Postcards from the edge: Italy

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In looking around old iPad pics, it became clear there were plenty involving food during a recent trip to Italy. Think you’ll especially enjoy the baked dogs and spaghetti sculpture. The pictures got me to thinking about our trip.

My husband Peter and I traveled to Italy to attend the VI International Conference on Spatial Cognition last fall. In between our time listening to talks and talking about the relationship between thought and space, we had a few minutes to take in the sights and, of course, eat. After all, a person must eat to survive.

One of most delightful restaurants was one suggested by our hotel proprietors, the Tiempo de Mecenate (Largo Leopardi, 14/18, 00185 Rome, Italy). We ate there almost every one of the seven days we were there. Lunch, early dinner, late dinner, dinner with colleagues. If you ever have a chance to stop in, don’t miss the antipasto set out on the tables from which you may create your own plate. One could survive on the mushrooms, olives, and sundried tomatoes alone. Alas, we usually went on to enjoy pasta, pizza, fish. Never a let down, and always thrilled with the service and surrounds.

The baked goods and baker featured above, Panella l’Arte del Pane, reside just next door to Tiempo de Mecentate. This classy bustling corner shop offers a fantastic assortment of baked breads, desserts, and cafe drinks. Don’t miss the grocery section inside to pick a few edible souvenirs for yourself or friends back home.

On another night, we tried to get a table at the touted Il Gabriello (Via Vittoria, 51, 00187 Rome, Italy). Not so fast for us so be sure to call at least a day or two ahead to see what’s available. But the host kindly suggested we try a place down a nearby alley called Dillà (via mario de’ fiori 41 Rome, Italy). It was a pleasure dining at this new, hip, intimate restaurant where the food was fresh, cleanly presented, and lovingly served. For us, dining there among all of the locals, including families small and large, was a welcome comfort. Give it a try.

Everyone has their travel strategies. I’ll leave you with this rule of thumb: restaurant selection by sight and sound. Walk away from the tourist bustle and listen for the laughter and conversation in local tongues!

Godere! forget processed food, get a food process

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