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Where to get the best Italian food outside Italy

Italy is famous for its food but you don’t have to book a ticket to Florence or Naples to get a decent plate of pasta. Italian immigrants have brought their home country’s unique flavours to places as far-flung as South Africa, Venezuela, Australia, and beyond, so here are the best places to get your gelato fix outside Italy.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Head to Johannesburg for Northern Italian flavours

Head to Johannesburg for Northern Italian flavours

The Italian community imported Northern Italian flavours to Johannesburg and the city is now known for its cured meats, stuffed pasta, balsamic vinegar, and zucchini. Amarcord Italian Food, Cafe del Sol Classico, and Tortellino D’Oro are all restaurants worth checking out and Italians also set up some of South Africa’s first vineyards, so pay a visit to The Peech Hote and make the most of their wine list and champagne bar.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Italian dining in the Brooklin Novo district of Sao Paulo

Italian dining in the Brooklin Novo district of Sao Paulo

Brazil has the largest group of people with Italian heritage outside Italy and the impact this community has had on Sao Paulo’s cuisine ranges from traditional Italian staples through to Italo-Brazilian fusions like Frango con Polenta and Bife a Parmegiana. Bela Vista is one of Sao Paulo’s oldest Italian neighbourhoods and foodies are recommended to stay at either Pousada Recanto dos Ingleses or Hotel Feller Avenida Paulista.

Caracas, Venezuela

Hunt out the best Margherita Pizza you've ever had in Caracas

Hunt out the best Margherita Pizza you've ever had in Caracas

Italian immigrants to Caracas in Venezuela mainly hailed from Southern Italy and they brought their region’s flavours and ingredients with them. Must-visit restaurants include Via Cipro (for the Vermicelli Alle Vongole), La Romanissima (for the cheesecake), and Aprile (for the Robalo Tiradito). Nearly 2% of residents in the district of Chacao are Italian and the Cayena-Caracas is a great base for foodies.

Melbourne, Australia

Antipasto in Melbourne's Little Italy

Antipasto in Melbourne's Little Italy

Italian is the second most spoken language in Australia (after English) and the Italian influence can be felt in every major Australian city, nowhere more so than in Melbourne. Travellers passionate about pasta should head to Lygon Street, aka Melbourne’s Little Italy. This area is home to some of the city’s best Italian restaurants and delis, and plays host to the annual Lygon Street Festa, celebrating Italian influence and cuisine in Melbourne. Visitors hoping to start the day with a traditional prima colazione are recommended to check into the Naughtons Parkville Hotel.

Hartford, USA

A baker shaping dough in Hartford

A baker shaping dough in Hartford

When it comes to Italo-American food New York is probably the first place that comes to mind but don’t overlook Connecticut, home to a thriving Italian community and some of the best cannoli in the country. Hartford’s Italian population are based in the south of the city and the area around Franklin Avenue is bursting with restaurants, bakeries, shops, and delis. If you’re planning to cook some of your own Italian dishes then the self-service apartments at Residence Inn Hartford are a great place to stay.

Manila, Philippines

Baked Macaroni in Manila

Baked Macaroni in Manila

Just like in Brazil, Italian communities in the Philippines have added an Italian twist to their home country’s national cuisine. Foodies looking for a new take on old flavours are recommended to try Filipino spaghetti (a ketchup-based sauce with hot dogs or chopped up sausage) or go into any Italian restaurant and ask for the Baked Macaroni. Or if you’re looking for something a bit more traditional pay a visit to Raffaele Woodfired Pizza, only a few minutes’ walk from the MCH Suites at le Mirage De Malate.