Italy is famous for its pasta. Depending on the region, Italian pasta can be thin or fat, long or short, curly or straight. Regardless of shape, it’s an irreplaceable component of Italian cuisine — and there are so many types of pasta in this country you should spend your life trying to eat them all.
Where did pasta originate?
There are competing stories as to how pasta first came to what is now Italy. One is that Marco Polo introduced the hungry population to the concept of noodles after a 17-year jaunt around China in the 13th century. The other is that Arab tribes introduced the West (what would later be called Europe) to noodles, inspired by cuisine they had encountered in Asia hundreds of years earlier. That, not the Marco Polo story, is probably as close to the true story as we’ll ever get. What is known is that noodles originated in Asia.