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Roman Redemption

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In my previous blog I wrote about how my trip to Scotland became very much a trip about dining and puddings and how much food I could try. About ten months later we went to Italy, after 3 days in Spain and a couple of days in Provence. I know we are very lucky. I was, for the first time in my adult life, NOT a food tourist. As a background I had been to Italy four times before so I know my way around an Italian menu.

What a difference 10 months of serious Sparking makes! This time, I did not research or think about restaurants. We asked for advice from the hotel workers and we would simply try restautants that did not look too "turistico" (they have a lot of giveaways). An average Italian restaurant can be exquisite without being costly. I walked all over Rome. It seems as if walking is better than the hassle of a taxi or the overcrowded bus or the limited Metro (limited because you don't want a subway getting into the spaces and places of Roman ancient ruins).

We would stop and eat. The typical Italian menu has at least four to six courses. I eschewed the bread. I would order the spinach, asparagus, or tomatoes. My husband and I would share a pasta dish--and we avoided the creamy sauces. We ordered a lot of fish and little fowl. We ordered enough for one very stout person and I ate about 40% and my husband about 60%. Then the kicker---he often got desserts, being justifiably enamoured of Italian gelati and other confections. I had: one bite of one piece of tiramisu once and one bite of ice cream once. Tasty but too sweet, I thought.

I returned home and while I had not lost any weight, I had not gained any. My Roman Redemption was knowing that food should be sampled sparingly and that the entire point of the trip was art, artifacts, fascinating churches and cathedrals and the luxuriousness of The Vatican. I travelled to travel and not to eat. The eating was incidental -- about as significant as fueling a car. And yes, Italian food is fantastic.

So I am pleased and proud that I now know how to travel and not make food the centerpiece of the journey! That, my friends, was my Roman Redemption. I had been a bit fearful that I would become a food maniac, but it did not happen.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • LISAMG1220
    Wonderful! Sounds like a great trip and woohoo on no weight gain after! That rocks! :)
    3072 days ago
    nice blog....great trip, I would guess.
    I LOVE to travel.
    3073 days ago
  • OJ_2_OK
    awesome job! I have not traveled really (leisurely any ways) since joining spark. Hope I have that kind of change in my mentality.
    3073 days ago
    I love hearing about other peoples travels, thankyou
    3074 days ago
    ........a dreamy trip.......

    And just as it should be; enjoy the sites and grandeur of where you are= and eat to live. You maintained just the right balance - you tasted the good stuff - but you didn't 'gorge'.
    I envy your travels ...... never been to Italy....
    I'm glad you had such a marvelous trip. Where next??

    emoticon emoticon
    3074 days ago
  • -POOKIE-
    Its a very interesting comparison!
    3074 days ago
  • MLH148
    A great story. And you have so much more to share of your travels than before!
    3075 days ago
    Definitely truth in that: fish + veggies = a healthy diet. And once you become accustomed to it as your basic plan, funny how the formerly-favored sweet foods aren't very satisfying anymore...
    3075 days ago
  • LE7_1234
    3075 days ago
    Look at those beautiful little artichokes! Oh dear, I am dying for spring and it's only January. Great blog. Such strength of character. I'm not sure I could have shown that much restraint in the face of Italian fare. Hope you'll write more travel blogs. They give much in the way of vicarious enjoyment.
    3075 days ago
    When I travel, I usually walk 4 to 8 miles a day - and can get away with a few extra calories. I agree that travel is about more than the food - but the food can be a fun part of the travel too. (We're currently in New Zealand, and I've found all kinds of tasty items with Asian influences that we never have in the US. Yummy salads, veggie frittatas, all kinds of things.)
    3075 days ago
    Congratulations! Was not Italy the "Eat" in the book/movie, "Eat, Pray, and Love"? How well you did to eat so well. Love all the freggies!
    3075 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Beautiful photograph of healthy food. And you ensured that your memories of the trip were good ones, and nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about.
    3075 days ago
    Yes, Italian food is great but there is also more to see and do. Good for you for walking. I have been Italy and I think they prepare their food differently than we do too. I have been able to come back without gaining weight. So tell us, where are you going to travel to next?? Ciao! emoticon
    3075 days ago
    My step grandparents owned at Italian bar/cafe so I was around Italian food and am not tempted by the troublesome stuff much other than authentic Italian bread and Italian salami.
    3075 days ago
    That's great. I would have died of Alfredo overdose. I like the high caloric Italian foods. Of course, the closest I get to Italy is Olive Garden.
    3075 days ago
    What wonderful growth you've demonstrated over your months on Spark! This is so inspiring and motivating, even for those of us not planning any overseas trips (at least not in the near future). Life should be about so much more than food...food is wonderful, but it should be more incidental to our lives, not so much the centerpiece. Bravo! I believe that's Italian, right?
    3075 days ago
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