Rome: A Delicous Walk Through the Testaccio

Spacer-LaDolceVitaExploring Testaccio: My Eating Italy Food Tour in Rome

When I returned to Rome this fall (2014), I was the recipient of generous opportunities to experience some of her neighborhoods and sites in greater depth. My first experience was with Eating Italy Food Tours.

If you’ve read any of my blog pages and posts and looked at the photos, you know that I love to eat! So, the opportunity to eat (and imbibe) in the Testaccio neighborhood of Rome was, to say the least, a no-brainer!

My fellow foodies and I met our guide, Kate, and reviewing the seven (7) Tasting Locations, it was apparent we were in for a savory day!

Our 7 Tasting Locations!

Our 7 Tasting Locations!

Kate has been doing this tour for 3 years and although she is not a native, she is certainly a foodie after living in Rome for 14 years and now married to an Italian chef. Sharing a wealth of information, great stories and anecdotes, her love for Rome and her work were infectious.

Rome Eating Italy 2014

Our meeting point, a good start!

And may I say each stop turned out to be a food revelation so unbuckle your belt, hide the scales and let’s begin! Oh, I do want to issue a warning – these photos will absolutely make you ravenous, envious and ready to book your flight to the Eternal City!

Before we set out, a word about the Testaccio. Testaccio is in the heart of Rome and is considered to be “true Roman” and traditional working class. The businesses are family owned and operated, usually 3rd, 4th or even 5th generation. This area has always been about food and we’re talking from the 2nd century AD! Rome had 1-1/2 million inhabitants and being near the Tiber port where 90% of the city’s food arrived, it was a very busy place!Spacer-LaDolceVita

Stop #1: Barberini for Cornetti & Tiramisù

Rome Eating Italy 2014
The Italians begin their day with a cappuccino and a sweet (dolci). We began ours with 2! Everything here is made on site – OMG!

Buttery, flaky, light, and delish, the cornetta was a tease. Then came the tiramisù, which means “pick me up” and, served in a chocolate cup, WOW! How do you translate “mmmmmmmm”? Well, you just had to be there!

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Barberini is located on Via Mamorata, 41Spacer-LaDolceVita

Stop #2: Volpetti for Prosciutto di San Daniele, Salame al Barolo, Pecorino al Tartufo, Parmigiano Reggiano

Kate sharing about the family tradition of Volpetti

Kate sharing about the family tradition of Volpetti

Volpetti is owned and operated by two brothers, Emilio and Claudio. It’s considered the “Prada” of food shops. With over 150 cheeses and 30 salami, prosciuttos from all over Europe and balsamics ranging from 5-100 years old…well, we came to the right place!

Time for a sampler of some salumi (cured) meats and formaggi (cheeses). Just looking in the window was enough to make us salivate! Sweet and delicate prosciutto di San Daniele which virtually melts in your mouth, salami cured with Barolo wine, the pecorino (sheep milk) with subtle truffle overtones and the parmigiano reggiano (cow milk) from Emilia-Romagna were divine.

We are educated about our tasty bites and then given the opportunity to walk through Volpetti, enjoy a taste of balsamic and meet the congenial owners as well as Gino and Alessandro.

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Volpetti is located at Via Marmorata, 47

Spacer-LaDolceVitaStop #3: Volpetti Più – Tavola Calda for Pizza Margherita

Volpetti Piu's Tavola Calda

Volpetti Piu’s Tavola Calda

An extension of Volpetti, at Volpetti Più Tavola Calda you choose from an eye popping array of hot dishes, salads and, of course, pizza by the slice which is weighed (luckily they don’t weigh us!) and then sit and dine.

With the incredible and enticing selection, I’m not sure how anyone can decide! I want to taste everything…but alas, we were only there for pizza margherita and Otavio was more than happy to serve us!

In case you didn’t know it, pizza was invented in Naples and only came to Rome after World War II–but not from Rome, from New York City! The pizza here is very thin and served al taglio (by the slice). There are 5400 pizza shops in Rome – I think we had the best! We certainly had the pizziaolo (pizza maker) with the best personality!

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Volpetti Più is located on Via Alessandro Volta 8Spacer-LaDolceVitaSidetrip to a Cemetery

Rome's Cemetery for Non-Catholics

Rome’s Cemetery for Non-Catholics

This may sound like an unlikely stop for a food tour but, in fact, it was quite fascinating. This cemetery, L’Antico Cimitero per Stranieri Non Cattolici, for non-Catholics is actually where you will find many luminaries who died and requested burial in Rome.

One of the more famous “residents” is John Keats. Among many touching sites is the Angel of Grief dedicated by a grieving spouse to his wife. Quiet, serene, peaceful.

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Spacer-LaDolceVitaStop #4: Testaccio Market for Insalata Caprese, Bruschetta al Pomodoro and Cannoli

Let's Visit the Testaccio Market

Let’s Visit the Testaccio Market

Over 100 years old, the Testaccio Market has undergone a transformation and reopened two years ago. It took some time for locals to adapt and adopt but now it’s definitely a favorite. What was once a neighborhood to avoid is now the hub of a bustling local social scene.

As we are guided through the Market, it’s hard not to be distracted by the beautiful selections and displays. We want to touch, smell and taste everything!

First a little insalata caprese made with fresh fresh fresh tomatoes and mozzarella – oh my! And we don’t want to waste any of those tomatoes so we pick up some fresh toasted bread and have a little bruschetta al pommodoro with Lina and Enzo. They have been married for 41 years and he has been a butcher since he was 11!  Simple, fresh, delicious!

Our last stop here is a bit of Sicily where Costanza and Roberto make fresh cannoli (my favorite!) from their grandmother’s recipe! Heaven!

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Testaccio Market is located at Via B. Franklin

Spacer-LaDolceVitaSidetrip to the Slaugherhouse

The slaughterhouse of Testaccio employed 2000

The slaughterhouse of Testaccio employed 2000

Another unlikely stop for a food tour but, again, interesting and certainly a huge part of Testaccio’s story. The slaughterhouse, which operated from 1890-1975, was 16 football fields large with 2,000 workers! That is BIG! At the time, it was on the outskirts of Rome but as residential Rome grew, it was closed and now the pavilions are used for museums and cultural events.

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Spacer-LaDolceVitaStop #5: Flavio al Velavevodetto for a traditional Roman pasta lunch; Cacio e Pepe, Amatriciana & Carbonara

Time for Roman pasta & some vino!

Time for Roman pasta & some vino!

Pasta pasta pasta…and vino, of course! Cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) is  spaghetti prepared with Pecorino Romano, and lots of freshly ground pepper while our Amatriciana and Carbonara were rigatoni slathered in delicious traditional sauces.

Our lively group enjoys the tasty traditional lunch and wine in a congenial setting. Oh, we have two more food stops???

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Flavio al Velavevodetto is located at Vial del Monte, 97

Spacer-LaDolceVitaStop #6: 00100 Pizza for Supplì alla Genovese

Rome Eating Italy 2014How on earth is there room for one more taste? Somehow we managed! 00100 offers sublime street food– Pizza and Trappizzino. Our taste is of his own version of arancini or supplì – an arborio rice ball made with beef stock and delicately coated and deep fried. Steaming hot, it literally falls apart with freshness and flavor…

Street food with a twist!

Street food with a twist!

00100 Pizza is located  at Via Giovanni Branca, 88

Spacer-LaDolceVitaStop #7: Giolitti for Gelato

Giolitti - 100 years of deliciousness!

Giolitti – 100 years of deliciousness!

The perfect finale to a perfect experience! We are educated about gelato – the real thing vs. the impostors- and then treated to two flavors of our choice!

Giolitti has been making gelato for 100 years so tradition and pride are certainly included ingredients every day! Fabio serves us with gusto and enthusiasm – oh, what to choose?? I decide on menta (mint) and nocciola (hazelnut)…with panne (whipped cream)! Oh, why not? I’m not counting calories today, are you?

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Giolitti is located on Via A. Vespucci, 35Spacer-LaDolceVitaGrazie to My Hosts!

Roman Food Lover!

Roman Food Lover!

I was so thrilled to meet Maria Pasquale, Rome Marketing and Social Media Director for Maria was my gracious contact and responsible for hosting me on this divine tour.

Grazie Maria, Kate and all of the hosting businesses!

I’m am truly a Rome Food Lover now!!Spacer-LaDolceVitaFor more information on this and other tours offered by EatingEurope and EatingItaly, please click here!


About Postcards from Travel PiZazz

Wish you were here! I love sharing my passion for travel and insights I've learned along the way. Enjoy my travel tips and inspiration with a lighthearted twist! Join me as we create a forum for sharing experiences and information and now join me in Italy, too!
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7 Responses to Rome: A Delicous Walk Through the Testaccio

  1. Sandra says:

    Excellent!! Excellent!!! Informative, insightful, passionate and DELICIOUS read!! One of my favorite topics….FOOD!!! Great delectable research and yummy reporting!

    • Grazie Sandra!
      So kind of you to take the time to read and comment! I hope you had time to look at the slideshows, too? It’s almost as wonderful to relive and being there…almost!
      I’m going to share your comment on Facebook, ok?

  2. rosalie cuocci says:

    I enjoyed so much and shared with some of my friends.
    Looking forward to come back to Italy soon.

    • Rosalie,
      Grazie for sharing – so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you clicked on the “slideshows”! More about Rome coming over the next weeks. If you subscribe you’ll get all of the latest!
      I hope you return to Italy soon, too!

  3. Pingback: Enjoying Another Delicious Foodie Day in Rome! | Postcards from Travel PiZazz

  4. Ahhh ….Testachco! I walked through the neighborhood on the way to the Protestant cemetery. I didn’t have time to taste the food unfortunately. So, I have an excellent reason to return. Nice post, and yes, i’m drooling:)

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