Although I’ve spent time in Rome on various trips I’ve never made it to the Testaccio area of the city. A few years back when we were here I looked into taking a food tour, but the schedule didn’t work out for us. This time I planned ahead and booked a tour before arriving in the city.
Eating Italy runs various food tours in the city and this one was exactly what I had hoped it would be. We began with a stop at a bakery-Panificio Passi– where we tried two types of pizza (tomato sauce/no cheese and one with potato). Next stop was the famed Volpetti, a store packed with all sorts of gourmet delights-meat, cheese, prepared foods and here we sampled prosciutto, salami, cheese and balsamics.
We moved on to what was possibly my favorite of the day- Guerinni Pane e Pizza. As you can see in the photo there’s a variety of sliced meats and cheese and other toppings. The workers are constantly bringing out long loaves of pizza bianca which they slice to make panini. You simply go up to the counter and tell them everything you want on your panino, they assemble it, weigh it and you pay.
Take a look at the man with the a huge smile on his face. He had just gotten his panino and wasn’t shy about letting us know how excited he was to be eating here. I have a feeling he was a regular. We were lucky to try a porchetta and sun dried tomato on pizza bianca. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the men behind the counter assemble the panini.
Next on our itinerary was the Mercato Testaccio which moved to this new location a few years ago. We made a few stops here for tastes, but unfortunately did not have time to tour the entire building. J. and I plan on returning for a more thorough look around.
What we did see was amazing-piles of fresh fruits and vegetables, vendors selling cheese, pasta, breads, panini, desserts and more. We were treated to bruschetta, fresh mozzarella and my favorite-the suppli (fried rice ball stuffed with sauce, meat and cheese).
This is also where Rome’s pyramid is located. We were surprised to find out that it predates the Colosseum.
Just when I thought I couldn’t eat one more thing we found our way to the well known restaurant Flavio al Velavevodetto. This eatery had been on my list for this trip so I was happy to see that it was included in the tour.
I didn’t get around to photos until we were just about done and as you can see the cacio pepe was a hit with the entire group. This was my first time for this dish and it’s amazing that it’s simply cheese and pepper dressing the pasta. Maybe I should give this one a go once I get home.
We also tried amatriciana and carbonara which was devoured before I tried to take a photo. They are all Roman classics and J. and I both agreed that the cacio pepe was our favorite.
Last but not least was gelato at Giolitti-which has been around 103 years! They have another location near the Pantheon, but the experience here in Testaccio was much more enjoyable as we were the only patrons in the shop. They will however gently try to dissuade you if they think your selections don’t really go well together!
Grazie Chiara for sharing your love of Testaccio and its food with us.
May 23, 2017 at 1:32 pm
Janie, so sorry we missed each other; by the time we got to Rome I was completely exhausted and still had two dinners with the cousins – alla prosimma. Your tours looks as though it covered all of the important spots food wise. We ate at Falvio’s last year and had the same reaction, for your next trip I have a recommendation in the same area – Piatto Romano. Looking forward to more travel posts…
May 23, 2017 at 1:49 pm
Janie, I love all your updates on the trips……maybe one day !!!!!
May 23, 2017 at 3:32 pm
Paula-on Sunday I thought “oh Paula is gone!”. We will meet up in CA at some point. Hope your month in Italy was wonderful. I can’t believe it’s time for me to go home…Thank you for the recommendation. We loved Testaccio.
May 23, 2017 at 3:33 pm
Elaine-get a few friends and come along-it really is a lot of fun and the food is simply amazing.
May 24, 2017 at 6:30 am
This post made me hungry! I went to Flavio al Velavevodetto in July with my Roman friend Romano. Loved my carbonara. Romano filled me in on the gastronomic history of Testaccio. He said it was where all of the macellerie were, but the locals couldn’t afford the good cuts of meat, so they ate ‘Il quinto quarto’ meaning the insides and other bits of the animal no one wanted to buy-like guanciale. So interesting! Have some supplì for me while in Roma. Ciao, Cristina
May 27, 2017 at 5:02 pm
Un Po’Di Pepe-we loved the area and will definitely return there on our next trip to Rome.
May 25, 2017 at 12:37 pm
All looks lovely. Rome is a beautiful city but always worth going back to try more of the great food. Hopefully I will get the chance soon 🙂
May 27, 2017 at 5:03 pm
From Pillar to Posts-there is just so much to see there and of course lots of great food to sample.
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