Destinations In Italy Giada De Laurentiis Recommends For The Most Mouthwatering Food

Food has always been a deeply intertwined aspect of Giada De Laurentiis's lifestyle. As an Italian local, she's blessed with a native cuisine that encompasses some of the most widely adored foods by culinary fanatics. The restaurateur and Food Network TV host has been showcasing her love for authentic, home-cooked meals and natural ingredients with her audience since before the early 2000s. Her cooking shows highlight a blend of traditional Italian combined with modern American — resulting in what Laurentiis calls her "California flair." 

Anyone can pop into the first produce market they spot on the streets of Italy or the local pizzeria across from their hotel, but it takes a local's insight to find the best of the best. Laurentiis's family background that's steeped in Italian culture means she knows Italian cuisine like the back of her hand — from the freshest olive oil and ocean-to-table seafood to the most authentic slice of pizza you'll ever taste. According to the New York Times, it's not uncommon for Laurentiis to embark on side trips around her home country in search of the best culinary inspiration.

From her family's pasta factory in Naples to the bustling piazzas of Rome and Florence, Italy has no shortage of authentic Italian crafted from love and dozens of family recipes passed down through generations. Most of these coveted trattorias and hole-in-the-wall eateries aren't the large fine-dining establishments that tourists flock to for a Friday night dinner reservation. They're better — tucked away like secret gems in a labyrinth of mouth-watering cuisine.

Explore the best culinary hot spots of Rome and Florence

When in Rome, it's all about the food! Where's the best pizza, you might ask? According to Laurentiis, you'll want to head to Antico Forno Roscioli. Their pizza bianca (a white pizza with no tomato sauce, just cheesy goodness) is stuffed with mortadella, or Italian sausage, creating a warm and cozy meal. Al Moro is another must-visit spot on her favorite's list. This 1920's Roman restaurant feels like dining in a home-style kitchen with a comforting ambiance and pasta dishes that will have you reminiscing on the flavor for months on end. "We always sit in the back room and order their spaghetti alla moro or spaghetti alle telline, but you can't go wrong with any dish," Laurentiis said in an interview with Forbes.

Of course, everyone needs a go-to spot for a flirty late-night cocktail hour. Antico Caffé del Moro is a historical café that doubles as a wine bar, serving traditional Roman pasta, whiskey, wine, and rum. If you're stuck between what to order, Laurentiis's go-to is the refreshing Frangelico Frizzante. 

Best known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is home to some must-visit culinary hot spots, as well. Gelateria De Neri, in particular, is where you'll want to head when you're craving a spot of ice cream, or as Italians say "gelato." According to Laurentiis, the espresso, pistachio, walnut, and fig and rum flavors are best. 

Traverse Italy from north to south

Known for its olive oil, marsala wine, and cannolis, it's no surprise that Sicily made it onto Laurentiis's top foodie destinations for a glass of wine or an aperitivo. Sicily has some of the best-hidden gems when it comes to trattorias that often stay under the radar of tourists, according to Laurentiis. The reason for this? Sicily is rich in local farmers' markets where restaurant owners source the freshest ingredients that translate into flavorful dishes. Right up the coastline, Naples is a true pasta-lover's dream. Laurentiis recommends Setaro — a pasta factory that crafts its homemade shells using an age-old method known as bronze cutting (you can also buy their famous pasta online). This untraditional style of pasta-making results in unique pasta shells of various textures, shapes, and sizes. 

Retracing your steps through central Italy to the northern province of Milan in the Lombardy region, Guido Gobino should be the first stop on your list, per Laurentiis's recommendation. It's her "favorite chocolate shop in all of Italy," and a nonnegotiable when perusing the streets of Milan. What better way to complement the finest chocolate in Italy than with a much-needed caffeinated beverage? According to Laurentiis, Biancolatte is great for a midday macchiato or pick-me-up pastry to treat yourself. Their glass counterbar is always brimming with eye candy (literally). The chic dining room features a white-themed interior and window sills adorned with colorful flower pots, creating a soothing and airy ambiance to sip your cappuccino or espresso in.