- A gastronomic day in Rome, from morning coffee to afternoon aperitivo, highlighted by a market tour and annotated lunch
- Led by Gina, an Italian-American cook, sommelier, and food writer
- Testaccio Neighborhood, Trastevere Neighborhood, Typical Local Restaurant, Local Market in Rome, and Local Wine Bars
Among her many talents, Gina is a food historian, coffee connoisseur, and more. Born into an Italian-American family, Gina spent countless hours in the kitchens of her mom and her Neapolitan and Sicilian grandmothers – watching, cooking, tasting – dreaming of living in Italy. In 2007 she relocated to Rome where she earned a Master’s degree in Italian Gastronomic Culture and became a certified member of the Italian Sommelier Association. She also holds an MBA from NYU.
Inspired Itinerary: Three courses, in three neighborhoods
The mornings provide the best selection of fresh produce, fish, and baked goods. Together we will visit a butcher to learn about the “quinto quarto” or the traditionally frugal way that Roman cooking has used all cuts of meat–including offal–internal organs which have been elevated to restaurant fare all over the city.
From here, we will stroll south into Testaccio, a neighborhood with a storied history and a world-famous open-air marketplace. A traditionally working-class neighborhood, this is the heart of “Cucina Povera” and holds many clues about the lives of the ancient Romans who once lived here.
When the Ancient Romans occupied this segment of the city, this was a major port of trade. Its prime real estate on the shores of the Tiber River was essential in the movement of goods and merchandise from all over the empire. As we window shop, we will move towards the remarkable “Monte dei Cocci.” This ancient hill is more than 20,000 square meters at its base and is composed entirely of fragments of terra cotta pottery dating back to the Roman Empire.
Following our stroll through Testaccio’s market, we will pause to enjoy lunch at a local trattoria (lunch expense not included in tour cost) where you can sample some of the traditional Roman pasta –cacio e pepe, carbonara, amatriciana–and if we want to, we can try some traditional offal dishes as well.
After lunch, we will stroll or taxi across the Tiber river to experience the wonderful specialty grocers and gelato shops in the Trastevere neighborhood. As we tour its key landmarks, Gina will teach us about Trastavere’s deeper historical context as the district where outsiders were once banished to. From here, we might pause to enjoy a biscotti and an afternoon coffee before continuing onwards to Piazza Farnese and then Campo dei Fiori.
As we enjoy the sunset, Gina will teach us about the role of the aperitivo and how this tradition arrived in Italy–and remains a local favorite way to unwind from the work day. As our day wraps up, Gina will lead us across the beautiful Ponte Sisto and the back streets of Campo dei Fiori to sample additional wines before dinner–this time in a quintessentially Roman wine bar.
What is included in the itinerary?
This Rome Private Guide itinerary includes the cost of your time with your private guide as well as an extensive variety of tastings and light refreshments. Accommodation and personal shopping are not included. If you wish to use taxis to move between neighborhoods, this would be at your own expense otherwise Gina will assist with public transportation.
Is lunch included in the tasting fee cost?
Lunch is not included and will be the client's responsibility on the day of the tour. Some tastings that are often included in Gina's tour are coffee stops along the way, different tomatoes, cheese and prosciutto, nuts, olives, fruit depending on the season at San Giovanni di Dio market, dessert tastings as well as local wines and cheeses.
What if I want a different itinerary with this expert?
The published itinerary represents Gina's favorite way to experience the food of Rome. If you are looking for something different, please check out our other Rome offerings!
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
Gina's tour will meet in Monteverde Nuovo and conclude around Campo dei Fiori. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map.
What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your expert will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to be prepared; we encourage keeping an eye on the weather and bringing along an umbrella, sunscreen, water, or a hat as needed.
Gina is a food historian, coffee connoisseur and cook. Born into an Italian-American family, Gina spent countless hours in the kitchens of her mom and her Neapolitan and Sicilian grandmothers – watching, cooking, tasting – dreaming of living in Italy. In 2007 she relocated to Rome where she earned a Master’s degree in Italian Gastronomic Culture from the Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, and became a certified sommelier and member of AIS. She also holds an MBA from NYU. Before relocating to Rome, she worked for Tom Colicchio's Craft family of restaurants in NYC in business development and marketing and she spent some time in the kitchen. Her writing appears on numerous food and travel publications.
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