La Bella Vita For Members

La Bella Vita: Buongiorno vs buonasera and Italy’s new favourite cheese

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
La Bella Vita: Buongiorno vs buonasera and Italy’s new favourite cheese
Mozzarella cheese is as Italian as it gets. But another type of cheese could be becoming even more popular. Photo by Patricia Tsernoshova on Unsplash

From knowing your Italian cheeses to using the correct Italian greeting for every situation, our weekly newsletter La Bella Vita offers you an essential starting point for eating, talking, drinking and living like an Italian.


La Bella Vita is our regular look at the real culture of Italy – from language to cuisine, manners to art. This newsletter is published weekly and you can receive it directly to your inbox: go to newsletter preferences in 'My Account' or follow the instructions in the newsletter box below.

Mozzarella cheese has long been one of the best-known and most popular Italian food products of all. It’s easily as iconic a part of the national cuisine as spaghetti, espresso, or gelato, and it’s loved all over the world - even if, with it being so delicate and difficult to export, a lot of the mozzarella sold abroad tastes quite different to that found in Italy.

But there’s been a surprising shift taking place over the past few years, as lovers of Italian food everywhere - including in Italy - are increasingly favouring a different cheese instead.

Burrata, a soft, white cheese that can be similar in shape and size to mozzarella, but with a velvety, cream-filled centre, seems to now be the more popular choice both in Italy and abroad. It is now found replacing mozzarella in all kinds of dishes - a change which cheesemakers say is partly thanks to it being enthusiastically adopted by famous international chefs. So is burrata the new mozzarella?

Is burrata overtaking mozzarella to become the most popular Italian cheese?

When talking about Italian cheeses, whether Burrata di Andria IGP or Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, you’ll quickly run into various confusing acronyms. 

The same applies when talking about wine, and other traditional Italian products, especially those which are only made - at least in the authentic way - in a certain part of Italy.


These classifications are clearly important, both for the producer and the consumer. But what exactly is the difference between these acronyms, and are they always a guarantee of quality? Here’s our quick guide to understanding what’s written on the label.

DOP and PGI: What do Italy's food and wine labels really mean?

Italian cheeses and wines must meet strict criteria to be worthy of certain names and prestigious labels. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)


And saying 'hello' or 'goodbye' in Italian can be a confusing business for language learners - at least for those of us from English-speaking countries.

The most common greetings are of course buongiorno and buonasera, but how exactly, at what time of day, and with whom should we use them?

Then there are various other greetings, like salve or the multi-purpose ciao. That's before we get to particular salutations like a presto. Italian seems to have a specific or preferred greeting for every possible social context and occasion. In short, it's a bit of a minefield.

To help you safely navigate your way through, here's an explanation of the unwritten social rules which can make it so tricky for non-native speakers to master even (what would appear to be) some of the most basic words in the Italian language.

Buongiorno, buonasera, buonanotte: When and how to use them

Remember if you'd like to have this weekly newsletter sent straight to your inbox you can sign up for it via Newsletter preferences in "My Account".

Is there an aspect of the Italian way of life you'd like to see us write more about? Please email me at [email protected].


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also