Many Italians might be forced to go back to the Mediterranean diet that their parents and grandparents were relieved to abandon during the decades of economic growth. It's unclear how these developments will affect the local food culture.
Pizza Ebraica, or Jewish dessert pizza, can be expensive if you buy all the ingredients just to make it. But as Paula suggests, it can be a super-thrifty way to use up the bits and scraps of dried fruit and nuts in your kitchen.
Giuseppe Viterale never starts or ends the day without a cup of espresso. He fires up a little gas burner, spoons in the ground coffee and puts the aluminum one-cup pot atop the steady blue flame. "This is like a religious ritual for me," he says.
We were mesmerized by the richness of colors, aromas and noises while walking through the food stands and shops -- fried foods, Sicilian pizza and focaccia, voices yelling to promote their products and offering a taste.
If you haven't eaten your way across Italy yet, consider the advice of someone who has. Italian food varies dramatically from region to region, but you can rest assured that you will find pasta, wine, espresso and gelato wherever you go.
While I'm all for protein at as many meals as possible -- I get hungry after about an hour if there isn't any -- a good ol' fashioned steak-and-potatoes is far from the only way to get protein on your plate.