Magical Trastevere food tour with The Roman Guy

March 27, 2019

Last week was a real milestone for my blog: it was the first time I've been invited to cover an event, which is super exciting! The Roman Guy, a Rome-based tour operator, got in touch a couple of weeks ago and asked if I'd be interesting in coming on a food tour of Trastevere, in exchange for a non-biased review on my blog. *All opinions are still my own!* Since this involved three of my favourite things, namely food, Trastevere and learning about Rome, I obviously said YES PLEASE. So, without further ado...

Local Foodie Tour in Trastevere by The Roman Guy 

I'll admit I've always been a little sceptical about tours in general - yes, they're great for learning hard facts about the city, but being part of a crowd and herded like sheep from monument to monument isn't something that really draws me in. This scepticism was doubled on a food tour - would it really be authentic food?

The first thing I should say about this tour is that the group was really small. The maximum is 12, but there was only eight of us on my tour - which I think was the perfect amount, as it allowed us all to get to know each other.

Stop 1

After meeting the group and our guide Fiona at Piazza Farnese, we moved on to our first stop, which was just across the other side of Campo de Fiori. It's safe to say the food we ate there was more than enough to keep us going until we stopped again: mortadella and pizza bianca, ciambellini (a kind of cakey biscuit that you dunk into your wine) and... a glass of red wine!

Stop 2

Our second stop was a great addition to the list, as it's not something many people would particularly associate with Rome. It was Baccala, pretty similar to the British fish and chips - we stopped in at a really local place to eat the fried fish in paper wrapping and wash it down with a couple more glasses of white wine.

We then headed over the Ponte Sisto to Trastevere - it just happened to be sunset, the perfect time to spot the Vatican in the distance making it all the more magical! Fiona explained a bit about the history of the area, before we started a short walking tour of Trastevere.

Just as we were starting to get hungry again, it was time for the main event: dinner!

Stop 3

The restaurant we went to was called Casa Mia in Trastevere, a restaurant I'd seen often from the outside but never tried. It has a charming little garden at the back, which was covered over so that even on a March evening it was warm enough to eat outside.

We started with Pecorino and rocket, followed by plates of two traditional Roman pastas, followed again by a Roman meat dish: Saltimbocca, and chicory on the side. Having lived here for a while and eating both food made by Italians at home and in restaurant, I like to think I'm kinda savvy about whether it's really good or not - and everything we ate was really delicious. It was accompanied by bottles of red wine and finished with a glass of limoncello.

Stop 4

We were all starting to get pretty full at this point, but everyone knows that there's always room for ice cream. We headed over to a spot just over the other side of Trastevere. They had some really interesting flavours - I tried Orange and Cardamom alongside dark chocolate, and it was absolutely dreamy.

The verdict

 As I said at the beginning, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I have toyed with doing food tours in other countries in the past, but I've always decided that the cost - and they tend to be expensive wherever you go - just isn't worth it, when you could look up great places to go online and then just eat there yourself for half the cost.

And... doing this tour has changed my mind! Whilst technically yes, you could look up great places to go and DIY it, what's great about tours like this one is that you get a historical tour too. I learnt loads about the area we were in, and loads too about the food we were eating - if you like to get an idea of the culture behind what you're eating and where you are when you visit a country, a food tour is a really great way to do it.

The second thing I realised that - and I speak only for this tour, as I'm not sure whether it's true of every food tour - but the cost is actually really reasonable. For adults, the tour is €89.95 - but if you consider all the places we ate in, the three course dinner, wine at every place and gelato to finish, the food alone would probably come to that. + you get great local knowledge, a tour of the area and the chance to meet other people.

Overall, I think I'd definitely consider doing something similar again when I travel - and if you're coming to Rome and want to eat some great food, I'd really recommend this one with The Roman Guy. f you like to travel alone, it's a great idea - everyone is really friendly, and after three hours of eating and drinking together you're guaranteed to have made friends!

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