A Taste of Verona: Discovering Authentic Veneto Cuisine

By: Nicole Dickerson / Last updated: February 16, 2024

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes


Ciabatta bread
Ciabatta bread

Guide to Veneto Gastronomy and Cuisine: Read more

Regional Cuisine:

Belluno, Padua, Rovigo, Treviso, Venice, Vicenza

Ciabatta Bread

Did you know ciabatta bread was first made in Verona in 1982? The name translates to ‘slipper,’ referring to the shape of this white bread. Baker Arnaldo Cavallari invented the bread when bakers were worried about the rising popularity of the French baguette.

Gnocchi con la Fioretta

Gnocchi con la fioretta is a must-try dish while in Verona. Fioretta is the liquid ricotta attained by not thoroughly skimming the whey while making classic ricotta. The result is a semi-liquid consistency, fresh in flavor with a hint of acidity. In the Agno Valley, especially Recoaro Terme, they make gnocchi using fioretta, flour, and eggs. Gnocchi con la fioretta is frequently served with butter, sage, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Lesso e Pearà

Lesso e pearà or bollito e pearà is a dish typically prepared for festive occasions. It’s often made with boiled beef, though the type of meat can vary. The star of this dish is the thick, rich pearà sauce, made with bone marrow, olive oil or butter, broth, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano, and black pepper. Its name comes from the Venetian word for pepper and pearà, and the sauce cooks for hours until fragrant and thick.

Luccio alla Gardesana

For a seafood dish in Verona, try luccio alla gardesana or luccio in salsa. The plate is especially popular around Lake Garda. Luccio in salsa sees pike fish first cooked in broth with onions, celery, carrots, and herbs. Then, it’s served with a sauce made from anchovies, capers, olive oil, garlic, and parsley.

Monte Veronese DOP Cheese

While in Verona, be sure to try the Monte Veronese DOP cheese, which is typical of the region. This cow’s milk cheese has a unique production process involving several milkings to make the curds. There are three different types of Monte Veronese cheese. A whole milk version matured for 25-60 days is labeled green. The D’Avello version can be aged for up to 90 days. It has a blue label with less fat and a savory, slightly piquant flavor. Finally, the black label indicates a minimum one-year aging period.


Another sweet bread from Verona, nadalin, was created in the 13th century to celebrate the ruling Scala family’s first Christmas in Verona. It’s less buttery and sweet, yet denser than Pandoro. The dough is flavored with vanilla and lemon zest. Nadalin’s trademark is the sweet bread’s crunchy top made from Marsala wine, sugar, almonds, and pine nuts.

Pastissada de Caval

This ancient horsemeat stew is a regional specialty in Verona. The dish traces back to Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths, who let the locals take the meat of the horses who died in battle. Then, they marinated the horsemeat with wine, vegetables, and onions.

Pastissada de caval is prepared today by cooking horsemeat with onions, carrots, cloves, and Valpolicella red wine. Bay leaves, cinnamon, and nutmeg are usually added to flavor the stew, traditionally served with polenta.

Pandoro – A Sweet Specialty of Verona

Pandoro is a traditional Christmas bread savored throughout Italy that originated in Verona. The name comes from pan d’oro, or bread of gold, referring to the bread’s yellow color. The high number of eggs used to make the bread contributes to its yellow dough.

Beyond eggs, the dough for Pandoro also includes yeast, sugar, flour, vanilla, milk, butter, and salt. It’s traditionally baked in a star-shaped, tall mold and served sprinkled in powdered sugar—the original version of pandoro dates to the 18th century when it was made for the aristocracy.

Polenta e Bogoni

Since Verona is one of the Veneto’s more inland provinces, you’ll find many land-based dishes in the region. Polenta e bogoni is a traditional Veronese dish of snails and polenta. The snails are washed and boiled twice, once to clean and the second time with garlic, celery, onions, vinegar, and bay leaves for flavor. Then, they are baked or cooked with lemon zest, onions, parsley, garlic, white wine, and butter. After the extensive cooking process, the snails are served on a bed of polenta.

Risotto all’Amarone

The winemaking and culinary traditions of Verona come together in risotto Amarone. This simple dish highlights two of the region’s top products, Vialone Nano rice and Amarone red wine. Broth, olive oil, butter, onions, salt, and pepper are also used to make risotto all’Amarone, which is topped with Parmigiano Reggiano to serve.

Risotto all’Isolana

Typical of Isola della Scala, risotto all’isolana is a meat-based dish. The risotto is prepared with Vialone Nano rice, pork loin, veal, meat broth, Grano Padano, butter, rosemary, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.

Tortellini di Valeggio

When you’re craving pasta in Verona, try tortellini di Valeggio. These tortellini are made with thin sheets of egg pasta filled with a meat mixture of pork, chicken, veal, and beef. The original recipe may include chicken livers, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano or Grano Padano, and spices like pepper, nutmeg, and rosemary. The tortellini are often served with broth or with butter and sage.

Tortellini di Valeggio originated in a town called Scaligero on the banks of the Mincio River. The recipe dates back to the 1300s when a soldier and nymph in love took refuge here to escape their enemies. They left knotted handkerchiefs on the river bank to symbolize their love, whose shape is embodied in the tortellini di Valeggio.


The Veneto Region in Italy offers a variety of experiences for wine enthusiasts. From the quaint wine villages of Valpolicella to the vibrant Prosecco wine country, the region is known for producing famous wines like Amarone, Prosecco, and Soave, making it a prime destination for those passionate about wine.

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Nicole Dickerson

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