Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mangia Mangia- Italy Day 3

Day 3 was another rainy day in Rome but with a 4 hour food tour with Eating Italy through Trastevere planned for the morning, we were more focused on our stomachs than the forecast.

Today we were in another small group of 10, the 4 of us, a mom and daughter from Ohio and a family of 4 from New Zealand. It was a great group, all food people! Trastevere is a small neighborhood on the other side of the Tiber river. It's a very tight knit community, not touristy at all, well except for those of us tourists that want to get away from other tourists and experience real Roman food :)

 Our guide, Val, has a passion for Rome & a bigger passion for family run restaurants in this area! He made sure to point out if we ever passed a tourist trap so we would be sure to know the difference.
Our first stop was at Pasticceria. Signora Vera has been running this place since the 70s. She let us taste her bigne, a choux pastry bun filled with zabaglione cream. I love how the store was decorated with Easter treats too!

Then we walked over to Antica Caciara, which has been run by the same family since 1900!!! Signor Roberto gave us a taste of his Pecorino Romano cheese. The store was quite busy with locals while we were there.

Our third stop was to (Preston's favorite) I Suppli. We tasted the Roman favorite street food, suppli, a fried rice ball filled with oozing cheese and red sauce, yum!!!

Next up was Antica Norcineria, another busy favorite with the locals. We tried Piero's famous porchetta on pizza blanca (white bread). Val told us that they start each day with a whole pig and by the end of the day it's all gone!

Next was my favorite, the San Cosimato Market. It's one of Rome's oldest open-air markets. Concetta & Pietro let us snack on some of their blood-red oranges & pears. I was hoping we could snack on some of those artichokes but since we couldn't, Pietro gave us a step-by-step on the proper way to cut & prepare one. Then we hit up Adamo's cheese stand for some cheese & honey.


 A short walk through the market lead us to Fatamorgana, a gourmet gelato shop! You can definitely tell that use only fresh ingredients just by looking at the gelato & the muted colors. I had blueberry & honey-banana...delish!

 We had a little bit of down time to explore and let our stomachs settle before lunch so we hung out at the local square (a total photo-op every where you looked!!!).

 It was time for lunch but we were all pretty stuffed. However, we all managed to find room when we got to Enoteca Ferrara. They let us sample wine, gnocchi, ravioli & fresh pasta with cheese & pepper. This was Mike's favorite stop.

We needed something a little sweet after our big lunch so we went to the famous bakery Innocenti. Owner Stefania and her daughter Michela use their amazing vintage 1950s oven to bake cookies and all things sweet.

Our last stop was an amazing place just to visit, much less eat at. Spirito di Vino is a converted church with cellar floors 150 years older than the Colosseum! Being able to visit the cellar and see how they built walls on top of walls over centuries was jaw-dropping. After our tour of the cellar we went back up stairs to tables waiting with dessert wine & creme brulee. This was Bella's favorite stop & her first time trying creme brulee.

After stuffing ourselves silly we took a taxi to St. Mark's Square on the off chance that the rain had kept away the tourists and we could get into to the Vatican. This was the only spot that I didn't pre-buy tickets. The kids weren't crazy excited about seeing it so we said that if one day we had down time then we would go. When the taxi drove by and we saw huge lines in the rain, we told the taxi to keep on driving to the Trevi Fountain. We realized that Bella hadn't thrown a coin over her shoulder yet...a must do! But when we got out we realized that we didn't have any coins on us. Honest to goodness, Bella looked down and there was a shiny coin right at her feet!!! She picked it up and gave it a good toss (into the make-shift fountain they have set up in front of the scaffolding).

Now she is destined to come back to Rome! We grabbed another gelato (don't judge) on our walk to the apartment, which we decided would be our dinner. We had a few days of catching up in our travel journals...that everyone just LOVES to write in (NOT). I know that they will appreciate reading these journals in 20 years when their kids are wanting to travel so I play the mean mom card and tell them it is my one requirement when we take these trips!

Tomorrow is our short road trip through Tuscany!

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