Castel Sant’ Angelo, Roma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In my humble opinion … NO! Rome is more than a city, more than a tourist destination, more than the sum of its parts. Rome is about the sights, the buildings, the ruins, the architecture, the people, the food and the wine. It is life. When you visit Rome take time to know it. Forget visiting 10 Italian cities in two weeks. Visit Rome for a week. You can take two side trips: 1) Orvieto and 2) Pompeii. Walk the city, watch the people, eat the food (not at tourist places) and drink the wine. Watch as families break for a long lunch and walk together afterwards. Savor the smells of the food, the tastes. This is Rome. The Rome I love.
The monuments are important but they are not what makes Rome a wonderful city. It’s the people, the architecture, the small streets and the hustle bustle of a big city. Try not to go in July or August. It is too hot. August is European vacation time and everything is expensive and crowded. May or September are better summer months to enjoy Rome. We also went Christmas week and saw a new side of Rome. The lights, the festivities and the decorations.
Travel light, Don’t take tours and enjoy yourself. Become a Roman even if it’s for only a week.
George & Jo Ann
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Categories: Cooking, Eating Italian, General Travel, Italy, Orvieto, Pompeii, Rome
Tags: Colosseum, Cooking, Family, Food, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Orvieto, Pompeii, Romance, Rome, Tourism, Tourist destination, Trevi Fountain, Wine
French wines are usually made to accompany food. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Italy has fantastic food everywhere. We even stopped at an “Auto Grill” on the autostrada (highway) and had a great espresso and pastry. Not like our turnpike rest areas. In Italy there are several common types of places to eat and a few others in certain areas.
- Bar – A place to eat or drink. In the morning you go here for coffee and pastry, at lunch you go for sandwiches (Panini). In the evening you go for a drink and a snack. Bars are cheapest if you stand and eat. Sitting at a table costs more but allows you to relax and observe Italy and its great people.
- Tratteria – these are small owned eating cafes with great food at reasonable costs. Lunch and dinner are great. Usually Italian favorites as well as local dishes are served. The atmosphere is simple but comfortable. A version of these are Pizzeria Trattoria. These include pizzas along other dishes.
- Ristorante – These are for lunch or dinner and are nice but expensive. The atmosphere is classic and the food is great. You can also find Pizzeria Ristorante’s.
- Osteria – These places usually serve wine and simple food with limited menus.
- Enotecca – Small wine bars that allow tasting local wines (for a charge) and serve small dishes or sandwiches. These are a great way to get to know local wines.
- Rotisserie – Small restaurants that specialize in roasting meats on a spit.
- Agritourism – Usually a farm-based establishment with a B&B type hotel and food grown or raised on their farm. They sometimes have stores to buy products and take home.
Pizza is everywhere! You can have it in Trattoria’s or Ristorante’s. Always stay away from touristy places serving hamburgers and hot dogs. The food won’t be good and prices will be high. Enjoy your trip, taste Italy’s great food & wines. Sit back and smile as you watch the Italians strolling with family at lunch time or in the evening. Lunch usually ranges from 12 noon to 3 pm (shorter in the north) and dinner from 6 pm (for tourists) to 11 pm. The south of Italy eats much later than the north.
Remember Italy is the land of romance. Sit back and enjoy yourself. Do NOT go into eating establishments in Italy and be in a hurry! Use a bar if you have to eat fast. Good food takes time to prepare and serve properly.
George & Jo
Categories: Amalfi Coast, General Travel, Italy, Milan, Positano, Rome, San Gimignano, Velina
Tags: Amalfi, amalficoast, Campania, Capri, Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, Family, Food, Italian, Italian people, Italy, Milan, No Tour Touring, Panini, Pasta, Pizza, Pizzeria Ristorante, Positano, Romance, Rome, Sorrento, Tourism, Trattoria, Travel, Travel Guides, Tuscany, United States, Wine
My dad used to say he would be afraid of traveling on his own because he would miss too much. In reality there are so many great books and Internet sites that you will soon know the top places to see. The list will be longer than most tours have time to visit. The point is you can choose on your own what to see and how long to see it. Restaurants are your choice. Stay away from the touristy types. They have mediocre food for higher prices. Don’t be afraid to explore. Most places speak some English. Try to learn some basics of the language of the country you are visiting. People love to see you try. It means you care.
Jo Anne and I travel a lot. We want to take small groups with us to see the great places we love. To visit the people and eat the foods. These are memories we love. We are also photographing these great countries. We have just started a website to display and sell our photographs. Not everything is up yet but visit us often to see more.
See you on your trips,
George & Jo Anne
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