As if it weren't enough that Italy has more Unesco World Heritage sites than any other country, the UN organization has now proclaimed that the Mediterranean diet is also part of what it calls "the patrimony of humanity." Unlike the American diet.
Of course the Mediterranean diet is not only the Italian diet. But I do think they have taken the common elements of the diet and created the best cuisine from it. And a lot of people agree with me, although what is seen as Italian food in other countries often does not live up to the tenets of the true Mediterranean diet. Unfortunately, the Italians themselves have in the last generation or so moved away from their traditional fare of vegetables, fruit, legumes, olive oil, bread, wine, and fish. But their eating (and drinking) patterns are still enormously superior to ours.