Rome is definitely the place to live to eat and enjoy the meal!
Last summer I surprised my Mom by planning a whirlwind trip to Rome. She flew in from the UK and I flew in from the USA (via a stopover in Toronto). We met in the airport, got a taxi to our Airbnb and spent a wonderful, whirlwind 5 days exploring Rome. Before we left a friend of mine recommended a food tour. As eating and drinking is such a huge part of the Italian culture we chose to book this tour for our first night in Rome. The reasoning for this was to gain some insights before we were left to our own devices in exploring all of the culinary delights that Rome has to offer.
Taking this tour was one of the best decisions we made. We opted for an early evening tour at 4pm. This is very early for Rome as dinner doesn’t usually begin until much later. We were very fortunate as the other tour members rescheduled for a later time and my mother and I had our own personal guide for this tour. Luca was amazing! I checked and she is still working for the same tour company so if you have the opportunity to get her as a guide do it! –Buon appetito !
The Roman Food Tour
I actually booked this tour through Viator but tours can be booked directly through the company.
Booking through Viator was easy and we met our guide, Luca at the designated metro station in the Prati district. I recently reviewed The Roman Food Tours website and it seems they offer the particular tour that we experienced only once a day at 5:30pm. This is a 4 hour tour and the price is worth every penny. This tour allows you to not only sample delicious food and wine it educates you on the culture of eating in Rome, the history of certain foods and the rating system used in Rome. After the tour you will not only be satisfied, you will feel confident in your abilities to order and enjoy all of the culinary delights Rome has to offer. I promise you this will be a really enjoyable experience and it will also enhance the rest of your time in Rome as you will learn so much and feel confident whether ordering expresso ,gelato or a 4 course meal……mangia bene !
First stop dessert………expresso and cannoli. What we learned:
· Cannoli originated in the Middle East and was brought to Sicily by the women of the harems.
· Cannoli is the only dessert enjoyed across Italy, all other desserts are regional.
· Real cannoli is filled when it is ordered.
· A bar in Italy is entirely different to any bar in the UK or the USA. Most people will stop in a bar for coffee, possibly a pastry or lunch. If you stand your order will be cheaper.
· If you sit in a bar expect to pay more.
Happy Hour- what a perfect way to transition to dinner.
What I think is the most civilized tradition in the Roman food culture is Happy Hour! ‘L’aperitivo’ is the time after work before diner when friends can get together relax and enjoy some delicious meats and cheeses and of course a glass of wine. We were introduced to this on the tour and it was amazing!
During your L'aperitivo you will learn all about real mozzarella you will also get to taste mozzarella and realize until that moment you have never really tasted real mozzarella.
Our next stop was Paciotti, a deli that specializes in prosciutto and balsamic vinegar. This was an entertaining and informative stop and we were able to taste some amazing prosciutto. If you are in Rome I highly recommend taking the time to visit this delicatessen the quality of food is outstanding.
So You Think You Know Pizza.........
I can honestly say I have never tasted pizza like this pizza. It was by far one of the most delicious pizza I have ever eaten. The creator of this amazing concept is Gabriella Bonci in Rome he is known as ‘Michelangelo of pizza’, one taste and you will understand why.
What we learned:
Our next stop was for our main course which of course was pasta. The wine continued to flow and Luca continued to engage us in interesting and informative conversation.
The Perfect Ending To a Wonderful Evening..........
Our evening ended with a stroll to the Fatamorana Gelato Store. This was not just any gelato this was premium gelato. As we strolled to our final destination Luca explained to us just what we needed to look for when ordering gelato. Gelato can be found all over Rome but if you want to eat the best kind of gelato one should look for establishments that do not pile the gelato in mounds .This ensure that you are eating the freshest gelato available. Also consider the color if banana is bright yellow most likely it has been “colored” rather than naturally flavored.
Gelato is an Italian mainstay so be sure to enjoy!
On Our Own..............
Because of our experience on this fabulous food tour we were able to feel confident for the rest of our time in Rome. We found some amazing places to eat, we were able to confidently buy wine knowing how the DOC system works and we felt more than capable when ordering any food. We even opted for the L'aperitivo Vatican Tour, which is a great option offered on Friday nights.
The Roman Food Tour was a wonderful way to be introduced the food culture of Rome if you can , just do it!
La Locanda Di Pietro
Our all-time favorite restaurant was La Locanda Di Pietro. This amazing find was a short walk from our Airbnb and minutes from the Vatican Walls. The service here was impeccable and the food just delectable. We were only in Rome 5 nights we spent two of those dining here. Highly recommend!
When in Rome do as the Romans do and …….Enjoy life! Enjoy food!
Full time educator- wanna be travel blogger. Exploring our world one trip at a time.