You’ve arrived in Rome, The Eternal City, home to the Vatican, the Coliseum, and more pasta, pizza, and gelato than anyone could eat in a day. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Even if you are quickly passing through, use the luggage storage in Roma Termini so you can take the day to explore, or eat your way around, this incredible city.
Enjoy an espresso or a cappuccino while standing at the counter and indulge in one of the city’s unique pastries. Breakfast in Rome is a quick affair, which works out because you have many more tasty treats in your future.
These are similar to a French croissant but with a little more sweetness—the perfect sweet bite to cut through the bitter zing of your espresso. You can enjoy these plain or filled with jam, custard, or Nutella.
Cookies are a popular breakfast item in Rome. A little less sweet than an American cookie, Abracci are a half chocolate and half vanilla cookie that makes a lovely companion for your cappuccino.
Un Piccolo Spuntino
After touring the Coliseum, your probably imagining what it felt like to conquer your enemies in the arena, which might make you feel a little peckish. It’s not quite time for lunch, but why not have a little snack – or, as the Italians say, “un piccolo spuntino.”
Carciofi alla Romana o alla Guidìa
If you visit Rome in the colder months when artichoke is in season, you’ll have to try both preparations. Carciofi all Romona is the traditional style served at room temperature, where the artichoke is slowly simmered in olive oil and herbs until beautifully tender. The Jewish preparation, or Carciofi alla Guidìa, is double fried in olive oil, which makes the artichoke delightfully crisp. Try this style when visiting the Jewish Ghetto.
Piazza al Taglio
Grab one of Rome’s famous snacks when you pass one of its many casual pizza shops. These deep-fried rice balls are filled with melted mozzarella cheese, a touch of pecorino, and a pork-based meat sauce. These crunchy, gooey, bite-sized morsels cost only about one euro, making the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
When the clock strikes one in the afternoon, it’s time for lunch in Rome. Try grabbing something a little more casual to stay on the go and get the most out of your day in this stunning city.
Alesso di Bollito
Wander through the unique neighborhood of Testaccio and stop by the market for some iconic Roman street food. At Mordi e Vai they’ve reinvigorated Alesso di Bollito, a classic Roman beef sandwich. This traditional method of slowly simmering beef has fallen out of style as quality cuts have become more affordable.
If you plan to explore the city all day, street food is the best way to stay moving. Il Trapizzino is a new Roman style of stuffed pizza bianca that has quickly become a phenomenon. These square slices of homemade bread are cut in the corner and stuffed with various fillings. Il Trapizzino allows you to enjoy traditional roman secondi (entree) dishes, like chicken cacciatore or eggplant parmigiana, on the go.
If you want to take a little more time to sit down and enjoy your lunch, find a tiny cafe, order a glass of wine, and a thin and crispy Pizza Romana. While you can find many styles of pizza in Rome, Pizza Romana is more common in restaurants. Try a spicy take by ordering a Pizza Diavola.
Don’t forget about dessert. You’ll do a lot of walking during your big day in Rome, so after you’ve burned off the calories from lunch, pop by one of the hundreds of gelaterias in the city and cool off with a tasty treat!
The moment you’ve been waiting for, dinner in Rome. Choose from one of the many fabulous restaurants, order a liter of house wine, and enjoy a meal with friends. In Italy, sharing is encouraged, so the more friends you make on your adventure, the more courses you can try. Most Italians start with a Primi (or antipasto dish), then enjoy Pasta, and finish with a Secondi (or main course) – but if you order all pasta, no one will judge you; it’s Rome, after all.
Cacio e Pepe
This iconic pasta is one of Italy’s oldest pasta dishes, originated in Rome. It’s made with pecorino cheese, pepper, and pasta water. This shockingly simple dish is so satisfying you’ll learn to make it at home, but no one makes it entirely as well as the chefs in Rome.
Another surprisingly simple famous Roman pasta dish, carbonara, is reminiscent of eggs and bacon only for dinner. This dish features guanciale or pancetta (salty and fatty cuts of pork) with egg and pecorino cheese. Gently mix the egg with the pasta to create a creamy sauce without scrambling the egg. The result is a sinfully creamy pasta you can’t wait to twirl onto your fork.
Gnocchi con Sugo di Carne
Romans love their traditions, and eating gnocchi on Thursday is one of them. If you are in Rome on a Thursday, you must try Gnocchi con Sugo di Carne! This light, pillowy potato pasta is served in a rich and filling meat sauce meant to keep you full since, according to Catholic tradition, you couldn’t eat meat on Fridays.
Even if you only have one day in Rome, find time to sample some of the ancient city’s signature dishes. Once you are full to bursting, pick your bags up from the luggage storage in Roma Termini and head to your next city. After eating all day, you deserve a nice long nap on the train.