This is a preview of the content in our Italian Food Decoder app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Add Map function to find sites, as well as your own custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with our advanced text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play



Numerous distinctive varieties are grown in Italy; the aquaviva red onion from Puglia, the sweet white cipolla di Giarratana (Sicily), the cipolla ramata di Montoro (Avellino, in Campania) and the very sweet cipolla di Cannara from Umbria are in the Ark of Taste. In the north, many cooks favour the delicate cipolla borettana from around Reggio Emilia, straw-couloured and with a flattish bulb. Cipollina is a baby onion; erba cipollina is a chive.

Cannara celebrates its onions at the Festa delle Cipolle in mid-December. In July, Acquaviva delle Fonti holds a two day Festa della Cipolla Rossa; in August, Tropea in Calabria (another proud producer) holds its own red onion festival.

Spring (green) onions, surprisingly, are not widely used in Italy. They're called scalogne, and usually sprouted from shallots.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Francesco Bartaloni