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.