The Italian word for brunch is . . . brunch!

What they say about late dinners in Italy is true, and since they eat dinners so late, lunches tend to happen later in the day as well. Breakfast is usually a simple affair, with the ever-present coffee plus something in the bread or pastry family.

But brunch is a free-for-all both here and there, with a variety of menu items available. We took advantage of a leisurely morning in Rome to sit down to brunch at a lovely little place called La Gensola.

We ordered two of our usual favorites - spaghetti carbonara and a seafood medley over pasta. I dare you to identify a more perfect brunch food than pasta carbonara - eggs, cheese, and ham/bacon/prosciutto over pasta. Yummy, cozy, and delicious.

Mussels, clams, shrimp, tomatoes, garlic, all in a light, brothy sauce over noodles - this is such a fresh, happy, summery meal that I can't get enough of it. And bonus - it even feels healthy!

There was just something different and magical about the tablescapes in Italy (especially when I photographed them from funky angles). And look at that carved door in the background. I don't know what the story was with that but I bet there was one.

I think any vacation day that includes breakfast, lunch, a snack, and dinner is a near-perfect day. That we managed to work in a brunch made it even better!

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