Eating Rome Like a Local

Rome has an undeniably complicated food scene.

Hoards of tourists venture there every year (7-10 million to be more exact), and most of them are dying to dive into the local cuisine as soon as they step foot off the plane. Italian foods and cooking styles have made it to basically every remote corner of the globe, and Rome is the capital of Italy after all, so it’s quite natural that you’d expect Rome to be bursting with mind-blowingly delicious and phenomenally authentic dishes.

But talk to a few Italian natives or expats and you’ll soon hear plenty of complaints about Rome’s food, and loads of advice on where else to find the best food in Italy (generally every region has a different style or dish that you must try).

[quote_left]I had been in Italy for nearly a month before heading to Rome, and not once did I hear a good thing about the food scene in Rome.[/quote_left] As you can imagine, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from my Eating Italy food tour in Rome’s original foodie neighborhood of Testaccio. I had heard great things about the tour so I assumed the food would be tasty at the very least, but after hearing so many disappointing comments on Rome’s cuisine, I didn’t expect any miracles.

It turns out that I easily could have expected miracles, fireworks, mouth-gasms, and more.

things to do in rome

The tour surpassed all of my expectations and is actually my #1 recommendation for things to do in Rome.

things to do in rome

We stopped at nine different food locations including restaurants, cafes, markets, and dessert shops, and tasted 12 different food offerings.

[quote_right]Note: Portion sizes are generous so be careful or you’ll end up way too full by the end (but you’ll also walk a lot so you won’t feel quite so guilty…)[/quote_right]

The tour is perfect for foodies and non-foodies alike (wait, isn’t everyone a foodie at heart? Who could honestly say no to 4 hours of authentic Italian food?), mainly because it is run by a local guide who is bursting at the seams with infectious passion for Italy’s culture and food, so it’s hard not to get excited while listening to her fun, quirky and informative stories on literally everything you could want to know about Rome.

You learn about the history of each restaurant, the ingredients, the surroundings, and even get to meet the smiling families behind each establishment. Not only are you chowing down on exquisitely fresh ingredients that have been prepared in the local fashion for ages, but you’re also getting a taste of Italy’s history through every dish.

(Click here to open a full page display of my favorite tour photos)

I’m not sure where Rome’s bad reputation for food came from, but I imagine it has something to do with the crappy $12 sandwich stands surrounding major attractions like the Colosseum (Hello, just don’t eat at places like that unless you’re desperate! The quality is never going to be good and the prices are a total rip-off).

This tour convinced me that Rome has INCREDIBLE food if you know where to look, and I plan on taking one of the other Eating Italy tours next time I’m in Rome. These guys really know what they’re doing, and chances are that you’d have a really difficult time finding food this good on your own.

Details of the Taste of Testaccio Food Tour with Eating Italy :

[quote_box_center]INCLUSIONS

The price includes all 12 food tastings, our Food Lovers’ Guide to Rome and an always entertaining and personable English speaking guide.

EXCLUSIONS

Transportation to and from the tour is not included, and we are unable to arrange this for you. Detailed information for how to arrive to the meeting point will be provided at time of booking. At the end of the tour, our guides are always more than happy to call a taxi for you or point you in the right direction.

WHAT TO BRING

Please bring a bottle of water or you can purchase one at the meeting point. While the area is quite flat, we recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes and if rain is forecast, bring an umbrella as we will be outside for most of the tour.

DEPARTS

Daily at 9:45am, 10:30am, 11:15am except Sundays. The tour takes place in the neighborhood of Testaccio, a 10 minute walk from the Piramide Metro Station. Exact meeting address and detailed directions are provided with your booking confirmation. Tour ends not far from the meeting point and we can point you towards public transport or call you a taxi.

UNAVAILABLE DATES

All Sundays, Italian National Holidays and approximately 10 days in mid-August (see calendar).

CANCELLATIONS

Cancellations made 3 weeks prior to the scheduled tour date are fully refundable. Our tours run regardless of weather conditions – rain, hail or shine![/quote_box_center]

*Disclosure: This tour was sponsored by Eating Italy in exchange for my fair, honest review. This reflects my actual opinion, as always.*