When my 3 days in Lake Garda were up, it was onto Rome. I’ve always wanted to go to Rome, and this all started when I watched The Lizzie McGuire Movie. I dreamed of singing with Lizzie in the colosseum (yes, I really did).
The train took me from Desenzano back to Verona, where I hopped on another train to Rome. For those of you interested, I would highly recommend the trains in Italy – you can either buy tickets in advance or get an Interrail pass.
I arrived in Rome at 1pm and the first thing I did? Pizza, obviously.
Tourist Info – What to Do in Rome
There is so much to do in Rome and it was exhausting fitting everything into 3 days! Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican City, The Pantheon Palatine Hill, Villa Borghese and Piazza Venezia. I would highly recommend all of these places. My favourite was St Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican City.
When in Rome, eat a lot of food
Now onto the main event. I’m going to split the food into my famous categories – pizza, pasta, gnocchi, coffee and gelato.
The first thing I did in Rome was drop my bags of at the accommodation then find a perfect spot for lunch. The place I found was a great authentic place, La Famiglia, which I didn’t expect to find in Rome. The pizzas here were different to those I’d had in Verona and Lake Garda. They were thinner bases and smaller, and were a lot less filling. This made for a perfect lunch. I tried something a bit different – salmon on pizza. Strange, but highly enjoyable. I would recommend this for a bit of a change. Also, a calzone filled with plenty of yummy mozzarella and prosciutto cotto.
On my last night in Rome, I was craving another pizza so set out to find one. I wanted to see the Trevi Fountain in the dark so headed in that general direction. As you can imagine, a lot of the restaurants in this area are very touristy and overpriced. However, we found a lovely restaurant just a few minutes away that had lovely staff and reasonably priced food (although drinks were expensive). The pizzas at Klass Restaurant were stunning though – I opted for 4 cheese (which I adore). The gorgonzola was divine and there was the perfect amount. The calzone was filled with salami and ricotta, a match made in heaven.
First up, a lasagna. This lasagna was my second in Italy (first featured in my Verona post), and was very different. Nowhere near as nice as the first one, but a good meal all the same. However, this restaurant was super cheap and we got a 1 L carafe (jug) of house red for €8 – an absolute bargain and really great wine. This considered, I would recommend Ristorante la Grotta Romana for those on a budget or families with young children. No photo for this one, but if you’re interested there is a video featuring the lasagna on my Rome highlights on @dining_with_ali.
The next day, I headed to an 8.30am tour of the Vatican City (which, I cannot recommend enough!). The tour was 3 hours and then I explored St. Peter’s Basilica some more. When I left, it was the perfect time for lunch. I thought that all the restaurants around this area would be expensive and touristy. However, I came across a lovely spot about 5 minutes away, Caffe de Porto Castello, where I could sit outside under a blossom tree. I got Rigatoni amatriciana, and it was tomatoey and spicy.
Cannelloni, anyone? Li Rioni A Santiquattro was 3 minutes away from the Colosseum. It was up a side street, which meant that it was much cheaper than the restaurants closer. However, I sat outside and could still see the beautiful Colosseum. This was from their ‘menu of the day’. Filled with flavoursome pork and herbs. May not look like much but, I can assure it, it was a really lovely lunch.
I am a huge fan of gnocchi. So, one of my main aims in Italy was to scope out the best spots for gnocchi. The gnocchi I had in Rome was different to the gnocchi in Verona (which was sensational). It was smaller and not as soft. Didn’t quite live up to the gnocchi from Verona, but I was still obsessed. It came in a creamy gorgonzola sauce – cheesy, creamy, and such a treat.
I discovered an amazing place for coffee and this was probably my favourite coffee in Italy. It was the Illy Cafe, and was tucked away on a lovely back street. Surprisingly, the coffee was super cheap – €1.70 for a large latte macchiato. They also had a great selection of pastries and macarons, and their hot chocolate was beautiful. This was the only place in Italy that I went back to twice.
In my search for good gelato, I came across a place called Il Gelato di San Crispino. The gelato was not on show so you have to choose purely based on flavours. They also didn’t do cones! I chose a classic lemon sorbet and their special ‘San Crispino’ flavour, which turned out to be a lovely honey flavour. Super tasty!
Next up, Gelateria del Teatro. They had a wide range of chocolate flavours – white chocolate, chocolate, four chocolates, pure chocolate, dark chocolate, Belgian chocolate. I was overwhelmed with choice. I settled on pure chocolate and white chocolate, and it was heaven. Right outside, a newly wedded couple were taking some beautiful weddings photos, and they even star in the photo below.
So that sums up my categories, and the food was great. One thing I would comment on was that the food in Rome was lovely, but not quite as good as Verona. Was this become Rome is more touristy? I’m not sure. But so far, Verona has been the top tier for all things foodie.
Bonus items – I splashed out and got a couple of cheeseboards in Rome because, well, I love cheese (as if I wasn’t already eating enough…).
How are you liking the Italian foodie adventure? Comment or DM @dining_with_ali.