Discover the Best Restaurants in Italy: A Foodie’s Ultimate Guide

Welcome to Luxo Italia, where luxury travel meets extraordinary culinary experiences. As a premier travel agency, we specialize in curating exclusive gastronomic journeys for discerning travelers who seek the best that Italy has to offer.

Italy’s reputation as a world-class gastronomic destination has soared, making it an essential stop for food enthusiasts from around the globe. The country’s rich tapestry of regional cuisines, each with its unique flavors and traditions, offers an unparalleled culinary adventure that delights the senses.

In this blog post, we present the best restaurants in Italy—a foodie’s ultimate guide. Our handpicked selection spans various regions, showcasing:

  • Michelin-starred establishments where culinary artistry reaches its zenith
  • Hidden gems cherished by locals for their authentic and unforgettable flavors

Join us as we explore these gastronomic treasures, celebrating the passion and expertise that define Italian cuisine.


Discover Hidden Luxuries of Italy

Dive into our curated collection of Italy's most luxurious, hidden treasures. Tailored for discerning tastes, explore what others don't know.

Best Restaurants in Italy: The Rich Culinary Heritage of Italian Cuisine

Italian cuisine is known for its rich flavors and deep-rooted traditions. It has been shaped and refined over hundreds of years, making it a beloved culinary art form around the world. What sets Italian cuisine apart is its commitment to simplicity and the use of high-quality ingredients.

Centuries-Old Traditions

Italian culinary traditions have been passed down through generations, with each region having its own specialties and cooking techniques. These traditions are closely tied to the land, with dishes being created using locally sourced ingredients that are in season. This emphasis on freshness ensures that every bite is bursting with flavor.

Cultural Significance

In Italy, food is more than just nourishment—it is a way of life. Meals are seen as a time to gather with loved ones, share stories, and create lasting memories. Whether it’s a small family dinner or a large festive gathering, Italians value the importance of coming together around the table.

“La famiglia è la patria del cuore.” – Giuseppe Mazzini

This quote by Giuseppe Mazzini beautifully captures the essence of Italian family life: that the family is where the heart finds its home. It highlights how meals play a central role in strengthening familial bonds and fostering a sense of belonging.

Global Influence and Recognition

Italian cuisine has had a significant impact on global gastronomy. Many Italian ingredients, such as pasta, olive oil, and wine, have become pantry staples in households worldwide. Iconic dishes like pizza and pasta have also been adapted and reinvented in various ways to suit different palates.

The fact that Italian cuisine has been recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage further solidifies its status as a culinary powerhouse. This prestigious acknowledgment not only honors the recipes themselves but also pays tribute to the centuries-old tradition and cultural significance behind Italian food.

Italian cuisine continues to inspire chefs and food enthusiasts alike with its emphasis on simplicity, quality ingredients, and the joy of sharing a meal with others. As we explore the diverse regions of Italy in search of exceptional restaurants, we invite you to join us in savoring these timeless traditions that have stood the test of time.

best restaurants in Italy
Best restaurants in Italy

Northern Italy: From Lombardy to Veneto

Lombardy: A Gastronomic Powerhouse

Lombardy is a region in Northern Italy that is known for its rich and indulgent cuisine. Here, you’ll find dishes that are bursting with buttery flavors and made with luxurious ingredients. The culinary identity of Lombardy revolves around using premium elements like saffron and veal to create meals that are both extravagant and comforting.

Must-Try Dishes in Lombardy

When visiting Lombardy, make sure to sample these iconic dishes:

  1. Risotto alla Milanese: This creamy risotto is delicately infused with saffron, giving it a vibrant yellow color and a subtle floral taste.
  2. Osso Buco: A sumptuous braised veal shank dish that is traditionally served with gremolata—a zesty mixture of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.

Fine Dining in Milan: Cracco in Galleria

If you’re looking for an exceptional dining experience in Milan, head to Cracco in Galleria. Located in the heart of the city’s iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, this restaurant is helmed by the renowned Chef Carlo Cracco.

Cracco in Galleria is known for its innovative takes on classic Milanese cuisine. Chef Cracco combines avant-garde techniques with a deep respect for tradition, resulting in dishes that are both surprising and satisfying.

What to Expect at Cracco in Galleria:
  • Signature Dishes: Indulge in refined versions of risotto alla milanese and osso buco, elevated with unexpected yet harmonious flavor combinations.
  • Ambiance: The restaurant’s location within the historic Galleria adds an air of sophistication, perfectly complementing the culinary artistry on display.

Three Michelin Stars: Da Vittorio

Another culinary gem in Lombardy is Da Vittorio in Brusaporto. This family-run restaurant has been awarded three Michelin stars, a testament to its commitment to excellence in haute cuisine.

Highlights of Da Vittorio:
  • Cuisine: Da Vittorio offers a menu that strikes a balance between tradition and innovation. Their dishes are crafted using the finest local ingredients, ensuring that each bite is bursting with flavor.
  • Must-Try Dishes: Don’t miss their paccheri alla vittorio, pasta tubes cooked to perfection and served with a rich tomato sauce. Seafood lovers will also be delighted by their fresh and flavorful seafood platters.
  • Setting: Nestled in a serene location, Da Vittorio provides an intimate dining experience with impeccable service, making it a must-visit for any food enthusiast exploring Northern Italy.

The culinary scene in Lombardy perfectly embodies the essence of Italian gastronomy—where simplicity meets luxury on every plate. Whether you’re dining at a bustling eatery in Milan or savoring a meal in the peaceful countryside, this region promises unforgettable culinary adventures for discerning travelers.

Piedmont: A Gastronomic Paradise

Known as a culinary paradise for wine and truffle lovers, Piedmont offers a gastronomic experience that is nothing short of extraordinary. The region’s cuisine showcases its famous Barolo wines and the aromatic allure of white truffles, which are celebrated through dishes that embody both opulence and simplicity.

Piedmont’s Iconic Restaurants

Here are two iconic restaurants in Piedmont that perfectly capture the essence of its culinary scene:

1. Piazza Duomo in Alba

Helmed by Chef Enrico Crippa, Piazza Duomo is an emblem of innovative cuisine inspired by nature. Nestled in the heart of Alba, this three-Michelin-starred restaurant transforms local ingredients into artful dishes that tantalize the senses.

Crippa’s creations often include seasonal vegetables, wild herbs, and, of course, the prized white truffles that Piedmont is renowned for. This gastronomic temple invites diners into a world where tradition meets avant-garde culinary techniques.

2. Villa Crespi in Orta San Giulio

Housed in a stunning Moorish-style villa overlooking Lake Orta, Villa Crespi is a testament to luxurious dining. Under the guidance of Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo, this two-Michelin-starred establishment offers an exquisite menu that reflects both the rich heritage of Piedmontese cuisine and the chef’s creative flair.

Signature dishes might include agnolotti del plin (tiny filled pasta) or risotto with Barolo wine reduction, each plate meticulously crafted to highlight the finest local ingredients.

Piedmont’s culinary scene extends beyond these iconic restaurants. It thrives on its deep connection to the land and its bounty—whether it be the lush vineyards producing some of Italy’s finest wines or the forests yielding sought-after truffles.

This region invites food aficionados to indulge in an unparalleled epicurean journey through Northern Italy’s most revered flavors.

Piedmont stands as a beacon for those seeking not just a meal but an immersive experience into Italian gastronomy.

venice tour

Veneto: A Culinary Delight

The Veneto region, located in Northern Italy, is known for its strong connection to the sea and impressive culinary traditions. Its cuisine is deeply influenced by the treasures of the Adriatic Sea, featuring a wide array of seafood dishes that are both classic and extraordinary.

1. Risotto al Nero di Seppia: The Black Jewel

One dish that you absolutely must try is risotto al nero di seppia, a visually stunning black risotto infused with the flavors of squid ink. This dish not only looks impressive but also offers a unique umami taste that will leave you craving for more.

2. Baccalà Mantecato: The Creamy Codfish

Another beloved specialty of the region is baccalà mantecato, a creamy codfish preparation that perfectly showcases the skill and creativity of Venetian chefs. It’s amazing how they can transform simple ingredients into such a delicate and flavorful dish.

These two dishes truly embody the essence of Veneto’s culinary scene—where traditional simplicity meets refined elegance.

3. Le Calandre: A World of Gastronomy

In Rubano, just outside Padua, you’ll find Le Calandre, an extraordinary restaurant led by the talented Chef Massimiliano Alajmo. Despite his young age, Alajmo has already been awarded three Michelin stars, thanks to his innovative approach to cooking and dedication to excellence.

The atmosphere at Le Calandre is sleek and modern, providing the perfect setting for Chef Alajmo’s boundary-pushing creations. Each dish on the menu is carefully designed to tantalize your senses and create an unforgettable dining experience.

Some highlights from Le Calandre’s menu include:

  • Saffron Risotto: A heavenly combination of creamy rice, vibrant saffron threads, and a subtle hint of licorice.
  • Veal Sweetbreads: These are prepared with utmost skill to achieve a perfect balance between crispy exterior and tender interior.

Every bite at Le Calandre is an opportunity to discover new flavors and textures, showcasing Chef Alajmo’s relentless pursuit of culinary perfection.

A Must-Visit Destination for Food Enthusiasts

If you’re looking for an authentic yet elevated Venetian dining experience, combining the region’s seafood treasures with Chef Alajmo’s unmatched creativity, then Veneto should be at the top of your list. It’s truly a haven for food lovers who want to explore the diverse flavors of Northern Italy.

best restaurants in tuscany

Central Italy: A Blend of Tradition and Innovation


Tuscany, the heartland of Italian gastronomy, offers an unparalleled culinary experience rooted in rustic flavors and time-honored traditions. This region’s cuisine celebrates simplicity, allowing the quality of local ingredients to shine through in every dish.

Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a thick, juicy Florentine steak, is emblematic of Tuscan fare. Prepared with Chianina beef and cooked over an open flame, this robust dish captures the essence of the region’s approach to meat. Another classic, ribollita, is a hearty bread soup made with seasonal vegetables and day-old bread, embodying the Tuscan philosophy of using every part of the ingredient.

Except the famous ones in Florence Tuscany boasts several prestigious dining establishments:

  • Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence: Renowned for its extensive wine cellar and refined Tuscan cuisine.
  • Da Caino in Montemerano: A two-Michelin-starred restaurant celebrated for its modern take on traditional Maremma dishes.
  • Lorenzo in Forte dei Marmi: Known for its exquisite seafood offerings and impeccable service.

These restaurants offer not just meals but immersive experiences that reflect the rich culinary heritage of Tuscany. Each visit promises a journey through flavors that have been perfected over centuries, elevated by modern interpretations and exceptional hospitality.

The blending of tradition and innovation in Tuscany’s culinary scene makes it a must-visit destination for any food enthusiast seeking authentic yet forward-thinking Italian cuisine.

Lazio: The Heart of Roman Cuisine

The Lazio region is famous for its delicious food, which is closely tied to the cuisine of Rome. When you think of Lazio, you think of classic Roman dishes like carbonara and cacio e pepe. This culinary heritage reflects the essence of Italy’s capital city—simple yet bold flavors that have stood the test of time.

A Culinary Icon: La Pergola dell’Hotel Rome Cavalieri

In the heart of Rome, there is a restaurant that stands above the rest—La Pergola dell’Hotel Rome Cavalieri. It is the only three-Michelin-starred restaurant in the city, a true testament to its exceptional dining experience.

Located within the luxurious Hotel Rome Cavalieri, La Pergola offers more than just great food—it offers a feast for all your senses. As you dine, you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the Eternal City, where ancient history and modern life blend seamlessly.

Chef Heinz Beck: A Master of Culinary Innovation

At the helm of La Pergola is Chef Heinz Beck, a culinary genius who has elevated Roman cuisine to new heights. With his expertise and creativity, he transforms traditional ingredients into extraordinary gastronomic creations.

One such dish is the fagotelli “La Pergola”, a delicate pasta filled with liquid carbonara. It’s a playful twist on the classic carbonara that surprises and delights with every bite. These innovative dishes are what set La Pergola apart and have earned it numerous prestigious awards.

The Perfect Pairing: Wine Selection at Its Finest

No fine dining experience is complete without the perfect wine pairing, and La Pergola delivers on this front as well. With a remarkable collection of over 60,000 bottles in its wine cellar, you can expect expert recommendations that enhance the flavors of each dish.

Beyond La Pergola: Exploring Lazio’s Culinary Delights

While La Pergola is undoubtedly a must-visit for food enthusiasts, Lazio has much more to offer in terms of culinary delights. Throughout the region, you’ll find a wide range of exceptional dining venues that showcase the best of Central Italian cuisine.

These hidden gems go beyond the touristy areas and allow you to immerse yourself in the local food culture. From family-run trattorias serving up classic dishes to innovative restaurants putting a modern twist on traditional recipes, there’s something for every palate in Lazio.

A Celebration of Food and Culture

In Lazio, food is not just something you eat—it’s a way of life. The region takes great pride in its culinary heritage, viewing it as an integral part of its cultural identity.

Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely meal at a neighborhood trattoria or indulging in the exquisite offerings at La Pergola dell’Hotel Rome Cavalieri, each bite tells a story. It’s a story of centuries-old traditions, of the diverse influences that have shaped Roman cuisine, and of the passionate individuals who keep these culinary traditions alive.

By exploring the flavors of Lazio, you’re not just treating your taste buds—you’re embarking on a journey through history and culture, gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for this remarkable region.

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Photo credits @Torre Maizza

Southern Italy: A Gastronomic Paradise

Southern Italy is a captivating region where culinary traditions are as vibrant and diverse as the landscapes themselves. In this article, we will explore Campania, a region celebrated for its beloved Neapolitan pizza and fresh seafood dishes like spaghetti alle vongole (clam pasta).

Campania: Where Pizza Meets the Sea

In the heart of this gastronomic paradise lies Campania, a region celebrated for its beloved Neapolitan pizza and fresh seafood dishes like spaghetti alle vongole (clam pasta).

Neapolitan Pizza: An Icon of Campania

Neapolitan pizza, with its soft, chewy dough and simple yet flavorful toppings, is not just a dish but a symbol of Italian culinary heritage. Originating from Naples, this iconic pizza features San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil. The result is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that has captivated taste buds worldwide.

Fresh Seafood Delights

Campania’s coastal location ensures an abundance of fresh seafood, which is masterfully showcased in dishes like spaghetti alle vongole. This classic pasta dish combines tender clams with garlic, olive oil, white wine, and a hint of chili flakes to create a symphony of flavors that evokes the essence of the sea.

Don Alfonso 1890: A Culinary Jewel

In Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, perched between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno, stands Don Alfonso 1890, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant that epitomizes the culinary excellence of Campania.

Don Alfonso 1890 is more than just a dining destination; it is an immersive experience that celebrates the rich flavors of the Amalfi Coast. The restaurant’s philosophy revolves around the use of organic ingredients sourced from its farm, Le Peracciole. This commitment to sustainability and quality shines through in every meticulously crafted dish.

Notable dishes include:

  • Lobster Catalana style: A sumptuous creation featuring sweet, tender lobster paired with vibrant vegetables and a zesty tomato sauce.
  • Ravioli Caprese: Delicate pasta parcels filled with caciotta cheese and marjoram, drizzled with a fragrant tomato and basil sauce.

Chef Ernesto Iaccarino’s innovative approach pays homage to traditional recipes while infusing them with contemporary flair. The result is an unforgettable dining experience that captures both the history and future of Campanian cuisine.

Other Noteworthy Establishments

Campania is home to numerous other esteemed restaurants that offer exceptional dining experiences:

  • Il Comandante in Naples: Located within the Romeo Hotel, this Michelin-starred restaurant offers panoramic views of Mount Vesuvius alongside inventive dishes that highlight local ingredients.
  • Palazzo Petrucci in Posillipo: Another Michelin-starred gem known for its sophisticated take on traditional Neapolitan cuisine, set against the backdrop of breathtaking sea views.

The culinary landscape of Campania reflects a deep connection to its land and sea. Each meal tells a story woven from centuries-old traditions and modern creativity. Whether it’s indulging in a perfectly baked pizza or savoring an exquisite seafood dish at Don Alfonso 1890, dining in Campania offers an unparalleled journey through one of Italy’s most cherished regions.

Sicily: A Culinary Journey Through History

Sicily, an island that showcases the fusion of Mediterranean flavors, offers a one-of-a-kind food experience. The region’s diverse past is evident in its vibrant cuisine, heavily influenced by Arab and North African cultures. This unique combination can be tasted in dishes like caponata, a sweet and sour eggplant stew, and couscous Trapanese, a local twist on couscous infused with the essence of the sea.

Discovering Duomo in Ragusa Ibla

Duomo in Ragusa Ibla perfectly represents the refined yet heartfelt nature of Sicilian cooking. Led by Chef Ciccio Sultano, this two-Michelin-starred restaurant transforms Sicily’s abundant ingredients into innovative works of art. Sultano’s approach blends tradition with contemporary techniques, resulting in dishes that are both visually stunning and delicious. You might find signature creations featuring ingredients like red prawns from Mazara del Vallo, paired with surprising elements such as citrus zest or almond cream.

Exploring Sicilian Delights

Here are some must-try dishes that showcase the flavors of Sicily:

  1. Caponata: A quintessential Sicilian dish combining eggplant, tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, and capers in a tangy vinaigrette.
  2. Couscous Trapanese: A distinctive take on couscous featuring seafood like mussels and clams, typically seasoned with saffron and fresh herbs.
  3. Red Prawns from Mazara del Vallo: These prized crustaceans are known for their sweet flavor and delicate texture.

Duomo: More Than Just a Restaurant

Duomo offers more than just a meal; it provides an immersive experience that celebrates Sicily’s diverse culinary heritage. Located in the enchanting baroque town of Ragusa Ibla, the restaurant’s atmosphere perfectly complements its exquisite menu, offering diners a luxurious yet intimate setting.

Sicilian Cuisine: Where History Meets Innovation

The creativity in Chef Sultano’s dishes highlights Sicily’s significance in the world of food. Each plate tells a tale of different cultures coming together and culinary techniques evolving over time, inviting food enthusiasts to enjoy not only a delicious meal but also a slice of Sicilian history.

A private accommodation with a stunning view of landscapes in Tuscan.

Indulge in Unforgettable Dining Experiences Across Italy

Exploring the best restaurants in Italy promises to be a gastronomic adventure unlike any other. Yet, the richness of Italian food culture extends far beyond the plates served in renowned establishments. To truly understand and appreciate the essence of Italian cuisine, one must immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of local markets, picturesque vineyards, and hands-on cooking classes.

1. Local Markets

Wander through bustling marketplaces like Florence’s Mercato Centrale or Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori. Here, you’ll discover a plethora of fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and cured meats, providing a sensory feast that encapsulates the heart of Italian culinary traditions.

2. Vineyards

Traverse the sun-kissed landscapes of Tuscany or Piedmont, home to some of the world’s most celebrated wines. Engage with passionate vintners who share their age-old winemaking techniques and savor exquisite tastings right at the source.

3. Cooking Classes

Enroll in intimate cooking classes led by seasoned chefs who impart their wisdom on crafting authentic Italian dishes. From mastering the art of handmade pasta to perfecting regional specialties like Sicilian arancini or Neapolitan pizza, these experiences offer invaluable insights into Italian culinary artistry.

Luxo Italia stands ready to elevate your culinary journey. Through our bespoke services, we curate personalized gourmet itineraries that ensure you experience Italy’s food scene in unparalleled depth and exclusivity.

“An invitation to indulge is an invitation to experience life’s finest moments.”

Our meticulously crafted itineraries grant access to exclusive dining experiences that are often inaccessible to the average traveler. Relish behind-the-scenes encounters with celebrated chefs, gain entry to private kitchens for unique cooking demonstrations, and enjoy privileged seating at iconic restaurants.

By embarking on this curated journey with Luxo Italia, each meal transcends mere sustenance—it becomes a celebration of heritage, passion, and unparalleled craftsmanship.


Discover Hidden Luxuries of Italy

Dive into our curated collection of Italy's most luxurious, hidden treasures. Tailored for discerning tastes, explore what others don't know.


Italian cuisine is all about timeless traditions and quality ingredients. It takes you on a culinary journey that leaves a lasting impression. The real beauty of Italy’s food scene isn’t just in famous places but also in hidden treasures waiting to be unearthed.

When you step away from crowded trattorias, you’ll discover the true soul of Italian cooking. Each part of the country has its own tastes and specialties, tempting you to explore the incredible range of flavors that the best restaurants in Italy have to offer.

Luxo Italia specializes in creating tailored culinary experiences that are truly one-of-a-kind. We make sure every detail is taken care of, so you can enjoy exclusive dining opportunities and create memories that will stay with you forever. Let us be your guide as we dive into this ultimate food lover’s guide and celebrate the magic of Italian cuisine. Buon viaggio e buon appetito!