Cultural Experience | Rome

How Italian Cuisine Swept Me off my Feet

When you first start eating in Italy you’ll be swooning left and right. By the end of your trip you’ll be smitten. Italian food is like the culture. It’s full of passion and romance. It’s completely expressed by the core of each separate ingredient. Here’s how you’ll fall in love with each bite in Italy.

It’s a simple way to start your meal. Consisting of bread, fresh tomatoes, and basil, it’s a refreshing appetizer that let’s you get the true essence of Italy. It’s simple, refreshing, and leaves you hungry for more!


You should get a Margherita pizza to start with. Who can resist those chunks of mozzarella and basil leaves? If you’re too busy to sit and eat, then you can get a slice of pizza to go. In Rome there’s many shops where you can pick the size of your slice, then they weigh it, and fold it over like a sandwich. This is called “pizza al taglio” or pizza by the slice and can have toppings from the ordinary, to banana peppers, to ground truffles, to salami. “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie! That’s you falling in love with Italy!” Those are the lyrics right?

Pizza image

Real pasta, probably handmade, brought out with a side of olive oil will leave your mouth watering at just the sight. Italy will help you reinvent your idea of pasta. There’s usually a mix of pasta sauce and olive oil, not either or. And it is magical! Mushrooms go great in a traditional dish along with some meatballs. The olive oil is rich in flavor, so don’t be afraid to be generous when you pour a little extra over pasta, pizza, or bread.


These are magical places where you can get whatever kind of gelato that your heart desires. They’re everywhere in Italy and when you have a little room in your tummy and a little desire flaming in your heart, then it’s gelato time! Get a combination of scoops with flavors like chocolate hazelnut, cinnamon, banana, Sicilian Almond, and dark chocolate.

And Speaking of Chocolate
Caffarel, Perugina, and Venchi are well known Italian chocolatier companies that won’t disappoint. Venchi alone offers everything from milk chocolate, to white chocolate, to chocolate with whole hazelnuts nestled in the middle. They have their own line of gelato, chocolate spreads, and even chocolate pasta! So much Italy! So much chocolate!

Venchi Chocolate

If you’re from New England, then you know “America Runs on Dunkin!” You get your super big iced coffee anytime of the year! But in Italy, time slows down and a simple espresso shot will do. Take your time and enjoy it, just like you should lay back and enjoy Italy and all the cuisine it has to offer. Savior each sip and breathe.

Where to Eat
Overhearing a tour group, I heard a little secret about finding real Italian restaurants, the ones that are authentic and not tourist traps. They should have pasta dishes no more than 8 euros, there should be no pictures on the menu, and everyone around you should be speaking Italian. These won’t be the flashy places to eat and may be overlooked at first. When you find an authentic Italian restaurant go in and take a seat! You’ll found your real Italian experience.

Samantha McIsaac

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth | 9 stories

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