How to Read an Italian Menu (And Order Like a Local)

Plate of carbonara pasta

One of the best parts of traveling is experiencing the culture through food, and in many cases, eating out can be the highlight of your trip.  But how are you supposed to eat like a local if you don’t understand how to order off the menu? While understanding how to read an Italian menu can […]

Classic Roman Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Cacio e pepe pasta

Forget bolognese, and cast carbonara aside. When you’re in Rome, the first pasta you need to try is cacio e pepe. This is Roman cooking at its best. Just take a handful of ingredients, cook them with love, and you get one delicious dish. Cacio e pepe means “cheese and pepper” in Italian, and that’s […]

How Italians Do Christmas: The Foods You’ll Find on Every Table

Italian Antipasti platter

Christmas week in Italy means one thing: feasting.  Like any other country, Italy has its own Christmas traditions. Italian Christmas foods are predictably distinguished by their variety and richness, though.  Christmas is a time for abbondanza, literally, “abundance.” Italians sit down for long (we’re talking six or seven hours) feasts of many courses, even more […]

Rome Then & Now: The Truth about Fettuccine Alfredo

The original fettuccine Alfredo, made with just Parmesan cheese, pepper and butter.

Fettuccine Alfredo—the real deal, anyway—is served at just two restaurants in Italy, but its popularity has exploded abroad. Everyone has heard of fettuccine Alfredo, sometimes called “Alfredo pasta” abroad. So much so that when I lived in Houston as a child, my 9-year-old friend Allison ordered it at a restaurant. Apparently, Alfredo pasta was very […]

7 Trattorias in Rome for the Italian Meal of Your Dreams

Velavevodetto is the best trattoria in Rome for cacio e pepe.

When we Romans want to indulge in authentic local cuisine, there’s no place like a trattoria: a rustic, family-run restaurant with generous portions. Cucina romana is known for its simple ingredients, and for the most heavenly antipasti, classic primi and hearty secondi, these no-frills, family-run spots are your best bet. So you don’t waste valuable […]

Hidden Rome: Dining in Centri Sociali

If you’re looking for cheap, local food, served with a side of politics, you’ve got to go to a Roman centro sociale Centri sociali are one of the great, hidden protagonists in Roman cultural life. There are Centri sociali all over Italy, but we’re going to focus on the Roman ones in this blog. Dining in […]