The first time I went to Italy was with my family while I was a teenager. Pasta alla Carbonara was something we ordered. A lot. In every little city we went to. I think this was partially due to the fact that every time we ventured into unknown territory we got something odd like pizza w/ a pile of pickled capers on it (true story). So Carbonara was our safety food there. And was it GOOD. The Italian version is super simple and therefore super good. Sometimes here in the States you'll find Carbonara with cream. Stay away. Make this & you'll never go back.
So first things first. Cut 1 lb of bacon (or if you plan ahead Pancetta) into 1/4" slices and cook in heavy bottom pot / pan until crisp. Use slotted spoon remove to paper towel lined place. Reserve rendered fat for later & other uses.