Pasta, Pasta, Pasta, Piacere!

Updated: Sep 19, 2018

Sometimes you hear so many clichés about a country you begin to wonder if they’re real or exaggerated. Like pasta, pizza, outstanding wine, charming men, stylish women, fast driving and frequent hand gestures in Italy. I was pleased to find all these charms truly do exist there. Especially the pasta part.

My first full day in Citta di Castello, I made my way to the food market to study local inventory and stock up. I was amused to find both sides of an entire aisle were dedicated to only pasta! Every market and menu I encountered thereafter was equally pasta adorned .

Fair enough to say I ate my way through Italy (7 pounds worth to be exact – and worth every American meal I had to skip to lose them). Italy doesn’t produce a bad tasting product, - ok, I’m still grappling with what’s so great about grappa - but food and drink are not taken lightly in Italy – from where, how and whom it’s grown by to when it’s taken in and the company it enjoyed with. Italy is home to the “slow food movement” started in the 80’s by Carlo Petrini, an Italian food and wine journalist who was crushed by the appearance of a McDonalds on the Spanish Steps of Rome. And a pretty effective movement it’s been. I covered a lot of ground on this trip and saw not only any other fast food chains polluting Italy’s proud culinary heritage, but even very few McDonalds. Even then, many of the menu offerings were very much in keeping with local, organic beef/produce standards.