amarks' Travel Journals


What was the strangest food you ate while traveling?

McDonalds. Don't judge, I was low on cash!

Eating Abroad- Culinary Adventures in Italy

A traveler has to eat, right?! Make the most of your money and time, eat like a local!

Eating Abroad - Culinary Adventures in Italy

Italy Florence, Italy  |  Oct 21, 2011
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 The old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” Your experience in a foreign country can be shaped by this same principle. 

Like most traveling students, my budget and the reality of traveling didn’t quite match up.  My wallet was feeling light and my stomach was begging for food.  We had just finished a day exploring Uffizi, the premier gallery in a city known for its art, and all I could think about was food, food and food.  Marching across town to our apartment (which was completely devoid of food, but not wine) we turned a corner only to be confronted by an olfactory sensation that begged to be investigated.  “I want whatever is making that smell,” it didn’t take long to find our muse.  Nestled in between two nondescript shops on a quiet city street is the best pizza on the face of the planet, and a full pie can be yours for 3 euros. 

Frommers, Lonely Planet and Google make no mention of this hole-in-the-wall eatery.  Quite frankly, I don’t remember the name or how we got there.  You’ll just have to explore on your own (do what I do and follow your nose)!  After this experience, my eating habits became, well, positively Italian.  I found a local market and bought fresh produce twice a week.  When I ate out, I never went to a place where I thought my waiter would speak English.  By the time I left Italy, I could ask for most of my standard dishes in the native language.  A hint for those of you heading to the big boot, the Italian word for pizza is pizza!     

Whether you are exploring a new city or trying to change up an old routine, food can be a great way to feel like a local, meet new people and learn about a culture.  Restaurants that are frequented by the locals are generally cheaper, and in my experience the local food is more about the dish than the environment you eat it in.  I’ve met several close friends by eating where Italian students eat.  The old saying goes, “you are what you eat.”  Your experience in a foreign country can be shaped by this same principle.  Eating like a local makes you feel more like a local, and there is a good chance the food is what you’ll miss the most from your time abroad!     

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  • Eating Abroad - Culinary Adventures in Italy

    October 21, 2011
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