A Food Tour Worth Taking in Rome: A Trastevere Food Tour

By Abi King | Food

Oct 16
A Tasty Food Tour in Rome Monochrome Pinterest

A Tasty Food Tour in Rome Monochrome Pinterest

A Gorgeous Walking Food Tour in Rome in Trastevere

It’s a small shop on an unremarkable street.

Twirls and swirls of thick white paint flick across the shop window, shadowed by shades of crimson and green. And call me romantic but the words seem to have been written with love.

Baccala e ceci. Il prosciutto del bon Gustaio. Porchetta di Ariccia.

Inside, there’s a queue, also small. It matches the range of products for sale.

Authentic. Small. Elegantly arranged.

Cardboard-boxed pasta curls and red wine line the shelves and the counters reveal rosemary-soaked pizza bianca.

But mostly, it’s all about the porchetta. Salty. Salted. Thickly cut and surprisingly melt in the mouth.

I’m only half way through my food tour of Rome. But while my tastebuds are living in the moment, my mind has gone wandering back through the past.

Read Unusual Things To Do in Rome

Porcetta on Rome Food Tour Italy

Travelling Back from Trastevere, Rome

It’s left these narrow streets of “wrong side of the tracks” Trastevere, where green tendrils and scarlet petals spill out from lopsided windows and vespas laze in the shadows.

I’m travelling back through the flavours of my mind to my earlier experiences of Italian Food. To my time in both Tuscany and Umbria, when I learned about the Slow Food Movement and how to make a real ragu.

To my star-crossed love story with the idea of “Italian Food.”

Rome Food Tour Market Trastevere

 

 

 

The Love Affair with Italian Food

To say that Italy lavishes care and attention on food is to say that Hollywood quite likes motion pictures.

In Italy, food matters. And as a result, that food tastes great.

But from afar, I think that it’s easy to wonder what all the fuss is about. Elsewhere, especially in Britain, Italian food boils down (often literally) to that which is cheap, plain and easy to make.

It’s student fare with cardboard bases and pasta in stainless steel vats. Food that sold its soul for a side serving of chips or a helping of even soggier peas.

Once I’d returned from my Tuscan sojourn, I was an Italian food convert. To anyone who asked, to anyone who would listen, I extolled the virtues of heading to Italy in search of the food.

Only to see friends return disappointed.

How could this be?

Recommended reading: Chiavenna Italy: What to See Beyond a Day Trip from Milan

Trastevere Rome Food Tour

Italian Food: Not Always the Best?

It seems those top tourist spots, the waterways of Venice, those renaissance domes in Florence, have made it easy to have a thoroughly “meh” meal.

Restaurants dial down on quality to drive up numbers served, taking advantage of foreign ignorance to sidestep potential complaints. And even that, perhaps, is unfair.

Perhaps it is the reluctance of foreigners to step into the unknown that drives the restaurateurs to keep things bland, safe and thoroughly tasteless.

So, short on time on my last trip to Rome, I decided to try a different approach.

I signed up for a food tour through Rome run by Eating Italy.

Searching for good food - a food tour in Rome

Recommended reading: 27 Ways Food and Travel Go Together (Not just for “Foodies”)

A Daylight Food Tour Rome

With my wild nights temporarily on hold, I opted for the four hour daylight tour, a voyage through around 20 or so different specialty shops, one open air market and not one but two sit down restaurants with an impromptu gelato and coffee stop thrown in.

It was a blur of gastronomic brilliance, with around ten or so fellow explorers. We saw pecorino cheese stacked waist high and bulbous cheese hanging from the rafters.

We tasted suppli, a deep fried rice ball, on the streets and sugar-dusted pastries indoors.

We sat for wine and pasta, stood for gelato, strolled past pumpkin and prosciutto in the market and slid forks through freshly sliced watermelon

And best of all, the people we met seemed pleased to see us too. Shopkeepers were ready, chefs passionate.

food tour Rome snapshots of Trastevere

Great Hospitality in Rome

Through pregnancy and a few other issues, my diet was no longer carefree and I’d braced myself to sit on the culinary sidelines as it were.

But the Trasteverini weren’t having any of it.

When it came to gelato, they found me sorbet. For soft, gooey cheese, they substituted hard. Cured meat was swapped with cooked, and cream-laden dessert became so many different types of biscuits and coconut sweets that I struggled to take them all in.

And all without making a fuss, all with making me feel welcome.

Other food tours, which shall remain nameless, have a lot to learn.

I fell in foodie heaven.

Touring the food shops of Trastevere in Rome

A Recommended Food Tour in Rome

So would I recommend Eating Europe and its Eating Italy Daylight Tour through Trastevere to you?

You can bet your last gelato I would. And that I wouldn’t say that lightly.

And when you walk through those leaf-labyrinth streets, stop and have a suppli for me.

food tour Rome market

Disclosure

I received a complimentary place on the Eating Italy Rome Food Tour for review purposes. However, as ever, as always, I kept the right to write what I like, including not to write at all if the experience didn’t seem up to scratch.

As you can probably tell, I loved this experience. But I’ve also had 2-3 really awful food experiences over the last year or so in Europe that haven’t made it onto this site.

Why? Because I only like to recommend experiences I think you’ll enjoy. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Buon appetito!

Abi

Beyond a food tour of Rome, what other tips do you have for finding a great place to eat?

Gorgeous food tours in Rome with Eating Europe via @insidetravellab
Follow

About the Author

Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more.

  • I am hungry just reading this. I have found here in Spain, we have been disappointed but realise that the restaurants are catering to a clientele that prefers bland food. So sad. But with some exploring, we have found some great spots! It just requires digging and getting away from the beaten track. Glad they catered to your current needs.

    • Abi King says:

      Ah, yes, in Spain I think you can find a similar thing. Jugfuls of sangria and yellow-dyed paella…OR… some of the best food in the world! I’m hungry now just thinking of it…

  • You have a way with words Abi! I felt like I was with walking down those narrows streets tucking into some delicious food!

    • Abi King says:

      Ah, thank you! I wish I were walking down those narrow streets right now! Ham sandwich instead today ;-)

  • Fie says:

    Rome looks very tasty! Never been there but always wanted to go, somehow never made it! Your photos are very captivating and give an insight into Rome’s food culture. Nicely done! Working for an events promotion company in London where travel and trips is a quite popular category I am continually getting overwhelmed about where to go next! Your post has made me more curious about Rome!

    • Abi King says:

      Ah, it’s a fantastic, fantastic city. One of the best in the world. BUT it can get very overcrowded so you need to be a little savvy in how you explore the place. But I’d definitely recommend it.

  • >