What to eat in Southern Italy

Italian food has conquered the cuisine world, with many of its iconic dishes crossing borders and belonging to a range of different cuisines.

Visit the wonderland of Italy’s Southside, a sunny paradise bursting with Italian charm, history, and magnificent coastline views. Southern Italy is home to an array of different delicacies, but where to start? Here is a list of the top dishes you need to try on your trip to Southern Italy!

  • Woodfire Pizza

    When you think of Italy, you most likely think of pizza! By far Italy’s greatest cuisine creations, with Naples nestled in Southern Italy being the very first place to make the famous Margherita pizza. The local baker, Raffaele Esposito is listed as the first to create a pizza pie covered in tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings- despite earlier records of the city serving flatbreads with toppings eaten by the working class prior to this. Save room on your travels for a chance to taste the delicious, traditional slice of this mouth-watering recipe. Best left to its simplicity, order a nice, big, woodfire pizza and dig in. The gorgeous narrow streets lined with ancient churches, houses, and palaces along the way are just a bonus.

  • Calzone

    After trying out the traditional, take a gamble and bite into the famous fried-up pizza. The calzone is the next best thing after a Margherita, being an oven-baked folded pizza that originated in Naples in the 18th century. Typically stuffed with salami, ham, vegetables, mozzarella, ricotta and more cheese as well as egg, it’s hard not to say yes to this melt-in-your-mouth mixture. Made from salted bread dough and baked in the oven, this is an easy snack or dinner that offers a warm taste of Italy that stays in your mouth even after you’ve finished eating. Perfect as an easy bit of street food that you can tuck into as you wander Italy’s charming streets, or an excellent taste of flavoursome cuisine that you can enjoy over a moon-lit dinner.

  • Seafood

    It’s no wonder that Southern Italy is famous for its fresh seafood, a majority of its popular towns and cities are nestled along the Bay of Naples. The area offers a wide range of seafood choices, including lobsters, mussels, octopus, and local fish. It’s a good thing wine goes perfectly with seafood, because Italy is brimming with that as well! If you’re looking to really treat yourself on your holiday (and we recommend you do!), then Sicily is the place to go! This little island is just off the toe of Italy’s “boot”, and being situated out in the Mediterranean is obsessed with the amazing array of seafood right on its doorstep. From squid, octopus, sardines, tuna and swordfish, it’s made these more unique under-the-sea dishes a significant main course in many of the restaurants on the island. Join the other drooling customers as you dig into some of the freshest seafood around, there’s no better place to try something new!

  • Gelato

    What goes best with a hot summer’s day than a delightful cone of creamy gelato? Italian’s do it best, serving up some of the richest flavours with no trace of any artificial flavouring. Have it in the day, afternoon, or as an after-dinner refreshment – any time goes. Not to be confused with ice cream, gelato is a frozen dessert of Italian origin with a base made of 3.25% milk and sugar. To compare this to ice-cream, this basically means that gelato has a much high proportion of milk to cream, lowering the fat content and improving the flavour, which too much cream can sometimes overpower. Gelato is also churned at a much slower rate than ice cream, and thus incorporates less air to create a denser, silkier texture. Mmm, tasty. Spot the best gelato shops in Italy by looking our for places that keep their gelator carefully stored in round metal tins with lids, and serve with a flat paddle not a scoop. This shows that they keep their gelato at the correct temperature and by serving in with a paddle the gelato can be worked and softened before you eat it.

  • Pasta

    It would be a crime to travel around Italy without trying a local pasta dish. Southern Italy is particularly good at gnocchi, crafting pieces from the secret family recipes that are served in homemade tomato sauce. In comparison to northern Italy, the south have greater use for dried pasta, as opposed to egg pasta, as this is better suited to their hearty dishes of ragu, soups and casseroles since its firm structure holds better than the fresh egg pasta. A famous pasta dish known to southern Italy is the pasta alla norma. A recipe made with macaroni, tomatoes, fried aubergines, grated ricotta and basil. Although rather undistinguished on paper, these ingredients combined create some awsome flavours which make this a sublime pasta dish.

  • Limoncello

    Finish your dinner off with some sweet tasting limoncello. South Italy is famous for its lemons and limoncello, selling their products around the world for all to enjoy. Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi. Around for at least the last 100 years, limoncello is traditionally served as an after-dinner digestivo. This means a drink which is meant to settle the stomach after you’ve eaten and help you digest your food. Definitely needed after all those pizzas! Try the original as you enjoy the sunset setting over the beachside.

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