Favorite Quote

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel,
read only one page." St. Augustine of Hippo

Monday, March 25, 2013

Places to Eat in Rome

Ok Bill (Lucky1950), this one is for you.  :)  I've been SO busy planning for our next cruise, we've had company for almost a month, and now it's time to pack for the cruise.  But Bill has been patiently waiting for this post so even though I'm in the middle of a different one, I'll get this one out of the way.

While we were in Rome we did the Rome Walking Food Tour.  First, this tour was SO amazing that we are taking our moms on the same tour, with the same guide (Sarah Rose) next month.  At the end of the tour, we were given a Rome Food Lovers Guide.  It listed places to try, along with their specialties.  I don't have time to show pictures right now for the places we ate, but I'm going to list them here.  I asked Sarah Rose if the people had paid to have their information listed on the page and she said no.  These are the favorite places from the Eating in Italy people.

I'm just going down the page so these are not in order of best restaurant. They are in order of area of Rome.  If it's someplace we have eaten, I'll let you know.  The sheet does not say what the range is for the € they show, but as you can guess, the more € you see, the more expensive it is.  And I think it's in comparison to places of its type.  For example, there are Gelaterias with € and €€.  I don't think the €€ Gelateria (gelato) costs as much as a €€ dinner. 


Renato E Luisa  €€€  Wonderful Roman restaurant - love their saltimbocca (veal, sage prosciutto).  Phone - 06-686-9660.  Only Dinner - closed Mondays.  Via dei Barbieri 25

Il Goccetto €€€€  Release your inner sommelier - they have an exceptional aperitivo (pre-dinner drink accompanied by finger foods).  Phone - 06-686-4413  Open 12 -3 pm, 6:30 pm - 2 am.  Closed Sunday.  Via dei Banchi Vecchi 14

Roscioli €€€€  Super hip restaurant meets gourmet deli - fabulous food with a remarkable wine list in a funky setting.  Phone 06-658-5287  Closed Sunday.  Via dei Giubbonari 21-22

Forno Campo de Fiori € Maybe the most famous pizza bianca in Rome and in our opinion the best.  Phone 06-688-06662  Closed Sunday.  Campo de' Fiori 22

Gelateria Corona € The gelato is fabulous but the granita (Sicilian flavored ice) is worth a special trip.  We did stop here and loved the Gelato!  The gentleman was wonderful and kept giving us samples of all of his favorite ones ....even when we were NOT asking for samples. Closed Monday.  Largo Arenula 27 (no phone number listed)


Il Tempio Di Iside €€€€ Excellent fish restaurant.  Try the swordfish agnoletti (like ravioli) or any grilled fish.  Phone 06-700-4741  Closed Sunday.  Via Verri 11


Trattoria da Danilo €€ One of the best family-run Roman trattorias in town, recently voted the number #1 Carbonara in all of Rome!  We DID eat here and really enjoyed it.  I know in the reviews it says that they stuck the English speakers down in the basement but this was not true for us.  We sat upstairs with one other English speaking couple and everyone else was Italian.  Here is my review on Trip Advisor for it: Review  Our hotel did call and make a reservation for us and it was packed.  It's right next to an Italian police station.  Phone 06-772-00111  Closed Mon lunch & Sun.  Via Petrarca 13


L Asino d' Oro €€€  Creative Umbrian kitchen - the wild boar in chocolate sauce is divine!  Phone 06-489-13832 Closed Monday and Sun dinner.  Via Boschetto 73


Nonna Betta  €€ Fabulous Jewish Roman fare.  Order the fried artichokes in season. Phone  06-688-06263 Closed Saturday.  Via del Portico d'Ottavia 16

Forno Boccione €€ Jewish bakery - try the ricotta cheesecake with sour cherries, but it sells out by noon.  Phone 06-687-8657  Closed Saturday.  Via del Portico d'Ottavia 1

Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi €€€ Get your cameras out and say CHEESE!!!! Wall to wall goat, sheep and cow's milk cheese from all over Italy.  Phone 06-6819-2210 Closed Sunday afternoon & Monday.  Via S. Maria d. Pianto 9A/11


Trattoria Monti  €€€ From Le Marche region, for fresh pasta this is the place.  The duck is wonderful too.  Phone 06-446-6573  Closed Monday and Sunday dinner.  Via San Vito 13

Panella  €€ Jewelry shop meets pastry shop where you can indulge in edible works of art. Phone 06-487-2344 Closed Thursday afternoon - Via Merulana 54

Gelateria Fatamorgana  €€ The newest location from one of Rome's best artisanal gelato makers.  Try the wide variety of Zabaione (eggnog).  Phone 06-489-06955  1pm - 12 am, Closed Monday, Via degli Zingari 5


Armando al Pantheon €€ Family owned institution - any of the Roman pasta dishes are superb - try the Gricia (Gricia is a simple dish of pasta dressed with two products largely common in the countryside around Rome: Guanciale, a type of bacon made from the cheek of pork, and Pecorino, a very tasty sheeps cheese).  Phone 06-688-03034 Closed Saturday dinner and Sunday.  Salita Dei Crescenzi 31

Il Gelato di San Crispino  € Gelateria featured in the movie Eat Pray Love.  The ginger and cinnamon is a life-changing experience all by itself.  Phone 06-688-91310  Closed Tuesday Autumn & Winter.  Piazza della Maddalena 3.

Pizzeria da Baffetto   € Always long lines at this Roman style pizza institution so arrive early.  We did eat here and we LOVED it.  We were told that pizza actually came from Naples and Rome only started making it after WWII when soldiers came looking for it.  But the people in Rome were pretty poor so they made the crust really thin to make it stretch.  If you are looking for a thick crust pizza, don't go here.  If you are looking for a traditional "ROMAN" pizza, then this is the place for you.  The crust is thin!  We sat right where we could watch them making the pizza and that was a lot of fun too.  Mostly Italians here.  Phone 06-686-1617  Via del Governo Vecchio 114

Gelateria del Teatro ai Coronari € Favorite flavors include chocolate with red wine and any of their peach varieties.  Phone 06-454-74880 Via di San Simone 70


Spirito Di Vino  € Was a 10th century synagogue - their wine cellar is older than the Colosseum and the food is exceptional.  Phone 06-589-6689 Closed Sunday and Saturday Lunch.  Via dei Genovesi 31

Roma Sparita € The specialty is cacio e pepe (tonrarelli pasta, pecorino & pepper) served in a parmesan bowl.  We tried to go here but you HAVE to have a reservation.  I can't remember if this is the place that Anthony Bourdain went to on the Layover but I know I saw him show cacio e pepe in a parmesan bowl and I really want to try it.  It looked incredible.  Phone 06-580-0757  Closed Monday.  Piazza di Santa Cecila 24

Osteria Da Zi' Umberto€ As roman as it gets ... great food served with a little bit of attitude!  Try the sauteed mussels, you won't regret it!  Phone 06-581-6646  12:30 pm - 3:00 pm, 7:30 pm - 11 pm  Closed Monday  Piazza S. Giovanni d. Malva 14

Biscottificio Artigiano Innocenti A selection of 70 types of cookies (biscotti) baked fresh daily out of an 8 ft. oven.  I could not find a link on Trip Advisor for this place so instead you got a link to 6 sweet treats in Rome.  We did eat cannoli at Ciuri Ciuri and we had gelato at Giolitti.  Both are excellent recommendations!  Phone 06-580-3926  Monday - Saturday 8-8.  Sunday 8-2; Via delle Luce, 21

Fior di Luna € Gelateria located right in the heart of Trastevere.  There will be a line for sure, but it's wroth it. Closed Monday, Via della Lungaretta 96

Pizzeria Ai Marmi € Known as "the morgue" due to the marble tables, just eating here makes you feel more Roman.  Phone 06-5800919 Closed Wednesdays, Viale Trastevere 53


Pizzarium  € Most famous pizza al taglio (by the slice) in Rome - right outside Metro Cipro.  Phone 06-397-45416 Closed Sunday, Via della Meloria 43, Cipro Metro

L Arcangelo €€€ Taste the suppli (Supplì are Italian snacks consisting of a ball of rice - generally risotto - with or without (Suppli' in bianco) tomato sauce and raw egg around a piece of mozzarella; the whole morsel is soaked in egg and coated with breadcrumbs and then fried usually deep fried. The dish is native to Rome from the region of Lazio in Italy) and the gnocchi all'amatriciana (Sugo all'amatriciana is a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale -cured pork cheek -, pecorino cheese, and tomato. Originating from the town of Amatrice, the Amatriciana is one of the most well-known pasta sauces in Roman and Italian cuisine.)  Phone 06-321-0992  Only dinner.  Closed Sunday.  Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 59/61

That's it for the Food Lover's Guide.  We loved the places that we tried and I bet that they are all just as good.  We do have other places that we went to, but I'm just not going to have time to get those up before we leave.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rome and I Porchettoni

Right before we left for Rome, we caught an episode of Anthony Bourdain's The Layover Rome.  We had never heard of the show, but thought it sounded interesting so decided to give it a try.  For those of you that have never heard of the show, the Travel Channel sums it up this way "Anthony Bourdain is back like you've never seen him before. He is high octane, gritty, caffeinated and traveling with a sense of urgency. Why? Because he has only 24-48 hours to unleash an unpredictable story about a place, a people and their food."  I guess he goes from city to city but the only episode we've seen in the one about Rome.  And I took a lot of notes.

One of the places he recommended was I Porchettoni.  And what is the thing to get there?  Porchetta.  Porchetta is a savory, fatty, moist boneless pork roast that originated  in Ariccia.  The body of a one year old pig is gutted, deboned, layered with meat, stuffing, fat and skin, then rolled, spitted and roasted traditionally over wood. It is usually heavily salted and stuffed with garlic, rosemary, fennel and wild herbs.  This wonderful place brings their porchetta from Ariccia so you don't have to travel there to taste it.  And let me tell you, it is YUMMY!

We couldn't find anything that talked about hours so the first night we went there at 6:00 p.m. and it was closed.  So, we tried again  at 7:00 p.m. the next night and had better luck.

The restaurant that we went to is about a 15 minute walk from Termini station.

A few pictures that we took on the way to the restaurant.

 And here we are!  I Porchettoni's!

One of the things that we really liked about this place was the prices.  And, the fact that we were the only tourists there.  Typical Italian place for the typical working Italians.  No worries though as both of the waiters that we had (we went several nights) spoke perfect English and were very friendly.

We start off with porchetta for 2 with warm fresh delicious bread.  And it was absolutely wonderful. The skin was so crispy and yummy!  Worth the visit for sure, just for that!

And then we move on to the large mozzarella di bufala.  This was absolutely wonderful!!

I think we were full before the pasta even arrived!  Ron got the Cacio, pepe e nduja.  It was delicious and really spicy!

I just went with the Cacio pepe which is simply freshly grated pecorino romano cheese and freshly grated black pepper.  Simply wonderful and very traditionally "Roman".


Look out Miami!  This is Alessandro and he plans to open one of these wonderful restaurants in Miami this year!  You are in for such a treat!

We were stuffed yet he told us we HAD to have dessert.  So, we went with the biscotti al vino that he said his mom made.  It was sooooo wonderful!  Wonderful taste of anise.  And when we left, he gave us a bag of 6 to take with us for free.  To remember them by.  And it worked, because we went back and our mouth still waters just thinking about this place!

If you go to Rome, make sure you check them out!

Rome Hop On Hop Off Buses

I've had quite a few people ask me about the HOHO (Hop On Hop Off) buses and there were 5 different companies that I saw when we were in Rome in January 2013.  Below are the flyers that I picked up for each one except the Roma Cristiana Bus.  For some reason they would not let me have a flyer (at least the two times I tried).  I tried at a place that was selling tickets for all of them, and I tried at one of their buses.  I could look at it, but I couldn't keep it unless I bought a ticket.  Here is the website though for their bus:  Roma Cristiana.

If you need a clearer picture of something, just let me know.  And I did not take any of the buses so I can't give my opinion. 

Since I added this page I have read that there are 7 HOHO buses in  Rome.  Rome Toolkit will give you an overview of all 7.  I suggest that you go there and check them out.

First up is the Rome Open Tour. 

Next up is the Green Line Tours.

Ciao Roma Open Tour


And lastly City Sightseeing Roma

I hope that helps! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rome - Day 3 Walking Food Tour

Edited on 4 January 2014 to add addresses and some better pictures.

When I found out that I would be in Rome for 13 days I decided that I wanted to do some "special" things.  I looked on Viator for tours and found their Rome Food Walking Tour and, after I saw this Youtube video of the tour, I immediately signed Ron and I up for the tour.  And let me tell you, we enjoyed it so much, we have decided to take the same tour again (if we can get the same guide) when we go back in April.  Our tour started at 1030 and ended at around 1500. 

Here is our amazing tour guide Sarah Rose.  She came to Italy from Michigan for college 10 years ago and fell in love with Italy and is still here. We met her in the Testaccio neighborhood which is considered the birthplace of Roman cuisine.  This was not just a tour about food, it was a tour about the history of this traditional working-class area of Rome.  It is a bit off the beaten tourist track and we would have never found our way here if not for this tour.  And that would have been a real shame. 

Our first stop is Barberini's.  It is located on Via Marmorata.  This is a former 1940s latteria (dairy bar) that became a pastry shop.  They bake their pastries fresh throughout the day and it was wonderful!  I think I want one of everything!

The first thing we learned was that the typical Italian breakfast is cornetti and cappuccino.  Italians will order this and then stand at the bar, dipping their cornetti into their cappuccino.  These are amazing!  And, on this tour, we learned what their secret ingredient is! 

While everyone is eating, I continue to drool over the rest of their items.  YUM!

I wonder if I can take any of them home in our suitcase when we come here in April?

Next up is tiramisu which literally means “pick me up”.  Considering that it is made with espresso, that should not come as a surprise. This tiramisu is different though than what we've tried before.  It is served in a chocolate cup.  It was soooooo good!

More yummies!

Next up is Volpetti Piu.  On our food tour we learned that in Rome the wood fire pizza ovens are not allowed to be in use before 7:00 p.m.  So, what do you do if you want pizza for lunch?  You go here.  We all tried the pizza with Mozzarella di Bufalo, tomatoes and fresh basil.  Such very simple favors yet such an amazing combination of tastes in my mouth.  Wonderful! 

And here I am, giving it a thumbs up!  When you go here, you show them using your hands, how big of a slice of pizza you want and then you pay by the weight.

Lots and lots of choices.

Next up, right around the corner is Gastronomia E. Volpetti.  If I remember right the owners are cousins to the Volpetti Piu owners. The Volpetti brothers set up shop here in 1973, offering a huge variety of Italian products from the best balsamic vinegar in the world to the most amazing cheeses to the finest cuts of prosciutto. This store was one of the very first places in Rome that decided to give out samples of their products to their customers to try.  It's a very small store, so we started our tour outside.

They brought out samples for us to try, and if you you are a vegetarian, and let the tour company know in advance, you will get your own samples of things that include figs, olives and cheese.  This platter included sausage made from the legendary Cinta Senese pig, Parmigiano-Reggiano,  Prosciutto San Daniele ... and I'm not sure what else.

Check out the feet!

Check out the wide variety in prices of the prosciutto!

Inside, the shop is small.  And there were quite a few people.  Because we had to keep going, we didn't have a lot of time to shop and Ron and I don't like to be rushed.  We asked Sarah if she received commission on what people from the tour group bought because we wanted to buy things but we didn't want to do it today.  She assured us that she gets no commission from anything sold so feel free to shop later if we preferred.  We did come back, and I think we spent over an hour trying different products and ended up buying quite a bit!  Lucky for us, we live in Norway so we didn't have to worry about what we could take back to the US.  They were wonderful and vacuumed packed the meats and cheeses.  The balsamic vinegars are out of this world. 

This is the gentleman that helped us when we came back.

Different salts ....

You might be saying to yourself that this is not your kind of store, you don't care for prosciutto or cheese, or vinegar.  Well, that seems just silly to me but you can also find Mostarda which is an Italian condiment made of candied fruit and a mustard flavored syrup, Panettone which is a type of sweet bread originally from Milan, Crostata which is an Italian baked dessert tart traditionally filled with cherry, peach, apricot or berry jam, or Turon which is a nougat typically made of honey, sugar and egg whites with toasted almonds, pistachios or other nuts.  I am very sorry to say though, that I did not get pictures of these .... as I was focused on the prosciutto, vinegars and cheeses.  If you are interested in checking this place out, their contact information is: Via Marmorata 47 - 00153 - Roma
Tel: +39 06 5742352 Fax: +39 06 57301439  Their website is here: Volpetti  and if you want to reach them by email: info@volpetti.com.

This is not only a tour about food, we learned some interesting history along the way.  Next stop was  Campo Cestio.  Previously, it was known as the Protestant Cemetery but it is now officially called the Cimitero acattolico (Non-Catholic Cemetery) and is often referred to as the Cimitero degli Inglesi (Englishmen's Cemetery).

Such a peaceful spot, right in the middle of Rome with several famous people buried here.

And here is the Bulgari plot.  When the sun shines just right, the shadows of the double crosses fall directly on the stone below that is an empty place holder for the Bulgari  family.

Within view of the cemetery is the Pyramid of Cestius, a small-scale Egyptian-style pyramid built in 30 BC as a tomb.  Unfortunately the client died before it was completed - and before he finished paying for it - so he's not buried there.  (I can only assume that the scaffolding in the photos is for renovation, not because the construction is ongoing!)  It was later incorporated into the section of the Aurelian Walls.  The Walls (in case you are wondering) are a line of city walls built between  271 AD and 275 AD during the reign of the Roman Emperors Aurelian and Probus.  The walls enclosed all the seven hills of Rome plus the Campus Martius and, on the right bank of the Tiber, the Trastevere district.

One of the most famous graves here is the grave for the English poet John Keats.  Keats died in Rome of tuberculosis at the age of 25.  His epitaph says "This grave contains all that was mortal, of a YOUNG ENGLISH POET, Who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart, at the Malicious Power of his Enemies, Desired these Words to be engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water."  As you may have noticed, his name is not on his tombstone.


Buried next to him is his friend Joseph Severn.  To be perfectly honest, I found it a bit sad that Severn is buried next to his friend and not with either of his wives.  He had 8 children between them and one of them is buried behind him.

I also find it sad that the baby's tombstone says absolutely nothing about his mother.  But his father and the "Poet Wordsworth" who was present at his baptism are listed.  Can you say "name droppers"?

Since 1850, there has been a presence of cats at the cemetery.  You can find out some of the history of the cats at the I Gatti Della Piramide website.

I liked this tombstone.

OK, enough about cemeteries.  On to the Testaccio market.

You can find it at the corner of these two streets.

People in the know say that the Testaccio Market is one of the best places in Rome to buy seafood, meat, fruit, cheeses and all the main ingredients for cooking an authentic Italian meal.  For nearly 100 years, over 50 vendors have been selling their delicacies in the Testaccio market.  Some of the current food merchants have worked in the market for 40, 50 years! (The current market is in a brand-new building, but the vendors are all the same.)  Many of the stalls have been run by the same families for generations and they have enormous pride in the quality of their products.  Be prepared though, you'll see somethings that you won't see in an American supermarket such as ...

Yes, that is the chicken's head, still attached!

But there are lots of 'regular' things too!

I wish I could remember more about this gentleman. He is adorable!

While we were at the seafood stand, I looked across and saw this.  Can't get much fresher than that!

He is in love with Sarah Rose ... and really, who could blame him?  She's adorable!

On to the next stand, fresh fruits and vegetables.

This is a Roman Zucchini.  It is smaller than a regular zucchini and here they deep fry the flowers, usually stuffed with cheese.

And artichokes are a big thing here too!

They look just like a flower!  These have been cleaned by the vendor and are ready to be cooked.

When we left that stand Sarah Rose had a big bowl of tomatoes and carried them over here .... and they made fresh bruschetta.  I really meant to take a picture of it, but as soon as I saw it, I scarfed it down.

I did learn though that it is best when it is made with 3 different kinds of tomatoes.  Includes arugula, basil, olive oil.  If there is not enough moisture, take a tomato in your hand and squeeze.  It was sooooo good!

We did not buy any here, but we discovered that we have a deep and abiding love for Porchetta.

Leftover tomatoes moved on with us to the next stall, where they added Mozzarella di bufala.

This is where we got the mozzarella di bufala from.

Oh my, oh my, oh my.  When we were in Palermo, Sicily we had the absolute very best cannoli we ever had in our lives.  We've never found them that good anywhere else until we came here.  And we were not even a bit surprised to find out that the family that runs this stand is from Palermo, and they knew exactly the place that we had eaten what we thought as the best cannoli in Palermo.  Oh happy day - these were fantastic, and the ladies running the stand were wonderful! 

These were SO yummy that Ron actually went out of his way on our last day in Rome to get to the market before they closed at 2 to bring a bunch of them back to the room for us to eat for "lunch" ;-) .

If I remember correctly, the sign below means "Patience is bitter but it's fruit is sweet" or something like that. 

Next stop was the old slaughterhouse where we learned about life as a butcher back in "the day".  I really should have paid closer attention to the story so I could repeat it for you, but Sarah Rose had mentioned just before we got here that the next stop was lunch with several different kinds of pasta and my mind kept wandering to that.  Sorry!  Since we plan to come back in April, I will try to take notes and let you know what she said.

This place however got my attention.   During the 1800s, a tavern was here, selling drinks to the butchers that worked in the slaughterhouses. In 1887, the ancestors of the restaurant's present owners began serving food that was made with the left over parts (or Fifth Quarter) of the beef that the workers at the slaughterhouse were allowed to take home for free. What do I mean?  Well, innards and such.  You know .... small intestines, stomachs, tails and such.   Today, you can come here and eat some of the same dishes that they did.  Such as rigatoni con pajata (pasta with small intestines), codo alla vaccinara (oxtail stew), fagioli e cotiche (beans with intestinal fat), and other examples of la cucina povera (food of the poor).  Yeah, I think I'll pass. But in case you're thinking you can just pop in, you should know that the place is now elegant (wear a jacket).  And it's supposedly has one of the best wine lists in the city.  

Look at the hill.  Looks like a typical hill huh?  Nope! The Testaccio hill is actually a ten-acre man-made hill, made from millions of ancient terracotta jugs (in particular jugs that held olive oil) that were broken up and discarded from ancient merchant ships. So, it's just a dump heap filled with first and second century broken pottery.  How cool is that?

I'm so excited - it's now time for lunch.  Even though I'm not really hungry.  Lunch is at Flavio Al Velavevodetta.  Their address is Via di Monte Testaccio 97/99, 00153 Rome, Italy (Testaccio)and their phone number is 065744194.  They recommend reservations for dinner!

And here we were treated to three of Rome’s most classic pasta dishes (clockwise, from top right): Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe (fresh egg based tonarelli pasta with pecorino cheese and black pepper); Rigatoni all Amatriciana (dried durum wheat rigatoni pasta with smoked pancetta, red chili pepper, tomatoes, and pecorino cheese); and Rigatoni alla Carbonara (dried durum wheat rigatoni pasta with pancetta, eggs, pecorino and black pepper).  [By the way, we were told that this was the #2 place to go in Rome for carbonara and it was so delicious that I decided I just HAD to go to the #1 place.  We did ... and I would put this place as #1!]  There were huge bowls of pasta and bottles of red and white wine and water and you could eat and drink to your heart's content.  And I ended up having seconds of the carbonara.

After all the wonderful pasta, I hardly had any room left over for gelato ... but I managed.  On the way, we walked by this pretty church.

What is gelato?  Gelato is the Italian equivalent of ice cream.  But so much better!!!  Ice cream is made from cream and milk.  Gelato is made from milk.  This makes it much healthier for you!  They say that it was invented by the ancient Romans who used fresh snow from the mountains and added fruit.  Can you say snowcone?  But this is not how it is made today.  The gelato we eat today was created in Florence for the Medici family.  But as things go, a Sicilian fisherman named Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, decided he could do it better and he mechanized the process with his own gelato maker.   In Rome the real challenge is finding a gelateria which uses natural fresh ingredients and not a mix.

Our gelato stop was at Giolitti (their address is Via A. Vespucci 35), which seems exactly as I imagine it was back in 1914 when it opened.  They even have the original mixer that they used to make fresh whipped cream to put on top of your gelato.  No spray whipped cream out of a can here!

And on the tour, Sarah Rose gave us some great pointers for deciding if it is real or fake (from a mix) gelato.  One of the things she asked was "What color is a banana?"  Everyone thinks yellow right?  WRONG, the peel is yellow but the banana itself is white.  So, if you see banana gelato and it's yellow, it's fake.  What about mint?  The essence of mint is white.  So, when you see green mint chocolate chip gelato it's fake!  Also, real gelato is made in the tubs that they serve it in.  It fits nicely in the pan.  If you see that it is heaping, then it's most likely a mix where they have blended in a lot of air and then dumped it into the pan!

Giolitti's serves fresh gelato with only natural ingredients, not the commercial powdered ones, so the colors are not as bright and vivid as you would find in the flashier, touristy gelato stores.

 One of the things Sarah Rose told us is that we might not necessarily get what we order.  The gentleman here is justifiably proud of his product and is rather particular - he will not let you order two (or more) flavors that he thinks will not complement each other.  Lucky for me, he approved of my choice.  I chose Cioccolato and Zabaione (which is chocolate and eggnog).  YUM, YUM!  Seriously, I must have said those words over and over again during this tour!  And you can bet that now that Ron and I know the difference between fake and real gelato, we will never take the fake again!

That is the end of this food tour and I must say we had an absolutely AMAZING day!  If you are coming to Rome and want something "special" to do, take this tour!  And make sure you ask for Sarah Rose to be your guide.  She is charming and delightful!  She made us feel like we were her very best friends just getting to Rome and she was showing us HER favorite out-of-the-way places that only the locals know about.  Will we do it again?  Oh yes!!!  We are hoping to book the tour with her again in April as we will be bringing our moms on a cruise with us and we think this is a "must" for them to experience!