Trastevere – tasting specialty and local foods

 

Trastevere; tasting specialty and local foods

Trastevere district in Rome

Trastevere – tasting specialty and local foods

 

 

It all starts with this classic Roman dish – fried artichokes just made perfectly with a hot, crispy and gooey texture. And I’m so happy to get a whole plateful to myself! It’s enough of an appetizer for two, but I loved tasting every morsel of this freshly made apperitivo (appetizer).

 

 

Fried artichokes Trastevere; tasting specialty and local foods

Fried artichokes at Da Enzo in Trastevere, Rome

 

Then the server from Da Enzo, (a hole in the wall trattoria on a cobbled street in Trastevere) brings out a glass of refreshing Prosecco for our group. It’s an excellent choice matched to the simple taste of the fried artichokes. I’m already thinking that this is a magnificent start of my visit to the Trastavere neighborhood, a small city within a city of busy Rome. I quickly finish the glass of Prosecco and the last few bites of the artichokes before our group starts heading out to our next food destination.

 

 

Proscecco in Trastevere; tasting specialty and local foods

Proscecco at Da Enzo in Trastevere; tasting specialty and local foods

Intimate dining at Da Enzo in Trastevere

 

 

A simple trattoria in Trastevere; tasting specialty and local foods

A simple trattoria called  Da Enzo in Trastevere, Rome

 

I’m glad to be walking around with an expert guide who knows Trastevere well, which is part of a twilight tour offered by Eating Italy food tours in Rome. The late afternoon tour is an indulgent food and wine foray into some of Trastevere’s most well known and historic food institutions in area. It’s a combination of over 10 food and wine tastings all around Trastevere, including a tour of the popular landmarks in the Trastevere Municipio (district).

 

 

 

The main promenade in Trastevere; tasting specialty and local foods

The main promenade in Trastevere; tasting specialty and local foods

 

The area in Trastevere was the area west of the Tiber which were settled with immigrants, mostly Jews who developed the warehouse district and markets throughout the municipio. The area was an important district for freshly caught fish, butchers, produce markets and other specialty foods that were stored and sold exclusively in the area. Nowadays, the Municipio is a very trendy spot filled with cafes, bars and entertainment venues with plenty of choices to sample authentic Roman food.

 Outdoor dining at its best in Trastevere

 

Outdoor dining in Trastevere, Rome

Outdoor dining in Trastevere, Rome

Attractive stores – authentic and charming

 

A bookshop walking around Trastevere, Rome

A bookshop walking around Trastevere, Rome

 

 

 

 

La Renella  in Trastevere; tasting specialty and local foods

La Renella in Trastevere, Rome

Delicious breads at La Renella

Next stop in our tasting tour is a visit to the local bread and pizza shop called La Renella, which is an institution well known for its amazing breads and baked goods. Walking into the simple storefront, we are quickly escorted into the back of the shop with this huge forno (oven) dominating this large cavernous space. Considering the cooler temperature outside, the forno feels like a complete inferno and the main baker (above) works silently in his underwear and tank top in order to keep cool. The guide explains to us when the breads and focaccia are newly baked, there automatically is a line out the door with locals wanting their fresh baked goods for their next meal.

Our guide brings out a platter of the freshly baked focaccia and baked breads, everything is squisito (delicious), hot, crispy and moist on the inside. Here’s a video (below) of the wood firing process and why the owner wanted to keep the authenticity of bread making at his shop because the skill of oven baking quickly disappearing in the city. There’s nothing like having a tasty bread and making a special trip to your local baker just to get the best from the neighborhood.

Video courtesy of Eating Italy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dining in a cellar restaurant  in Trastevere, Rome

Dining in a cellar restaurant in Trastevere, Rome

 

Wine tasting at Spirito di Vino

After tasting all those delicious breads, it was time to walk through some of the older sections of town and visit one of the oldest wine cellars in the Municipio. Simply called Spirito di Vino, this is a wine bar and restaurant with an ancient brick cellar for special tastings and events. From the main dining room, we are escorted through some dark stairs to the wine cellar below and tour the dusty cellar and tasting room. The owner presents some of the local wines from the region for our tasting along with some delicious apperitivo (small bites or appetizer) to complement the wines.  Rebuilt from the ruins of an old Jewish synagogue, the restaurant is a certified slow food venue offering authentic dishes and historical Roman dishes to inventive interpretations of new Italian cuisine.

 

 

Wine tasting Spirito di Vino restaurant  in Trastevere, Rome

Wine tasting Spirito di Vino restaurant in Trastevere, Rome

 

Walking the cobbled streets of Trastevere

 

Outdoor dining and street scene at Trastevere, Rome

Outdoor dining and street scene at Trastevere, Rome

 

 

 

 

Innocenti in Trastevere; tasting specialty and local foods

Innocenti in Trastevere, Rome

Sweet bites at Innocenti

It’s starting to get dark and we explore the intricate and jumbled streets until we make it to our next stop called Innocenti, a specialty artisan bakery selling mostly traditional cookies called biscotti since the 1920’s. Once you enter the shop filled with baked goods, everything smells sweet and nutty. We tour the back area with the huge oven and then get to sample for a huge platter of the different types of biscotti like their wine cookies and almond paste cookies, two of their specialties sold in the shop. And it’s all ‘Delizioso’.

 

Here’s a quick video of the shop and owner talking about the history and making of their biscotti video courtesy of Eating Italy.

 

Continuing our Trastevere walk for the main course

 

 

 

Nigh time and dining in Trastevere

Nigh time and dining in Trastevere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osteria der Belli restaurant  in Trastevere, Rome

Osteria der Belli restaurant in Trastevere, Rome

 Pasta primer at Osteria der Belli

After our sweet dessert tasting, we walk a little distance along the cobble streets to our next destination. We are going to eat the main course of the evening at Osteria der Belli. The restaurant serves traditional Roman cuisine along with some specialties from Sardinia, the region where the owner came from.  We get to sample three different types of pasta and hand made sauces along with another local wine from the region. The giant ravioli, penne and spaghetti were just magnifico, presented in different sauces for each platter, some creamy, tart and juicy flavors with every bite (image below).

 

 

Osteria der Belli restaurant  in Trastevere, Rome

Osteria der Belli restaurant in Trastevere, Rome

 

Sampling three different pastas – Magnifico!

 

Three course pasta meal at  Osteria der Belli in Trastevere

Three course pasta meal at Osteria der Belli in Trastevere

 

After the huge pasta meal, it was nice to take a longer evening walk through some of the main attractions and promenades in Trastevere. We walked up to the main square with its collection of churches, central fountain and other illuminated monuments around the piazza. The square is the main hang out spot in the Municipio filled with cafes and bars, it’s a very popular spot just for people watching and hanging out late into the night. The central fountain is filled with people taking pictures and admiring the monument which is said to be the oldest fountain in Rome today.

 

Trastevere and the main piazza at night time

Trastevere and the main piazza at night time

 Night scene at Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere

 

Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere

Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere

 

 

 

Antica Caciara delicatessen in Trastevere, Rome

Antica Caciara delicatessen in Trastevere, Rome

 

 

Noshing at Antica Caciara

One of the most popular and iconic delicatessen in Trastevere, Antica Caciara is filled to the rafters with locally sourced products. This includes a deli counter with a large selection of cheese and cured meats made within the region and the surrounding areas of Italy. We get to sample some of the wonderful cheese, salami and other cured meats when we guide takes out another platter of samples while explaining the history of this popular shop in the center of Trastevere.

 

 

Antica Caciara delicatessen in Trastevere, Rome

Antica Caciara delicatessen in Trastevere, Rome

 

 Specialty Salami balls at Antica Caciara

 

Salami on display at Antica Caciara delicatessen in Trastevere, Rome

Salami on display at Antica Caciara delicatessen in Trastevere, Rome

 

 

 

 

 

Take out display at Venanzio  in Trastevere, Rome

Take out display at Venanzio in Trastevere, Rome

Snacking at Venanzio

Fast food take outs are also popular in Trastevere with local foods to go. One of the most popular and late night take out spots is at Venanzio which specializes mostly in fried foods. This includes their popular pizzas, fried rice cheese balls or Suppli and a variety of cooked pasta. We get to sample the pizza, suppli and a fried cheese ball and it was all fresh from the pan, hot and gooey, what else can you ask for in this yummy take out joint in Trastevere. I’m already bursting at the seam, but we still have one more stop and guess what it is?

 

 

Take away fried foods at Venanzio  in Trastevere, Rome

Take away fried foods at Venanzio in Trastevere, Rome

 

 

 

Gelato time at Fatamorgana

You haven’t had Gelato in Trastevere until you tried Fatamorgana with its stunning array of gelato flavors and so beautifully presented (above). Purchased individually or in nicely presented packages, the gelato here is packed with flavors an amazing foodie experience made with fresh, natural and gluten free ice cream. What an excellent way to end the meal and tour all over Trastevere. The guide and tour of the neighborhood was excellent, visiting a variety of local shops, bars and cafes that embody the spirit and delicious Roman food in Trastevere.

 

Gelato at Fatamorgana in Trastevere, Rome

Gelato at Fatamorgana in Trastevere, Rome

 

Here’s a video about Fatamorgana with the owner – courtesy of Fatamorgana Gelato

Thank you for visiting and checking out this post on Trastevere – tasting specialty and local foods. If you enjoyed reading the post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons around the post.  If you want to read more informative posts on visiting Rome, check out my post on my 20 favorite photographs and their locations around Rome.

 

If you like what you see, come and check out my other social media channels for more updates, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.  Thanks for the lovely food tour at Eating Italy, all opinions and thoughts were my own and this was an exceptional food experience and tour in Trastevere.

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21 Responses to Trastevere – tasting specialty and local foods

  1. JANE October 31, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

    Visiting rome this month in november for my birthday and already fell in love with Trastevere village. the wandering on cobbled streets, tasting local specialities and good food that this little gem has to offer. booked hotel santa maria and looking forward to it!!!

  2. Megan | Traveling Nine to Fiver August 27, 2015 at 6:24 am #

    Awe, thanks for sharing. This brings back such great memories. I studied abroad in Rome and lived just about Trastevere. Spent so many nights wandering these streets.

  3. Ursula (myVideoMedia) August 23, 2015 at 5:06 am #

    Thanks for the article with wonderful photos, making me hungry and bringing back memories of my last visit in Rome.

  4. Jo Karnaghan August 22, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

    Now, this is my kind of walk in exactly my kind of neighbourhood. I love food walks at any time and this one looks genuinely amazing – fab food, fab locals and a gorgeous neighbourhood to book.

  5. Stacey Valle August 16, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    This post made me realized that I should try be more open-minded with different food. To be honest, I’m quite a picky eater! I was afraid to do food-tasting tour, because I was afraid it would be a waste of money if I don’t give it a try or even getting full so fast. Thank you for this!

  6. Alice Teacake August 15, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    Thank you Noel! I am now officially super hungry! I love your photos, they really bring everything alive and make me miss Italian food so much. You just can’t get it like that in Asia :/

  7. Rhonda Albom August 15, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    Fantastic food tour. Starting with that huge plate of artichokes and ending with gelato. Yummy. I love the neighborhood tid-bits of information thrown in.

  8. Jenna August 15, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    Yum! Everything looks so delicious, especially the fried artichokes! I love trying specialty and local foods–you just made me hungry!

  9. Wandering Carol August 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    You are making me so hungry! We have dinner reservations in an hour – not in Trastevere but in Whistler, Canada – and now I want to order artichokes. This is a great post for people visiting (Rome, not Whistler)!

  10. Lesley August 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    Beautiful photos! I look the bookshop. I didn’t expect fast food to be as popular.

  11. Sue Reddel August 15, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

    I’m starving! Would love to try those fried artichokes! Great photos as always Noel.

  12. Michele {Malaysian Meanders} August 15, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    Oh wow, that all looks wonderful. I’m stuffed just looking at your photos and reading the descriptions. I like that they really introduced you to a variety of foods and gave such great explanations. The presentation of the gelato is so unique, not just scooped into a cup. We enjoyed our time in Rome, but I’d love to go back and take this food tour of Trastevere.

  13. Gemma Two Scots Abroad August 15, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    This just looks wonderful! Everything I expect of Italy and more. I think I need a hair of the dog prosecco just now!

  14. Carol Colborn August 15, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    Such a comprehensive report on specialty local foods. The street scene in Trastevere looks so inviting. And I have not seen gelato served like that!

  15. Fiona @ London-Unattached August 15, 2015 at 7:52 am #

    REally atmospheric photos. I started to drool from the first artichoke. And, though I’ve never been to Trastevere, this really had the spirit of Italy

  16. Tonya August 13, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    So I wasn’t hungry before reading this post but after looking at the photos and reading your descriptions I think I’ll go to bed dreaming of fried artichokes. The food tour sounds like an amazing experience.

  17. Ruth - Tanama Tales August 13, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    Everything looks amazing! I stayed in Trastevere the first time I visited Rome and I just loved the atmosphere (especially at night). I will go crazy in a tour like this. So much stuff to taste. I would like to taste those fried artichokes. In Northern California, artichoke hearts are fried and they taste delicious. I would like to try this version of the dish.

  18. budget jan August 13, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    We love Trastevere Noel. Stayed their four days recently. Your photos capture it well. I didn’t see gelato like that in Fatamorgano! Love the photo of the salami balls – I didn’t see them either. 🙂

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