- A gastronomic day in Rome, from morning coffee to afternoon aperitivo, highlighted by a market tour and annotated lunch
- Led by Gina, an acclaimed chef, sommelier, and food writer
- Typical Local Restaurant, Local Wine Bars, Testaccio Neighborhood, Trastevere Neighborhood, and Local Market in Rome
Among her many talents, Gina is a food historian, coffee connoisseur, and chef. 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. Following our visit through the local shops and market, we will stop by a coffee roaster where we will discover how coffee beans are roasted in the "Italian style"
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 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 terracotta pottery dating back to the Roman Empire.
Following our stroll through Testaccio’s market, we will pause to enjoy an annotated lunch at a local trattoria where we will 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 either 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. 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 the work day. As our day winds down, 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 quintessential Rome 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 Lunch and light refreshments. Accommodation and personal shopping are not included.
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 would like to customize the experience or have mobility concerns, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss options and pricing with you.
Does Context offer Pre-Travel seminars about Rome?
Yes! Gina would be delighted to meet you virtually, prior to your travel. To explore our available virtual learning pathways, please click here.
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
Sara’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, and a 24-hour phone number for any last-minute issues.
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.