The Difference Between Northern and Southern Italy

There are major differences in culture between northern and southern Italy. These are demonstrated in myriad ways including food, intelligence, fitness/health, architecture. This paper will attempt to demonstrate the differences in culture in Italy. When you think of Italy what do you think of? I think of the warm weather, white sandy beaches, different sites, food, clothing, wine, styles of architecture and so much more.

I didn’t really think of it as two separate cultures. I never knew there was a difference between Northern and Southern Italy. In reality there is, and it’s not just a subtle difference. There are a lot of major differences. When you think of Southern Italy, close your eyes, put yourself back in medieval times. This is the time when the Kings, Queens, and Knights ruled the land. “Under the Normans, the South of Italy became the most powerful medieval Italian realm. Referred to by chronicles simply as “Lo Regno”. The Kingdom. Regalisis is the Latin word for “regal”.

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Royal or Kinglike. (Regalis, “History, heraldry, royalty, nobility, biography”, 04/2010. ) Back in those times Southern Italy was known for their royalty. This day and age Southern Italy is known as a place for the poor people. Southern Italy is made up of Rome and anything south of it. Molise, Apulia, Sardinia, Abruzzo, Campania, Sicily, Basilicata, and Calabria. These regions make up the lower half also known as the boot of Italy. Each of these cities is known for some kind of food or a famous chef that came from that part of the country.

Since this is known as the poor part of the country Italians dishes are put together with inexpensive indegrediants such as, peppers, olives, capers, garlic, and anchovies. Southern pastas are made with harder flours and without the use of eggs. These kinds are pastas are shaped and not rolled like the pastas from Northern Italy where they have more funds. In Southern Italy you will find more buffalo, lamb, fish, chicken, pigs, goats and sheep. They do not have very many cows due to costs. You can also find olive oil and eggplant all over southern Italy.

Rome, even though they are poor they are still Italy 3 known for their lavish oven roasted lambs, chicken, soups and pastas. Artichokes are also very popular with the Romans. They are also famous for their stuffed vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini, and artichokes. They also use a lot of greens. Rome is also known for frying everything. I wonder how they can fry everything but they are not known like America for obesity. Campania is known for their dishes that are rich in vegetables, pastas and seafood. When you hear Campania you should now think of pizza, this is one of the places that pizza came from.

If you were to visit Campania you would see tons of people in the streets. This is how they make their living. It would look like an enormous farmers market like we have here in America. Some people can spends days at a time outdoors since their living quarters can be cramped at times. Here the weather is warm and comfortable so people don’t mind spending as much time as they can outside. Sicily is called the Mediterranean island in the sun. This is located closer to North Africa and comes from Arabian and Greek influence. A main dish in Sicily consists of eggplant and several different kinds of vegetables.

Other than eggplant other main vegetables found in Sicily are tomatoes and of course pasta. Another thing that is partial to Sicily is cheese making. Ricotta is a well known cheese from Sicily made from Ewe’s milk. You will find that Sicily is also well known over any other part of Italy for their sweets, fruits and ice creams. Sicilian’s sweets and ice cream can be found everywhere. One of the most famous desserts are Cassata, which is sponge cake filled with candied fruit, ricotta and marzipan. I was turned off when I seen it had cheese in it.

I have learned though not to knock something until you try it, so I will just say it isn’t appealing to my taste. Next we have Apulia. They are known for their vast majority of wheat and vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, artichokes, onions, peppers, figs, olives and citrus fruits. Apulia is surrounded by the ocean so they are more abundant in ocean life such as oysters, shrimp, sea turtles, fish, crab, lobster, octopus and mussels. Although lamb is their most popular kind of meat. I have consumed lamb before and I do have to say that lamb is an acquired taste.

I know it is big in Greek and Italian cuisine. If you like Italy 4 Calzone’s, this is the place to find them. Their choice of dessert is definitely different then some of the other places in Southern Italy. Apulia’s desserts include melons, cotognata and grapes. Abruzzo and Molice are known for famous chefs and their hot spices. They are big into strong flavoring. They use a lot of peppers such as red peppers to season a lot of their dishes to give it that right strong flavor. Their main dishes include fish, pastas and lamb.

This part of the country is not just surrounded by water, but they are also surrounded by the mountains. Lat but certainly not least we have Basilicata and Calabria. Basilicata is also known for their spicy foods. They use a lot of ginger when cooking. Some foods known from Basilicata are sausage and mushrooms, potatoes and pasta and rabbit and pork. Rabbit would not be a desirable meal for me. I am not into eating thumper. Just a little humor. They also use sauces for their pastas that are rich in vegetables. Calabria is famous for their flat pizza that does not have any tomatoes on it.

They also are known for their stew that is made with tomatoes, onion, potatoes, and eggplants. Calabria also serves a breakfast made of pork. I couldn’t have pork for breakfast. Makes you wonder if you could live in some of these places with the dishes that they have to offer you. I think I would be starving. Southern Italy has many different forms of language. Italian being the most used. In Molise their official language is of Slavic or Croatian dialect. Rome, Apulia, Abruzzo, Campania, Calabria and Basilicata. Sardinia uses Italian and Sardinian for their language.

Sicily uses Latin as their first language and Greek and their second. You can see from just the Southern part of Italy language is very different. In the United States our entire countries first language is English. The main difference for us versus Southern Italy is we have accents as they have different languages all together. That would be a very confusing place to live. I would have a hard time learning so many different languages. I am sure it does come natural for people that actually live in Italy though. Italy 5 When it comes to obesity, Southern Italy is not in that category.

According to the International Journal of Obesity, “Populations living in the Mediterranean area have a low incidence of premature cardiovascular disease, which has been attributed in part to the typical eating habits. Most of the data regarding the beneficial effects of diet in Mediterranean populations are derived from the Seven Countries Study, which reported a low intake of total saturated fat and a high consumption of complex carbohydrates and fiber, with an energy intake no different from other populations with the highest risk” (National Journal of Obesity, Volume 25, Number 2, February, 2001).

Why can’t America be like that? Just following that sort of diet cuts down the chances of heart attacks, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. Mortality rates are about the same for any country, but in Southern Italy there mortality rates are not for obesity, they have other reasons. When it comes to Industrial growth in Southern Italy, there is not much. The Southern part of Italy has never been an important industrial region. It is isolated from the rest of Europe by poor transport links. They have very few natural resources, little money and limited skills.

The high birth rate means there are too many people looking for the few available jobs that there are to offer. Despite these problems, the South is slowly starting to move up. Marshy areas have been drained and trees planted. New dams, irrigation schemes and motorways have been built. The hot, dry summers and the sandy beaches are attracting more tourists. Some of the earlier migrants to the North have returned with the money in which they earned there. Even so, the gap between the North and the South of Italy continues to grow. Italy 6 Now we come to Northern Italy. Northern Italy is known as the richest part of Italy.

The regions that make up this part are; Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Veneto, Trentino-Alto Ridge, Friuli-Venezia Guilia, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Marches, and Latium. These regions make up the upper half of the boot. Many kinds of lavish dishes come from Northern Italy since they have more money than Southern Italy. From Aosta Valley, come olive oil, pastas, cheese, potatoes, breads, and several types of meats. Since they have more money they can afford fertilizer for their cows and be able to have beef. They also make dishes with different kinds of irds and fish.

For dessert they turn to fruits like berries, pears and apples. The “The Valle d’Aosta (Vallee d’Aoste in French) regional DOC covers 23 types of wine and variations. But such curios as the red Torrette and Enfer d’Arvier and the white Muscat de Chambave and Blanc de Morgex (from continental Europe’s highest vineyards) need to be sampled locally. Meals conclude with the passing of the grolla, a pot containing caffe valdostana (coffee with red wine, grappa and lemon peel), which is sipped from numerous spouts” (Italian Trade Commission, “The Foods of Aosta Valley, 2010).

Piedmont is famous for their many variations for antipasti. They also enjoy different kinds of game, fish, pork, lamb, beef and donkey meat. Donkey meat, that’s a new one for me to ever hear. So crazy go to another country and find a new type of meat. Not really appealing. Liguria is famous for their numerous traditional dishes. Some of these dishes include; Snails Ligurian Style, Chickpea Polenta, and Sun Dried Tomatoes. They also eat fish, rabbit, mushrooms, nuts, and beans. Lombardy is known for its exquisite dishes. They have more taste for meats like beef, fish, poultry, veal, and pork.

They are famous for their cheeses. They use frogs, snails, and crayfish in their meals. Did Italy 7 you know that Lombardy is the official birthplace of Ravioli. They are a small producer of olive oil. Veneto is a producer of rice, corn, fish and livestock. Gardens are big through Veneto. For desserts the like cakes, candied fruits, custards and nuts. Next, we have Trentino-Alto Adige, is known for their polento. They have soups made with meat and vegetables. They are famous for their Speck. Italy is also known for their major production of apples, which produce apple fritters and strudels.

Their choices of desserts include honey, cakes, nuts and candied fruits. Friuli-Venezia Giulia is near the mountains and valleys. They are known for their vineyards. Poultry, beef, lamb and sausage are used here. Cheese, fruits, breads, pastas, oils, and white wine are found here. Emilia-Romagna is famous for their pastas. They also are eat polenta, vegetable, rolls, soups, and pastas. Some of their desserts they indulge in are fritters, fruits, nuts, tarts, and cakes. They are famous for their aged vinegar and wines. Last but not least we have Tuscany, whom is famous for their breads.

They re also big on pastas, soups, seafood, roasts made with beef, poultry, fish, pork and game. Their desserts include cakes, crepes, and fruits. Umbrian’s are into truffles, pastas, eggs, and meats such as pork, beef, rabbit, and lamb. They like salads and vegetables. Breads and buns are served as a dessert here. Marches is known for all the luscious meats that they cook. Beef, pork, game, veal and poultry are some of the meats they cook with. They also like olives, breads, peas, chesses, and pizzas. For desserts they like breads topped with nuts, raisins and fruits. Antipasto is what makes Latium well known.

They have many feasts with several kinds of antipastos. They also produce vegetables, beans and olive oils. They are also known for their many kinds of chesses that make. Latium desserts include cakes, buns, coffee and gelato. Italy 8 Northern Italy uses many kinds of languages, Italian being the first. The countries that use the most Italian for their language include; Tuscany, Umbria, Marches, and Latium. Bavarian is also used in Northern Italy. Cimbrian is used in Veneto. Occitan is the official language of Piedmont. Ligurians use Ligurian. Lombard is Lombardy’s language.

German and Venetian is spoken is Trentino-Alto Adige. The language of Emilio-Romagna is Emilio-Romagnolo. Franco-Proven? al is the language of NW Aosta Valley. Friuli and Venetian are the language of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. They too have a lot of different languages that they use compared to Southern Italy. Does Northern Italy have any problems with obesity? They have higher rates than Southern Italy due to being a richer part of the country. After looking at the chart I see that there is not much of a difference, but the rates are higher in Northern Italy than Southern Italy.

Still not as high as the rates of obesity in America. Industrial growth has been very rapid in the industrial triangle which is located in the lowlands of the Northern Italian Plains. This is a very wealthy area in Italy. The three corners of the triangle are made up of Genoa, Milan and Turin. Industry is so good because they are closer to the French, German and U. K. markets. Good can be exported by boat or air and imported by rail or vehicle. Factories take up a majority of the large amounts of land in Northern Italy. This makes for a large workforce. Southern Italy and Northern Italy have proven to be very ifferent from each other.

You see now that there are more sources of meats in Northern Italy but less obesity in Southern Italy. You see there are more of a demand for sweets in Southern Italy than there is in Northern. One part of Italy 9 the country has money the other is poor. Northern Italy uses several more languages than Southern Italy does. There are more jobs in Northern Italy. Southern Italy does not have many cows for meat, but Northern Italy does since they have the money to feed their livestock. There are just so many differences from one part of the country to the other.

There are some things that both Northern and Southern Italy both posses. Your appearance in Italy is everything; it can make or break you. Having lavish appearance shows the kind of family you come from, what social group you belong to and what level of education you now have. They believe that your first impression is what categorizes you. Clothes me the difference of everything. Wine is another. Both parts of the country make and sell wines. That is a pastime for some. Grape vineyards and wine tasting is big in Italy, no matter what part you are in.

Religion is something that almost all of Italy practices in. Roman Catholic is the most common. Some Protestant and Jewish communities exist and Muslim immigrant is a growing religion in Italy. This is where the Vatican is located.

Works Cited

  1. Regalis, (2010, April). “History, heraldry, royalty, nobility, biography. Retrieved from http://www. regalis. com/
  2. (2001). National Journal of Obesity , 25(2), Retrieved from http://www. nature. com/ijo/journal/v25/n2/full/0801321a. html
  3. Anderson, B. (2010). The Foods of Aosta valley. Retrieved from http://www. italianmade. com/regions/foods1. cfm

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The Difference Between Northern and Southern Italy. (2018, May 01). Retrieved from