“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
– Virginia Woolf
We couldn’t agree more with Virginia on this one. And fortunately for us (and everyone who has visited or will visit Rome), there are plenty of good options for dining well in the Eternal City. We write a lot about where to eat in Rome, sharing our favorite places to rub shoulders with locals, get the best plate of carbonara, cool down with a spritz or gelato, or just grab a slice after visiting the Vatican Museums. That said, sometimes you’re looking to get a deeper in the food scene in Rome where a meal at a restaurant just won’t cut it. So we’ve put together our 5 favorite food tours and experiences to better acquaint yourself with the food culture in Rome.
Chef At Home
One of the best ways to discover real Roman cuisine is from a real Roman chef, and nothing could be more convenient than in the comfort of your own vacation rental. For as little as €32 p.p., a Roman chef will come to your home with all the ingredients necessary to prepare a four-course Roman meal – from antipasto to dolce, featuring traditional pastas, Roman saltimbocca, and other classic recipes. And no Italian meal would be complete without some delicious Italian wine, which your chef will choose and bring with him/her to the meal.Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free substitutes are available.
Check out the Chef@Home website for more information or to submit a chef request.
Foodies in Rome
Sometimes it’s actually easier to relate to another foodie from North American but has spent over a decade in the Eternal City. That’s the case with Dominique Barbeau, a Montreal native who’s spent nearly half of her life in Italy, first on the Adriatic coast before moving to Rome nearly 10 years ago. She’s the principle foodie and tour leader at Foodies in Rome, a private walking foodie experience that introduces you to the history and stories around everything from Italian coffee, street food, pizza and pasta, and of course, gelato! Day tours include a trip to the market with all of Dominiques tips and tricks for what to look for in the freshest, seasonal produce as well as cheeses and cured meats (evening tours are a bit shorter since the markets are closed by then). Every Foodies in Rome tour includes a sit-down tasting of a trio of Roman pasta with wine pairing at one of Rome’s few internationally-recognized Slow Food restaurants.
Check out Foodies in Rome for more tour details and to contact Dominique directly.
Pasta Making Classes at the Beehive
Everybody loves a good story. How about the one where two daring twenty-somethings leave Los Angeles with the dream of opening a hostel in Rome? That’s the gist of the story of Linda and Steve, owners of the Beehive, a boutique ho(s)tel located near Termini train station. Now twenty years later, Linda and Steve have expanded their operation with a collection of “Sweets” and a nearby annex. At the heart of the hive is a small cafè that acts not only as the breakfast room but also a space for family-style dinners and cooking lessons led by Steve. Both the dinners and the lessons are available to outside guests, which makes them a great place to meet fellow adventurers traveling through Rome.
Dinners take place Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and are priced by donation (suggested €10). Pasta making lessons are €45 and take place every Thursday. Space is limited for both, so make sure to reserve your spot!
Foodie Vespa Tour
If you’re a bit sick of walking after a while, then hop on the back of a Vespa and zip through the city on two wheels! Minnesota-native turned Roman local over a decade ago, Annie Ojile has created one of the best foodie experiences the Eternal City has to offer! Let her “Scooteroma Squad” take you around the city to sample some of the best coffee, street food, and gelato this side of the Tiber. All of the drivers are Romans who will contribute both a historical and local perspective to the experience, and traveling by Vespa means hitting further away spots and covering more ground in a shorter amount of time. Tours are 4 hours and include all the tastings.
Check out the Scooteroma Foodie Vespa Tour for more details and to book directly.
Vio’s Cooking on a Roman rooftop
For a quality cooking lesson experience, only a basic kitchen is required. But we don’t take any issue if that kitchen happens to have Rome at your feet. Violante Guerrieri Gonzaga created an experience unlike any other thanks to the incredible views from her home’s rooftop terrace in the center of Rome. Let Vio take you first to the nearby market to learn about market shopping and selecting the freshest, seasonal produce and ingredients. Then take the elevator back to her humble abode for a crash course in Roman cooking. At the end of the experience, taste the fruits of your labor with a glass of something refreshing and a view that will take your breath away.
Check out Vio’s Cooking website for more information and to book with her directly.
Looking for a vacation rental in Rome?
ROMAC is a leading vacation rental management company in Rome. For more than 10 years, we’ve been hosting international travelers to the Eternal City in characteristic Roman homes located strictly in the historical center. Head over to ROMAC and browse our collection of over 40 properties for small and large groups. Use filters to narrow your search by neighborhood, number of guests, nightly rate and amenities. Don’t forget to check out our special offers for the lowest rates online, guaranteed!
What is your favorite food tour or experience in Rome? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!