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Eating in Italy..
By Suzanne Bowles
13 March 2012

Eating in Italy is a wonderful experience and a true passion in every city and town. Food is everywhere in markets, indoors, outdoors with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables beautifully displayed. Meats, cheeses, racks of fantastic bread, all shapes and sizes, with olives and salt or grissini, pastries and even wholemeal croissants! Who’d have thought of such a thing? Grocery shopping is full of unique textures and tastes in tiny grocery stores dotted along tiny side streets.  Colourful boxes of pasta in different shapes, every imaginable smell, flavour and colour and all exceptional quality.  

Many a back yard in Italy is cultivated with grains, grapes, olives or fruit and vegetables as they like to cook straight from their garden. They take their siesta and it is back to work till 8 or 8.30pm and then they have their evening meal. My favorite was the Pappardelle pasta. I had it with vegetables, ragou and also with truffles. I ordered it whenever I could. Not to forget the delicious pizza, that I couldn't resist, with a nice local wine, so reasonably priced, to top it all off.

Just when you think you are about to burst, your waiter will entice you with a desert menu!  How can you say no to the cheeky italian waiters. If you hesitate the waiter is quick to suggest something for you, "Perhaps a tiramisu for you?" This is followed by grappa or lemoncello. 

In Rome you never see the waiters give you the bill until you ask for it.  It will include a cover charge or tax on the bill. I found that they never rushed me to finish so I always sat with my coffee and watched the passers- by. 

Often when you take a seat they will offer you water, natural or frizzante, which has the bubbles (that's the one I like). While walking about, take your water bottle with you because in Rome there are many drinking fountains in the streets and so you can refill your bottle of water. 

Travel in Italy with friends, or a lover, because eating alfresco is a joy to be shared!

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