Despite what people (from Darmstadt) says, I really like Darmstadt. Is near to one of the biggest and most interesting german cities (FK), but smaller and easier to live in. Public transports are good mostly as in any other german city, and a lot better than in Rome (but this is just a personal opinion).
The food here could be a problem for an italian guy, but, if you like so-called-junk-food like me (I'm not very comfortable with this label; probably it's not healthy, I know, but It's good, cheap, and sometimes also typical), you will find a lot of different alternatives! And if you are really desperate you could always go to some italian restaurants, or stay at home and cook yourself a healthy decent dinner.
For example here you could find quite good curry-wurst, some of them really spicy (I personally suggest "Best Worscht in Town" near the castle - http://www.snack-point.com/#/news/ ), some places where you could taste very good tapas (like El Cid near the institute - thanks Holger ;) ), and of course you could enter those classics Brauerei.
From a touristic point of view, around here I suggest to go to visit Mainz, Frankfurt and also smaller country-towns with their typical old-fashioned architecture. Frankfurt is quite big, but it's really nice if you know where to go: Roemer, Zeil (the gallery it's quite an example of modern architecture), Paulskirche, Sachsenhausen, Bornheim (especially at saturday for the nice street market).
I think I will have quite a good time here. :)