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Italian meals not to miss

Everything you’ve heard about food in Italy is true: It is abundant, epic, fresh and delicious. Though culinary styles in the country can vary widely by region, in Rome you can sample what are arguably the best types of food Italy has to offer.

Restaurants abound in the hotel district of Rome, as well as around many of the popular tourist attractions. You’re unlikely to encounter a bad meal anywhere you go in the city, but if you’re looking for a great culinary experience as part of your trip, try to incorporate these three Italian dishes into your eating adventures.

Gnocchi — Although it is slowly gaining popularity at Italian-style restaurants in America, the gnocchi that you’ll find in Rome far outshines stateside versions of the dish. These soft, pillowy pasta dumplings are supple and tender, and they soak up the flavors of whatever they’re served with. You’ll find a wide variety of sauce options, from spicy arrabbiata to creamy gorgonzola.

Prosciutto and melon — One of the best appetizers in the country, this dish combines thick slices of ripe cantaloupe with paper-thin shavings of prosciutto, a specially cured Italian ham. The result is a combination of salty, sweet and savory flavors that melt into a deliciously fresh and juicy bite.

Neapolitan pizza — Pizza is as ubiquitous in Rome as hamburgers are here at home, but not all Italian pizzas are created equal. Seek out a restaurant that serves Neapolitan-style pizza, which is cooked at high temperatures in a wood-burning brick oven and topped with farm-fresh ingredients. The result is a delicious pizza on a soft, chewy, flame-blistered crust.