Food in Rome
I’ve been to Rome and seen the Italian kids piling into a McDonald’s not far from the Trevi Fountain. My husband and I shared that look and a sigh and found ourselves some traditional Roman food just steps away in a tiny Deli.
I’ve heard people complain that Rome is “overtouristed” and that it is overpriced and overdone and yes Rome does have its big-city issue. But where else can you wander down a street and find a stunning Palazzo, turn a corner and have the best pasta of your life?
Any big city comes with its problems but food in Rome is not one of them. It also helps to have some inside information this where this article Your local’s guide to Rome with off the beaten path things to see in Rome will come in very handy it’s a fabulous resource for everything you need to know about Rome. If you only have 36 hours in Rome you will find plenty to do and if you drop a coin in Trevi Fountain you know you will return.
When in Rome it is always handy to know what to eat in Rome. What is the food in Rome like? What do Romans eat and what are the “rules” for eating in Italy. Italian food culture, unlike North America, is centuries old and there are distinct “rules” to eating in Italy.
If you are planning on travelling to Italy for the first time have a read of Ingrid’s article – All the things to know when travelling to Italy for the first time, Ingrid covers everything from how to buy a train ticket to using your cellphone.
Food is very important in Italy not only the traditions of food and what you are eating but the eating itself is imbued with meaning. These are some of the phrases you will hear in Italy around food
“hai, mangiato?” – meaning did you eat in Italian
“mangiare” is simply eat in Italian
“Mangia” is of course eat
Like many areas across Italy, there are regional differences and Rome is only one of the hundreds of Italian cuisines. Northern Italian cuisine differs in many ways and Rome may be over 9 hours away from Palermo but the food of this region is world-famous for its gelati and canoli, and its trattorie.
Venice is another Italian destination that’s been on my bucket list for years. With its location on a lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, the range of seafood is outstanding there are many must-try foods in Venice. One thing remains the same though the Italians do not eat the same way the rest of the world does.
Roman Cuisine – Italian Traditions
In Italy, there are usually several courses to a meal and there are many Italian food facts that a visitor should know before they visit and get those sideways looks.
Antipasto simply means an appetiser, antipasti means multiple items. This may include means appetisers, and the singular form of the word is antipasto. You might see a selection of olives, cheese, sliced meats or possibly a salad.
Primo / minestre
This the first or main course and where traditionally the pasta dishes, soups and rice dishes are served. Ministre usually means a liquid so a soup or Zuppa would be served.
Obviously, the second course which will usually contain a fish, meat, egg or cheese dish. It won’t arrive with any vegetable or side dishes as it would in N. America so it may not be as substantial as you are used to.
Contomi are side dishes. These should be ordered with your secondo and they will include boiled oven-roasted and grilled vegetables. These are traditionally very simple if you order for example Puntarelle, a salad green that is curly and mixed with an anchovy dressing. A very seasonal dish in Roman cuisine.
Ah, Italian desserts! Gelato, pannacotta, mascarpone cream, cakes, tiramisu so much to choose from. Coffee is not served with dessert but always after and it must be an espresso served piping hot.
Romans do not eat all those courses though they tend to limit themselves to around 2 per meal but if you are starving you can go ahead and have one course of each.
Are you a foodie and planning a trip to Amsterdam or the Netherlands? Then you may want to check out this article on the traditional food of the Netherlands. From Olie Bollen to Stamfpot this is some good home-style food.
Italy – Food Customs
Roman Dishes do not include spaghetti and meatballs or fettuccine Alfredo
They simply don’t exist in Italy and are entirely America inventions. You will also never find chicken in a pasta dish. If you want a cream sauce look for Panna or cream on the menu. Pasta is served al ragù(with meat sauce) for primo or first course but “polpette” (meatballs), are typically served for secondo.
Fettuccine Alfredo was invented by the chef of “Alfredo alla Scrofa” is not famous nor is it Italian and mostly unheard of in Rome.
There is a pasta museum in Rome called the Museo Nazionale della Paste Alimentari (the National Museum of Pasta). Rome’s most common pasta shape is spaghetti.
Italians don’t eat eggs in the morning for breakfast
Typically for breakfast, an Italian will have a strong espresso and a sweet pastry. If you need something more substantial try a ham and cheese toast at a local “caffè“ or “bar” as cafes are known here.
You will find many of the hotels in Rome do serve an “American style breakfast” or have a buffet to please their tourist guests but Roman’s dishes do not include breakfast.
Wine or water
In Rome and the rest of Italy, the table will be set with a bottle of still or sparkling water and of course wine. Italians do not drink pop, soda, coffee, ice tea and so on with dinner. Well, not unless it is pizza and then beer or Coke is acceptable. Cocktails and liquors are reserved for: aperitivi (before-dinner drinks) and digestivi (after dinner drinks).
Cappuccino is only for breakfast
Italians would never drink a cappuccino at any other time of the day and they certainly wouldn’t drink it with a meal so lay off the cappuccino. After a lovely meal, Italians will order a Caffe or macchiato.
Cappuccino is considered too heavy after a filling meal. In addition, it’s common for restaurants to offer diners a complimentary digestivo liqueur – anything from limoncello to Sambuca. Italians believe that digestivi aid post-dinner digestion. You can even order a Caffe corretto – a shot of espresso spiked with liqueur.
Plain bread at dinner
Don’t do what most of us N. Americans attempt to do which we learned from the crappy Italian bistro on the corner. In Italy, you do not sit down for dinner take some bread and dip it into olive oil and balsamic you have put on your plate.
This just isn’t an Italian or even Roman food tradition. Bread is used in Italy to act as a utensil to sop up all that lovely saucy goodness left on your plate. It’s often called fare la scarpetta or the little shoe it picks up the bits that your fork can’t get. You would never find an Italian eating bread with their pasta and you also won’t find butter here to slather on your bread.
Know your peperoni from your pepperoni
In Italy, peperoni is the plural of bell pepper so watch your pizza order. Go for Pizza al Salmino, or Pizza Diavolo or Calabrese but warning they will be spicy.
All fruits and vegetables must be peeled
Particularly when served as a fruit platter, small sharp knives are provided and the Romans are very proficient at peeling without looking.
There is no salad dressing here
Nope, don’t ask for it, no Caeser, no Ranch, no Italian or French it just doesn’t exist. What you will find dressing your salads is a beautiful fresh Olive Oil and maybe some fabulous Balsamic vinegar.
Olive Oil is a condiment
Italians love to taste what they eat so you won’t find salad dressing as above, ketchup, BBQ sauces, mayo on your sandwiches or brown sauce on your potatoes. Italy is a condiment free world. Oh, they can be bought but the Italians just don’t use them.
No Doggy Bags allowed
In Rome, the food must be fresh, hot and made with love Italians do not eat leftovers and don’t ask for a take-out box savour your meal while it’s in front of you don’t take it home.
Cheese does not go on every dish
There are only a few dishes that need or will be served with cheese in Rome. Pasta dishes that can be added to with cheese will include carbonara or an egg pasta with meat sauce. Do not ask for extra cheese and do not expect to find the Parmigiano Reggiano on the table to help yourself this just isn’t done in Italy.
Ask for your bill, when you want it
Don’t expect your bill when you have finished your meal Italians take their time and enjoy the meal and the moment and the waiters will not bring your bill until you request it. They expect you to take your time.
Tipping in Rome
You don’t need to tip in Italy. Most bills will include a supplement charge or a Servizio (service charge) on your restaurant bill and/or the coperto (cover charge), sometimes both and waiters here are quite well paid and respected.
Avoid a menu with English or photos
In Italy, these kinds of poster menus written in English with photos will more than likely serve crappy food at a significantly higher price. As a quick guide, a pizza Margherita should cost no more than 8 euros and an average price for a cappuccino in Rome should be around 1.80 euros.
There is no coffee to go
In Rome drinking a coffee is considered a pleasure to be savoured. You won’t find a “to go” cup in most Italian cafes. You should be aware though that Italian cafes offer different prices depending on whether you sit at a table or stand at the coffee bar. These prices are noted on the menus: banco is standing and tavolo is sitting.
Roman dishes and Roman Cuisine
Abbacchio alla scottadito by Danila of Travelling Dany
Abbacchio a scottadito is a traditional recipe from Rome, usually cooked for Easter. If you’re planning a trip to Rome, make sure you always check the menu, because some restaurants cook this dish throughout the year.
Abbacchio is so much loved that since 2009 it has been protected from a Consortium that makes sure that the recipe always stays the same and that the traditional kind of sheep is used as the main ingredient. People in Rome will never accept a “modern” version of Abbacchio a scottadito.
The first proof that the Romans loved to eat lamb ribs dates back to 1800, so you can understand why they are trying so hard to protect this recipe!
In Roman dialect “Abbacchio” is a young lamb. Back in the day, sheep breeding and farming were the main activities in Rome, and people had to learn how to eat the little they had. Sheep produced milk, wool, leather, meat and even manure: nothing went to waste so people who bred sheep were considered wealthy!
The Italian “Scottadito” (literally “burns your fingers”) refers to the fact that the grilled lamb ribs have to be eaten scorching hot, with your bare hands. To make sure the meat stays tender, the Abbacchio a Scottadito is marinated with lemon, olive oil, garlic and rosemary.
You’ll find the best Abbacchio a Scottadito at Checchino, a restaurant in Rome (Testaccio district). It will cost you about 27€.
Cacio e Pepe by Merryn of Late Flight Out
“Simple. Fresh. Timeless. The Italians are masters at turning simple ingredients into delectable dishes, dishes unencumbered by elaborate sauces or dizzying arrays of spices – a fact which also makes them more accessible to average cooks like me. One of our favourite dishes in Rome is a modest one with humble origins: Cacio e Pepe is an ancient Roman dish first prepared and eaten by shepherds in the Apennine Mountains. For all of its simplicity – and it consists solely of cheese, pasta, water, and black pepper – it represents the very best of uncomplicated Italian fare.
On our last visit to Rome, we found an intimate restaurant near Campo de’ Fiori where we sampled cacio e pepe. La Fiaschetta is located at Via dei Cappellari 64 in Rome. You won’t find a “tourist menu” there, nor does it have a website.
What you will find, however, is a cosy, amiable restaurant with cheerful service and packed with locals, enjoying its animated atmosphere and homemade pasta at reasonable prices. For example, “Spaghetti alle Vongole,” which is spaghetti with clams, is €10.
However, the real delight at La Fiaschetta is the traditionally Roman cacio e pepe, which you can order for around €9. Pair it with a full-bodied white or a house red, and you’re in for a historical treat that will have you thanking those Apennine shepherds and creating your own cacio e pepe at home to share with your friends and family when you return.
La Fiaschetta is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.”
Roman Pizza by Mary of Calculated Traveller
The Vatican, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps are what come to mind when one thinks of Rome, but when I think of Rome, I think of the pizza and my favourite spot to get it is at the supermarket on the lower level of Termini Station en route to the metro.
It isn’t the best pizza in town, nor is it glamorous or unique but it’s a food memory of Rome from my first trip over ten years ago when I was looking for something budget-friendly and scrummy to eat!
With a smile, a couple of nods and a karate chop cutting motion of the server’s hand it didn’t matter that I spoke not a word of Italian except “Si” and “Grazie”. After a brief stint in the oven to warm it up, my slices of pizza were handed to me both pieces face-to-face and tucked lovingly into a paper bag. The dough is thick like focaccia, the crust crisp on the bottom, and with warm cheesy, gooey goodness on the top.
They say if you throw a penny into Trevi Fountain, you are guaranteed a return visit to Rome – well, in my case, I return to time and time again for the pizza at Trattoria Al Moro, Termini Station.
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Bucatini all’ Amatriciana
Quite possibly one of Rome’s most famous dishes. even though it actually originated elsewhere in the region of Lazio, there are essentially two preferred versions The dish’s debatable (in Italy) meat should be either guanciale (pork cheeks) or pancetta. Then come the onions and garlic.
The sauce (amatriciana) is very basic. It’s a tomato base flavoured with either guanciale or pancetta, onion, and grated pecorino romano cheese. Do you use garlic and onions or neither? Whatever your preference, head to Trattoria Al Moro, just a few steps away from the Trevi Fountain.
Carbonara by Sheila of Dicasdeparis
It was my first time in Rome, the eternal city. As a good lover of Italian cuisine, my main goal on that trip was to eat. I practically only ate pasta, and I ate very well. After all, it wouldn’t matter if the restaurant was recommended by a travel guide or if I’d simply find it when tired of walking around the city: It’s almost impossible to eat bad pasta in Rome. It’s the cradle of pasta!
That day my goal was to try pasta à la Carbonara, and what better place than Rome, in a little traditional canteen, to experience the real LA CARBONARA, I thought? I could not want more than that!
The spaghetti carbonara is a classic of Italian cuisine. The combination of spaghetti, bacon, and cream made of eggs makes this recipe a delicious dish. The first time I ate the real Carbonara was in this passage through Rome, and that was an unforgettable experience. Since then, this has become one of my favourite recipes when it comes to pasta, but it is difficult to eat one that is the same as the one from Ristorante Cacio e Pepe.
The carbonara spaghetti from Ristorante Cacio e Pepe is faithful to the emblematic dish from the region of Lazio, which seems to have emerged during World War II. The creamy sauce is made with egg yolks and whites, grated Roman pecorino cheese (the traditional Italian cheese made with sheep’s milk), Italian pancetta and a little pepper. The Pasta is light, the sauce consistent, without added dairy cream.
There is no solid historical documentation for the genesis of any of these recipes, but one can guess that the poor population in the neighbourhood of Rome was quite fond of spicing up their spaghetti with smoked pork. When a little money was left, people would enrich the plate with eggs, tomatoes and whatever they could buy.
Since that experience, I learned how to make Carbonara at home, and it has become a dish that I make on special occasions. Of course, mine is not as good as of Ristorante Cacio e Pepe, but it still brings me good memories. You can find the restaurant at Via Giuseppe Avezzana, 11, Trastevere, 00195 Roma and the average price will be around €12 euros.
Carciofi alla Giudìa by Vanessa of Wanderlust Crew
My favourite meal in Rome is carciofo alla giudia, or Jewish-style artichoke, which got its start in the Jewish Ghetto more than 5 centuries ago. This dish, that is essentially an edible thistle was sold by Jewish vendors in the 1500s. The inhabitants of the ghetto were highly restricted in their employment but could work as food vendors. This thistle found many uses in Jewish cooking and is now symbol and speciality in the Jewish community in Rome that can be found in the outdoor markets of Rome and also at famous old restaurants like Ba’Ghetto in the Jewish quarter. Don’t go to Rome without trying fried artichokes!
Saltimbocca alla Romana by Alex of The Wayfaring Voyager
I had been living in Italy for almost six months before I made it to Rome for the first time. I was there for a Rolling Stones concert, so finding a good meal was less important to me than making it to the Circo Massimo on time. However, I did have time to stop at Grazia & Graziella. I don’t usually order meat, but there was something enticing about the Saltimbocca alla Romana.
I was pretty hesitant, especially when I found out it was a veal dish, but I found myself shocked in the best way. My expectations on how meat could be cooked and what flavours could be created from those ingredients were completely changed. I still look at that meal as a highlight—I almost enjoyed it more than the concert!
Coda alla Vaccinara
If you are from England you may well remember your granny’s oxtail soup or stew. A rich clear broth usually served as sort of medicinal like a good Chicken Noodle Soup. In Rome, they cook the oxtail with tomato sauce, herbs, pine nuts, raisins, and bitter cocoa. Don’t be surprised at the addition of chocolate, this comes from Latin American and Mexican traditions where the cocoa was used in savoury dishes. One of the best examples in Rome can be a few steps from the Pantheon at Armando al Pantheon.
shu tu [CC BY-SA 2.0 ]
Pasta alla Gricia
Similar to Cacio e Pepe, Pasta alla Gricia is made very simply with pecorino romano, pepper and guanciale (pigs cheek). Get some of the best at Cesare al Casaletto.
Supplì a Roman-style arancini
Beautiful crispy football-shaped croquettes filled with creamy risotto rice made with either a ragù sauce or a simple tomato sauce Then the cheese is stuffed into the centre and the whole thing formed into a lovely round ball of deliciousness and dipped in bread crumbs and deep-fried. cheese that in Rome come with a meat sauce in the croquette.
Try them at Trapizzino, Panificio Roscioli just off Piazza Vittorio a Via Buonarotti 48. Pizzeria Emma at Via del Monte della Farina, 28. Supplizio at Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 143 has a whole menu devoted to different kinds.
Cappuccino Freddo – Cold cappuccino
Only found in Rome and occasionally a little further south. The coffee is kept cold in the fridge and is pre-sweetened. When served cold mild is added. Absolute perfection and found all over Rome.
Fiori di Zucca Stuffed zucchini flowers
A very Roman dish zucchini flowers (also known as squash blossoms in N. America) are stuffed with cheese and anchovies then breaded and fried to a crisp golden hue. A lovely tasty treat often found in pizzerias for some reason they can also be found as an antipasto or starter. They can be found at Cesare al Casaletto or Li Rioni Pizzeria
Frappe / chiacchiere and castagnole
Traditional Roman Carnevale treats. Castagnole are doughnut holes covered in powdered sugar. Occasionally they are filled with cream and baked but the true Roman ones are tiny nuggets of fried deliciousness. They can be found all over Rome.
One of my all-time favourite antipasto Bruschetta comes from the Romanesco word lightly burnt bread or toast. Rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and fresh chopped tomatoes bruschetta has many versions and varieties.
Vegetariano e Vegan by Nadine of Le Long Weekend
After hopping off the train from Puglia, I arrived at Rome’s central Termini Station absolutely famished. I wasn’t expecting to find anything amazing to eat within the train station itself, so had planned on walking into the city. But before I could get there I stumbled upon Mercato Centrale.
This bustling and vibrant space within the terminal building delivers so many great vendors under one roof. Far from your traditional food court, Mercato Centrale was more Michelin than McDonald’s. After browsing the tantalizing range of foods and flavours on offer, I settled into a table with a black rice salad and freshly squeezed juice from Vegetariano e Vegano, or veg&veg for short.
It well and truly hit the spot and was one of the best meals I had during my time in Rome! On my last day in the city, I made sure to revisit, this time trying one of their famous burgers – the Yucatan – and it was even more amazing than the salad. As with elsewhere in Italy, I found the food here to be really good value – the salad was around €7 and the burger a little more. If I ever find myself in Rome again I’ll be heading straight to this stall in Mercato Centrale. If you’re vegan or vegetarian (or even if you’re not) and visiting Rome, I highly recommend you do too!
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Roman Cuisine Quinto Quarto
Quinto Quarto means the fifth quarter. In the Testaccio neighbourhood, the workers in the largest slaughterhouse in Europe were paid with the unwanted parts of the animals including the offal or heart, lungs, intestines, liver and so on. These organs usually made up 1/4 of the animals’ total weight which is where the name fifth quarter comes from. There are several traditional Roman Dishes that makeup Quinto Quarto. Great place to try these traditional Roman dishes are Il Quinto Quarto Via Flaminia 638/640, 00191. Nonna Betta 16 Via del Portico D’Ottavia, Checchino dal 1817 30 Via di Monte Testaccio.
Trippa alla Romano
Trippa alla Romano’s main ingredient is tripe, which is the edible lining from the stomach of cattle. In Rome, tripe was traditionally eaten on Saturdays, but these days you can find it every day on a traditional trattoria menu. Made with thin, strips of tripe slowly cooked with tomatoes, onions, garbanzo beans and mint and then topped with a generous sprinkle of salty Pecorino Romano.
This ancient dish is made with the heart, lungs, and liver of a lamb or a very young goat. The organs are sautéed with onions and artichokes and braised with wine. Served when everything is melded together and tender it is sprinkled with a little mint and lemon juice. According to the experts, the best place for Coratella in Rome is Perilli Via Marmorata 39, Testaccio, Rome, 00153
Rigatoni con la Pajata
Prof.lumacorno [CC BY-SA 4.0 ]
A traditional pasta dish where the sauce made with pajata which is the intestines of milk-fed veal. The intestines combined with the rennet in them creates a creamy luxurious sauce or gravy. These are then bathed in a tomato sauce, pecorino cheese and served with rigatoni pasta.
This is a type of chicory. It has a pleasantly bitter taste and you’ll find it most commonly in a salad, also called puntarelle. The leaves are stripped, and the stems are soaked in cold water until they curl. It creates a crunchy, earthy salad, and is served in Rome in the late summer or fall. This should be served with Coratella and the best place in Rome for Puntarelle is Trattoria Perilli a Testaccio Via Marmorata, 39.
Pasticcini at Pasticceria Regoli
For traditional Roman pastries be sure to go to a family-run food business such as Pasticceria Regoli. Founded in 1916, the pastry shop is a popular spot with visitors and locals alike, all eager to sample delicious pastry treats from profiteroles to fruit cakes. The shop is also famed for maritozzi – bite-sized cream-filled buns ideal as a tasty gift or souvenir. Pasticceria Regoli, Via dello Statuto 60, 00185
Spinach Lasagna at Baccano by Valentina of Valentina’s Destinations
Baccano is a rare gem in Rome’s touristy city centre. It’s a top-rated upscale restaurant located steps from the Trevi Fountain. Baccano is an authentic Italian bistro serving homemade pasta, locally sourced meats and farm fresh cheeses. Our favourite dish at Baccano was their Spinach Lasagna.
It’s such a popular dish, that they serve it all day! This spinach lasagna with meatballs sauce is cooked with smoked Praga’s ham, beef, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella…all topped with traditional Parmesan cheese. It is best paired with a pinot noir or Sangiovese based wine. We recommend a bottle of the Noelia Ricci Sangiovese for 24 euros. We also loved the Lambrusco scuro (priced at 22 euros).
The lasagna dish costs 15 euros, but it’s worth every penny! The noodles were perfectly al dente, and the meats were so succulent. Not to mention, the presentation was on point! I would gladly return to Baccano for another bite of their delicious Spinach Lasagna on my next trip to Rome.
Tagliolini Al Frutti Mare By Abby from TheWingedFork
A visit to Rome is as much about food as it is about culture and history. And there are so many options to try, from pizzas to pasta to the ever sweet dolce. On a visit to Rome with my sister, we had the chance to eat an authentic restaurant that has been serving locals since 1998, the Goose Restaurant Pizzeria.
Goose is frequented more by the locals who love the real traditional fare served here. So when our landlady suggested we go here, we obviously listened. Locals always know best!
All of the food at Goose is delicious, but the seafood platter that my sis had was amazing. It was called the Tagliolini Al Frutti Mare and consisted of tagliolini, a cousin of the tagliatelle cooked with scampi, shrimp, squid, mussels, scallops and vegetables in a sauce. For 11 Euros, the plate is absolutely delicious, and the servings are enormous! It was a feat to finish it.
The restaurant also serves amazing Fiori di Zucca, fritte and Crème Brulee. If you’re looking for a real taste of Rome, this is as authentic as it gets.
You’ll find the Goose Ristorante Pizzeria on Piazzale Greggrorio VII, about a ten-minute walk from the Vatican and St Peters Basilica. The restaurant is quite busy, so unless you’re prepared to wait for 30 to 45 minutes, call in advance to book your table.
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Roman Pizza by Naomi from Probe around the Globe
I had heard many good things about Bonci pizza place in Rome, especially the visit from Anthony Bourdain was legendary.
So my taste buds were already dripping with anticipation to visit. And Bonci did not disappoint. Known as a gourmet Michelin star street-food experience, Bonci offers rectangles of pizza with unusual seasonal toppings and extraordinary combinations.
Fluffy dough with mouthwatering and excellent ingredients like mortadella and olives, goat cheese ricotta with capers and fennel and cheese.
The reputation of Bonci is stellar and his pizza place does deliver as this was the best meal in Rome for me. The lines go 2 times around the block and you need to use your elbows to defend your table if you’re lucky enough to get one. But as roughly €2,00 a piece, depending on the size and toppings, you cannot go wrong here.
Breakfast at the Vatican by Carol of Wandering Carol
The Vatican is one of the most crowded sights in all of Rome, but imagine having a room of Raphael artworks all to yourself. Or being in the Sistine Chapel when there is still room to breathe and gaze around freely. And get breakfast while you’re at it. The Breakfast at the Vatican experience, run by the Vatican itself, is a way of accessing the Sistine Chapel and the vast collection of priceless masterpieces in the museum galleries before they’re open to the public, and the excursion includes a full American breakfast buffet.
To sign up for the Vatican Breakfast, you can either book through the Vatican website or through a tour company. The price for the breakfast and early-morning access to the museums begins at 68 Euros, depending on where you book, and whether or not you want a tour or prefer to see the museums independently with an audio guide. While it’s not cheap, it’s definitely one of the most unique experiences in Rome I had.
The way it works is that you’ll have breakfast in either the cafeteria area or in the Pinecone Courtyard (depending on the season) before you visit the galleries. The buffet is extensive and includes scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon, as well as croissants and other pastries, pancakes, juice, coffee and tea.
Knowing that you’re in one of the most historical and spiritual places in Europe elevates the breakfast into a total food adventure, and made it the best culinary experience I had in Rome. Once you’ve eaten, you’ll be allowed into the galleries. Most people beeline for the Sistine Chapel, so if you detour into the galleries you’ll likely have many of the rooms all to yourself.
Gelato heaven Tracy of Tracy’s Travels in Time
Looking for the best gelato in Italy and possibly the entire world? Out of the many wonderful places to buy gelato in Italy one of the best (according to many review sites and the locals themselves) is at the Frigidarium near the Piazza Navona in the nation’s capital.
In fact, the reviews were so good I specifically booked our accommodation as close as possible to this hotbed of gelato creativity.
Freshly made by the owners every day the seemingly endless queues outside the doors attest to the popularity of the produce of this small ice cream shop. Don’t be put off though as I can guarantee the wait will be worth it. When you eventually make it to the front of the queue try to decide quickly from the vast array of flavours – not an easy task when there are so many delicious options.
Prices range from €2/3/4 for a cup or cone depending on size and don’t forget to choose a chocolate or cream topping. Don’t just stick to one flavour ask for a few scoops of 2 or 3.
My recommendation? Pistachio. Find the Frigidarium on the Via del Governo Vecchio near the Piazza Navona.
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Crostata di visciole
A traditional Roman recipe, crostata di visciole is a sour cherry tart with a light crust. Very delicate and not overpoweringly sugary this is a lovely light dessert and can be enjoyed at Forno Campo de’ Fiori, Vicolo del Gallo
Tiramisù that classic Italian dessert can be found all over Italy and Rome. The best place in Rome for Tiramisù is Bar Pompi, in business creating the best for over 50 years. The Bar Pompi offers classic flavours along with Pistachio, hazelnut, banana and chocolate, strawberry and in summer only a beautifully tangy piña colada flavour. Bar Pompi, Via Albalonga 7B, 00183 Rome
So there you have it, what to eat in Rome including all the authentic Roman food dishes that can be found in this beautiful city. When in Rome be sure to visit some of these great Rome Restaurants.
If you want to explore Rome and only have a few days to spend there here’s a great article for you to read 3 Days in Rome is written by a Roman local and gives you some exciting places to check out.
There is just so much to see and do in Italy and food is just part of it. Did you know you can backpack in Italy and you can choose history, beaches, food, nature and much more. Stephen of a Backpackers Tale has written the most comprehensive guide to Backpacking Italy: The BEST Guide that I have read with great itineraries and ideas for your trip to Italy.
So what do you love about Rome and the Food in Rome? Did I miss anything?
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