I am sure half of you couldn't wait to get to this section... Food is definitely one of the better reasons to visit Italy, and nobody (in Italy) would think there's anything odd about traveling across the ocean just to eat some real pasta. After all, we used to drive hundred miles just to get fresh water for the coffee!

Regions: The late unification of Italy has allowed the country to develop a set of regional cuisines that are very distinctive and disjunct. What you'd eat in the North would not stir attention in the South, and vice versa. After almost a sesquicentennial, Italy is starting to homogenize and regions assimilate foods from outside. Yet, when you go to a restaurant, always seek the local specialty over the common.

Eating Habits: Now, there is a lot to get used to when you first get to Italy. Unless you are staying with foreign friends or at an international hotel, you will starve for breakfast. Italian (like most people in the Mediterranean) don't eat much in the morning. A quick cappuccino and a croissant (here it's called a cornetto) will have to make do. Of course, there is a second breakfast at around 10AM. You'll find bars crowded with people that should be working, but that prefer taking a second snack. Try the Roman tramezzini, an awfully fat but incredibly tasty sandwich on white, crustless bread.

Next: Eating at a restaurant