The journey is set for the 2021 Ultimate Giro d’Italia 10 Day Tour. But the gruelling task of following this grand cycling tour can easily make you hungry.
Here is a list of dishes that we highly recommend you try along the Giro d’Italia route:
Pappardelle Al Cinghiale
Pappardelle pasta with wild boar is one of the ultimate pasta dishes you should try. It’s more than a tasty course; it is a celebration of traditional Sienese cooking. It should only be prepared with “pasta fresca,” which means fresh, homemade pasta – not those that you can buy in packets. Prepared with wild boar, the flavour is much stronger and more intense. It’s achieved by slowly simmering the meat until tender in rich tomato sauce and red wine.
There is no better place to enjoy pappardelle al cinghiale (with a glass of chianti or chianti classico of course) than the beautiful region of Tuscany, where this widely known pasta variety came from.
Tagliata (from the verb tagliare, which means “to cut”) is sliced Italian steak. This dish consists of a rare beef steak sliced on top of rocket and parmigiana (or parmesan cheese). The beauty of relishing tagliata is that you will not feel obligated to finish the whole steak. You can just take as many slices as you want.
Once again, our pick to delight in tagliata is Tuscany in west-central Italy.
Trofie Al Pesto
Trofie is a pasta variety that is distinguished for its looks. Short, thin, and twisted, this pasta is the classic ingredient to make with pesto. Trofie al pesto is a famous Genovese dish with just simple ingredients, including cheese, garlic, basil, and of course, trofie pasta. Traditionally, Pesto Genovese is made using a wooden pestle and a marble mortar.
No other place can beat Liguria for sampling trofie al pesto. After all, it is the home of pesto.
Naples-style pizza, or what the Italians call “pizza napoletana”, is pizza with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. It sounds simple, but this pizza is distinct in its own right. Pizza Napoli is made with specific tomatoes that grow near the south of Mount Vesuvius.
As for the cheese, the authentic Naples-style pizza uses Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, a protected designation of origin (PDO) cheese with milk from the water buffalo in Lazio and Campania. Alternatively, cow milk mozzarella is from the Agerola commune called “Fior di Latte di Agerola.”
For the traditional, wood-fired pizza experience, we recommend Naples and some other nearby areas. After a wonderful day on the Giro d’Italia, eating Pizza and quenching one’s thirst with a Birra Moretti is a match made in heaven.
Orecchiette Cime Di Rapa
Orecchiette con cime di rapa is a traditional Puglian dish and is also called broccoli rapini or rabe. It has a bitter taste but does feel extraordinarily pleasing. Plus, let us not forget about how nutritious broccoli is, with all its antioxidants and other healthy stuff. Orecchiette is a pasta variety from Apulia, a region in southern Italy. It is highly recognisable for its shape, which looks like a small ear, from which it got its name (orecchiette, meaning “little ears”).
It’s tricky to find orecchiette cime di rapa outside Italy. So, when you are in Italy, do not miss the chance to sink your teeth into this magnificent pasta and vegetable dish.
Sicilian Lemon Granita
Also known as granita al limone, the Sicilian lemon granita is what we know as lemon ice in English (similar to a gourmet Lemon slushy). It is a dolce (dessert) that is also thirst-quenching. It’s perfect for a hot summer’s day to cool yourself off after cycling.
This refreshing, frozen lemon treat is best sampled in Sicily. It is served at almost any time of the day, including for breakfast!
Seafood on the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is renowned as Italy’s playground for the rich and famous. It’s stunning coastline are filled with long stretches of fishermen villages in the region of Campania. It’s a truly breathtaking sight – and it’s complemented by fresh and flavourful seafood dishes.
While on the Amalfi Coast, most people would choose Positano. But there’s an under the radar town waiting for you to explore called Praiano, which is halfway between Amalfi and Positano. Visit a local restaurant and enjoy a seafood dish with a bottle of cold Prosecco, (Italy’s sparkling wine).
Eggplant in Sicily
Why is an eggplant included in our list of must-try foods in Italy? The reason is simple: nobody does eggplant better than Sicily. Known as the graffiti eggplant or the Sicilian eggplant, it is a unique type with purple and white stripes. You will not see those stripes once the eggplant is cooked, unfortunately.
It’s hard to imagine any Sicilian dish without eggplant, from eggplant caponata to eggplant parmigiana. It’s why it’s called “the meat of the earth.”
While taking a stroll and taking pleasure in the beauty of Italy’s lakes in the north, look for gelati artigianali (or “gelato artigianale”) or artisan gelati.
It is not your ordinary ice cream. When the gelateria uses the label “gelato artigianale,” it means that it’s fresh and handmade with local ingredients. It may not be as colourful as regular ice cream, but gelato is tastier, healthier, and melts slower.
Tagliatelle Al Ragù in Bologna
One of Bologna’s signature dishes is called the tagliatelle al ragù, which is often thought to be the same as spaghetti Bolognese. In reality, there’s no such thing as spaghetti Bolognese in Bologna. To avoid this tourist trap, know that the world-famous ragù alla Bolognese meat sauce has never been served with spaghetti in the city. Instead, it is served on top of fresh tagliatelle (sometimes over fettuccine, pappardelle, or other ribbon-like pasta varieties.
Add a glass of the local red wine, Sangiovese, to round out this truly local affair.
Bonus: Hot Tip When Ordering Your Coffee
Italy is famed for being the spiritual home of good coffee. Remember, if you like milk in your coffee and in particular you like a caffe latte style coffee, be sure to pronounce your coffee as it sounds, “Caffe Latte”.
Many nations shorten this coffee type to just “Latte”. If you order a “Latte” in italy, you will get a funny look and most likely be asked would you like your Latte (i.e. milk) cold or hot?
Want to Explore Italy?
Ready to go on an authentic Italian gastronomic experience? Please get in touch with us to learn about our tours and how you can join us while enjoying the top Italian dishes on this list.