Eating Rome :: A Lovely Roman Morsel of a Book

eating rome I feel like I’ve known Elizabeth Minchilli for many years. Her book, “Restoring a Home in Italy”, was literally my bible when I built our home here in the states 15 years ago. You can imagine how thrilled I was when we started communicating about 7 years ago right about the time I started living in Italy in the summer. In 2010, Elizabeth’s book, “Italian Rustic”, was releasing, and she needed help arranging a book signing in Atlanta. It’s a long story, but I will just say that lucky for me, her Florida book signing fell through. I finally had the opportunity to meet her in person, and since then we have become friends.

I sat down this weekend to read her new book, “Eating Rome” (St. Martin’s Griffin). It’s a fun read! Even if you’re not planning a trip to Rome, it’s filled with sweet childhood recollections, and current observations about the changing landscape of the food culture in Italy.

I had a similar experience since my childhood was spent in Hungary every summer with my grandparents, and because of that experience, the changes in lifestyle all over the EU really resonated with me. Elizabeth touches on the fact that as the world becomes smaller with the internet, more “American” style supermarkets and shopping habits are becoming more common in Italy. The small vendors are being forced to close which to me, is a very sad state of affairs.

Like me, Elizabeth experienced a different Italy when she was a child of 12: a foreign way of life that was both exciting and exotic. Those days are pretty much over as the processed food aisles in super-mercatos become larger in Italy. The mom and pop shops are disappearing, even in the small town I live in on the Italian seaside. It’s what’s good and bad about the information age. Like Elizabeth, I love blogging and interacting with my social media friends and fans, however the cost of this worldwide web of communication may be the downfall of what we held so dear in our childhoods. For right now, though, there is still enough of the old school culture in Italy to keep us sustained.

I was lucky enough to get a little tour of Rome from Elizabeth last summer. When I arrived, she greeted me at her office in her neighborhood, Monti. We dropped my bag and headed to her favorite cheese shop for a cheesy lunch. I was quite surprised actually since I expected a lunch with several courses Italian style. But she ordered a lovely wine, and we had a great conversation over delicious, runny cheese and bread. Like my lunch, her book Eating Rome, is not what you’d expect. First off, it’s a small paperback book, perfect to throw into your suitcase and take along when you travel to Rome for the first time. It’s a handy guide book as well as a cookbook; it’s filled with Italian etiquette tips and quirky stories that will keep you entertained. It’s a knowledgeable and honest account of an American girl who fell in love with Rome. For all of you that write and ask me about where to eat in Rome, the short answer is to get this book. It’s obvious that Elizabeth’s love affair with Rome is still going strong. Eating Rome is a sweet love story packed with delicious information. Brava Elizabeth!


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