Rome to me comes with an Italian soundtrack. I feel like Pavarotti is serenading me as I roam the streets of Rome—taking me back in time and giving me chills down my spine with its sense of romance and mystery. Rome has that effect on me. Either that, or I had too much Prosecco. People who know me knows I don’t drink coffee. But hey, when in Rome, right? So I head to this cafe open since the 1930’s, using home-roast beans and blending it with water from an ancient aqueduct. They really showed me what I’ve been missing my whole life.
Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè Piazza di S. Eustachio, 82 I have to say, even though Rome might as well be the mecca of pizzas and pastas, there are still a lot of below mediocre pizzas and pastas in the city. And I have had quite a few of them, sad to say. So this time, I wanted to avoid those tourist traps and googled where to find the best pizzas in Rome. Ivo Trastevere always seem to show up.
Ivo Trastevere Via di San Francesco a Ripa 158
Always make room for dessert. Fatamorgana is a gelateria that serves all-natural and gluten-free gelato, with several branches across Rome. I had the pistachio and stracciatella. Because, Rome.
Fatamorgana Gelato Via Roma Libera, 11 (Trastevere)The charming neighbourhood of Trastevere is home to a lot of hidden gems. Like the bakery and pizzeria of La Renella where you can get all of your heart’s desires aka carbs. They’re known for their pizza bianca.
La Renella Via del Moro 16, Trastevere Another “best pizza” Google had told me about is by Bonci. They are famous for making really good bread, which I think is the secret to their exquisite pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice).
Bonci Pizzarium Via della Meloria, 43One simply doesn’t go to Rome and not have a bowl of carbonara. And without a doubt, you deserve only the best. Trattoria Da Cesare is the kind of trattoria you’ll like: not a tourist trap, where locals eat and serves exquisite Italian cuisine.
Their carbonara is one of Rome’s finest. And the coda alla vaccinara (braised oxtail) practically melts in your mouth. I travelled for more than an hour and waited 2 hours in the cold outside this restaurant. God damn worth it. Trattoria da Cesare Via del Casaletto (be sure to call +39 06 536015 for reservations)
The best tip I could give you when you’re in Rome? Get lost. Just wander the cobble-stone streets of this stunning city. I assure you every corner, every turn will leave you in awe. Wear sensible shoes, stop and have a bite to eat, then wander some more. I always wondered why Rome is called the Eternal City. They say because with what happened to the world, no matter how many other empires might rise and fall, Rome would go on forever. And that is true, of course. But for me, it must be because Rome will be eternally beautiful. And I will eternally be thankful for the gift of beauty and pizza.