Rome, the capital city of Italy, is a city of beauty, culture, and history. Last week, I returned from a two-week vacation in Rome, also known as “The Eternal City.” In this blog post, I want to share with you my inspiration from the city.
When I was a nutrition student, I learned about the importance of fresh ingredients, taking time to eat, the Mediterranean diet, digestive herbs, and the significance of sharing mealtime with family and friends. In Rome, I found all these elements and more.
Exploring Rome’s History and Culture
Walking in the streets of Rome, you can witness the remarkable history and culture of the city. Famous sites like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon surround you, leaving you in awe of the city’s magnificence. You can even take a walk down Via del Corso, located right in the historic centre of Rome, for some shopping.
Italian Cuisine: A Celebration of Fresh Ingredients
When it comes to food, Italian cuisine is simply fantastic. Exploring the real Italian cuisine in Rome is a must-do for any foodie. But, it’s not just about the food. The mealtime is a celebration in Rome.
It always starts with antipasti, which can be cold-cut meats, cheese or veggies (a healthier option). This small portion of food and drink is meant to open your appetite. On the table, there is always fresh water. The water in Rome is delicious, and you can drink it straight from the tap. Throughout the city, there are water fountains called “Nasone” (pronounced “na-soh-nay”), which means big nose because of their shape, with fresh spring water from the mountains.
After the antipasti, the main course is served, always with fresh ingredients according to the Mediterranean diet principles. The Mediterranean diet plan is a combination of the countries’ traditional cooking styles surrounding the Mediterranean Sea — from Spain to the Middle East. It emphasizes plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, bread, and other forms of cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds. Fresh fruit serves as the typical daily dessert, with olive oil as the principal source of fat. Dairy products like cheese and yogurt, fish, and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts. Red meat is consumed in small quantities, and wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts, usually with meals.
The Importance of Tradition
Italy is a country of tradition, and you can see it everywhere in Rome. The meal is also part of the tradition. Food is essential, and it exists to be enjoyed, especially with a lot of other people together. At mealtime, all the family sits together. It’s not just about eating; it’s also a time to enjoy the company of your family and friends. There are many psychological, social, and biological benefits of sharing mealtime with other people.
Traditionally, a digestif drink (Italian Digestive) like an Amaro, which translates to “bitter,” is served at the end of the meal. These drinks are usually made as a herbal medicinal complex of bitter herbs, roots, barks, berries, spices, flowers, and citrus peels. They often serve to aid digestion. According to herbal medicine, consuming bitter herbs is good for digesting food. If you want to adjust this principle to a healthy diet, you can choose bitter herbal tea at the end of the meal.
From the Italian kitchen, we can learn many things and adjust them to our kitchen and way of life. Remember to enjoy food, eat in the right portions, choose fresh ingredients, and take your time to eat.
In conclusion, Rome is a city that celebrates food and tradition. With all its history and beauty, it’s a must-visit destination for any traveller. Watch my Rome inspiration YouTube video to see the beauty of the city yourself.