Valle d'Aosta image alt text Valle d'aosta The Aosta Valley is a mountainous semi-autonomous region in northwestern Italy. With a population of about one hundred thousand people, it is the smallest, least populous, and least densely populated region of Italy. The traditional cooking of Val d'Aosta, which incorporates both French and Swiss influences, is mountain cuisine at its best. It is characterized by simplicity and revolves around "robust" ingredients such as potatoes, polenta, cheese and meat, and rye bread. Trentino Alto Adige Trentino Alto Adige Trentino Alto Adige Friuli venezia Giulia Friuli venezia Giulia Friuli Venezia Giulia Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of five autonomous regions of Italy with special statute. The capital is Trieste. A natural opening to the sea for many Central European countries, the region is traversed by the major transport routes between the east and west of southern Europe. It encompasses the historical-geographical region of Friuli and a small portion of the historical region of Venezia Giulia, each with its own distinct history, traditions and identity. Slavic, Austrian, and Hungarian influences make the cuisine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia uniquely beguiling. Sardegna Sardegna Sardinia Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and an autonomous region of Italy. The Strait of Bonifacio is directly north of Sardinia and separates Sardinia from the French island of Corsica. The region has its capital in its largest city, Cagliari. Meat, dairy products, grains and vegetables constitute the most basic elements of the traditional diet, to a lesser extent Rock lobster (aligusta), scampi, bottarga, squid, tuna and other seafood figure in Sardinian cuisine. Sicilia Sicilia Sicily Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea; along with surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy. The island has a long history of producing a variety of noted cuisines and wines, to the extent that Sicily is sometimes nicknamed God's Kitchen because of this. Its cuisine is the result of Greek, Arab, Spanish, and French influences over the centuries, with elaborate antipasti, exuberant pasta preparations, complex rice dishes, stuffed and skewered meat and fish preparations, and honey- or almond-based sweets gracing the family table. Calabria Calabria Calabria Calabria, known in antiquity as Bruttium or formerly as Italia, is a region in southern Italy, forming the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro. The cuisine is a typical southern Italian Mediterranean cuisine with a balance between meat-based dishes (pork, lamb, goat), vegetables (especially eggplant), and fish. In contrast to most other Italian regions, Calabrians have traditionally placed an emphasis on the preservation of their food, in part because of the climate and potential crop failures. As a result, there is a tradition of packing vegetables and meats in olive oil, making sausages and cold cuts. Veneto Veneto Veneto Veneto has a population of over 5 million inhabitants, ranking fifth in Italy. The region's capital and largest city is Venice. This northern Italian region combines stately mountains, dulcet hills, and a perch on the Adriatic Sea, making it a fantastic place to enjoy a variety of cuisines which are an important part of the culture of Veneto. The region is home to some of the most recognizable dishes, desserts and wines in Italian, European and worldwide cuisine. Lombardia Lombardia Lombardy The capital of Lombardy is Milan. A sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about a fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in the region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country. It is also the region with the most Unesco World Heritage Sites in Italy. Lombardy is home to three distinct landscapes: fertile flatlands, verdant foothills, and snowy mountains. The regional cuisine of Lombardy is heavily based upon ingredients like maize, rice, beef, pork, butter, and lard. Despite being a form of Italian cuisine, Lombard food tends to have little in common with Central or Southern Italian dishes, being more meat-based and buttery. In many aspects, Lombard cuisine has much in common with that of Austria and central Europe in general. Basilicata Basilicata Basilicata Basilicata also known as Lucania, is a region in the south of Italy, having one short southwestern coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania in the northwest and Calabria in the southwest, and a longer one to the southeast on the Gulf of Taranto on the Ionian Sea between Calabria in the southwest and Apulia in the northeast. Baslicata is known for its rich agricultural traditions. Olives are grown from the Ionian Sea up to the Metaponto plain. Flavorful vegetables and legumes are also cultivated in Basilicata, including Sarconi beans and Senise peppers. Campania Campania Campania Campania is a region in southern Italy. Located on the Italian Peninsula, with the Mediterranean Sea to the west, it includes the small Phlegraean Islands and Capri for administration as part of the region. Campanian cuisine varies within the region. While Neapolitan dishes center on seafood, Casertan and Aversan ones rely more on fresh vegetables and cheeses. The cuisine from Sorrento combines the culinary traditions from both Naples and Salerno. Puglia Puglia Apulia Apulia is a region of Italy in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its southernmost portion, known as Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the "boot" of Italy. Cuisine plays an important role in Puglia, and key products used include olive oil, artichokes, tomatoes and mushrooms. Lazio Lazio Lazio Lazio is situated in the central peninsular section of the country. With about 5.7 million residents Lazio is the third most populated region of Italy, and has the second largest economy of the nation. Its capital is Rome, capital and largest city of Italy. The hills in Lazio are rich and fertile making it easy to grow vegetables of all types which in turn makes them an important part of the cuisine in this area. They are cooked with liberal amounts of oil, herbs and garlic and more often than not a good portion of anchovies. The meat dishes in this area tend to be heavy and over flavoured, a throw back to the days of poverty when outside the cities the peasants had to eat what was left over when the rich had finished. Molise Molise Molise Molise is a region of Southern Italy. Until 1963, it formed part of the region of Abruzzi e Molise, alongside the region of Abruzzo. The split, which did not become effective until 1970, makes Molise the newest region in Italy. The cuisine of Molise is similar to the cuisine of Abruzzo, though there are some differences in the dishes and ingredients. The flavors of Molise are dominated by the many aromatic herbs that grow there. Some of the characteristic foods include spicy salami, a variety of locally produced cheeses, dishes using lamb or goat, pasta dishes with hearty sauces, and vegetables that grow in the region. Abruzzo Abruzzo Abruzzo Abruzzo is a region of Southern Italy. Its western border lies less than 50 miles east of Rome. The Abruzzo cuisine is traditional; it is very wide and is originally from the traditions of both pastoral and mountainous inland areas that marinate in the coastal zone; among the foods most commonly used are: bread, pasta, meat, cheese and wine. The isolation that has characterized the region for decades has ensured that it maintained a culinary art alive and independent. Marche Marche Marche In English, this region is also known as the Marches. The name of the region derives from the plural name of marca, originally referring to the medieval March of Ancona and nearby marches of Camerino and Fermo. The region is located in the Central area of the country. Except for river valleys and the often very narrow coastal strip, the land is hilly. Whether you are partial to thick, chunky seafood soups or prefer grilled meats imbued with wood smoke and aromatic herbs, the cuisine of the Marches deserves to be explored. Umbria Umbria Umbria Umbria is a region of historic and modern central Italy. It is the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a border with other countries. Umbria is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy, and influence on culture. Umbria relies strongly on seasonal produce such as mushrooms, wild asparagus, and numerous other fresh vegetables, and of course on the highly prized truffles that grow throughout the region. Toscana Toscana Tuscany Tuscany is a region in central Italy with a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence. Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture. Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. Simplicity is central to the Tuscan cuisine, wine is a famous and common produce. Romagna Romagna Emilia Romagna Emilia Romagna is an administrative Region of Northern Italy, comprising the historical regions of Emilia and Romagna. It has about 4.4 million inhabitants. Emilia-Romagna is one of the wealthiest and most developed regions in Europe. Bologna, its capital, has one of Italy's highest quality of life indices and advanced social services. Emilia-Romagna is also a cultural and tourist centre, popular for its cuisine and gastronomy. Piemonte Piemonte Piedmont Piedmont is in the far north-west of Italy and has a population of about 4.6 million. The capital is Turin. The name Piedmont comes from medieval Latin Pedemontium or Pedemontis, meaning “at the foot of the mountains. From the peaks of snow capped mountains to the shores of glittering lakes, Piedmont encompasses a diverse and prolific landscape. First-class wines hail from hillside vineyards, noble partners to a cuisine that is unabashedly rich and deliciously refined. Fresh pastas are stuffed with delicately spiced force meats and showered with fragrant white truffles, rice is paired with everything, prized cuts of meat are boiled to tender perfection, and the chocolate confections are the best in the country. Liguria Liguria Liguria Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, where Genoa is the capital. The region is popular with tourists for its beaches, towns, and cuisine. Liguria is where pesto is originally from, one of the most popular sauces in Italian cuisine. Being along the Mediterranean coastline, seafood is of course an essential part of this region gastronomy, but it is also carefully mixed with a generous use of herbs and vegetables, and a few non-fish dishes that might surprise you.