The photo is counterintuitive, right?  How can you stay thin eating that?  One of our incredible dinners in Italy included the mainstay of pizza con prosciutto e panna.  Yes, that is pizza with cured Italian ham and cream sauce.  Just as in France, Italians have a reputation for conjuring up some decadent and high caloric dishes.  There is a key point to remember, however; portions are for one, not three . . . ingredients are fresh, not doctored with anything to enhance flavors artificially . . . and plenty of vegetables round out the meal.

Most importantly, after that meal, we walked . . . and walked . . . and walked.  While the glory of exploring Italy involves food, the cafe culture, which lends to evenings out on the town and walking for countless blocks, is something we have lost in North America.  Only a few cities, like New York and Chicago, are designed to spend evenings outside socializing with friends.  Forget any pretensions of cultural sophistication--the cafe culture is about being way from the television and staying active.

As the picture shows, indulgences like that pizza should be enjoyed . . . living in an environment where you can walk off those calories are important, too.

Case in point: our editor, Leon Kaye, spent a month in Argentina and Uruguay a few years ago, living off of Argentinian beef, dulce de leche, and ice cream, yet returned home having lost weight?  Why?  Plenty of fruits and vegetables were in the mix, too . . . as was countless walking.

Italy is prominent throughout our in one picture series.

About The Author

Tricia Widgen

GGP Food Editor Tricia Widgen brings the perspective of a professional whose career has included marketing for food companies and working with Fortune 500 companies in the management consulting industry. A proud native of Virginia's Eastern Shore, her work has taken her from Boston to Bolivia. She is a graduate of University of Massachusetts-Amherst and completed her MBA at George Washington University. She spends her time between Washington, DC, and Southern California. Her articles will cover food, consumer products, and business.