E-mailJulia Roberts goes to Rome, and then all the way to India and Bali.  I never got that far. I did it all in Rome.

I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s book.  We even had mutual friends in Rome – Depression and Loneliness.  Like her they followed me around, sat next to me in restaurants, and often spent the night.

But that’s not how it began.  In the early days of my love affair with Rome, I didn’t know those guys.  Back then, 18 years ago, I was Donna Reed (or Carol Brady if you don’t remember back that far), traveling with husband and daughters, the Griswolds doing Italy.

More than the David, the gondola rides, and  the Colosseum, more than anything,  my first meal in Rome (ordered by Roman friends- I knew nothing about Italian food back then) ignited a fire that kept pulling me back to Italy- to eat and to learn all I could about this spectacular cuisine in the land of my grandparents.

And when the earthquake hit, when the walls collapsed around my snug little world…
the food of Italy kept me alive.

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