Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rome on a budget

The New York Times is doing a feature in which they re-trace the famous Grand Tour of Europe of bygone days, but with a frugal twist. Today's stop is in Rome.

Our guide crosses the Tiber into Trastevere (in photo), which means- ta da!- across the Tiber. He eschews a number of cultural attractions for the pleasures of eating and drinking- always a dilemma in Italy. He mentions that he got a good deal on aperitivi, which he unfortunately describes as munchies. The munchies are actually called stuzzichini (stooz-zee-KEE-nee), or cicchetti (chee-KETT-tee) in Venice, or even "snacks" (which the Italians pronounce "znek"). The aperitivi are the drinks themselves.

This is nothing new, actually. One of the best ways to save both time and money in Italy is to eat at a bar. Many of these will actually have real dishes such as pasta available, and not just cold food. Money can be saved by consuming them at the counter instead of sitting down.