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I hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving last week! Did you leave turkey off your plate? Good for you! How did you feel? If not, what obstacles stopped you? Tell me in the comments below.

I had a wonderful time with family in Asheville, and I thoroughly devoured a vegan feast, including two desserts (white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake (at left) AND pie!!).

For more pictures, visit my “What I Vegan” Facebook page (and like it while you’re there)!

Now, I want you to travel back to Italy with me.

Remember when we first went there together in Mamma Mia, What Do You Eat (Vegan in Italy)? If not, check it out for pictures of the amazing eats my husband and I feasted upon in Positano on the Amalfi Coast.

Today, we’re heading to Roma by way of Napoli. Let’s go!

We were only going to have a few hours in Naples, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them: EAT PIZZA.

You know the book Eat, Pray, Love? In it, the author is told where to find the best pizza in the world, and it is in Naples. I was determined to discover it too.

This elusive pizza can be found at a place called La Antica Pizzeria da Michele. And they have a vegan version! No adjustments needed. We got there just before the lunch crowd and ordered one big marinara pizza each. And here it is!

Isn’t it beautiful?!

This pizza’s flavor and texture were true perfection. This was my FAVORITE thing I ate in Italy, hands down.

In no way did the book or the movie over-hype this pizza, so if you find yourself anywhere near Naples, drop everything and go! I can’t tell you how important this is.

When I finally was able to part with my pizza, we went to the train station and got on the high-speed rail to Rome (a great way to travel).

Our first dinner there was at an all-vegetarian restaurant not far from the Spanish Steps called Il Margutta, recommended to us by friends, and they did not let us down!

The menu had a ton of vegan options, but since it was our first night in Rome, we decided to go all out and order the 7-course vegan tasting menu to try it all!

Course 1 – I believe this was a kind of fried polenta star. It was beautiful and tasty to boot!

Course 2 – Chopped fresh veggies with mind blowing dips. Especially the olive oil with aged balsamic vinegar.

Course 3 – Fried zucchini blossoms. Why don’t we think to eat the blossoms in America? They are delicious!

Course 4 – Pasta with fresh basil and a “meaty” tomato sauce

Course 5 – Creamy risotto with zucchini flowers

Course 6 – This was Asian-inspired, which was kind of refreshing after days of Italian!

Course 7 – Dessert! Carrot cake with caramel drizzle and vanilla coconut ice cream

The next day, after much site-seeing, we stopped for lunch and people-watching in Piazza Navona, my favorite piazza in Rome. We got a cheese-less pesto pasta that hit the spot!

Fresh pesto. There’s nothing like it!

Other culinary delights in Rome, the Eternal City, included:

Here’s a different pizza marinara. In Rome, they like the crust paper thin, as opposed to thicker crust in Naples.

Yummy bruscetta topped with a zucchini mixture on the left and a chickpea and lemon mixture on the right. These were our favorite bruschettas we had, and they were from Dar Poeta in the Trestevere neighborhood of Rome.

A super simple but delicious salad of small tomatoes, olives, and basil at La Arancia di Oro in Rome. All the food is so FRESH there!

Bruscetta Bianca (just topped with olive oil, then rubbed with garlic and salt) with some nice white wine at a sidewalk cafe in Rome

A pizza topped with capers, olives and garlic at Dar Poeta

A fried artichoke, a specialty from a kosher restaurant in the Jewish quarter. Isn’t it funky looking? They even served matzo on the side!

We ate dairy-free gelato all over the city, but I forgot to take photos because every time I got a scoop or two, I’d inhale it before the thought even crossed my mind. Oops!

Our last night in Rome, we went back to Il Margutta for another decadent (though less gluttonous than our previous) meal because we enjoyed it so much. We had:

An incredible strawberry and balsamic salad

Vegan asparagus salad

Delectable fried seitan

A fresh, Mexican-inspired black bean and corn salad with balsamic drizzle.

Being vegan in Rome couldn’t have been easier. Everywhere had at least a pizza marinara or spaghetti marinara on their menus. And with the help of the English-speaking, friendly waitstaff, we had no trouble ordering delicious, compassionate food each place we went.

Next up on our trip (in a different post) will be Orvieto, Perugia, and Florence! Won’t you come with me again?

Viva Italia!


P.S. Here’s another one of those “We’re in ITALY!” moments…

P.P.S. Here’s a link to the final Vegan in Italy post!