Black plastic bins of green beans at a market in Italy.
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Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables in May in Italy

Last updated on July 22nd, 2024

Did you know that Italy has a 12 month growing season? No matter when you come to Italy you will be delighted to find an abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables on your table, at the market or used in recipes at restaurants! But how is one to choose the right thing if you don’t live in Italy and know what fruits and vegetables are in season in May?

In this article, I will share with you what seasonal fruits and vegetables are going to show up at the market or on the menu in May in Italy. Having an idea of what grows seasonally and locally in Italy will help you choose the right dishes with the most flavor! 

Your May travels overlap with seasonal April and June fruits and vegetables, so be sure to check out
Foods to Eat in Italy in May
In-Season Fruits and Vegetables in April
10 Not-to-Miss Foods In Italy In April
In-Season Fruits and Vegetables in June
Foods to Eat in Italy in June – Don’t Miss Summer Italian Specials
Why Italians Eat Seasonally – A Complete Guide To The Italian Way Of Cooking With The Seasons

Seasonal Produce in May in Italy

market stand with lots of fresh produce including lots of greens and lettuce.
Salad and lettuces grow 12 months a year in Italy

May is a month in Italy when we start to see the first harvest of summer produce as well as the best of springtime fruits and vegetables. 

May is not one of Italy’s most prolific months in terms of food production as it’s a transition month and much of our summer produce is just about to ripen up and bring us so much joy in June. Keep in mind that what we see in May in Italy, we will also see earlier in the year as well as in June. 

Learn more about Italian Markets:
How to Shop at Markets in Italy
10 Rules for Shopping at Markets in Italy
Incredible Food Markets in Italy
My Favorite Markets in Florence
Food Markets in Florence
Top Markets In Tuscany
Food Markets in Venice
Rialto Market in Venice

Seasonal Vegetables in June in Italy

Salad

Salad is an Italian green that grows 12 months a year. Spring salads in May in Italy may be made with shaved carrot, baby greens and sliced radishes. 

Monks Beard

Bunches of agretti at the market in Italy.

Monks beard or agretti is a unique vegetable that is only in season for a couple weeks in the spring in Italy. They are small green strands that are harvested and used to make a wide variety of pasta and rice dishes. If you see them on a menu, don’t hesitate in ordering them as you most likely won’t come across them again! 

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard, like salad, has a 12 month growing season in Italy. Look for it now and also year round! 

Radishes

side view of various vegetables including radishes and zucchini at a market outdoors.
Fresh zucchini and their flowers are the best in June in Italy

Radishes are a spring vegetable in Italy that you can find throughout April, May and June. They are ideal for Packing A No-Cook Picnic Lunch In Italy + Printable Shopping List.

Zucchini

You might start to see the first spring zucchini in May in Italy but with a price tag. 

Zucchini Flowers

fried zucchini flowers zoomed in a basket.
Fried zucchini flours stuffed with mozzarella

We see the first zucchini flowers of the season in May in Italy, especially in southern Italy. Rome is famous for their fried zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies! 

Italian Green Beans

Italian green beans are a wide variety of string beans hearty enough to withstand longer cooking times. Most commonly, they are slow cooked in a tomato sauce and served with crusty bread and secondi or main dishes. 

Spring Onions

view of tropea red onions in a bunch from bottom view, picturing only roots and red/white part of onions for sale.

Tropea onions from Calabria are everywhere in Italy in May. Sweet and crunchy, they are great raw in salads! 

Peas

Peas are a spring Italian vegetable that come into season at grocery stores in Italy in April and May in Italy for just a few short weeks. The timing depends on the weather that year. 

Asparagus

Pile of asparagus on a white marble surface.

The asparagus in May in Italy is one of the best vegetables you can try. It’s sweet and flavorful best enjoyed steamed, grilled or in a risotto primavera, a famous rice dish from Veneto

Fava Beans

Fava beans are at their best in May. You may see them cooked but most likely they are served raw with pecorino cheese, especially in Tuscany and Umbria

Seasonal Fruits in May in Italy

May is not a prolific season in terms of seasonal fruits in Italy. We see the end of some winter fruit but mostly, it’s strawberry time! 

If you start to see peaches and apricots, take a look at the origin before buying. The best will be from Italy so avoid stone fruit from Spain (which is usually where it comes from this time of year). 

Pears

Pile of cosce pears in Italy.

Pears are generally a winter fruit in Italy but throughout all of spring and into May we continue to eat a lot of the last winter’s harvest, including smaller varieties (known as pere cosce) available in the spring and enjoyed with cheese for dessert or as an appetizer. 

Kiwi

Kiwis can be a seasonal fruit in Italy in May depending on where you are. Here in Tuscany we see a lot more in March and April but those that we do find in May have very good flavor. 

Cherries

close up if a basket of cherries from top view.

The first cherries of the year start to show up in markets throughout all of Italy in May. The price is slightly steep initially but as the month goes by, prices drop a bit. 

Strawberries

Plastic baskets of strawberries.
Strawberries for sale at a market in Puglia

April and May in Italy is prime strawberry season. They are at their best now and you won’t see them again until next year so be sure to pick them up. If you love gelato, be sure to order gelato alla fragola, a favorite spring gelato flavor

Curious to know more about Italy’s seasonal foods, dishes, and produce? Check out
Foods to Eat in Italy in JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJuly – August – September – October – November – December.
Italian Fruits and Vegetables in Season in January – February – March – AprilMayJuneJuly – August – September – October – November – December.