Foodie travel: One day in Rome

With all the smells scenting the streets of Rome, it’s hard to know where to start when you’re hungry. Don’t worry, weary travelers, the best thing about being in Italy is that you can taste everything in one day (as long as you know how to pace yourself).

Nothing wakes you up quite like a coffee from an Italian cafe, and since you’re likely to be a little jetlag from your flight this first cup will be an essential start to your day. Grab a cup of whatever you choose and spend the morning people watching near the Spanish Steps or along the Via Condotti.

After some strolling and sight-seeing, cop-a-squat at any of the cafes in the Piazza Navona and enjoy some much-needed sustenance while you watch the local artists paint in the square. A basic tomato and mozzarella salad with a glass of red wine provides the perfect nourishment. The basket of fresh bread on the table goes great with the olive oil and balsamic from the dish.

Dinner is served late-night in Italy, so you’ll want to snack on something late-afternoon to hold you over while you enjoy cocktail time or late-night sightseeing. Most hotel bars have antipasto options including cheese plates, chips or olives, and they aren’t to be missed.After a long day walking Rome, standing in lines for the top tourist attractions and spending a few Euro on some finer things, you’ll want a little something to tide you over until dinner. Order up a glass of Barolo, dig into the olives and enjoy the start to your evening.

It’s hard not to find a good meal in Rome, but Italians take dinner seriously and you should be prepared for a feast. Don’t miss the zucchini blossoms in the Jewish Quarter or a fresh prosciutto pizza from any of the cafes in the city. If you’re craving pasta, however, you’re obviously in the right place. Sit down and let the waiter be your guide.

Rome restaurants have a way of making guests feel at home. The kitchen is at your service, the antipasto bar is for your perusal and there’s a wine on the list to go with everything that comes to your table. If you’re not sure what to get, just ask – the purpose of the meal is to be together and embrace the flavors of the food, and the people that surround your table.

I couldn’t decide between the pomadoro or the pesto, and so I got a little of both. The moral of the story: You can have it all in Italy, if you just ask.