Italy is one of the most beautiful European nations. It’s also a top destination for foodies, and we don’t just mean pizza-lovers.
Italians certainly adore their pasta and pizza, but an Italian meal isn’t complete without an authentically local dessert. If you want to treat your sweet tooth while travelling through this amazing country, make sure you try these tasty delights.
Gelato is one of the most famous Italian desserts, and it’s easy to understand why. This sweet treat isn’t your typical ice cream. It looks like one, but it’s much more flavourful.
An authentic gelato contains between 4 and 8% butterfat, which is much less than the typical 14% that’s poured into an American ice cream. As a result, it freezes less solidly and melts in your mouth. This Italian favourite isn’t whipped with air and water, which is why it has such a zesty flavour.
Some producers have unfortunately started to ‘pump up’ this dessert with air and water. If your gelato looks swirly or fluffy, you’re not tasting the real thing, so choose your gelato wisely!
Castagnaccio is a Florentine speciality. It’s a cake made from chestnut flour and flavoured with walnuts, raisins, pine nuts and rosemary and is ridiculously delicious!
Nobody is ruled out from trying this Italian treat – castagnaccio is lactose-free, gluten-free, and suitable for vegans.
If you’re heading to Sicily, you have to try cannoli. But don’t worry – traditional Sicilian shops right throughout Italy serve this mouth-watering dessert. Cannoli is a crispy shell filled with creamy ricotta. And the cherry on top is, well, the cherry on top.
The best bakeries only display the tube-shaped shell of their cannoli. Only when you order one do the bakers fill it with ricotta cheese.
Need more convincing to try this treat? Cannoli can be dipped in candied fruit, pistachios or chocolate chips. Whatever your preference, you can’t go wrong.
Panettone is a traditional Italian Christmas dessert. It’s so tasty that nowadays, you can purchase this Milan-speciality year-round from just about anywhere.
Panettone is a sweet, dome-shaped bread loaf usually studded with citrus peels and raisins. It might sound like a simple treat, but it takes six days to cure!
Crostata is delightfully simple. This Italian favourite is available throughout the nation, but you can make it yourself with a few basic ingredients. Essentially, the crostata is a giant jam tart topped with homemade jam and decorative sweets.
If you want to make your own crostata, you’ll need lattice or shortcrust pastry, your preferred jam and a filling such as strawberry or apricot. Throw the lot together, bake, and wait. When the crostata takes on a delicious golden appearance, it’s ready to eat. It shouldn’t take more than an hour.
Sfogliatelle is our favourite sweet treat from Naples. Walk around the city centre, and you’ll see lots of quaint bakeries selling this flaky dessert. It’s made from several layers of wafer-thin pastry filled with semolina, candied citrus peel and ricotta.
A sfogliatelle typically costs between one and two euros, and it’s perfectly suitable to eat for breakfast. What better excuse do you need to treat your sweet tooth first thing in the morning?
You can try these fantastic treats across the whole of Italy, from Rome to Milan. Take a look at our Coach Travel Network map to tick off all of these amazing treats around Italy.