Each of Italy’s twenty regions boasts its own signature dishes and distinct food culture. In the northern region of Lombardy, for example, polenta and osso bucco reign supreme, while pasta with eggplant is a favorite dish in Sicily.
As you study in Rome – nestled in the Lazio region – you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try foods uniquely associated with this part of Italy. You might select bruschetta for “antipasto” (starter), spaghetti alla carbonara for “primo” (first course), coda alla vaccinara for “secondo” (second course), and perhaps some local artichokes for “contorno” (your side dish).
And for “dolce”, the culminating dessert course of an Italian meal?
Continue your exploration of Lazio’s regional food culture, by sampling one of these signature regional desserts.
1. Maritozzi: a Sweet Treat for a Sweetheart
Maritozzi are small sweet buns filled with cream and often studded with raisins, pine nuts, and even candied orange peel. According to some stories, these little treats were originally offered as small gifts to a beloved. Some sources claim that it was the groom-to-be who would offer a maritozzo to his fiancé. Other sources say that women were the ones who cooked up and gave away these tasty treats – presumably in order to attract a husband with the help of a sweet dessert!
Today, though, students at American colleges in Italy can simply enjoy these little cream-filled snacks – without committing to marriage!
2. Frappe: A Festival Treat to Enjoy While Studying in Rome
With February coming up just around the corner, Italy’s Carnival celebrations will soon swing into life. Across the country, cities like Ivrea, Viareggio, Fano, Sciacca and of course Venice all participate in the world-famous celebration.
And, while Rome’s festival might not be as glitzy as Venice’s or as steeped in tradition as Sciacca’s, that doesn’t mean it’s not a sight worth seeing – and tasting. During Carnival celebrations, many regions across Italy enjoy crispy fried pastry treats coated with a fine dusting of icing sugar.
These tempting carnival desserts are often called by different names – from “crostoli” to “sfrappole” – depending on which region you’re visiting. In Rome, they’re typically known as “frappe,” and can be found at many bakeries and shops during festival time.
3. Crostata di Ricotta: A Popular Lazio Tart
Ricotta is a popular ingredient in Italian cooking, and plays a key role in many dessert recipes. From ricotta ice cream to sweet ravioli with ricotta, this soft cheese adds a creamy and rich dimension to desserts. In the Lazio region of Italy, ricotta can be found in the popular “crostata di ricotta” – a sweet tart students will find at one of the many cafes near the JCU campus, in the Trastevere neighborhood. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a frothy cappuccino!
Bonus Desserts to Try While you Study in Italy
Of course, there are plenty of other tasty desserts from outside of Lazio to try while you study in Italy. From rich cannoli to creamy gelato, many popular selections from other Italian regions are widely available in Rome. We suggest sampling amaretti (a Lombardy favourite), or tiramisù (first crafted in Veneto).
There is no shortage of delectable desserts available in the Eternal City. Italy is truly a food-lover’s paradise!
Do you want to study abroad in Italy and get a taste of a fascinating, rich new culture?
Visit John Cabot University online to discover our degree programs and learn about admissions!