What is the tourists’ favourite Italian food?

From ‘nduja to piadina, from pesto to mozzarella: the ranking of 10 most appreciated Italian food products, according to the results of a research made among 1820 foreign tourists, during the launch of the documentary Cibus exhibition

More than 5,000 Italian food products have been registered so far by the Ministry of Agriculture and Coldiretti. A cultural treasure that millions of tourists discover and appreciate every year. This allows Italy to boast the enviable world record for variety and size of the agri-food heritage. A study carried out by the communication agency Klaus Davi & Co. – interviewing 1,820 tourists on the occasion of the launch of the documentary on the Cibus trade show – focused on the ten most beloved Italian food products indicated by foreign tourists who arrived in Italy this year.


• In first place we find ‘nduja and pesto (19%), two products for which Germans, French and Spaniards in particular are crazy about, as they do not resist the unique tastes of these specialties which can be used as perfect dressings for different foods, starting with pasta;

• In second place comes the piadina romagnola (16,5%), very appreciated by Germans and the Russians, assiduous frequenters of Riviera;

• Third comes buffalo mozzarella (14%), for which Americans and Britons in particular are crazy about;

• Fourth is the white truffle from Alba (12.5%), precious and expensive but sought after to give an unparalleled taste to all types of dishes, recently discovered even by wealthy Chinese people;

• Fifth place for the Fiorentina steak (10%), a specialty that English and Northern Europeans can not give up at all;

• Sixth place for speck (8%), loved by Austrians who flock to the small South Tyrolean shops to slice it up at home;

• Then comes the red shrimp of Mazara del Vallo (7%), with South Americans and Dutch at the forefront among lovers of this truly unique crustacean;

• In eighth place, we can find Castelluccio lentils (5%), which inspire many English and German visitors, present in large numbers to admire their beautiful spring bloom;

• In ninth place comes the bottarga (mullet roe), (3%), of which the Russians are also great admirers, in competition with their caviar;

• This special top ten closes with the bread of Altamura (2%), with the Scandinavians in pole position among those who appreciate this product so much. This healthy food is ideal for long storage


Alessandra Balocco, manager of the historic Balocco family-owned confectionery company, is not surprised by this international success: “Our products are excellent but they must be protected. Sometimes in Italy there is no harmonization on the protection of Made in Italy, even less at a European level”. Massimo Menna, from the Garofalo pasta company, echoes it and comments on the status of Italian specialities in the world: “You can reach these great levels of excellence only with a lot of love and passion”. Giancarlo Taglia, manager of the ‘Il Buon Gusto Italiano’ network of companies, said: “We must make the world understand that we have nothing to envy to countries like Germany or France”. Carolina Vergnano, who takes care of the trade and foreign relations of Caffè Vergnano, agrees: “We must always look to the future; a product must be the union of tradition and innovation”. Anna Vietti, Acqua Lauretana’s board member, expresses her opinion on the protection of the Italian agricultural and food heritage: “We are synonymous with excellence, we are synonymous with quality; being Italian always pays”. Cesare Mazzetti, president of Qualivita and Acetum, adds: “I am with Made in Italy above all because it is a product, a production, a set of goods and image that promote our country in the world”. Fabrizio Fichera, marketing director of the Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro, is optimistic: “I am convinced that we are only at the beginning, the market is extraordinarily large and consumers continue to appreciate Made in Italy more and more, so there is plenty of room for the future”. Giacomo Ponti, managing director of Ponti SpA, emphasizes the phenomenon of Italian sounding: “It steals market shares from serious Italian companies, so a better protection is needed”. Giovanni Zaccanti, president of Parmacotto, reaffirms the importance of Italian spirit: “Made in Italy is first of all a guarantee, secondly it is an excellence and, thirdly, there is an all-Italian heart”. Pier Paolo Rosetti, general manager of Conserve Italia, highlights: “Traceability and reliability: we try to put in our products a very high quality level thanks to process and quality controls”. According to Rossella Ferro, owner of pasta factory La Molisana: “We must be protected by Italian institutions because today competitors are not my fellow pasta makers, but Turkish, Tunisian, and Greek pasta makers”. Cosimo Rummo, president of Rummo pasta company, agrees: “If we are successful, the whole working world will be successful as well and we would produce wealth for a huge part of the Italian people”. Chiara Ercole, general manager of F.lli Saclà, agrees: “Being Italian is a value for consumers, because Italian food products are perceived as healthy, made with simple and authentic ingredients”. Vincenzo Tundo, marketing director of San Benedetto group, continues: “Being Italian abroad is a very important value because it is synonymous with living well, and taking great care and attention to your well-being”. Giovanni Zucchi, vice-president of Oleificio Zucchi, shares the same opinion: “Our territory, our biodiversity and our ability to transform the product are unique in the world”. Roberto Moncalvo, president of Italian farmers association Coldiretti, says: “Europe must take a quick step forward even on the regulatory front, giving European citizens what they ask for: information about the origin of food products on the labels”.

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