There is no wrong time to visit Italy, but it depends on the food you like most.
It’s because it’s much harder to find certain types of produce in Italy year-round than in the U.S., and Italy still believes that “if it isn’t growing now, you shouldn’t eat it”. This means that the food is fresher and more local. (Yum!)
Learn all about Italian cuisines from local experts with our Rome Food Tour, Pasta Making Class in Rome, or Venice Food Tour.
In-season produce is not only delicious, but it’s also good for the environment, Italy and agriculture. This is why Anthony Bourdain raved about Italian cuisine on “No Reservations” in Rome. It’s a great way to find out when the best time to visit, what food is being served, and what you enjoy. This will make your visit more enjoyable.
Are you wondering when to visit Italy? To help you make a decision, here’s a list listing the available foods and when they are available.
Fruits: Almonds, apples, bananas, chestnuts, grapes, hazelnuts, kiwi, lemons, persimmons, pineapples, pomegranates, pears (Aug.-Oct.), tomatoes (July-Oct.)
Vegetables: Arugula, beets or rocket, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, celery, corn endives, endives, herbs, leeks lettuce, onions, peppers (June – Oct.), potatoes squash, turnips white truffles, zucchini
These are some of our favourite dishes for this season
- Castagnaccio is a flat, heavy cake made from chestnut flour.
- Risotto con Funghi Porcini: Risotto made with porcini mushrooms
- Cavatieddi is a Southern Italian dish that includes pasta with tomato, arugula and pecorino cheese.
Fruits: bananas, dates, grapefruit, kiwi, lemons, oranges, pineapple
Vegetables: Artichokes (the Roman variety! February-May: beets and black leaf kale.
Here are some of our favourite winter dishes
- Tagliolini al Tartufo Nero: Pasta with Black Truffle shavings–yum!
- Zuppa di Fagioli e Ceci: chickpea, bean and bean soup
- Spremuta di Tarocco: blood-orange juice found fresh-squeezed at bars
- Gnocchi, or ravioli di zucca: Pastas with creamy pumpkin sauce. Mantua and the northern Ital y are two of Mantua’s specialties.
Fruits: apricots, bananas, cherries, lemons, strawberries (April-Aug.), tomatoes (late spring-summer)
Vegetables: Asparagus, beans, chard and chickpeas (Feb.-May), Roman artichokes, asparagus, beans, fava beans (May-Aug.), green beans, peas, fresh garlic (May-Aug.), mushrooms (May-Aug.), new potatoes, puntarelle (April-Sep.), spinach, truffles, watercress and zucchini
Here are some of our favourite spring dishes
- Carciofi alla Giudia: Deep-fried Artichoke, a speciality of Rome’s Jewish Community
- Fava e Cicicoria: A puree of fava beans served with chicory, olive oil and chicory from Puglia
- Insalata caprese: mozzarella and tomato salad
- Puntarelle alla Romana: A simple salad consisting of puntarelle and olive oil, which is very popular in Rome and Southern Italy.
Fruits : Almonds and apples, apricots (Aug. – Oct.), plums, strawberry (April-Aug.), tomatoes, watermelons (July – Oct.).
Here are some of our favourite summer dishes
- Pizza con prosciutto e fichi: pizza with prosciutto and figs
- Prosciutto and Melone: A popular summer antipasto, prosciutto with melons
- Fiori di Zucca: Zuccari flowers stuffed with cheese, anchovies and fried. This is a Roman specialty
- Pasta alla Norma is a Sicilian dish that includes fried eggplant, tomato-basil sauce, and grated hard ricotta. This dish is named after the opera Norma, a Sicilian composer.