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THE ITALIAN TERRITORY

PIEDMONT

Piedmont’s pastry sector is rich with offerings that are associated with their city of origin: Novara biscuits, Krumiri from Casale Monferrato, chocolates from Turin, baci di dama from Alessandria, amaretti from Gavi, astigiani with rum, and, last but not least, Alba’s famous nougat. Alba is also renowned for its white truffle, exported worldwide, making it a national gastronomic hub.

Few regions in Italy can boast such a high number of DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) and DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) wines as Piedmont. Among the most well-known DOC wines are Derthona Timorasso, Dolcetto di Ovada, Nebbiolo d’Alba, Freisa, and Grignolino, while among the DOGC wines, you can find Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, and Gavi. To complete the offering, there are both sweet and dry sparkling wines from Asti.

Rice cultivation holds a special place in Piedmont’s gastronomy, dramatically altering the landscape during the irrigation months. Between May and June, rice paddies turn into mirrored lakes of pure Alpine water, surrounding farmhouses. In particular, Baraggia rice receives the highest recognition for its quality.

TRENTINO-SOUTH TYROL

Trentino’s cuisine has always struck a balance between the traditions of Northern Italy and the influences that arrived first from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and now from German and Austrian cuisine. One of the region’s most renowned products is Speck PGI, obtained from the processing of pork, which requires specific environmental conditions for aging and traditional methods of production. In the realm of desserts, the strudel is the quintessential typical product, and while it doesn’t have a fixed recipe, it is enriched in various ways depending on the production area.

The natural selection of grape varieties, due to the harsh winter climate and Alpine topography, allows for the production of selected grapes for full-bodied red wines such as Merlot, Cabernet, and Pinot, as well as fruity white wines like Muller Thurgau, Riesling, and Sylvaner. Grappa production is also significant, often featuring herbal and fruity flavors.

VENETO

The gastronomic culture influenced by the centuries-old Republic of Venice has permeated every province of the region. Venice, in turn, has been influenced by its close ties with Central European culture.

In the cheese sector, the most well-known and appreciated product is Asiago PDO, which originated in the plateau of the same name and spread throughout the region in the previous four centuries, giving rise to Pressato del Vicentino and PDO Montasio.

On the Veronese shore of Lake Garda, there is the cultivation of a native variety of olive from which delicate and fragrant extra virgin olive oil with PDO is produced.

The dessert landscape is rich, featuring Pandoro Veronese, Mandorlato di Cologna Veneta, Baìcoli, Fregolotta with almonds, and Zaleti.

Veneto’s wine heritage includes sparkling wines exported worldwide, such as Valdobbiadene, and still DOC wines like Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet. In the DOCG category, you can find Soave and Recioto.

IL FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA

Although Friuli is a relatively small region, its border vocation and historical divisions have led to significant internal diversification in terms of food culture. We have a tradition of mountain cheeses with PDO Montasio and a more hilly tradition with PDO San Daniele ham. The Gorizia area is more oriented towards pasta with potato gnocchi and pastry that draws inspiration from Central European tastes with Gubana and strudel. There’s also a strong tradition of producing high-quality grappas in the area bordering the Slavic world: Nocino di Gorizia and Slivovitz, both of which have the DOGC recognition. Friuli’s wines are equally renowned, including Tocai, Collio wines, Picolit, and finally, Refosco.

LOMBARDY

The Lombard lands have always been generous in food products, thanks to land reclamation and agricultural exploitation dating back to the Middle Ages by the Cistercian monks. This region is open to the influences of neighboring regions and provinces but has built a solid mosaic of typical products, starting from the specialties of its many valleys and provinces. This has resulted in the creation of various types of cheeses such as mascarpone, gorgonzola, and taleggio. Among the typical pasta dishes are the pinzoccheri of Valtellina.

From Valtellina, we also have bresaola, while from Lomellina, there is salame di Mortara, and from Varzi, its particular raw salami. The dessert sector is well-stocked with delicacies like the sbrisolona cake from Mantua, Cremona’s torrone, and the classic panettone from Milan. To accompany these dishes, there are numerous wines such as Nebbiolo from Valtellina, Bonarda from the Oltrepò Pavese, Barbacarlo, and the sparkling Franciacorta DOCG.

L'EMILIA ROMAGNA

It’s not a coincidence that Pellegrino Artusi, the first great historical traveler of Italian cuisine, began his professional journey in Emilia-Romagna. The region has a strong tradition of popular gastronomy, stemming from the multitude of agricultural estates scattered across the Po Valley, as well as the small fortress houses that dot the entire span of the Emilian and Romagnolo Apennines. This gastronomy, though simple, has captured worldwide interest with unique products such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma, “Bolognese” tortellini, and “Reggiano” cappelletti. Another globally recognized icon of Emilian agri-food production is the PDO Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, also produced as IGP, one of the most versatile and flavorful condiments you can have in your kitchen. The region’s desserts all stem from strong family traditions of coming together at the table, including rice cakes, chocolate cakes, like Modena’s “Barozzi,” and sweet filled tortellini. Among the DOCG wines, there’s Romagna’s Albana, a passito wine made from native grapes, and on the Romagnolo side, Sangiovese. In the Emilian area, Lambrusco DOC of Parma is highly appreciated for its natural sparkling quality, as well as Gutturnio from Piacenza. In the hills of Val Taro, the wild mushroom of the valley has received IGP recognition.

LE MARCHE

The Marche’s food and wine culture is strongly influenced by its mountainous and coastal nature. This combination results in a great variety of products. Among the seafood products, there is stockfish, along with other typical Adriatic species that are transformed into delicious pasta and first course sauces. From pig farming, you get PDO Prosciutto di Carpegna and Casciotta d’Urbino. The fossa cheese is renowned, and the region is also known for truffles in the Urbino area. Among the desserts, panpepato is a notable treat. As for wines, you can enjoy the famous PDO Verdicchio from the Castelli di Jesi, Rosso Piceno, and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba on the table.

LA LIGURIA

Ligurian food and wine culture, a coastal region in northwestern Italy, celebrates the simplicity and freshness of its ingredients. Dominated by sea flavors and inland scents, Ligurian cuisine is an authentic explosion of authentic and genuine tastes deeply rooted in local traditions and a love for the land.

Pasta takes center stage in Ligurian cuisine. The most well-known dish and a symbol of the region is undoubtedly “pesto alla genovese.” Prepared with basil, garlic, pine nuts, pecorino, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and extra virgin olive oil, pesto is a typical sauce used to dress trofie, a fresh pasta variety from Liguria.

Another symbol of Ligurian cuisine is the “focaccia,” particularly the “focaccia genovese,” soft and flavorful, often enriched with coarse salt and olive oil. It comes in a multitude of variations, including the famous “focaccia di Recco,” filled with stracchino or fresh cheese.

From the sea come other delights, such as “buridda,” a typical Genoese fish soup, or “brandacujun,” salted cod mashed with potatoes, olive oil, and garlic, typical of the Riviera di Ponente.

But Liguria is not only about the sea. The hinterland provides excellent products like mushrooms, which are used in many recipes, from tagliatelle to ravioli, and “taggiasca” olive oil, with its delicate and fruity taste, a star in many Ligurian dishes.

Liguria also has a rich and diverse wine tradition. Among white wines, the standout varieties are Vermentino and Pigato, aromatic and mineral wines that pair perfectly with seafood dishes. Among reds, we find Rossese di Dolceacqua, a full-bodied and spicy wine, ideal for red meats and aged cheeses.

LA TOSCANA

Tuscan gastronomy encapsulates the entire history of its rich cultural past, combining practicality with refined taste. Its genuine components and products are elevated by centuries of culinary wisdom. The region’s winter with cold weather and temperate summers, along with its hilly terrain, has given rise to high-quality extra virgin olive oil production. In the world of cured meats, Tuscan prosciutto and sausages, including the well-known Finocchiona, are celebrated. In the Florence area, there’s Buristo, a pork-based product with aromatic flavorings. The use of spelt, which dates back to the Etruscan era, is prevalent in artisanal sauces and biscuit production. Tuscan dairy products are primarily based on sheep’s milk, offering a diverse range of PDO Tuscan pecorino, but even more famous are the buffalo dairy products from Maremma.

Among the desserts, you can find regional specialties like Cantucci, as well as town-specific treats such as panforte and Sienese ricciarelli, brigidini from Lamporecchio, and buccellato from Lucca.

Tuscany’s wine routes are renowned worldwide for winemaking excellence. They include the DOCG Brunello di Montalcino, considered the most noble, as well as Chianti, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and DOC Morellino di Scansano, leading to Vin Santo, a sweet wine made from dried grapes.

L'UMBRIA

Umbria is a region deeply connected to its traditions and history, and this is clearly reflected in its gastronomy and winemaking.

In the collective imagination of Italians and foreigners alike, the term “norcino” is associated with an expert in the art of charcuterie. It’s in Norcia, a town renowned for its exceptional pork butchers, where the IGP prosciutto di Norcia is crafted, with its distinctive method of slicing before serving. From Valnerina comes a typical raw ham that undergoes lengthy processing to maximize the mountain’s aromas and flavors.

Umbria boasts extraordinary truffles, particularly the Norcia truffle, thanks to the microclimate of the region and the presence of holm oak forests where the prized tuber grows.

Typical cheeses include giuncate and the exquisite salted ricotta of Norcia, also produced in Spoleto, made from sheep’s milk and aged for up to a year.

Among Umbria’s sweets, you’ll find pinoccata, torcolo, torciglione, ciaramicola, and spelt biscuits, all derived from Etruscan traditions.

From the Etruscans, Umbria has inherited a rich winemaking tradition, with two DOCG wines: Torgiano and Montefalco Sagrantino. Among the DOC wines, there are Orvieto, Colli del Trasimeno, and Colli Perugini.

Don’t forget the high-quality DOP Umbria olive oil from the areas of Spoleto and around Lake Trasimeno.

L'ABRUZZO

Abruzzo is a rugged and strong land that values simplicity and food reuse, with products deeply rooted in both regional traditions and individual provinces. Despite their simplicity, these products are of high quality, such as the DOP extra virgin oils from Aprutino Pescarese and Colline Teatine.

Scamorza and pecorino are the most appreciated regional cheeses, still processed and aged following tradition. For pasta lovers, there are “maccheroni alla chitarra,” representing the best of the region’s milling culture.

The pastry sector boasts both excellent industrial production with the famous confetti from Sulmona and artisanal production with chocolate nougat. Those wishing to taste Abruzzo’s DOC wines can find the best in its most famous Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo.

LA PUGLIA

Greco-Phoenician, Arab, Roman: their historical and artistic traces are still evident in the Apulian territory. The various influences of gastronomic culture are still alive in the region’s present and constitute its most significant economic heritage. Recipes connected to the land, favored by a benevolent Mediterranean climate, are primarily composed of vegetable sauces, legumes, and the highly appreciated and intense extra virgin olive oil.

The abundant wheat production in the Altamura area gave rise to typical pasta shapes like Orecchiette and Taralli, savory biscuits seasoned with fennel seeds and other herbs. From the sea come anchovies and mussels, perfect for sauces. Sheep milk-based cheese specialties include ricotta and fresh pecorino, while from cows, we have mozzarella, caciocavallo, and scamorza.

As for sweets, many are shared with neighboring regions, such as zeppole and castagnedde. This region ranks first in Italy for the number of vineyards and the quantity of products, especially DOC wines, including Primitivo di Manduria, Cacc’e Mmitte di Lucera, Castel del Monte, Locorotondo, Moscato di Trani, Nardò, Ostuni, Rosso di Cerignola, and Salice Salentino.

LA CALABRIA

Greco-Phoenician, Arab, Roman: their historical and artistic traces are still evident in the Apulian territory. The various influences of gastronomic culture are still alive in the region’s present and constitute its most significant economic heritage. Recipes connected to the land, favored by a benevolent Mediterranean climate, are primarily composed of vegetable sauces, legumes, and the highly appreciated and intense extra virgin olive oil.

The abundant wheat production in the Altamura area gave rise to typical pasta shapes like Orecchiette and Taralli, savory biscuits seasoned with fennel seeds and other herbs. From the sea come anchovies and mussels, perfect for sauces. Sheep milk-based cheese specialties include ricotta and fresh pecorino, while from cows, we have mozzarella, caciocavallo, and scamorza.

As for sweets, many are shared with neighboring regions, such as zeppole and castagnedde. This region ranks first in Italy for the number of vineyards and the quantity of products, especially DOC wines, including Primitivo di Manduria, Cacc’e Mmitte di Lucera, Castel del Monte, Locorotondo, Moscato di Trani, Nardò, Ostuni, Rosso di Cerignola, and Salice Salentino.