Skip to Content

The Best Italian Foodie Spots for Expats

The Best Italian Foodie Spots for Expats

If you’re an expat eager to discover Italy’s culinary scene, you’ll have plenty of places to visit. Italy is a paradise for foodies due to its rich culinary heritage, diverse regional cuisines, and emphasis on fresh and high-quality ingredients. Its bustling markets, trattorias, and Michelin-starred restaurants provide the perfect setting to indulge in traditional dishes. All best paired with world-renowned wines and artisanal cheeses.

As an expat, you’ll find that Italy offers not only a feast for the senses but also a welcoming community that appreciates and celebrates food. Whether you’re navigating through local markets, participating in cooking classes, or enjoying long meals in family-run eateries, you’ll feel right at home in Italy’s vibrant culinary culture.

Italian Foodie Spots to Seek Out

Here are the best foodie spots for expats travelling to Italy. 

Regional Wine Centre in Lombardy.


Sitting along the dramatic cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples, Sorrento is a culinary paradise renowned for its fresh seafood, citrus groves, and traditional Neapolitan cuisine. With its abundance of delectable offerings, Sorrento makes an ideal foodie spot for expats travelling to Italy.  

A highlight of your visit is exploring the city’s vibrant food markets, such as Mercato Rionale. It has a long line of stalls brimming with fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and seafood. Experience the bustling market’s sights, sounds, and aromas and sample local specialities like limoncello, olive oil, and freshly caught fish.

Savour the city’s famous lemon-based treats, such as sfogliatella riccia, lemon granita, and limoncello liqueur. Take a scenic stroll along the lovely waterfront promenade and stop at one of the many cafes and gelaterias to savour these refreshing delicacies while soaking up the Mediterranean sun.

Enrolling in a cooking class is a must for expats who want to know how to prepare traditional dishes like pasta al limone, gnocchi alla sorrentina, and pizza Margherita. It also provides insight into Neapolitan culinary techniques and flavours.

Gorgonzola and Truffle Pasta Ristorante di Genny Idro



As an expat foodie planning a trip to Italy, Tuscany should be part of your itinerary. The picturesque region has deep-rooted food traditions and a rich culinary heritage featuring exceptional local produce. It is also renowned for its robust wines, such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. These varieties pair perfectly with the region’s hearty cuisine. There are plenty of private foodie tours in Italy and Tuscany has a fantastic choice. Taste authentic Tuscan and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Tuscan cuisine is known for its simplicity and high-quality ingredients. Including extra-virgin olive oil, truffles, Pecorino cheese, and the celebrated Chianina beef. A good way to savour these is to join a cooking class. Often held in rustic farmhouses or grand villas, these cooking classes will show you how to prepare traditional dishes like pappardelle al cinghiale (wild boar pasta) or ribollita (a hearty bread and vegetable soup). 

Italian Food White Truffles

As the region is known for its wine, book wine-tasting tours to explore the picturesque vineyards of Chianti. The tour provides insights into Tuscany’s winemaking process, and you’ll have the opportunity to sample world-class wines.

On some days, Tuscany holds food festivals that are worth checking out. Some famous festivals include the white truffle festival in San Miniato and the olive oil festivals in various villages. Aside from showcasing the local cuisine, these festivals allow visitors to taste and purchase local specialities directly from producers.

Italian Food Prosciutto


Romans never settle for less when it comes to food, taking immense pride in their cuisine and meticulously planning meals around seasonal produce. This dedication to freshness and quality makes Rome a top choice for expat foodies visiting Italy. The city’s culinary scene is a testament to its rich history and diverse influences, luring you with its sumptuous blend of traditional and contemporary dishes.

Rome’s culinary appeal is all thanks to its iconic dishes, such as carbonara, cacio e pepe, and amatriciana, which highlight the simplicity and flavour of Roman cooking. The city is also famous for its street food, including supplì (fried rice balls), trapizzino (a pizza-dough sandwich), and the classic Roman pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice).

Visit markets like Campo de’ Fiori and Testaccio, which showcase fresh, seasonal produce and artisanal products, allowing you to sample local cheeses, cured meats, and baked goods. Rome’s diverse neighbourhoods, such as Trastevere and Testaccio, offer a range of dining experiences, from traditional trattorias to modern bistros.

Rome’s rich Jewish heritage adds another layer to its culinary landscape. Visit the Jewish Ghetto and try specialities like carciofi alla giudia (Jewish-style artichokes) and filetti di baccalà (fried cod fillets).

Italian Prosciutto and artichokes in Lombardia


Sicily is another fantastic foodie destination for expats travelling to Italy. It has a diverse culinary landscape influenced by Greek, Arab, and Norman cultures. Thanks to the island’s fertile volcanic land, Sicily produces exceptional ingredients, such as vibrant citrus fruits and distinctive wines.

Discover Sicily’s food culture through cooking classes, where you learn to make traditional dishes like arancini (rice balls). Or Caponata (sweet and sour eggplant),or Cannoli (ricotta-filled pastries). These classes are held in beautiful farmhouses or historic kitchens, elevating the experience.

Embark on food tours in cities like Palermo and Catania for an opportunity to explore bustling markets such as Mercato di Ballarò and La Pescheria, sampling street foods like panelle (chickpea fritters) and sfincione (Sicilian pizza). 

What’s great about a foodie trip to Italy is expats will find plenty of amazing holiday rentals in Sicily. With its wide range of charming accommodations, from luxurious resorts to cosy agriturismos, you can enjoy a comfortable stay while indulging in the island’s rich gastronomic offerings.

Ragu in Bologna Italy


Renowned for its world-famous culinary contributions and rich food culture, Emilia-Romagna is an incredible foodie spot for expats travelling to Italy. The region is the birthplace of iconic Italian foods such as Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and Mortadella, making it a must-visit for expats who are foodie enthusiasts.

Consider taking guided tours of cheese dairies to witness the production of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Explore the ageing cellars of balsamic vinegar in Modena. Or join cooking classes for hands-on experiences in making pasta and traditional sauces. 

As you explore the region’s culinary landscape, you’ll notice that its cuisine emphasises high-quality and locally sourced ingredients. Savour dishes like tortellini, lasagna, and tagliatelle al ragù (known outside the region as Bolognese). These dishes showcase the skill and care that goes into Emilia-Romagna’s culinary creations. 

Spend some time exploring Bologna, the capital city. Which is known as “La Grassa” (The Fat One) due to its rich gastronomic heritage.