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Question about Food

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Marlton, New Jersey
posts: 1,721
reviews: 509
Question about Food

I just read on these forums that the people in Italy eat dinner late. I have some health issues and must eat early. I usually eat my main meal around noon and have a lighter meal around 4 or 5pm. Am I going to have a problem with getting something to eat around those times? Also I saw something about one price to stand while eating and another to sit while eating. I am not sure what that means. Thank you.

Latina, Italy
posts: 1,773
1. Re: Question about Food

The standing/sitting thing is only in coffee bars....for your morning cappuccino for example or a beer in the afternoon.

Clearly restaurants don't have folks standing up eating!

Latina, Italy
posts: 1,773
2. Re: Question about Food

You won't find many restaurants serve before 7.30 or 8 p.m. They close after lunch.

But many Italians have their main meal at lunchtime. You'd just have to find a snack around 5 p.m. in one of those bars I mentioned. Sitting or standing as you choose !

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 63,492
reviews: 12
3. Re: Question about Food

Perhaps you could do everything a few hours later than you do at home.

Ocean City, MD
posts: 6,865
reviews: 7
4. Re: Question about Food

angeleyes27, I eat my main meal around 12:30 or so too. I've had some wonderful clams w/linguine just off a side street from the Panethon, veal saltimbocca near Largo Argentina and chicken w/eggplant near Via Veneto. I eat light for dinner and finding a salad at one of the Piazza's around 5:30 wasn't difficult.

posts: 180
reviews: 29
5. Re: Question about Food

You won't have a problem. Rome is a cosmopolitan city full of people from all over the world. You may not get tables at the locals' favorite restaurants, but there will always be options any time of day.

posts: 1,119
reviews: 7
6. Re: Question about Food

If you have your main meal at lunchtime you can often find restaurants with set menu lunches for two or three courses at very good prices. They put boards outside to advertise this.

Some places have bars with "happy hour" deals at around 5-6pm where snacks are included with the price of drinks. I don't know what the cost of these drinks are though. Just look for the signs if you are interested.

If the above does not interest you there are places where you can buy takeaway pizza, including by the slice. Also some bakery type of places where you can buy takeaway foods.

Spend a little time when you arrive to check locations and opening hours of eating places that interest you as you wander around.

new york city
posts: 1,860
reviews: 1
7. Re: Question about Food

Noon & 4-5pm New Jersey time translates to 6pm and 10-11pm Rome time if you factor in time zones. You may have to come with a plan to adjust for jet lag.

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
posts: 34,435
reviews: 22
8. Re: Question about Food

Actually, if you read Nick's post (number 3) and Penny's post (number 7), you may get the idea that you could fairly easily adjust your schedule to the Roman one, using the time difference to your advantage. That's more or less what I do in reverse when I visit the US. I go to bed earlier, get up earlier, and eat my meals earlier. I don't really suffer from jet lag, but if I kept my normal bedtime in the US, with the early dinners, I'd be starving again by bedtime.

Edited: 4:38 pm, November 22, 2012
Ontario Canada
posts: 1,584
reviews: 62
9. Re: Question about Food

We had no problem finding places to eat dinner at 6:00.

Although I personally like a late dinner, often we stayed at B&Bs that included a huge breakfast spread. We just weren't hungry for lunch but super hungry by 6:00.

Agreed, Rome is very cosmopolitan and the restaurants are in the business of making money. They cater to tourist needs and if they can get three main sittings per day, they make big money. There are lots of restaurants along the sidewalks and you just look through the menus without being committed to paying anything. In busy areas, they are serving meals all day long.

Some snack bars will charge extra to sit down but almost always, you are served at the table and the extra cost is for the service. If you are not sure, just ask.

I was worried about ordering food in Italy. I found it super easy to understand the system. The only problems we encountered were in small villages off the beaten track when the owner did not speak English. Sign language and a few smiles always worked great.

Edited: 6:04 pm, November 22, 2012
Marlton, New Jersey
posts: 1,721
reviews: 509
10. Re: Question about Food

I generally go to bed around 9pm and I must be finished eating at least 4 hours before bedtime as my stomach must be finished digesting before I go to sleep, but it sounds like there are some places where I can eat early. And I guess I will just look until I find a place that serves a meal early. I know that I didn't have a problem in most countries. Thank you so much for all of your help.