Food in Italia

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have an inner-foodie. So it's probably not surprising that a lot of this trip involved food. I mean, even two of the countries we visited have names related to food - Turkey and Greece! haha However, food can be expensive so Erin and I found ways to save money on food, while still getting something satisfying.

On our first day in Rome we stopped into a little grocery store and wandered around trying to decide what we wanted to eat. It'd been a while since we had a good bowl of cereal, so we grabbed some bowls, spoons, milk, Nutella and a few bananas all for just 7 Euros. That's a great deal for two people and multiple meals if you ask me.
Some of the brands were familiar, but slightly different.
We were starving and it didn't look like there were any parks nearby so we just plopped down on the street corner outside of the store. We were so proud of ourselves for being so resourceful and saving money. It tasted really good (although not as sweet as my beloved American cereal, but still hit the spot) and lasted us for multiple meals. We carried around that box of cereal with us everywhere. It went all through the Vatican, to train stations, the Colosseum etc. I'm laughing out loud to myself as I write this because who does that? But we were not parting with that cereal until we were finished with it! Oh and naturally the bowls and spoons were carried with it. The milk we bought each time we wanted some so it was fresh.
I also bought some bananas and Nutella because they are delicious together.
When I'm going about my "normal" life I never eat out on Sunday. It's a special today to me and that's one of the ways I respect it. However, when traveling and having no fridge or permanent location it's much harder to not eat out on Sunday and so I do. Well, around 6 PM Erin and I started walking around looking for a place to eat and NOTHING was open! More restaurants are open in Provo on a Sunday than in Rome. We were starving to death and just wanted a nice warm meal. As we were walking down a street a handsome Italian man called out of a window, "Que Bella! Bella!" and blew us kisses. We smiled and waved and kept walking until we realized that he was calling to us a from a restaurant! If he was in there it must be open! So we went in and sat down and looked at menus only to realize it was an Arabian restaurant, not an Italian one. I think Arabian food is just fine, but we were in Italy and we wanted to spend our money on real Italian food. Erin and I looked at each other not knowing what to do and then the nice man came over and seemed to understand out plight and told us that sometimes people come in here expecting Italian and it's not a big deal if we would prefer another place. He was so genuinely nice and understanding - what could have been an awkward situation wasn't at all. In fact he told us how to get to a good Italian place and chatted with us for a minute. He easily could have tried to make money off of us, but instead he looked out for us and helped us find what we needed. It still took us a while to find a restaurant, but on our way we found a gelato place! Dessert first is always a good thing :) We are super stoked about this deliciousness we have in our hands.
Finally around 7 or 8 a restaurant opened up! An Italian restaurant! Finally! Can you see the genuine joy in my face? I've had a long day, but it's all been worth it because I'm about to eat some seriously delicious Italian food in Rome. Hallelujah!
This pasta doesn't look like anything special, but let me tell you that it is. I have had "real" Italian food previously - Italian places that pride themselves in being authentic and to be honest, I always preferred Olive Garden. I was terrified that I'd go to Italy, eat real Italian food and secretly be missing my very Americanized Italian food at Olive Garden, but this meal blew anything I've ever had at Olive Garden out of the water. Truly, the BEST pasta I have ever had in my life. We couldn't get over how good it tasted - we told our charming waiter it was the best we've ever had and he seemed pleased. Seriously, go to this place and eat this pasta! I don't know the name of this pasta for sure, but it's one of the few cream pastas they have and it has mushrooms. (I don't even like mushrooms, but I loved this pasta so it must be really good!)
I would go to extreme measures to have a taste of that pasta again.
Strangest looking pizza I've ever seen, but it was great!
Here is the exterior of the restaurant - it has the name Michele in it.
If you ever go to the Vatican, across the street is this gelato place that serves gelato that is to die for. Be crazy and get three flavors in one. As you can tell, it's quite popular, even with the locals.

Truly the best gelato I've ever had. It's so unbelievably smooth and creamy and delicious. They even put a little whip cream on top, but that is not sweet which was surprising to me.
In Italy they have drinking fountains all over that look just like this. They really emphasize the fountain in drinking fountain. Erin used them all the time, but I was too scared of getting sick to use them.
On our second full day in Rome we ate at an Italian restaurant with the most beautiful interior design.
Eat your way through Italy because you will never regret it!

1 Response to Food in Italia

September 1, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Holy crap! I went to that same gelato store! Mine fell on the ground, it was pretty tragic.

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