Eating Italian food is one of the pleasures of traveling in Italy. Italian regions, and even some towns, have special pasta unique to that area such as the Ligurian croxeti shown on the right.
Pasta is a large part of the Italian and Mediterranean diet. Italians eat more pasta than anyone else in the world and Italy makes about a third of the pasta consumed worldwide.
It's believed that pasta has been around for at least several thousand years. Pasta-making utensils have been found in Etruscan tombs and ancient Roman archaeological sites making it likely that pasta has been eaten by Italians for a long time.
Related Italy Travel: Eating Out in Italy | Italian Food and Wine
Italy Restaurant Recommendations | Cooking Classes in Italy
Food Shopping in Italy | Pasta Recipes and Sauces from about's Italian Cuisine
Photo of croxetti pasta with pesto, traditional pasta from Liguria © 2006 by Martha Bakerjian, licensed to about.com