Between street food and sophisticated flavours, here are 10 things to eat in Italy in Winter. 10 comfort foods to treat yourself. 

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Italy, land of saints, poets, navigators and those who know how to cook! That's right, travelling in Italy means, above all, getting to know the culinary tradition at the table and on the street among appetisers, first and second courses, desserts and street food. Every season offers delicacies all to be savoured: with the arrival of the winter season, towns and cities are a combination of aromas and typical flavours all to be discovered. And you know, when the cold weather arrives, what could be better than comforting oneself with tasty steaming dishes? Come with us to discover what to eat in winter in Italy.

1. What to eat in Winter in Italy: pettole

Apulian pettole

Typical december street food in Apulia: pettole

If you tihink that you can find steet food only in USA you’re wrong. You have to walk in the streets of apulia’s villages during winter: you’ll be caputered by scents and frying made by masters of these kind of steet food.

We are talking about “pettole” made in Taranto: they are leavened fried dough in two version, sweet or savory (with cheese or anchovy). They are typical of Christmas eve (you can find the sweet version in Taranto on the 22th of december the day of Holy Cecilia).

2. Sgagliozze from Bari between the best things to eat in Italy in Winter

Walking through the old part of Bari, you have to taste the famous “sgagliozze”: we can describe them like fried polenta, cooked in the corner oh the city and served during a a walk. This is an old tradition when were lots of olive oil and grain semolina.

3. Hot tomato sauce: zip'zip'

Typical apulian

A sauce of cold winter night in Apulia

Before you leave Apulia, you cannot taste the tipycal “ zip’ zip’”: this is peasant dish made of a kind of tomato (called hanging tomato) and chili pepper. It is preparred during cold night in southern Italy and you can eat this sauce with slices of bread.

4. Chestnuts and wine

Roasted chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts of november

Especially in November in Italy there is a special tradition. On the occasion of St Martin's Day, in various Italian regions, new wine is served accompanied by roasted chestnuts.

The consumption of new wine and chestnuts is a tradition that is common throughout Italy, from northern Tyrol where the tradition is called Törggelen, to Mantua and the rest of Italy (including the small town of Noci in Apulia) where village festivals and fairs abound on 11 November and throughout the whole Winter season. 

5. We love pasta: passatelli in brodo and pasta e patate with potatoes

Passatelli in brodo

A typical dish of Emilia Romagna: passatelli with broth

There’s a lot of recipes of pasta in Italy but we want to present two of them for winter season. If you are visiting Emilia Romagna, you have to taste “Passatelli with soup”. This kind of pasta is made with a particular tool and then seasoned with meat or fish broth. If instead you want to visit Naples, have a lunch in a tavern with the famous “Pasta and potatoes”: a simple but tasty dish cooked with potatoes and cheese.

Maybe this is one of the less-known dishes, but this is one of the gastronomic specialties of the city of Ferrara. We’re talking about the “Salama da sugo”, a kind of hot sausage prepared with mashed potatoes or polenta. 

Another tipycal dish in Emilia Romagna is “Stewed donkey”. It is prepared on Sundays when families have lunch together. Its preparation begins on the day before when meat is marinated with red wine, celery, onion, garlic, and carrots and it is cooked for about 4 hours.

8. Vegetables? Yes but tasty! Bagna cauda of Piedmont

“Hot Sauce”: this is the meaning of Bagna Cauda, a tipycal dish of Piedmont. It is a sauce made with anchovies and garlic cooked into extra virgin olive oil, served on an earthenware oven. You can eat this sauce with raw and cooked vegetables.  

9. Dried figs with chocolate

Dried frigs with chocolate

A tasty way to eat fruit in winter season: chocolate dried frigs

There is a tradition Italy, especially in the South and in the Centre, that links two seasons: Summer and Winter. We are talking about the culinary tradition of dried figs with chocolate. At the end of summer, figs are put on trays under the sun to let their drying. When they are ready, frigs are covered with chocolate. 

10. Nougat

Italian nougat

One the most typical dessert during Christmas holiday in Italy: nougat

This name belongs the Latin “torrēre” which means “to toast”: nougat is made of dried fruit and it’s a typical Christmas dessert.

You have to taste the soft one of Cremona (even in chocolate version): a real treat!

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