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Discovering the Hidden Gems of Italian Cuisine During Your Workation

Italy is famous for its delicious cuisine, and there’s no better way to explore this beautiful country than by trying its lesser-known dishes. While most travelers focus on the well-known classics such as pizza, pasta, and gelato, there are so many other Italian foods that are just as delicious and worth trying. During your workation in Italy, make sure to indulge in some of these lesser-known Italian dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.


Lampredotto is a traditional Tuscan dish that is made from the fourth stomach of a cow. While this may sound unappetizing, it is a delicious and popular street food in Florence. The stomach is boiled in a flavorful broth with herbs and spices and served in a crusty roll with a spicy sauce. It’s a must-try for anyone looking to experience the true flavors of Tuscan cuisine.


Cacciucco is a hearty fish stew that originated in the coastal town of Livorno in Tuscany. The dish is made with a variety of fish, such as squid, mussels, and octopus, along with tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes. It’s perfect for a chilly day and is usually served with crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth.

Pappa al Pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro is a traditional Tuscan soup that is made with stale bread, tomatoes, garlic, and basil. The bread is soaked in the tomato broth until it becomes soft and mushy, creating a thick and hearty soup. It’s a comforting dish that’s perfect for any time of day and is especially satisfying during the colder months.

Focaccia di Recco

Focaccia di Recco is a thin and crispy flatbread that is filled with creamy stracchino cheese. It’s a specialty of the town of Recco in Liguria, and it’s the perfect snack or appetizer. The bread is crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, and it pairs perfectly with a glass of white wine.


Sfogliatelle is a traditional pastry from Campania that is made with a flaky and crispy dough and filled with a sweet and creamy ricotta filling. The pastry is shaped like a seashell and is a popular breakfast or dessert item. It’s best enjoyed with a cup of strong Italian coffee.


Arancini are fried rice balls that are filled with a variety of ingredients, such as mozzarella cheese, meat ragù, and peas. They are a popular street food in Sicily and are a great option for a quick and filling snack. They are crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside, making them the perfect comfort food.


Orecchiette is a type of pasta that is shaped like small ears and is a specialty of the Puglia region. The pasta is usually served with a simple tomato sauce and is often topped with grated cheese and fresh basil. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish that is perfect for a cozy dinner after a long day of work.


Fregola is a type of pasta that is similar to couscous and is a specialty of the island of Sardinia. The pasta is made by rolling semolina dough into tiny balls, which are then toasted in an oven. Fregola is often served with seafood and is a great option for anyone looking to try something different from traditional pasta dishes.


Strangolapreti is a unique type of pasta that is made with stale bread, spinach, and grated cheese. The dough is rolled into small balls and boiled in salted water. The name of the dish means “priest stranglers” in Italian, and it’s said to have been created by monks who wanted to make a hearty and filling meal out of the ingredients they had on hand. It’s a delicious and comforting dish that is perfect for a cozy night in.

Cannoli Siciliani

Cannoli Siciliani is a classic dessert from Sicily that consists of a crispy fried shell filled with sweet ricotta cheese. The shell is made by rolling out a thin pastry dough and wrapping it around a metal tube before frying it until it’s crispy and golden. The filling is made by mixing fresh ricotta cheese with sugar and vanilla extract. It’s a sweet and indulgent treat that’s perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Here are some notable mentions:

Tiella - Puglia

Tiella is a traditional dish from the region of Puglia, located in southern Italy. It is a layered casserole made with rice, potatoes, and mussels or other seafood, all cooked together with tomato sauce and extra virgin olive oil. Tiella is a hearty and satisfying dish that is perfect for sharing with friends and family.

Cacio e Pepe - Rome

Cacio e Pepe is a classic Roman dish that is simple yet incredibly delicious. It is made with just three ingredients: spaghetti, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. The pasta is cooked until al dente, then tossed with a mixture of grated cheese and black pepper. The result is a creamy and flavorful dish that is a favorite among locals.

Carciofi alla Giudia - Rome

Carciofi alla Giudia, or Jewish-style artichokes, is a popular dish in Rome’s Jewish quarter. The artichokes are deep-fried until crispy and golden brown, then seasoned with salt and lemon juice. The result is a delicious and savory appetizer that is perfect for sharing.

Focaccia di Altamura - Puglia

Focaccia di Altamura is a type of flatbread that is made with durum wheat flour and extra virgin olive oil. It is baked until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, then seasoned with salt and rosemary. Focaccia di Altamura is a simple but delicious snack that is perfect for a mid-day pick-me-up.

Ciceri e Tria - Puglia

Ciceri e Tria is a traditional dish from Puglia that combines pasta and chickpeas in a delicious and hearty soup. The pasta is fried until crispy, then added to a pot of simmering chickpeas and tomato sauce. The result is a filling and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cold winter’s day.

Risotto alla Milanese - Milan

Risotto alla Milanese is a classic dish from the city of Milan. It is made with Arborio rice, beef broth, saffron, and Parmesan cheese. The rice is cooked until creamy and flavorful, then served hot. Risotto alla Milanese is a luxurious and comforting dish that is perfect for a special occasion.

Bomboloni - Tuscany

Bomboloni are traditional Tuscan doughnuts that are light and airy on the inside, and crispy on the outside. They are filled with either pastry cream or Nutella, then dusted with powdered sugar. Bomboloni are a sweet and indulgent treat that is perfect for a mid-day snack.

Baccalà Mantecato - Venice

Baccalà Mantecato is a traditional Venetian dish made with salt cod that has been whipped with olive oil and garlic until creamy and spreadable. It is usually served on crostini or with polenta. Baccalà Mantecato is a flavorful and unique appetizer that is perfect for sharing with friends.

Zuppa Inglese - Emilia-Romagna

Zuppa Inglese, which translates to “English soup,” is actually a traditional dessert from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It is made with layers of sponge cake, custard, and chocolate, and is typically served cold. Zuppa Inglese is a delicious and indulgent treat that is perfect for ending a meal on a sweet note.

Burrata - Puglia

Burrata is a type of cheese that is native to the region of Puglia. It is made from mozzarella and cream, and has a creamy, buttery texture. Burrata is typically served fresh, and is often paired with crusty bread and fresh tomatoes. It is a simple but incredibly delicious cheese that is worth seeking out.
Overall, Italy is a treasure trove of delicious and unique food options, and these hidden food gems are just a small sampling of what the country has to offer. From hearty casseroles to light and airy doughnuts, these dishes are sure to satisfy any food lover’s cravings. So the next time you find yourself in Italy, be sure to seek out these hidden food gems and experience the country’s culinary delights for yourself.


Italy is a country with a rich and varied culinary tradition, and there are so many delicious dishes to try beyond the usual suspects. From lampredotto to cannoli Siciliani, there’s a wealth of lesser-known Italian foods that are just waiting to be discovered. During your workation in Italy, make sure to take the time to explore the local cuisine and indulge in these hidden gems. You won’t be disappointed.

Find Where to Visit and What to Eat on Your Workation

For your Italy Workation, the right region to visit could make all the difference between enjoying your stay and finding your best work-life balance. Famous works of art and unforgettable ancient monuments meet incredible landscapes and traditional villages with histories spanning two thousand years. Look for the magnificent blue water, stroll through preserved medieval streets, and learn about the specific flavors helping create the unique vision of factors that make Italy. 

Find the information you need to give you the best Italy Workation possible before allowing us to accelerate your productivity and maximize your experience with an authentic connection to Italy. Take one step closer to planning your Workation or learn more about What Festivals People Celebrate in Italy.