Discovering Rome and Italian gastronomy

By: Paola Peñafiel

Periodista de Concha y Toro en México

access_time 2019 · 08 · 14

The “Eternal City”, as it’s also known, is one of the most visited destinations by tourists from all over the world who are drawn to its impressive monuments and archeological remains of the ancient era. But also, for its culture, its art and its gastronomy, one of the most famous on the planet.

Rome is simply amazing. With a history of more than 2,500 years and being the cradle of Western civilization, it is not surprising that walking through its streets becomes a time travel to its periods of maximum splendor. It was the capital of the world and one of the most influential cities in history. It’s difficult not to get excited standing in front of the magnificent Colosseum and imagine its 500 years of glory; or walk along the Via Sacra of the Roman Forum where renowned emperors like Julio Cesar passed by; Get to know the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica and see Michelangelo’s frescoes in situ; or just sit in a Piazza to gaze at monuments, churches and fountains, all while enjoying an authentic Italian pizza.

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Rome is literally an open-air museum where you can appreciate thousands of years of history, art and architecture. The most impressive monument in the city is undoubtedly the Colosseum. It was the largest and most advanced amphitheater that the ancient world had seen, even today, it remains one of the architectural wonders of history. Built around 70 A.D., it operated for 500 years staging exotic animal shows, displaying wars and gladiatorial fights, to an audience that could reach 70,000 people. Next to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum represented the nerve center of ancient Rome. It was where public, cultural, and economic life developed during that time. The Forum and the Colosseum are the highest example of the greatness of the Roman Empire that can be seen today. From this period of greatness is also the Pantheon, a stately building dedicated to all the gods. Built in 126 AD, this monument is the most well-preserved architectural work of ancient Rome.

In the historical center of the city there is also the charming Baroque-style Piazza Navona. It is one of the most beautiful and popular squares in Rome and has three remarkable fountains, the most important of them all is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Bernini’s work. If you continue walking through these central streets, you will arrive at the Fontana di Trevi, the most beautiful, largest, and without doubt, the most emblematic fountain of the Italian capital.

Rome is also the epicenter of the Christian world as it houses the Vatican City-State. While there, you can walk through the Plaza de San Pedro with its sequence of paired columns; you can visit the Basilica of San Pedro, and the Sistine Chapel with its wonderful altar and vaulted ceiling decorated with impressive frescoes by Michelangelo.

Another mandatory stop is the Piazza di Spagna, with a monumental stairway of 135 steps that leads to the Fontana della Barcaccia. The Castel Sant’Angelo and Piazza del Popolo are also well worth visiting.

In every corner and square of this beautiful city, you come across bars and restaurants that offer the most exquisite dishes of Italian gastronomy. It’s impossible to resist one of the most recognized cuisine in the world. Its origin is found in its history and in its Roman, Greek, Arabic and African past, with some Asian influence. A traditional and, at the same time, very simple meal. Certainly, Mexican food stands out for its unique flavors created by a mixture of several ingredients, on the other hand, Italian cuisine is recognized for achieving an exquisite dish with few ingredients. Another of its characteristics is the high quality of its ingredients such as cheeses, hams, meats, flours, oil, vegetables and fruits.

On my trip through Rome I sampled many typical dishes, but there are some that you must try in Italy. The first is the Antipasto, which in Italian means “before the main course”. It’s a variety of cheeses, hams, salami and olives to share can be paired with a red or white wine that you enjoy most. A great option would be Trio, in its variety Chardonnay or Merlot, depending on what you prefer.

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Pizza is another must-try Italian dish. And at any restaurant, because it will be exquisite no matter where you go. Although there are many to choose from, I recommend you order the classic with tomato sauce and mozzarella, and accompany it with Casillero Del Diablo Rosé.

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Pasta, in any of its forms and with the sauce you like most, will be another unforgettable dish. A classic is spaghetti Bolognese, and to pair with it, an excellent option is Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere, since this wine goes very well with pasta and red meat.

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Lastly, don’t forget to try the risotto paired with Marques De Casa Concha Chardonnay, and for dessert, a Tiramisu, accompanied by a glass of Concha y Toro Late Harvest. Impossible to go wrong combining one of the best cuisines in the world with one of the best wines in the world.

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