From its fundamental “four pastas” (carbonara, amatriciana, gricia, and cacio e pepe) to its buzzy street food scene, Rome is a dream destination for any foodie.
In my decades here, I have been delighted by the rediscovery and revitalization of the city’s culinary culture. From tired and touristy trattorias, Rome’s dining options have flourished with a new wave of eateries that take classic dishes to new heights, update traditional specialties, and inject gourmet verve into street food staples. This has positioned the city as one of Italy’s best for my palate—though less-than-best for my waistband. Here’s how to nibble and sip your way through the Eternal City.
Dining in Rome is both an indoor and outdoor affair, so pack layers for sudden showers or dips in temperature.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a supplì—these deep-fried rice delights are easy to savor while sightseeing.
Once you’ve had your fill of sights, spend the evening eating your way through foodie enclave Trastevere. Alternatively, honor this pasta-centric city with a tasting of its iconic “four pastas.”
Most neighborhoods in Rome have at least one daily or weekly mercato where locals gather to pick up fresh, seasonal ingredients for their menu of the day. Take a market stroll to see how Romans shop and to pick up some gourmet souvenirs for yourself. Testaccio is packed with street food, while Trionfale exclusively features fresh produce and goods.
Now that you’ve discovered how Romans shop, see how they cook. Take a private or small-group cooking class to learn how to prepare Roman specialties from scratch, capping off your lesson with a celebratory dinner to sample the fruit of your labors.
After two days focused on food, turn your attention to drink. Just outside Rome, the Frascati wine country has been providing the city with crisp whites and bold reds since ancient times. Take a day trip to visit a winery for a tour and tasting and experience the rural side of Rome.
Rome has stepped up its cocktail game over the past few years, and today it’s home to a number of award-winning mixologists. Toast to your final evening with a cocktail tour in one of its many trendy districts (Monti and Trastevere are top hotspots).