The Eternal City boasts many treasures, but among its top - la cucina Romana (Roman cuisine). One dish is so revered, it has achieved Protected Geographical Indication (PGA) – meaning its quality and reputation is linked to its geographical origin. Ahhh, we could only be talking about Roman artichokes. This humble, strange-looking vegetable has been grown in Italy for centuries. In fact, Italy is one of the world’s top producers. For an authentic taste, order carciofo alla Romana – braised artichokes stuffed with herbs and topped with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Mangia!
If you’re using Starbucks as your guide to Italian coffee, you’ll be terribly disappointed. Venti macchiatos drizzled with caramel are best left to the American chain. Italy sports a serious coffee culture that’s best exemplified in a small ceramic cup filled with seven grams of steaming hot espresso. Espresso is made by applying 132 pounds of pressure to a small amount of boiling water and ground coffee. The extract is a rich, dense liquid topped with a creamy emulsion of coffee oils that quickly dissipate if the espresso sits too long. For this reason, you’ll find Italians standing at a coffee bar to enjoy a quick, delicious sip throughout the day. Bevi!
One of the best views of Rome takes a little footwork, but if you’re willing to climb the 551 steps to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, you’ll be duly rewarded. The summit is at one of the highest points in Rome and affords a panoramic view not just of the Vatican, but the entire centuries-old city and its magnificent architecture, bridges, and statues. In fact, on a clear day, you can see all the way to Altare della Patria – which sits nearby the Roman Colosseum. Esplorate!