Book Review: Approach Guides Dining Throughout Italy: Food Guide

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Italian food - it sort of makes you swoon, doesn't it? Although there are so many different regions (and cuisines) in Italy, just thinking about each area's specialties is enough to make one start planning a trip to Italy.

I've got a fantastic resource to share with you today! Approach Guides is one of our favorite travel guides. They dig deeply into the culture of a place, and fully explore a topic. Approach Guides sent me one of their most popular guides to review - Dining Throughout Italy: Food Guide.

The book starts out with the basics - Coffee Etiquette (yes, there's a whole CULTURE around coffee!) and then moves onto my favorite topic, Food and Restaurant Protocol. LOVE THIS. If you've not been to Italy yet, this is the perfect primer. If you're a regular traveler, you may learn something new in this refresher. The most important part of this section, for me, is the unwritten rules - don't use a spoon to twirl your pasta (this is a French practice); do not dip your bread in olive oil, do not mix and match your pastas and sauces. THANK YOU.

The guide then splits off into describing Italian food by geographic area. Lists and lists of food.  To inspire! Geographic areas included are:

Abruzzo e Molize
Alto Adige-Trentino (Suditrol) and its Germanic influences
Campania (including Neapolitan Coffee, Mozzarella di buffalo, and pizza)
Emilia Romagna
Friuli Venezia
Sardegna - did you know that the island cuisine focuses on heavier meat dishes from the interior rather than seafood from the coast, due to historical issues with living along the coast (pirates, malaria)?
Sicilia (perhaps the best in Italy?)
Valle D'Aosta
Veneto (including APERITIVI: VENETIAN CICHETI E OMBRE - bite-sized “Italian” brethren of tapas and ombre the traditionally tiny glasses that hold a small portion wine (ombre is translated as “shadow”, apparently where the Venetians drank the wine).

Within each geographic section, the guide notes specialties of Antipasti, Primi, Secondi, Frutti e Contorni, Formaggi, and/or Formaggi e Dolci. The authors highly recommend that this food guide be used in conjunction with ApproachGuides’ “Dining throughout Italy: Wine Guide”.

Although I had thought I was reasonably familiar with the foods of Italy, I learned so much from reading this guide. Now, I'm even MORE excited about planning our next trip to Italy! Meanwhile, I'll scour the internet for recipes, and our Italian grocer for supplies, and see if I can make something to hold me over until then.

I recommend Approach Guides - Dining Throughout Italy: Food Guide to anyone who loves Italy and its food. It's inspiring, mouthwatering, and makes you think of many delicious meals to come.


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Comments (1)

  • Carol Voigts

    14 years 3 months ago

    Who doesn't love Italian food.  Thanks for the review.  I'm hungry already and ready to go eat my way through Italy!  Carol Voigts --RETIRED!!!

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