Gelato and Pizza: Italian Food for Children

Ask a child what their favourite food is, and there’s a good chance they’ll say pizza or ice cream. So, it’s no surprise that a trip to Italy is a popular taste tour for travellers of all ages, from the youngest family member to the more mature of the generations.

With such regional differences in its cuisine – from the seafood-abundant diet of the south to the rich risottos of Turin and Milan – a gastronomic journey through Italy is defined by the destinations it’s in. And as the three Italian specialties most children crave are pizza, spaghetti Bolognese and ice cream, why not set out on a family trip that encompasses all three?

Italian Food for Children

In the ancient city of Rome, pasta plays a dominant role, served in a luscious coating of creamy carbonara sauce. But, equally as famous is the city’s own wood-fired version of the Italian pizza. Here, an impossibly thin dough base is chargrilled and lavishly heaped with an array of fresh toppings. Meanwhile, in Naples (where this Italian specialty is said to have originated) pizza is given a much thicker crust, with a generous covering of tomatoes and mozzarella.

The restaurant Napul’é brings these two variations together, serving up Naples-style pizza in the heart of Rome. With Trafalgar, children are even given the chance to take part in special pizza-making classes in Napul’é’s own kitchen.

Italian Food for Children

Over in Florence, the region’s ice cream – or gelato, as it’s more commonly known – is widely regarded as the best in Italy. In fact, it was in Florence that the frozen dessert was first made. It was a farmer named Ruggeri who is said to have created the first sorbet back in the times of the Italian Renaissance. This was later (in the 1500s) developed into the creamy gelato we know today by the artist Bernardo Buontalenti, who was asked to create a dessert for the King of Spain. Restaurateur Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli then made gelato famous by taking the recipe from Palermo to open a café in Paris.

The oldest gelato shop in Florence is one named Vivoli, which in its infancy in the 1930s relied on using blocks of ice from the hills. Today, Vivoli still whips up classic gelato in traditional vanilla, chocolate and stracciatella, as well as more inventive flavours like pear and caramel, and dried figs with walnuts.

Italian Food for Children

Another firm family favourite is spaghetti Bolognese, but the popular dish of the city of Bologna is so much more than the Bolognese most people know. This hearty meat sauce encompasses fresh vegetables cooked in olive oil with beef and pancetta, to which a dash of cream and tomato sauce is added. This is then served over al dente spaghetti with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

With so much to feast on across Italy, burn off some energy by embracing the cultural experiences on offer each day on a Trafalgar itinerary. Explore the gladiatorial sites of Rome before learning the basics of sword fighting; discover hidden corners of a castle in the hills surrounding Tuscany; and navigate Venice’s canals before trying your hand at making a Venetian mask.

Trafalgar’s ‘Gladiators, Gondolas and Gold‘ itinerary encompasses all of these sights and experiences, making it ideal the family-friendly escape.

Image credits: cover photo of Italian pizza © iStock / Riccardo Cigno Studio. Photo of gelato © iStock / Lisay. A pizza making class © iStock / Monkey Business Images. Spaghetti Bolognese © iStock / rez-art

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter and receive $250 of FREE Trafalgar travel credit

"*" indicates required fields

Terms and Cons*
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in excerpt
Search in content