There is no single national dish of Italy, as each region has local variations on classic dishes. Dishes such as pizza, pasta, polenta and minestrone typify traditional Italian cuisine.
There are hundreds of types of pizza, each of which is unique to the local town or city. The same is true of pasta, where even the smallest distances can result in marked gastronomic differences. Polenta, a dish from northern Italy, tends to be consistent in flavor. It is a dish made from cornmeal that is mashed into a porridge-like consistency. Minestrone is a thick soup that is made from ingredients such as pasta and vegetables.