Every time I get the opportunity to visit this magical city, its jaw-dropping architecture and charming streets always create in me a deep sensation of satisfaction and amazement; it really feels like going on a journey back in time. But what I love the most about Rome is its atmosphere, its smells and its people. Personally I find that this time of the year is one of the best moments to come to Rome: just rent a Vespa and enjoy a sunset tour around the city, the ultimate way to enjoy the Roman life!
But of course as a luxury travel advisor and gastronomy expert I want to share with you my personal experiences when it comes to the special flavours that this place has to offer as over the course of the last few years the gastronomic scene here has simply boomed!
So where to start? From breakfast of course! Not too far from Campo dei Fiori there is a lovely pasticceria that was recently opened by a family that is considered to be one of the greatest portrayers of Roman excellence when it comes to food. The setting is quite modern and elegant at the same time, not your typical Roman café however it is the food here that is the star of the show. I went for the classic Maritozzo, which is basically a sweet bread roll, filled with fresh whipped cream: down this with a foamy cappuccino with delicious chocolate powder on top and you are set to have a great day!
After a long walk around the charming neighbours and inviting markets, I inevitably built an appetite. If you are like me and you are a pizza lover, Rome is known for making a particular type of pizza that is typically thick and crunchy served in a rectangular like shape, more of a “fast food” serving style. On the other side of town, just off the Vatican, there is the home of a Pizza maverick, the person who has taken pizza in this city to a whole new level. It’s not a sit down place but rather a bakery specialising in all things pizza related. I patiently lined up until it was me vs the counter. I cannot event describe the intoxicating smells and the beauty of these pizzas; I guess that choosing here is part of the experience but what a challenge it was. I ended up going for the classic potato and mozzarella and one with Mortadella, Pecorino cream and pistachio. Crunchy, light, intense - I finished both slices in a heartbeat. “That was quick I tell myself”. In those few minutes my mind faded to a world made of utter pleasure and indulgence, what a treat that was!
No meal could end in my books without a good artisanal gelato and luckily for me, Rome has some fantastic options. Just outside the heart of the centre, I was told that there is a very passionate Gelataio that is all about craftsmanship and purity of flavour resulting in one of the best gelato in Italy. No distance is too far when it comes to good ice cream so I jumped on the Vespa and made my way there. Not a huge selection of flavours, this is because the owner only wants to focus on a few ingredients that are freshly made. Apparently so fresh that if you come later in the afternoon or in the evening you might not find the flavours that were there in the morning: this should give you an idea of the level of perfection and meticulousness that the gelato-maker has. The flavour selections certainly aren’t your standard chocolate and strawberry either. Gorgonzola with chocolate and hazelnut or Sweet mustard certainly grab my eye however for this time I end up choosing a mix of Bourbon vanilla with ginger and white chocolate, liquorice and mint. What a sensational ice cream that was, literally a rollercoaster of flavours yet so incredibly balanced and sophisticated – this really is Michelin star Gelato!
So far it has been a fantastic day as I have been blessed to taste truly unique flavours worth any trip and what made it even more special is that they are all located in one of the world’s most beautiful city!