham, cheese, olives and crusty bread and you’re set for a picnic you’ll never forget.
After-dinner drinks are easy to find in this country of la dolce vita. Discover more on our Italy nightlife page.