When imagining a sun-soaked Italian beach, pasta might not be the first thing that comes to your mind. But, here’s a fun fact: around 12:30 to 1:30 pm (the standard time for Italian lunch) at every Italian beach during summer, there’s a distinct buzz. Why? It’s lunchtime, and Italians are setting up their beach picnics.
- Italians often enjoy their meals right at the beach during vacations, under the beach umbrella, or at the beach bar.
- Popular Italian beach food includes pasta, salads, and traditional dishes like lasagna and parmigiana.
- Recent trends show a shift towards lighter and healthier dishes for beach picnics.
While some choose nearby coastal restaurants, many prepare a spread right on the sand. And yes, this often includes various types of pasta prepared a day in advance.
Most Popular Italian Beach Food:
- 27%: Rice, pasta, chicken, or seafood salad
- 19%: Caprese salad
- 18%: Fruit salad
- 9%: Vegetable or pasta omelet
- 6%: Eggplant parmigiana
- 5%: Lasagna
- 3%: Meatballs
- 13%: Other or no answer
Eating at the beach isn’t just a pastime; it’s a beloved ritual for Italians. Recent trends indicate a shift towards healthier choices:
- 27% bring home-made rice, pasta, chicken, or seafood salads.
- Caprese salad is a favorite for 19%, followed closely by fruit salads at 18%, often made with summer seasonal fruit.
However, traditional dishes remain popular. For instance, 9% still prefer a vegetable or pasta omelet, while 6% can’t resist the rich flavors of eggplant parmigiana. Surprisingly, only 5% opt for lasagna, and a mere 3% crave meatballs.
So next time you’re at an Italian beach and see families setting up elaborate lunches, you’ll know it’s a cherished tradition. Whether it’s a hearty pasta dish or a refreshing salad, beach meals showcase the diversity and richness of Italian cuisine, as you can read here, salad in Italy is a simple dish but very versatile
Having lunch on the beach like the Italians do
While you might associate a day at the beach with relaxation, it doesn’t mean you have to forgo certain comforts, especially when it comes to food. At the beach, you can even set aside the etiquette rules I’ve explained here.
For instance, if you’re indulging in some authentic Italian beach food, like pasta or lasagna, you’d likely carry it in handy food containers, such as Tupperware. And forget about those fancy plates; you’ll be diving straight in with a fork and knife.
Now, if you’re lucky enough to find a table under your umbrella, it’s more for support rather than dining. In most places, there might not even be a table, so you’d comfortably eat on your lap or while lounging on a sunbed.
And, of course, no Italian beach meal is complete without some paper napkins, paper cups, and a cooler to keep those drinks and fruits chilled. So, the next time you head to the beach, why not dine like an Italian? It’s all about the experience, after all.
Yes, fruit is one of the foods that many Italians take to the beach, in particular, fruit salad is often eaten as a dessert of a classic beach lunch.
Yes, it is a consumer’s right to bring food to the beach even if they have to go through a private bathhouse with a restaurant to reach the shore. The beach establishment has a concession that applies to the space assigned to it but still does not have trust on catering. It is the citizen’s full right to introduce food and drink into the establishment, respecting the decorum of the beach.
Absolutely not, the possibility of eating on Italian beaches is limited to the consumption of food brought from home already cooked. For safety and decorum reasons you can’t cook or set up barbecues on beaches.
Dining under a sun umbrella near the sea is certainly a way to avoid crowds at the beach bar or restaurant, but it is also a great way to eat healthy (and save money) as food is prepared at home the night before.
Although it is not the most convenient form of pasta to eat under the umbrella, some Italians do not give up a plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce. So you might see some people in Italy eating a plate of spaghetti under the sun umbrella at the beach.
Although lasagna is typically a warm, winter dish, it is so good that some people even eat it cold or lukewarm under an umbrella at the beach. Some buy it as a ready-made dish at some rotisserie and then eat it at the beach.
Ferragosto is a holiday of ancient Roman origin, now celebrated in Italy on August 15. The day of Ferragosto is traditionally dedicated to out-of-town trips and packed lunches at the beach, where people eat cereal and legume salads, cold pasta, and stuffed focaccia, ideal dishes to eat in a group especially when there are many people.