I am not a morning person. I can stay up for days at a time–and when I have a guidebook deadline to meet I prove this outrageous claim–but I wake up groggy and disoriented on a daily basis, even when I get loads of sleep. Most people I know only need caffeine in the morning in order to become functioning members of society. I, however, also need pizza. I know eating pizza for breakfast is a horrifying concept to some, but for me it is as natural as a bowl of cereal for French toast. And besides, if pizza wasn’t meant to be eaten for breakfast, then why do my favorite bakeries make it at 9am?
One of my favorite spots is Panificio Monti on Via Urbana where I am always tempted by the rich ciambella al cioccolato to eat a sweet breakfast like a normal Rome resident. But I am so in love with their pizza-by-the-slice that it is impossible for me to stray. Earlier this week, I had an exquisite slice of pizza con i fiori di zucca (a white pizza with squash blossoms). In Rome, this type is traditionally served with alici (anchovies) spaced out across the pizza surface. At Panificio Monti there are just enough fishy bits to give the pizza a salty kick without overpowering the sweet delicate flowers or the mozzarella. Like clockwork, within a few moments of eating my breakfast that morning, I was wired and ready to go, as chipper as any coffee drinker around.