If I was not the queen of all procrastinators, I could have started this blog years ago and written about the places I`ve visited, not just written though, could have seen those cities from a blogger and foodie perspective too. Well, did not happen. I hope I can revisit some, especially Paris and Hawaii were/are gold mines for a foodie. Fingers crossed. Fortunately, Rome is here.
I’m not gonna talk about the exceptional historical experience that Rome offers; that it is for a travel blog to cover; I’m here to talk about the food. Italian cuisine is probably the most universally loved cuisine. What is not to love about carbohydrates, but how to cope with the guilt? No problem! Remember you are in Rome as a tourist. Breathe and repeat yourself “I’m here to experience, I’m here to culturally unify with this country and its lovely people” and gobble down all the goodies without any guilt. Thin crust wood-oven pizzas, freshly made pasta with a million types of sauces to choose from… The average Rome pizza is converging to perfection but specifically Pizzeria da Bafetto is not to miss- but you have to go there after 7pm, gotta love this kind of job: siesta all day and then flying pizzas at night! Sabatini is one of the restaurants favorited by many people- and it lives up to its reputation. Meals are really good but a little bit expensive than Rome average. Ristorante da Fortunato is also superb and relatively cheaper. You need to try carciofi alla giudia (deep fried artichokes) at either one of these places or somewhere else in Rome. It is one of the most famous specialties of Roman Jewish Cuisine. Among the other places we’ve tried Maccheroni is well known for their pastas and finally Spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) at Pierluigi will be long remembered. Restaurants next to the Pantheon may be offering only the average Rome taste but eating outside before the Pantheon was priceless….
I’m almost sure that nowhere else but in Rome people eat this much ice cream at this weather outside. Rome is packed with tourists, there are like 5 tourists per feet square and all with gelatos , famous Italian ice cream, on hand. I swear only and only blog purposes I ate a lot too- average 2-3 gelato per day. (Sigh, the sacrifices I make for you…) OK, the most famous is Giolitti and obviously delicious! Gelateria del Teatro and Cladio Torce Gelato were also finger-lickin’ good! You owe a stop at Tre Scalini to try the famous tartufo- it is a chocolate covered chocolate gelato ball with a cherry hidden inside. Definitely a must-try! As for the deserts, am I need to state the obvious? Try tiramisu at its hometown before you leave!
OK, done with eating your way across Rome and you want to take some home? Start with Castroni and Franchi! They are two gourmet stores selling Italian specialities. Parmesan and romano cheese (they vacuum cheeses, so no problem with spoilage, as for the US border it may be a problem, other borders no problem), dried porchini mushrooms, spices, black sepia pasta, good espresso and Franchi’s famous red pepper chocolate, peperoncino are on the shopping list.
Another stop for foodies must be at Campe de Fiori- a farmers market at a middle age square close to Piazza Novano. Starting at 7 am, it is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Flowers, fruits, vegetables, fish, dried pastas, special spice mixes, dried tomatoes and mushrooms, Italian cheeses, balsamic vinegars, olive oils, liquors. Hard to leave empty-handed.
All was perfect until clumsy-me got in action! My lovely camera’s macro lense made a free fall from 30m onto a very crowded street. Lucky me, I did not kill anybody but my lense! RIP!