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Let’s face it, we travel to Italy not only to see the Roman Forum, the Vatican and the Colosseum. We go because we want to eat authentic Italian food: pasta, pizza, chianti and birra! Just like Julia Roberts’ character in Eat, Pray, Love did. 
We’ve heard many times that people often get disappointed with the food in Italy, not enough flavor, not a lot of red sauce, small servings, extremely al dente pasta. And that dear readers, is all true. If you are expecting eating the same dishes you get at Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill and Carrabas, you are in for a big surprise. 

The first one is that in Italy a pasta dish usually doesn’t have any type of meat (aside from pancetta (an Italian bacon) or the popular prosciutto. It is pasta and cheese, tomatoes, basil, veggies like eggplant, garlic and extra virgin olive oil - lots of it! 
Italian Market showcasing Prosciutto di Parma
This doesn’t mean that they don’t eat meat... they do but as a main course. Dinner in Italy is a long and delicious ordeal. You start with the antipasti, an assortment of foods like olives, anchovies, sliced sausages, peppers, cheese and artichoke hearts. Then you have the first course or primo, which is usually the pasta dish; the second course is the meat (chicken, pork, red meat or fish); the third course or contorno, which is the side dish to the meat - it is usually vegetables- and the last one is dessert or the dolce!! Tiramisu is a favorite but there are many other, like zeppole - fried Italian donuts. 
Let’s talk about the pizza... it is not your Brooklyn style pizza either in Italy. There, the simple the better. Thin crust, tomato based sauce, mozzarella and basil - known as the Marguerita - is the most popular pizza, with its origin in Napoli, to the south of the country. 
And how about drinks? Know that beer,  birra in Italian, is cheaper than water and sodas! And it is so good! Moretti, Peroni and Nastro Azzuro are the most known around the world and in Italy too. However, if you want to drink like the locals, don’t eat pizza and pasta and have a beer. Beer is usually for social drinking. In the other hand, wine - red wine specially, is meant to have over dinner. 
Castello del Trebio, Tuscany
Chianti, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Montepulciano are just a few of the many Italian grapes and wines that you will probably try during your journey through Italy. One of our best experiences in Italy was a tour at the Castello del Trebio in Tuscany... It is a castle owned by a family and they do their own olive oil and chianti.... The best thing is that after our trip we found Castello del Trebio wines at Total Wines here in Orlando!! 
If you haven’t tried it, give it a chance... you won’t be disappointed for sure!

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