Culinary Differences Across Northern Italy’s Diverse Regions
Northern Italy is a diverse area that offers endless culinary possibilities for any traveler.
Here is a sampling of what just three of the eight regions of northern Italy have to offer.
Liguria is home to the Italian Riviera. Bordering France, Liguria boasts nearly 200 miles of
diverse coastline alternating between rock and sandy beaches. Shipbuilding is this region’s
major industry, but travel and tourism are also very important to the economy. The
beautiful Mediterranean provides spectacular vistas which draw visitors from around the
Between the mountains and the seas, abundant natural resources provide a wealth of
culinary delights for every taste. Liguria is famous for basil pesto made with the region’s
own excellent olive oil. Of course, seafood and fish are featured heavily on every table. Also,
thanks to a long growing season, fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs are also predominant
This region in northern Italy is surrounded on three sides by the Alps and, as a result, is
home to the highest peaks in Italy. From mountaintop ski resorts to ancient villas and
castles turned spa resorts, this region has a variety of tourist destinations. However,
manufacturing still forms a large part of this region’s economy as it is home to Italy’s
famous car makers.
You will never go hungry in this mountainous region. Here you’ll enjoy rich dishes such as
braised beef in red wine along with plates heaped with a wide variety of cheeses, including
their famous Gorgonzola. Desserts center around chocolates and nuts, along with rich,
buttery cookies. Think of your favorite foods to enjoy by the fireside and that’s what you
will find in Piedmont.
To say this region is drenched in color would be an understatement. From the deep pink
glow cast at sunset courtesy of the Dolomites, to the rich green valleys of the Po River
Delta, all the way to the Adriatic sea, this region is awash with every color imaginable.
Add to this splendor the Venetian lagoon and one of the most beautiful cities in the world,
Venice, and you can’t argue the fact that this is a wonderland. However, this region extends
beyond even these marvels. Quaint villages still celebrate ancient ways of life, and the
thermal waters draw locals and tourists alike to relax at cozy spas and resorts.
Like other regions of northern Italy, Veneto’s varied landscape provides for an equally
varied cuisine. One staple that all of Veneto enjoys is polenta, often served at every meal,
even as a dessert. Beans, rice, and lots of vegetables are also readily available.
Of course, the mountains provide plenty of mushrooms and wild game, but once you get to
the Venetian lagoon, it’s all about seafood. Scallop Risotto is a common dish that is far from
tasting common. As with everything else this gorgeous region has to offer, you are in for
quite a pleasant surprise!
These are just three of the eight regions that make up northern Italy. Thanks to its highly
diverse terrain, each region hosts an amazing assortment of delights. Whether you’re
looking for natural wonders, city excitement, a quiet rest, or a culinary adventure, you’ll
find it all in northern Italy.