It is impossible to be bored in Italy. To excite, delight and stimulate you there is the beauty of the land, the elegance and charm of its people, the variety of its regional cultures, the quality and dash of its design and engineering, the reputation of its artists, sculptors, writers, musicians, and filmmakers, and, of course, the glory of its monuments and architecture.
One of the great pleasures of Italy, though, is eating and drinking. Each region has its individual cooking style and ingredients. In the north black pepper, butter, and rice are the staples. In the south it’s hot red pepper, olive oil, and pasta. In Piedmont scented truffle may be grated over your risotto; Liguria has a pasta sauce of crushed basil and pine nuts called pesto; in Tuscany you may eat freshly caught hare and tomato, or wild-boar sausages; and in Sicily you will be offered the most delicious sardines. Many of these ingredients will have been prepared that day, brought fresh from the market.
Italy’s rich diversity and localism explains why there are more than two thousand names for the huge variety of pasta shapes, and more wine labels – at least four thousand – than anywhere else in the world. Italy has many food festivals, called sagre, where local food is on display.
A full-scale Italian meal is substantial, and so varied that it bears out the adage, l’appetito vien mangiando (the appetite grows with eating). Two main courses are preceded by a starter and followed by cheese, a dessert, and/or fruit. And no one is in a hurry when eating out in Italy! The interval between secondo piatto and the cheese and fruit, followed by dessert and coffee, is the time for leisurely conversation and is what authentic Italian dining is all about.
Like all our guides, Culture Smart! Italy focuses on the people. How do they behave? What makes them tick? What is the best way to get on good terms with them? For that is the real way to enjoy Italy. Buon Appetito!
- ISBN: 9781787028760
- Format: Paperback
- Page count: 200
- Dimensions: 170 x 110 x 15mm
- Published at: £9.99 / $12.99 / CAN $17.99