A Glimpse of Italian Culture through Taste

Written by Carly September 19, 2012

WOW! I cannot believe I have not even been here for a full two weeks yet. So much has been happening and we have all been so extremely busy, it feels as though I’ve been in the Italian mountains for an eternity. But, who’s to complain about that! I quickly discovered I would love nothing more than to spend the rest of eternity right here in the foothills of the gorgeous Mount Grappa landscape.

Not only is the area here overwhelmingly beautiful, but also the food at the local pizzerias, cafes, and gelaterias is TO DIE FOR. For those of you who know me, you know I am a huge foodie and will literally try anything. You also can probably guess by my last blog post’s title that my favorite type of food is Italian. Growing up I always loved the nights when my Mom would cook spaghetti and meatballs or baked ziti with fresh garlic bread. I always found myself wanting to go out to eat at the Italian restaurants in the states on the weekends for some authentic food. However, you haven’t tasted authentic Italian food until you’ve actually eaten a fresh-cooked meal at a genuine Italian restaurant in the heart of Italy.

I had my first taste of pure, mouth-watering, Italian food this past weekend with some of my fellow CIMBA students. We ventured to the local pizzeria, which I soon found out is the hotspot for the majority of us here. As I was skimming over the menu, I found it very hard to decide what to order because everything looked so delicious! I eventually decided on a Margarita Pizza. I’ve had margarita pizza before at home, but NOTHING compares to how yummy the one I had here was. It was thin crust, with fresh cheese, basil, and a light serving of tomato sauce. Boy oh boy, did it hit the spot!

My very own Margarita Pizza!

On Sunday, some a group of us decided to check out the Market in Crespano del Grappa. This was such an interesting adventure to see everything they sold for the locals including underwear, toiletries, fresh produce, and candy! Some of my friends were even able to find cute dresses for just 8 euros! After we were exhausted from shopping, we went inside a small, local restaurant to grab a bite of lunch. Upon glancing through the menu, I saw the words “Spaghetti Bolognese”, and I immediately knew what I would order. I can honestly say it was the best spaghetti bolognese I’ve ever had, topped with fresh parmesan cheese.

One of my main goals for my first week or so here was to find a gelato shop. Last night, I was successful in completing this mission! Some friends and I walked the long hike to Castellucco to have some savory gelato at a local cafe there. It was definitely worth the long trek there when we saw the endless flavors they had to offer. I ended up trying the Nutella flavor, which I intend on getting again! I’m sure I will have many other satisfactory food experiences while here in Italy, the land of top-notch food choices!