Alas, my Italian adventure had to come to an end. It began as an impromptu trip suggested by Debleena at the end of July, and became a last chance to live it up this summer, with four days in Rome and three days in Florence to really live #ladolcevita.
Our trip was three days in Rome, 3 days in Florence and then another day in Rome. I’d never been to Roma, so we did a lot of sight-seeing in our time there. Thankfully, Debleena is a planner (who also studied abroad in Florence and therefore was pretty familiar with Italy) because I did almost zero work before leaving. My one contribution was obviously restaurant recommendations, and we found a few really great ones on our trip. My best of:
This was the one reservation we made prior to leaving NYC — Roscioli is a Roman institution (there’s a restaurant, a wine bar and a bakery scattered throughout the city, in addition to the Salumeria), known for their excellent bread, and spectacular array of meats and cheese. We ordered the Italian meat and cheese plate, which featured proscuitto, mortadella and soppressata, plus Parmigiano-Reggiano, tallegio and spicy provolone. We also had the caponata and cacio e pepe, as well as a delicious regional white wine recommended by our waiter (they have a great wine list and very knowledgeable waiters). Would highly recommend making a reservation online, since we noticed a very long wait while we were happily savoring our delicious food … (haha suckas!)
Another plus: Salumeria Roscioli is located around the corner from Campo de’ Fiore, a fun square near the center of the city to drink and people-watch for a few hours after dinner. We had a great time here, and finished off our night with fresh prosciutto and mozzarella sandwiches at 2 a.m.
Al Moro is a traditional Roman trattoria near the Trevi Fountain — very old-school, with a handwritten 2-inch-thick wine list and a pretty small menu of dishes made extremely, extremely well. I had the bucatini all’amatriciana (guanciale, tomato sauce, pecorino) and Debleena had the tagliatelle con crema di tartufo (truffle cream), and both were perfect plates of pasta. We also tried the carciofi alla romana, where artichokes are stuffed with parsley, mint and garlic, then braised in white wine until they’re so soft they’re practically spreadable. It made me instantly regret that artichoke season in NYC is so very very far away.
This pizzeria in Trastevere* was our favorite place in Rome, so amazing that we went back there on our last day because we loved it so much. Their crust is in between the cracker-thin traditional Roman style and the thicker crusts of Sicily, and it’s basically a crisp, chewy canvas on which the restaurant’s chefs pile on interesting combinations of toppings. Our absolute favorite was the “Dar Poeta”: mozzarella, garlic, zucchini, red chili flakes and fresh sausage. I will dream about that pizza for the rest of my life.
*Trastevere is on the other side of the Tiber River (the ‘hood’s name literally means “across the Tevere,” which is what the Italians call the Tiber) and was easily my favorite part of Rome. All those complaints about Rome’s crazy crowds disappears in Trastevere, which is instead saturated with cute cobblestone-lined alleyways, delicious food and quiet piazzas where one can drink wine and people-watch for hours on end. It’s a short bridge-crossing from the Colosseum/Forum, so when you need a break from the hordes of tourists, cross over to this lovely area for some peace and delicious pizza. Continue reading