Trastevere is often called the ‘Brooklyn’ of Rome and is currently known for its amazing food, ivy covered walls, cobble stone streets and lively night life. Back in the day Trastevere (which means beyond the Tiber River) used to be home to many immigrants with some pretty harsh living conditions. Now the street sits much higher than the past which made it prone to flooding which made things ever more troublesome. Today, Trastevere it is a must visit when you are in Rome.
After our Vatican Tour earlier in the day (recap here) we headed over the Fabricius bridge (oldest bridge in Rome constructed in 62 BC) into Trastevere to meet our guide, Francesco, for a 4 hour Twilight Food Tour all over Trastevere. Since it was the beginning of the low season- we had the tour all to ourselves!
Our first stop on the food tour was aperitivos at Da Enzo, a laid back trattoria. We started with burrata cheese with fresh tomatoes and Prosecco. I fell in love with the burrata which is made with the left overs of mozzarella cheese mixed with cream and placed in a cheese cloth, when serving it is topped with olive oil. PURE DELICIOUSNESS! Before leaving Da Enzo- we snacked on fried artichokes which I cannot wait to try to replicate at home.
Next was my favorite stop of the night- Spirito Di Vino. We headed straight for the ancient wine cellar- like 10 AD OLD (maybe even older) and sipped on some delicious wines. Our guide taught us about the start of the slow food movement which entered Rome in the 90’s to help local restaurants combat all the fast food chains entering the city to accommodate tourists. Luckily, tourists did not want to travel all the way to Italy for burgers and fries so the Roman food culture was protected.
The chef brought us out some pork stew which was coziness in a bowl and perfect for the chilly fall night ahead. We learned that Wild Boar is where it is at and is extremely abundant in Italy- especially in the countryside- and is hunted just like deer in the US. So if you find some served in a restraurant- go for it!
Before heading out we learned a bit of history about the wine cellar- other than it being super old- the Apoxiomenos (Athelete) statue was found in 1849 (along with other treasures) hidden in the wine cellar. It was thought to be lost for centuries. It is told that the statues were removed from their locations and hidden to protect them from being stolen or destroyed during times of war. How cool!?
Now it was time for something sweet at Innocenti which has been family owned and operated since 1929. Known for its famous biscotti and other sweet treats, Innocenti doesn’t need to advertise and doesn’t even have a sign on their store! This place is one of Trastevere best kept secrets and where all the locals go to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Next it was time for the best porchetta in town at Antica Norcineria. Here you will find multiple generations running the family business. Here is the place locals go to grab the best meats, cheeses, and breads to make their meals at home. The porchetta was served on top of homemade bread topped with crispy pork skin. Oh my gosh you guys- best porchetta ever! We also had a chance to taste some local cheese and traditional meats (not pictured) along with a local beer. Pro Tip: Just point to your meat, cheese and bread and they will make you a sandwich!
By this time I was feeling beyond full but we had a few more places to go. “Suppli” are Italian street food consisting of rice mixed with cheese, egg and usually a ground meat then lightly fried. So naturally when I saw that our next stop was called Suppli I knew they would be specializing in the fried rice balls of amazingness. They were perfection! We also were able to taste some authentic Roman pizza- thin and only with homemade pizza sauce. Truth be told I missed the cheese but it was tasty nonetheless!
When we walked out to the street- the sun had pretty much set and the streets became alive with people heading to dinner. At Enoteca Ferrara we would get our homemade pasta fix and the main part of our dinner. We were served more local wines to go along with three pasta dishes- a pesto con trofie (my fav), spinach and ricotta ravioli and tonarelli cacio e pepe- a simple pasta made with pecorino cheese (the best!) and pepper! This place was so romantic- they have the biggest wine list I have ever seen (binders and binders full!) with a HUGE wine cellar which you can peak at through the floor!
You can’t end a food tour in Rome without some gelato- so our last stop was a Fatamorgana Gelateria! Gelato stores are everywhere- but to have the authentic stuff you need to look for natural looking coloring (for instance mint chocolate chip should not be bright green!) and non-puffy mounds! With fresh natural ingredients- this was the best gelato I have ever had. I went with a basil and hazelnut scoop- weird combo I know but man was it good!
We had such a wonderful time on our Twilight Trastevere Tour. Francesco was the best tour guide. The food was all amazing and we learned so much. If you fine yourself in Rome- I highly suggest this tour!
**** This post was done in collaboration with Eating Italy Food Tours