Who knew that learning about Italian culture could be so delicious?

Italy is an excellent place to explore within Europe. The rich expanse of cultural history and notable cuisine means you are in for a literal treat when you visit here. When you picture Italy, it is not unlikely that a carb-based meal may cross your mind. Dishes such as pizza and pasta find their roots deep within Italian culture. It is highly improbable that anyone can visit Italy and leave with anything less than a full belly. As you may have guessed, food is really around every corner. The gelato and espresso shops adorn the streets within Italian cities such as Venice and Naples. It is true that Italians are known for their rich, multi-course meals, but there are also plenty of Italian snacks you need to try.

Italian snacks are one of those things that travelers may not think too much about until they are strolling down the street in Italy. Like we said, the food cart vendors here know what they are about. You just might encounter sensory overload as you navigate the vast expanse of culinary delights. It is easy to snag some street food when you are in Italy, because it is easy to carry around. The question is really not what is going to be good, but rather, what are you going to try first?

Any of these Italian snacks are a great idea to try.

1. Foccacia (or panino) con Salame

When in Europe, it is hard to say no to the bread. Quite honestly, one of the best parts of the Europe experience is the freshly prepared foods, bread included. With that being said, you can never go wrong when ordering an Italian sandwich. As you gaze at the menu, keep your eyes open for some Foccacia (or panino) con Salame. Even if you cannot read Italian, you can likely translate that this homemade sandwich contains salami and freshly prepared bread. Don’t be surprised if you receive your sandwich sans the extra sauce and toppings. Italian sandwiches really do not come with any filler, because they are just that good.

2. Ciambelle

Speaking of delicious carbohydrates, what do you get if you cross a pretzel with bread? Ciambelle, of course! Keep your eyes peeled for some braided bits of heaven as you journey among the food vendors. Ciambelle is one of those classic Italian snacks that you need to experience to believe. The dough is slightly chewy and contains fennel seeds throughout, making for a yummy texture.

3. Gelato

Italian snacks - Gelato

As a classic staple of Italy’s dessert offerings, gelato is the rich, creamy ice cream-like snack found nearly anywhere in the country. Gelato has been described as a cousin to ice cream, but much creamier. The delicate dessert typically also comes in a smaller serving, but for good reason. It is so rich in flavor that a little goes a long way. This is one of those Italian snacks that you absolutely must try. More than once is also best. There are so many flavors of Italian gelato, and we have yet to encounter one that we did not like.

4. Truffles

Italian snacks - Truffles

If you are unsure what exactly these are, even the name truffle sounds extremely delicious. Truffles are classic Italian snacks that are beloved around the world. Though many people think of the dessert when they hear the word truffle, the Italian version is significantly different. The Italian truffle, or tartufi, is a flavor-dense fungus, found only in the wild. Obviously this is far cry from a fluffy dessert cake you might be imagining. However, the rare tubers are a beloved part of the Italian cuisine spread. Truffles are used to flavor dishes such as pasta or risotto. Oftentimes, truffles are sprinkles overtop of the dish upon preparation. However, if you are feeling brave, take a chance and try a truffle by itself. The tubers grow naturally within Tuscany, Umbria, and Piedmont. If you find yourself anywhere around these cities in the autumn, you can easily snag a natural Italian snack.

2. Coffee

We get it, it’s not an actual food, but coffee is an essential part of the Italian culinary experience. Just as easily as you can snag a scoop of gelato on the street, you can sit down at an espresso shop and order yourself an authentic Italian caffeinated beverage. These drinks range from simple (espresso) to complex (caffe triestino: espresso, whipped cream, and flavor). As the birthplace of delicate coffee, Italy has everything that you need.

Italian snacks are sure to fill your belly and satisfy your palette.

You will not get the chance to go hungry between meals when you munch on any of these Italian snacks. Oftentimes the little parts of a culture are the most meaningful, and delicious. Sample some Italian sandwiches, desserts, or any other street food that catches your eye (and your stomach). Do you have a favorite Italian snack that we did not mention? Comment about it below.

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Faith is a writer and social media manager residing in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is passionate about people and currently attends university in pursuit of a degree in Clinical Psychology and Counseling. A nomad by nature, Faith finds utmost joy in trekking around the globe and strongly advocates backpacking as the best way to explore anywhere. Being a bookworm and an avid coffee drinker, she is likely to be found sipping an Americano and mulling over a classic novel.

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