Ready for an unpopular opinion? The food in Italy is terrible.

I just got back from an international radio convention in Italy. Aside from being able to visit some historic sites during some of the downtime, the food was what I was looking forward to most during the trip.

It was awful.

I guess I had been picturing the best chicken parm of my life (basic bro stuff, I know). Who knew that chicken parmigiana isn't a dish that is served in restaurants in Italy? In fact, it was rare to even see ANY type of chicken dish.

I had been looking forward to a week filled with awesome dishes like pasta mixed with grilled chicken and alfredo (or tomato sauce). There was NOTHING like that. The restaurants in Italy were stacked with odd foods like "calf cheek," "wild boar with chianti sauce," and "raw meat with new oil."

Even the pasta was weird. "Drunk pasta" (pictured above) had a sauce that was almost strictly chianti wine and onions. The struggle was real. I'm a simple, boring American guy. This was just not my kind of food. At one point, I thought to myself, I'm slowly starving in Italy.

Multiple times throughout the week, at various restaurants, they ran out of the item I was ordering, including ravioli, cheese, mussels, etc. One of our tour guides explained that the restaurants are super conscious of only serving fresh foods, so it is not unusual to run out of ingredients. I thought about how this would never fly in the United States. I couldn't imagine a successful restaurant repeatedly running out of items on their menu. Word would get out and people would stop going.

Towards the end of the week, someone in our radio group had the great idea to find the Hard Rock Café. It's been a long time since I enjoyed a plain old American cheeseburger so much.