Hello Everybody! As promised, here is the second part of our Roman Holiday (you can catch up on Part 1 HERE) and it is all about the food! Because food this delicious definitely deserves a post of its own. And because much of it was consumed on this trip, and I want to share it with you all! From the pizza, the pasta and the prosciutto to the desserts and the gelato, it's hard not to fall in love with Italy at first bite. Italian dining is quite a grand affair, and the taste, quality and pace of the meal reflects that in every way. The Italians not only know how to cook the food, they know how to eat it. At a leisurely pace, in several courses throughout the meal. Traditionally, there is an antipasto course (which is the appetizer), then the first course which is a pasta dish, the second course is a meat course which could either be chicken, some kind of red meat, or fish, and lastly, dessert. The dolce. Eating isn't rushed, and it isn't just for survival. It's a pleasure. An occasion. And it's a grand one. Food is to be enjoyed and to be savored. And really, ingredients this fresh and food prepared this well deserve the time and love!
First, there's the pizza.
The thin crust, the melted cheese, the huge variety of toppings... there's nothing like it! (And as a side note: it's really not a good idea to be counting carbs when you're in Italy. Wait until you get back home.)
One afternoon, we stumbled upon a small family run pizza shop on a little street corner after one of our very long walks. The shop had about twenty-five different kinds of pizza toppings, ranging from prosciutto (which was amazing!), shredded potato, mushroom, various grilled vegetables, and this. Zucchini blossoms and anchovies. It was so good. I later saw zucchini blossoms incorporated into a lot of different dishes since they are in season in the summer, a popular one also being stuffed and fried zucchini blossoms served as an appetizer.
More pizza. Fresh tomato & tuna.
And then there's the pasta...
Oh my goodness, the pasta. A seafood pasta on the left, and a mushroom & bacon pasta on the right. I have no words. Pure deliciousness.
My favorite lunch stop. Cheese & Salami Focaccia sandwich.
And then, there's the gelato.
Ever since I knew we were going to Rome, I couldn't wait for the gelato. I had heard about this cafe, or ice-cream parlor, called Giolitti which is the oldest one in Rome and really wanted to go there. So on our way back from the Vatican, we stopped there. It's a busy place, with people lining up to first get a ticket with what size ice-cream they want, then crowding around the large counter filled with more ice-cream flavors than you can imagine!
More Nutella. I'm pretty sure this wasn't even Nutella flavored gelato, just straight up Nutella. And hazelnut gelato (can you tell I love hazelnuts?!)
The interior of the ice-cream parlor.
Just a couple of the flavors to chose from!
There was something else that was uniquely Italian: coffee bars. Essentially a place filled with only coffee, where you walk up to the bar, order your coffee, drink it right there, and leave. Like a brief caffeine refill during a busy day.
The funny part is, I don't drink coffee. But I'm pretty sure my husband had enough for both of us! We had breakfast at a little cafe near our hotel every morning, and when he asked for his coffee, they automatically assumed I wanted one too. Instead (and to their horror), I asked for my usual English Breakfast Tea. To my surprise, it was served in a little coffee cup! The smallest (and probably strongest!) little cup of tea I've ever had!
Another Italian favorite? Nutella. In everything. Like this Nutella filled croissant. This is my kind of place.
Delicious pastries and cookies.
Like these. (More Nutella on the right)
Lots of restaurants displayed the seasonal ingredients they were cooking with out front (like the picture on the left). They had big baskets of huge lemons, fresh vegetables and lots of different kinds of mushrooms. And on the right, these little stalls with roasted chestnuts were all over the city!
Another street cafe on Piazza Navona.
Olive trees. And more coffee.
This trip was quite a culinary adventure, and I came back with lots of ideas that I can't wait to try out in my kitchen (as soon as I get over this jet lag!) Every time I go to Italy, I fall in love with it all over again. There's just something about those little streets and piazzas, the way of life, and the amazing food, you can't help but be enchanted by it! One day I will have a summer home in Italy. Hopefully around the corner from a little trattoria. I have lots of "one days" on my list, but this one is pretty high up on there :) I hope you've enjoyed coming along on this trip (if you want to read Part 1 which is all about the city of Rome, you can find it HERE), and that you are having a wonderful week! Thanks for stopping by today, and come back soon for some new recipes and projects!