Posted by: jtccitaly | May 26, 2011

The David Corona Food Diaries Part One: Rome

Dodge raindrops and try to figure out the inner workings of the Coliseum. March through the center of Rome and take note of racetracks, temples, theatres and shrines. Climb the Campidoglio and consider ancient equines and equestrians. Look out over the Roman Forum and attempt to reconstruct basilicas, temples and shrines from ruined foundations and a few still standing columns. Such has been the life of the JTCC Study Abroad Group in Italy.

But all has not been sites and scenery. Walking burns calories, so to keep strong and alert we sometimes must eat. Seemingly every block sports at least one shop where one can grab a quick cheap lunch or snack: mini pizzas, cheese tarts, sandwiches with varied combinations, eggs and tomatoes, cheese and spinach, strange salamis. Even more ubiquitous than the sandwich shops are the gelaterias. Rich, creamy and flavorful, gelati are what ice cream always dreams of becoming in a heavenly afterlife. Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry are there but many others as well: hazelnut, crème caramel, frutti di bosco and more.

If we only limit ourselves to pastas among the several courses on a typical Italian menu, we still find ourselves with an array of choices. Spaghetti is there, but also wide noodles, flat noodles, strange tubes, twisted tubes and other contorted shapes. In addition to the cream sauces there are sauces flavored with hot paprika, mushrooms, truffles, sausages and even simply olive oil, cheese and pepper.

Pizzas here do not have the doughy, floppy New York style crust popular in Richmond, but a thin, delicate, crispy crust. Toppings are very fresh and applied in amounts that allow their own flavors to shout through without overpowering the crust. Here pepperoni is a vegetable and the Pizza of Old Rome has both sausage, spicy salami and lettuce on it.

We have made our choices and traded samples with each other. “Buan appitito” is not just a wish, but an established fact of life!



  1. What a wonderful review David. I think I just gained 2 lbs reading about the food. I can’t quite wrap my mind around lettuce on pizza??
    Is it possible to post some food pictures? I say bring out the napkins & start wiping off the drool:)>

    • It’s funny – I just started taking food pictures today so I will post some soon. My problem is that I keep forgetting and eating the food first. Pictures of my empty plate just aren’t as interesting.

  2. Hi David, I’ve heard before on the pizza’s that are far from what we are used to eat, but I loved the Gelaterias story, mmm! think I would go back to my regular coffee in the morning, aghhh, bon apetit from all of us!

  3. Five forks, David! The creme caramel gelati sounds yummy, and I’d love to see the strange noodles. It’s fun to hear about local food, and I’m with Vicki’s mom on the photos, too. Thanks!

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