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How to Eat And Drink Like An Italian This Summer

Whether you are fortunate enough to venture to Italy this summer, or just want to catch some summertime Dolce Vita vibes in the comfort of your own backyard. Here are 5 things all Italians are consuming to stay cool with a good meal and a cold beverage this summer.

photo by @samalexandergregg


Italian rosé, called rosato, might not get quite the same attention as rosé from Provence in France, but it is just as delicious.

Italians take their rosato very seriously, and the flavor profiles and personality can differ greatly from region to region, often getting more complex and bolder as you move south. Unlike rosé culture in the US and other countries, where this approachable pink style of wine is lauded more for its easy drinking and simple but refreshing flavor, Italian rosati are drank with the vigor and purpose of reds; complex and with body, yet delicate and refreshing, and perfect to pair with many different summer foods from around Italy. So next time you are at the wine shop, try to keep an eye out for Italian rosato; perhaps one from the slopes of Mt Etna in Sicily, or a distinctive rosato from Abruzzo or South Tyrol where the the process of salasso, or blood letting, is used to bleed off a portion of red wine after a short skin contact. You wont regret adding rosato into your summer rotation.

Pasta alle vongole

A summer staple. There might not be a more perfect pasta dish to twirl around your fork next to the ocean or the pool than pasta alle vongole, or pasta with clams. This clean, light dish, often served with spaghetti, incorporates fresh clams, oil, plenty of garlic, parsley, and perhaps a bit of white wine and pepperoncini. These ingredients come together to form a quintessential summer meal. The salty brine and oil invokes the feeling, taste, and smell of being by the sea on a hot summer day, and the freshness and simplicity of the ingredients wont way you down before a swim. Its quick and easy to make, and is surely to be a crowd favorite.


Gelato's Sicilian cousin, granita, is a sweet and refreshing treat that all Italians, young and old, love during the summer. Think of granita as almost a hybrid between gelato, sorbet, and a slushie. Made from sugar, ice, and a host of various flavorings, granita's unique texture is both creamy and icy, and is often flavored with almond, lemon, and other fruit. Granita is THE taste of summer in Sicily, and is almost obligatory during a hot beach day. Sicilians often consume granita with a brioche bun, for breakfast no less!


Swap your morning cappuccino for an Italian summer staple, the shakerato: a refreshing cold coffee drink made by vigorously shaking espresso (or coffee concentrate) with sugar and ice to form a smooth, velvety beverage. Kind of like an espresso martini, you will often find a shakerato served in a martini or cocktail glass, and if you want to channel a true Italian, add a little grappa or another liquor a choice (called a shakerato corretto). A little booze in the morning never hurt anyone, and besides, you are on vacation.

Fresh, seasonal produce

Possibly the most important item on this list. Italian cuisine is built completely around fresh, local ingredients, and the summer season brings with it a host of fruits and vegetables that are at their peak. Think tomatoes, figs, watermelon, peaches, plums, basil, lemon, zucchini flowers, and so much more. Walking through an outdoor summer market in Italy is a treat for the eyes and the nose. So much fresh, colorful food, and plenty inspiration for tasty summer meals. Make yourself a nice caprese salad with fresh tomatoes and basil, or wrap some fresh melon with prosciutto to make the iconic summer appetizer. Anything goes in summer, as long as its easy, fresh, and delicious.

Let the Italy experts at Isarti Travel plan your next summer escape to Italy.

Start planning HERE

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