Despite unemployment being close to 12%, Italians are snubbing traditional jobs like pizza-making.
Incredible architecture and art are splendid and interesting enough but when I go to Italy, I want to eat.
Which is why, after a dozen trips to the country, I decided to settle into the city of Bologna for a few weeks and consume as much as I possibly could.
Now, every Italian will tell you that their region makes the best food. But for many, the best Italian food comes from the region of Emilia-Romagna, of which Bologna is the capital. Meat ragu, tortellini, lasagna, parmigiano cheese, mortadella, coppa and balsamic vinegar - all have roots here and the resulting regional dishes are truly sublime.
I thought I knew how to make eggplant Parmesan (or ParmiGIANa if you're feeling especially Italian). Eggplant, a little breading, sauce, cheese – what can go wrong with that?
Then I met Chiara Lima. She's the bubbly Italian woman who taught the best way to make this traditional Italian favorite at Mamma Agata's Italian cooking class I recently took in Ravello, Italy.
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
The Italian food most Americans love - spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, sausage and peppers - is as red-blooded (and red-sauced) American as it is Italian.
In authentic Italian food, whole fish, game and offal are customary; and a great deal of the country's culinary landscape embraces cocina povera, or “peasant cooking," as well as living off the land's fresh fruits and vegetables.
This simplicity - sometimes from unexpected ingredients - plays a key part in living la dolce vita, according to David Rocco.
Five Surprising Components of the Italian Dinner Table: David Rocco
It's July - you've got basil coming out the wazoo - what to do? It's the herb that just keeps giving - and this time of year, the more you pick, the more it grows. Here's an idea: make like the Italians and whip up some bulk pesto to freeze and use throughout the year.
Follow along as one Italian chef reveals the perfect pesto for the proliferation of basil taking over your backyard.
Travel by train on the Western line and you'll see them: rows of lettuce and other greens grown on the edge of the railway track using fertilizer of dubious provenance.
Despite Mumbai being an over-populated concrete jungle, there are still many humble corners where people grow food. Your balcony could be the next such space.
There are plenty of reasons why you should consider becoming a city-dwelling green thumb.
Growing crops makes your terrace or balcony greener, it provides a fresh supply of organic food, it reduces the environmental impact of food transportation and it makes you that extra bit more independent from your local market and food inflation. It also cools down your flat and increases oxygen content - a welcomed perk for those living in this hot, polluted city.
CNNGo has the FULL STORY
It was a case of mistaken identity. He was not who he said he was. Or, maybe I just heard his name wrong.
“Vorrei la trippa,” I declared in broken Italian, sitting on my hands to prevent myself from making a Godfather-esque hand kiss and consequently embarrass my Calabrian ancestors.
The last of the antipasti misti carnage was being cleared from our table in the center of the wood-paneled room at Ristorante Tre Galline in Torino, Italy. It was time for the main event of the classic Piemontese feast and I couldn’t wait for that fine piece of fish.
As the waiter walked toward the table with a steaming bowl neatly balanced on his forearm, Handel's “Hallelujah Chorus" unwittingly started blasting in my head. Dinner was about to get served - and so was I.