Rachel Rodriguez  •  Nutrition

Rachel Rodriguez  •  Nutrition

Speak The Way You Eat

In Italian, the phrase, "Parla come mangi" literally means, “speak the way you eat.” An unforgettable experience while traveling to Italy.

Italians got it right!

They love to eat! They love good wine! And they celebrate with simple flavors, simple ingredients, that leave your mouth wanting more. My husband and I traveled to Italy. It was by far the most memorable, well-thought-out trip and we can’t wait to go back for more.

Below, you'll experience the 4 main cities that we visited,  each with its own character, personality, and food that we found remarkable. From each one, we learned from the locals and took back the main food/ingredient that stood out the most to us. It is now part of our lifestyle and how we eat. This is how we learned to speak the way the Italians did, through food! 

Rome, Italy - Fine Dining

We started our trip in Rome, where we wanted to get a lot of sightseeing done including the Spanish Steps, The Collumsium, and The Vatican, and roam around once we got there. We stayed at the Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria that was exactly what we expected. Actually exceeded our expectations!

The room was beautiful, with a balcony that overlooked an immaculate garden area. Onsite was the infamous La Pergola, a three-star Michelin® restaurant. We were celebrating so many things on this trip and went all out for the 10-course meal. The waiters kept bringing the food, filled our glasses with wine, and we took our time soaking up everything.

In other words, each course exploded with flavors, and built curiosity, until the main dish of beef came out. Everything was perfectly timed, and the presentation of each dish was appreciated.

beef tenderloin

Since it’s on the rooftop we would take breaks to stand and gaze out on the city of Rome. As nighttime crept in, the lights illuminated the city - it was breathtaking. However, there were moments of the night from other guests that stood out, a group, in particular, that was young, maybe 5-6 total. I have no idea where they were from, but they were on their phones for most of the meal, they were rude to the waiters, and rushed through the meal. I was floored!

It was something I learned at a young age, taste the meal that’s in front of you! Take the time and taste it! Well, it didn’t ruin my night because I tasted every single course as it came out. We even got to thank the head chef and let him know how much we appreciated his work! Our trip had just begun.

pasta tomatoes

Florence, Italy - Pasta

I think this is the city we got a ticket in because we accidentally got lost and drove around in the circle that you’re not supposed to. Oh the memories! We weren’t able to view any museums, it was a lazy day and we were close enough to experience Florence so we wandered around. Granted we didn't know what to expect from this city, we heard wonderful things; did some window shopping, and then started getting hungry.

As we searched for a restaurant close by the phrase I learned, “senza glutine per favore” came in use. Which means gluten-free, please. There were some restaurants that said no, which I appreciated and we carried on to the next one. Eventually, we found one that served my favorite pasta. A simple spaghetti with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese, if it was inappropriate I would’ve licked the plate. That’s how good it was!

Pisa, Italy - Pizza

The leaning tower of Pisa! We stayed in Pisa for a few days and did small road trips to castles and other small cities that were around. We shopped at the local grocery store where I learned so much about their gluten-free products. I must've taken 20 different pictures of gluten-free bread, cookies, tea, olive oil; and researched them once I came back to California.

There was one city in passing where we had an espresso. Gosh, Italians know their gelato and espresso! We brought back both to incorporate into our lifestyle to this day. Our hotel had Nespresso shots and we purchased one the minute we came home. There's something about espresso shots, especially on the weekend that is relaxing. 

Furthermore, after we visited the leaning tower of Pisa and walked around we found a highly rated pizza restaurant that we couldn’t pass up! The pizza was thinly sliced and gluten-free with again simple ingredients. Yep, that's me in the picture - I ate the whole thing and didn’t feel uncomfortable. The pizza never tasted so good, everything was locally grown and extremely fresh! 

Pisa, Italy Pizza
gelato in Venice

Venice, Italy - Gelato & Cheese

Italy has the train ride down to a science! Loved the ride to Venice. We stayed at Molina Stucky for one night and ordered in. I don’t remember the meal, but the appetizer was cheese and meat slices. The freshness, buttery taste, and softness of their cheese were mouthwatering.

I wrote in another blog post called The Fire Pit Experience that I couldn’t get enough of this cheese. It brings back so many memories! Turns out it was goat cheese! Guess who eats this cheese now!....this one! Yummm cheese, even being lactose intolerant I make sure to take an enzyme with it so there are no issues. 

Who wants ice cream when you can have delicious gelato! The locals taught us how to look for authentic pistachio gelato ice cream. It’s not the bright green color you might think. It’s actually more of the pale green color. While in Venice, we saw only a handful of these around and couldn't wait to get our hands on a cone of gelato!

We ate it while waiting for a gondola ride that was so romantic. At times a little scary because I was getting worried we might flip over. After my husband proposed years ago, we took a gondola ride at night in Newport Beach. So any time we get a chance to remember that day, I will take it!


Fun of traveling


Drinking in the culture and the surroundings of Italy left both of us with a lasting impression. We enjoyed every moment!


We tasted flavors, cuisines, and different ingredients than what we used to. Being open to trying is worth it!

Smash Your Grape

We did this trip with just the two of us, however, the next time we go it’ll be with our son. I can’t wait for him to explore this country! Whenever we travel we want to eat the food the locals eat and experience what the city or culture has to offer. Isn’t that the fun part of traveling?!

Likewise, it’s the food that always brings it home. Tasting a mix of ingredients, trying out new foods even though I may not know what it is. I’ll try almost every food at least once, with exceptions! No cow's eye, or brain, please!

For one thing, this is something that I’m installing in my son’s development as well. Taste your food and try something new. As the saying goes “speak the way you eat.” If I had to sum up the way I eat, I would condense it as I’m up for trying something new, keep it simple and straight to the point, and add flavor whenever possible.

Lastly, take the time to taste and enjoy where you are!

Have A Grapefull Day!

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Enjoy where you are!