Are you a vegetarian visiting Italy on holiday? Are you worried about finding good vegetarian food in Italy? Our guide to vegetarian food in Italy gives you the facts & information you want to know.
Although Italian food features meat quite heavily, vegetarian visitors to Italy should have no trouble finding vegetarian food. Italy is a country whose rich soil and moderately warm climate make it a perfect place for agriculture, which in turn means plenty of fresh ingredients with which to make vegetarian food.
Regional Vegetarian food in Italy
The vegetarian food one finds in Italy will vary to some extent depending on which region of Italy you are visiting. Every region of Italy has its own quite unique food and preferred tastes and ingredients which go into both vegetarian food and meat dishes. Generally, the choice of vegetarian food on offer in the South of Italy is more extensive than the north, not because they are more in favour of animal rights or some other conscious vegetarian concern, but simply because vegetables, in addition to sea food have traditionally featured heavily on the food inventory of the south of Italy.
Ordering vegetarian food in Italy
Italy is well set up for vegetarian visitors and in every major town there are several restaurants that cater specifically for vegetarians. However, even if you can’t find a vegetarian restaurant in Italy you shouldn’t worry as there are still some common vegetarian options at ordinary restaurants in Italy. Looking at the starters section of any food menu at a restaurant in Italy is a good way to find most of the vegetarian food, and eating a couple of these is the equivalent to a main dish. If in doubt about the contents of any particular food on the menu at a restaurant in Italy just ask if it’s magro which means without meat.
Vegan food in Italy
Finding food for vegans in Italy can be a lot more difficult than for vegetarians. While it is relatively easy to avoid eating food that contains meat in Italy, the same cannot be said for eggs and cheese. These two products can seem to be more or less ubiquitous in Italian food when one considers that almost all pasta is made using eggs and pizza without cheese can no longer be considered pizza. The best option for vegans wishing to find good food in Italy is to stick to vegetarian restaurants where the likelihood of them catering to your vegan needs will be greater.