Northern Italy: Lombardy Region
Just below Switzerland is the Lombardy Region of Italy, home to the capital city of Milan--famous for first course dishes like rice, polenta and risotto. Osso Bucco Risotto is a typical Milanese meal, and one of only a few instances of a "Piatto Unico" - a dish where meat, typically a second course, and risotto, a first course, are served together on the same plate.
Northern Italy: Tuscany
As we travel south from the Lombardy Region, we begin to enter Tuscany. Tuscany is the birthplace of modern Italian - the Italian spoken today is based on the Tuscan dialect that dates back to the Renaissance period. This rural region has its roots in farming and produces some of the world's best olive oils, sheep's milk cheese and Chianti wine. We can also thank Tuscany for perfecting classic stuffed pastas like Ravioli and Tortellini.
Northern Italy: Emilia-Romagna
Nestled between the Lombardy and Tuscany Regions, you'll find Emilia Romagna. The capital of Emilia-Romagna is Bologna, also known as the food capital of Italy. If that name strikes a chord, it's where the famous Bolognese sauce gets its name. This area is rich in their meats and pasta. Beyond Bolognese, Emilia-Romagna is the region to go to find delicious Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto de Parma and Mortadella.
Northern Italy: Veneto
Cuisine of Veneto or Venetian cuisinehas a centuries-long history, and it is significantly different from the other cuisines of North Italy. Veneto is one of Italy's northernmost regions, lying along the coast of the Adriatic sea. Much of the diet is based on fresh seafood harvested from these vibrantly green waters. Veneto recipes often call for seafood, such as prawns, crabs, clams, mussels, scallops, octopus, sea snails, and many kinds of fish.
Southern Italy: Campagnia
Our tasty travels have reached Southern Italy and the Campagnia Region. If you've ever wondered where Napoletana pizza gets its name, Campagnia is best known for its capital city of Naples and their delicious Napoletana pies. Water buffalo mozzarella and San Marzano Tomatoes are also from this region. And with those two delicious ingredients, it should be no surprise that Campagnia, specifically, The Isle of Capri, is also famous for Caprese Salad.
Southern Italy: Sicily
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and located just left of the "toe" of the boot that's mainland Italy. Home to Mount Etna and rich in Volcanic soil, Sicily produces an abundance of lemons, blood oranges, almonds, olives and fruit. If that weren't enough, Central Sicily is said to have invented the meatball, or "polpette".
Southern Italy: Puglia
Our tour has finally reached the southernmost portion of Italy - Puglia. Also known as Salento peninsula, it forms the high heel on the "boot" of Italy. This region is best known for its Pecorino and Ricotta cheeses, as well as its olive oil, artichokes, tomatoes and mushrooms.