Italy is a
country that is shaped like a boot, making it easy to find on a
world map. Within
it’s borders it has two separate countries!
Vatican City, the center for the Roman Catholic Church
and San Marino on the northeast coast.
It also has two islands, Sicily, and Sardinia.
Sicily forms the bottom of the boot shape and is
surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and has many people living
there, and Sardinia is off the coast where the Tyrrhenian Sea,
the Mediterranean Sea and the Ligurian Sea are, and not too many
people live there. On
the opposite coast is the Adriatic Sea, by the towns of Assisi
and the other country in Italy, San Marino.
Italy is by
surrounded by the sea but the country also has the
Apennines mountains. The mountains run 900 miles down the
center of Italy. So the weather in Italy is usually pretty nice between the
warmer area on the coasts and beaches and the coolness and winds
from the Alpiennes Mountains. In the valleys by the mountains is
where they grow a lot of crops. The weather
varies according to how far you are from the sea or the
mountains. Winters are very cold in the Alps up north where it borders
Austria, where a lot of people and tourists ski in the winter
and stay in cool lodges, and the winters down south by the
Mediterranean Sea and along the coasts of the Adriatic Sea can
be mild, where the beaches are.
the summers are hot and dry, but the temperature is helped by
the sea breezes and in the mountains it is nice and cool.
In the summer people go on hikes and adventures in the
go to a lot of hotels and restaurants in both these areas in the
winter and the summer.
climate is extremely varied in Italy, ranging from cold and
moist on the mountain slopes to hot and dry inland from the
shores of southern Sicily. In between there are many different
types of weather and types of soil. Also there are over 1,000 Rivers and Streams in Italy.
People in Italy are very into their families.
The mothers are very important and are treated like
queens. Aunt and
Uncles play a big part in children’s lives too.
Daily life in certain areas can be very relaxed in the
small villages and the mountain towns and old time farms.
In Italian cities life can be faster and more modern.
But every Italian city and village has feasts and they
love to celebrate. The
people are friendly and like eating a lot and also enjoy sunsets
and music and art. Friends hang around in groups, even when they
go on dates. Most
Italians are the Roman Catholic religion. Vatican City,
an independent country in Rome, is the center for the Roman
Catholic Church, and is the world's smallest country!
The Italian people work at many
different kinds of jobs. Many of the jobs are in the food
industry, some work in the many wineries and vineyards. Italy is
one of the largest wine producers in the world and also a big
producer of vinegar, but vineyards can only produce one thing,
wine or vinegar, not both.
Olives and wine grapes are among
the most important products and they sell a lot to other
countries. There are many farms and dairies and Italy makes a
lot of cheeses, and many people work at these kinds of jobs.
Many people work at companies that make cars and clothing
and leather products for their own country and to sell to other
countries. A lot of
people work in restaurants and hotels because so many tourists
that come there. They
even have jobs teaching Italian cooking to tourists.
Italy grows a lot of grapes,
olives, and tomatoes. The
grapes are turned into wines and vinegars, the olives into
jarred olives and olive oil and the tomatoes into tomato sauce.
They raise Pigs, sheep and lambs and cows, goats,
chickens and water buffalo on farms where the animals can roam
around and eat alot of different grains and plants, some say
that is why the cheeses of Italy are so good.
The animals are still tended by Shepard’s and life is
slower and relaxed on the farms. They use the animals for meat
and for dairy products. They
eat the meat fresh or they make sausages, or salami and
Farms also grow wheat and corn
and rice, and herbs. They
make a lot of bread in professional bakeries. And they use the
wheat to make many different types of pasta.
They eat the pasta fresh, or they dry it. The dried pasta
is sold all over the world.
They make really good cheeses
from the sheep and cows milk in factories in southern Italy who
get the milk from the farmers in the middle region.
Along the coasts they fish and catch a lot of seafood for
local cooking and for all the restaurants.
They catch many different kinds of fish and shrimp,
scallops, cod, swordfish, and lobsters to cook and eat.
The cooks in Italy work with
fresh ingredients as much as they can.
Products of Italy include:
Dried & fresh Pastas
Cured, preserved Meats (salami, pepperoni)
Bottled Sauces (tomato, pesto, etc.)
Italians love to eat, and people
all over the world love Italian food, and the country is famous
for it. Italy has
different regions, north, middle and south and people cook
special things and are a bit different from each other because
of where they are located and the weather conditions in the
different areas, and all the fresh ingredients from the region
they are from.
Some of the staple cooking
ingredients in Italy are, bread, rice, cheese, pasta, vinegar,
wine, meats, fresh and preserved, seafood, eggs, milk, fresh
vegetables & herbs. Cooking
methods are baking, boiling, frying, steaming, salting to
preserve fish, and meats (salami, sausage) But mostly fresh
ingredients are used in the dishes, and cooked/fried in pots and
pans, much like we cook in America.
Here are some common names of
recipes prepared in Italy:
ANTIPASTI (cured meats, cheeses, olive platter)
UOVA TRIPPATE (Eggs
in Tomato Sauce)
RICOTTA FRITTA (Fried Ricotta Cheese)
MINESTRONE DI VERDURE (Vegetable Minestrone)
ZUPPA DI VONGOLE (Clam Soup)
PASTA E FAGIOLI (Pasta with Beans)
LINGUINE ALLE VONGOLE (Linguine with Clam Sauce)
PASTA 'NCASCIATA (Baked Rigatoni with Eggplant)
FETTUCCINE ALFREDO (Fettuccine in Double Cream)
RIPIENO DI FORMAGGIO (Pasta with Cheese Stuffing)
BRUSCHETTA (Garlic Bread)
PANE INTEGRALE (Whole-wheat Bread)
PIZZA MARGHERITA (Pízza with Mozzarella and Tomatoes)
SCALOPPINE AL LIMONE (Veal Escalopes with Lemon Sauce)
BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA (Broiled T-bone Steak)
BRACIOLE DI MAIALE ALLA NAPOLETANA (Pork Loin with Garlic)
POLLO ALLA CACCIATORA (Chicken Cacciatore)
ZUPPA DI PESCE (Fish Stew)
SHRIMP SCAMPI (Shrimp in garlic olive oil)
CANNELLINI ALL'UCCELLETTO (Stewed Fresh Beans)
MELANZANE A FUNGHETTO (Sauteed Eggplant)
PEPERONATA (Peppers Sautéed with Olive Oil and Capers)
ZUCCHINE AL FORNO (Baked Zucchini)
INSALATA MISTA (Mixed salad)
INSALATA DI FORMAGGIO (Cheese Salad)
INSALATA DI FUNGHI (Mushroom Salad)
AMARETTI (Almond Cookies)
CROSTATA DI FRUTTA (Fruit Tart)
STRUFOLI (Honey Balls)
GRANITA AL LIMONE (Lemon Ice)
COFFEE, CAPPUCINO, EXPRESSO
Breakfast in Italy is usually
eaten in the morning and is always served with coffee or tea,
milk or juice and breakfast is mostly breads or pastries,
sometimes eggs, frittata (open faced omelets) For normal people
in Italy, breakfast is strong coffee and pastry.
Lunch in Italy for the regular
person can be a sandwich with preserved meats (salami) a calzone
or pizza. There are
many cafés and bakeries to by fruit and cheese or bread and
pastries. Small places called trattorias serve pastas and salads
and sandwiches. Tourists
usually have a larger and longer sit down lunch at restaurants
that can almost be like a dinner.
But the average Italian grabs a salad and sandwich or
pizza or rice balls.
Eating is very social in Italy,
but especially at dinner. Cocktails before a meal is not popular
like it is in America. In Italy, wine is more popular to drink
There are many courses in an
Italian dinner. Starting
with Antipasta, then a first course of pasta, second is soup,
then your main course with meat or seafood, then side dishes,
usually vegetables or beans, then dessert.
Bread is always served at every meal, with olive oil to
dip it in. (Butter is only served at breakfast time) Salad is
served last, not first like in America, then dessert is last.
If Italy is surrounded by the sea and beaches, why does
it get so cold in certain areas?
True or False --Kids don’t go out on dates in groups in
At dinner, what do Italians like to dip their bread in?
If you lived in Italy what would you eat for breakfast?
Name one product that Italy is famous for in the world.
1-because big mountains run down the middle of Italy.
4-Coffee and Pastry
Sliced Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Roasted Red Pepper
Fresh Basil Leaves
Olive Oil or Italian Dressing
Prepare ingredients by, slicing
fresh mozzarella cheese into thin strips, do the same with the
Roasted Red Pepper. Separate
whole basil leaves from stems.
Near the bottom of a slice of
salami, place a whole basil leaf flat onto salami, inside the
leaf place a strip or two of fresh mozzarella cheese, and
Roasted Red pepper. Drizzle
with olive oil or Italian dressing, sprinkle with dried oregano
and garlic powder. Roll
up, and secure with a tooth pick.
Garnish with bread sticks on platter.
Lonely Planet Italy (Italy, 5th Ed)
by, Damien Simoni
Marcella's Italian Kitchen
by Marcella Hazan, 1995
Rand McNally Atlas of the World
by, Rand McNally