Life/ Zelda Elisco: che passione il pranzo della domenica

 Living with a host family in Italy has given me the chance to become apart of the authentic Italian life.  Everyday, I get to 

enjoy a traditional family-style dinner with my host parents and practice my Italian. Some days, I learn the most about the Italian 

culture by simply watching my Italian family interact with one another. I get the chance to study their hand gestures, listen to their politics, and watch them cook.  One of my favorite memories in Viterbo was my  first attendance at a typical Italian Sunday brunch.  

If you plan on attending a traditional Italian Sunday lunch, then I highly suggest fasting the night before. What you are about to 

endure, can be described as a foodie paradise.  Plate after plate, food is shared among the comfort of family and friends. As a 

devoted food photographer, I was in complete heaven. We enjoyed our family lunch up in the mountains outside of the city walls.  On the patio beneath orchard trees, we started our meal off by enjoying a plate of pasta bathing in clams and tomatoes. After the 

clams, a pot of steaming hot mussels is served around the table family style. And of course, there is bread. On of my favorite parts 

 of an Italian meal, is to enjoy a fresh slice of bread covered in olive oil in salt. There are almost no words to describe the vast 

difference between Italian olive oil and those served in America. I am predicting now, that I will have a hard time readjusting.Also, note to those of you not familiar with eating Italian food every meal of the day, bring a probioticSinging out of the kitchen, next our  host bring fresh fried potato crisps, which have been lightly fried in simmering oil on the stove. Alongside the potato crips, we  enjoy cheese covered eggplants. For desert, coffee is always a staple item on the menu. My first couple months in Italy were spent without drinking a small espresso after meals. However, after my first cup, I have never turned back. Now, I feel a meal cannot be completed without finishing off a small shot of espresso! On this special day I was also able to enjoy for the first time, a fresh picked fig. Before every trying one, I never understood the rave about figs. My family back in the States would be horrified to know this, our family has grow Italian figs trees for as long as I can remember.  Honestly, I did not even know what they looked like inside their outer skin! So now, I get it. Once peeled, the inside can be a little daunting.  However, I would describe the taste as a combination of a grape and apple. Delicious!

My first Italian lunch was a wonderful experience! I hope to bring similar traditions back home with me.


Zelda is an Environmental Science student from California who is currently studying abroad in Italy. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, photography and painting. In addition to attending school in Italy, she also manages a travel blog where she documents her experience abroad and discusses culture, food, and her adventures. 

Zelda e una Americana di California. Lei studia Environmental Science, e anche abita in Italia. Quando lei ha tempo libero, lei piace cucinare, photographia, e dipengere. Anche, lei ha una giornale su online, dove lei scriva a sua vita in Italia.