Food in Italy, Hitting the Local Scene
I'm taking a break today from packing advice to share a little bit of my day. Today was all about food. Along with my group, we took a walking tour of my favorite Roman neighborhood, Trastevere. Starting in Piazza San Cosimato, right in the heart of Rome's "bohemian village", we sampled our way through the streets.The first stop was for prosciutto, a typical cured ham. At this time of year, the best way to sample it is with sweet melon. We had an aged prosciutto and a young one, I enjoyed making the comparison but I am already firmly in the camp of the aged kind. It's dry and has a lovely flavor, and I find the young kind to be too sticky. Not my thing. Next we hit a Norcineria, or a store that sells food from a small village north of Rome called Norcia, which specializes in pork products. Porchetta, or a slow roasted pork, was our sample, served with white pizza. Mmmmm. Fatty, but that's what makes it good. Better not think about that. We worked our way through town, trying cheese, meat, rice balls, pastry and gelato. There were so many diverse flavors and fun local experiences to be had, it was almost as much fun to meet the shop keepers as it was to eat the food. Almost.The best part of the day was showing people a different side of Rome. For a city of 3 million, it has a very quaint, village side to it that most tourists don't see. It may be a little intimidating, there were no tourists around, strictly locals, but being bold and engaging the local scene is equally rewarding as going to a famous monument.I do have a bit of packing advice, actually. After a 3 hour oddessy through food in Rome I would advise considering bringing one thing- elastic waist pants.