During one of our trips to Rome we felt that it was time to try a food tour. We did some research and decided on going on the Eating Italy food tour. We ended up with an experience for life that we still talk about. We got up early on a Saturday morning and walked to a lovely little square in Testaccio (known by Romans as the Heart of Rome). We waited at a small coffee shop and had a morning macchiato. Slowly people who were joining the food tour started turning up and within long we were 12 people from all over the world. We did a quick round of introductions after which our guide gave us some insights into the area we were going to be walking around in, as well as an overview of what we were going to spend the next 4 hours doing
We quickly learned that Testaccio was a real foodie neighborhood in Rome and that it was actually the area where cucina romana (roman cuisine) was born. The day consisted of 4 hours of walking where we got to experience the historical Testaccio neighbourhood and try some of the best foods in the area. During the tour we stopped at 9 different shops and restaurants where we got to try a variety of Italian cuisine. Our guide was great at giving us historical insights about not only Testaccio, but also Rome in general. This was really a combination of a history tour and a food tour. Although a food tour might sound like a very 'touristy' thing to do this was in many ways the least touristy thing we did in Rome. We got to explore a neighbourhood where there were hardly any tourists and we got to go places that only Romans frequented.
During our tour we tried the following:
1. We went to one of Rome's #1 gourmet food stores, Volpetti, that sold some of the finest olive oils, cheeses and meats.
2. We got to try several real Roman pasta classics at Flavio al Velavevodetto. Here we sat down as a group and had some good wine and there was plenty of pasta for everyone. Great way to get to know each other.
.3. We tried real Roman street food at Trapizzino, where we had suppli (a fried risotto ball), which was very tasty.
4. We went to Volpetti Piu which has been named one of the best pizza places in Rome. We tried their fantastic Margarita, which was divine.
5. We went to the Testaccio Market where we had an amazing mozzarella and bruschetta.
6. We tried the cannoli at Dess'art in the Testaccio Market. These were the real deal and tasted absolutely phenomenal (they were made right in front of us).
7. We had a really nice Tiramisu at Barberini - a local pastry shop. The tiramisu was served in a small coffee cup made of chocolate.
8. We had real gelato made in one of the most respected gelato shops in Rome.
All in all this was an amazing experience. We can't recommend this food tour highly enough. It's a great way to see Rome and have some real Italian delicacies. Put this on your to-do list when visiting Rome.