Ciao! Madisson Haynes, of Madisson’s Wanderings, and I are co-editors for the News section of The Breeze. To make matters even more fun, we’re on the same study abroad in Urbino, Italy — and our dorms are right next to each other. If you’ve been following Madisson’s Wanderings, you’ve already gotten a sense of the beautiful historic town that is Urbino, but I’m here to talk about what I know best: food.
As a disclaimer, I’m a pescatarian and Madisson is gluten-free, and we’ve both gotten quite good at saying “no carne” and “senza glutene,” but between the two of us, we can eat a full meal. Regardless, I’ve gotten quite the reputation for loving food, and Italy is heaven on Earth for food lovers.
I’ve gotten into a wonderful and horrible habit of pre-dinner snacks or gelato every day. There’s a popular café in the main piazza of town that brings you several platters of free assorted snacks with your espresso if you go there in the afternoon. As I write this, I’ve been sitting at this very café eating bruschetta for hours.
Most Americans are familiar with Italian food — or the Americanized versions of it — but I was certainly unprepared for the levels of importance different meals have here. I’m used to giant breakfasts with over-easy eggs running over toast with hashbrowns and coffee. In Italy, however, breakfast is simply a cappuccino and a single croissant. It tastes amazing while you’re eating it, but if you’re anything like me, you’re hungry within an hour. Dinner, when done the traditional Italian way, is clearly the most important and ritualistic meal. Traditional dinners consist of around five courses, each with several dishes, and they aren’t served until 8 p.m., on average.
All the stereotypical foods you associate with Italy are just as good — or probably better — than you would hope. The gelateria in the main piazzais what dreams are made of, with my favorite flavor so far being a combination of brownie batter and nutella. I’m convinced that there’s no such thing as bad gelato in Italy — just good, better and best. There are no shortages of gelaterias either, and you can normally find multiple places that sell gelato within two blocks of one another. My favorite one’s called Sorbetto del Duca, but maybe that’s just because I have a soft spot for Dukes.
Similarly, Italian pizza has been a game changer. Before I left to study abroad, I was told that once I tried Italian pizza, I’d never be able to eat pizza in America again. The absolute best pizza is supposed to be in Naples, but I had a caprese pizza in Florence that was so good I considered settling down with it for a happy life together.
This weekend, I’ll be spending Friday with members of my study abroad on a field trip of sorts, including a lunch with views of the Adriatic Sea and a trip to a well-respected winery. Saturday morning, bright and early, I’ll leave with a few others to catch a train to Venice for the night, and if you think I’m going to miss out on seafood from the Italian coast you’re surely mistaken.
This city and this program have already provided me with mountains of experiences — professional and personal — that I know will shape the way I live my life once returning to America at the end of the month. But just in case what they say about not being able to eat pizza in America after Italy is true, I’m going to eat up.
Contact Emma Korynta at email@example.com.