Italy is known for its fabulous food, and it delivered. I won’t pretend to be an Italian food expert after only having spent one week there, but we did take a lot of pictures, so please feast your eyes on some of the Italian cuisine!
Pasta, Pizza, and Other Meals
We had some delicious dinners in Italy! Of course, the pasta and pizza were great. It was so much fresher (and much more often homemade) than Italian food in the US. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so many carbs with tomatoes in one week, but it was wonderful.
It somehow didn’t make it into many photos, but the wine was so good and so cheap compared to what you pay for wine in American restaurants. Our wine is always up-charged so much, so you could get a bottle in an Italian restaurant for about the same price as a glass in an American one. Obviously, the cost of wine really varies depending on where you are and what you’re getting, but overall, it was significantly cheaper in Italy.
For this ice cream lover, the gelato was one of the best parts! I’ve heard that it’s better than ice cream, and it really is excellent. My first taste of gelato was mango, and it tasted just like a fresh mango. It’s hard to describe, but I just thought the flavors were truer to their original ingredients than ice cream flavors usually are.
Coffee in Italy isn’t the same as coffee in the United States. When you order a coffee, you get an espresso. They don’t do giant cups of coffee like we do. An americano is espresso plus hot water, which is closer to American coffee, but still usually stronger. I knew it was going to be stronger, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but I really did! It was so much smoother that I actually drank a lot of espresso that week. Their coffee culture is much more defined, too. One waiter actually said, “Please don’t order cappuccinos!” when we asked him for recommendations one afternoon. Since they don’t drink giant cups, they also just get a shot of espresso, drink it within a few sips while standing at a bar, then move on.
Cicchettis get their own category because I think they’re my new favorite food. We went to the same cicchetti bar twice in one day because we loved them so much! So what are they? They’re like Venetian tapas, but they’re not tapas!!! (according to a sign). They’re small plates that can be eaten as an appetizer, snack, or full meal.
Things that don’t fit into one of the categories above:
- Limoncello – lemon liquor, mainly made in the south, often drank after meals as a digestive
- Giant lemons on the island of Capri – They’re supposed to be even larger in some areas, but these were the largest I saw.
- Things at grocery stores – Barilla pasta, apparently an actual Italian brand, coffee Coke, and cheeses (I just think grocery stores in different countries are interesting because they’re always different!)