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Eating Out in Rome

Enjoying delicious Italian food is one of the pleasures of travelling to Italy! Italians take food seriously and each region have its regional specialities that they are very proud of.

A full Italian meal consists of an antipasto ( starter), a primo (first course), a secondo (second course) with an insalata (salad) or contorno (vegetable side dish), dolci (dessert), coffee and digestivo (liqueur). People usually order at least two courses. Traditional meals may last one or two hours or even longer. Italians often go out for a long Sunday lunch with their families in the restaurants.

Antipasti come before the main meal and usually include a plate of local cold cuts and there will probably be some regional specialities.

The first course is pasta, soup or risotto. Usually, there are several pasta choices. The second course is usally meat, poultry or fish. You can order side dish with your main course. This could be a vegetable (verdura), potato or insalata (salad). At the end of your meal, you will be offered dolce. Sometimes there may be a choice of fruit or cheese. After dessert, you will be offered caffee or digestivo (after dinner drink).

When to eat 

For breakfast (colazione) most Romans have cappuccino and cornetto (small croissant). In the bars you can have a wide choice of cornettos (plain, with chocolate, with pistachio cream, with pastry cream, with jam etc. 

The main meal of the day is pranzo (lunch), eaten at about 1:30 p.m. Many shops close for one to three hours every afternoon to accommodate the meal and afternoon rest that follows. Many restaurants offer brunch at weekends, but this isn't breakfast-lunch combination featuring pancakes and eggs that English and American visitors might expect.

Brunch in Rome tends to mean a buffet, available from around noon to 3:00 p.m. Dinner (cena) is eaten any time from about 8:30 p.m. is usually simple, although this is changing as fewer people make it home for the big lunchtime feast.

Where to eat in Rome

You can choose where to eat depending on your preferences and budget. If you want just a quick snack like pizza al taglio, supplì or panini with mortadella head to one of many snack bars which you can find on every corner. These snacks cost from €3 - €5 and are cheaper options of eating outside. If you want cooked meal there are many places with variety of food such as pasta dishes, lasagne, roasted meat and side dishes. At this places you can have one dish for around 10 Euros. For seated dinner you should head to the restaurant where you will have several dishes and will cost you at least €60 - €80 for 2 persons. 

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