We can't discuss Italian traditions without talking about food. It's an essential part of Italian life, and may be the one Italian tradition that non-Italians know best. The most well-known Italian dishes are pasta and pizza. It's an essential part of Italian life, and may be the one Italian tradition that non-Italians know best. The most well-known Italian dishes are pasta and, but Italian cuisine varies tremendously from one region to another. The popular Italian-American dishes generally hail from the southern region of Campania and the island of Sicily, just off the southern coast. Indeed, most Italians will tell you that Italy isn't a monoculture, and Italians are often as proud of their regional heritage as they are of their nation as a whole.
Italian cuisine is based on peasant traditions and thus relies on inexpensive, locally available foods to a great extent. The Italian phas historically been quite poor and had to rely on locally available foods to create their recipes [source: Primerano]. This is why many Italian dishes are based on simple ingredients like cheese, pasta, eggplant, olives and olive oil, as well as other items that Italians could make themselves or procure inexpensively. Generally speaking, Italian cuisine is all about using quality ingredients well, rather than cooking technique. (Contrast this with French cuisine, which heavily emphasizes technique.)