It’s been a little over two months and we’re still dreaming about our delicious time in Italy. Like the Taj Mahal in India, the food in Italy is one aspect of the country that is not overrated. It’s one of those things that you always hear about, “Oh, the pizza in Italy is the best” and “The pasta in Italy is to die for”, but you really don’t know how true those statements are until you’re there and shoving it into your own mouth. We’ve learned that one of the best ways to get to truly know a place is through it’s food and let me tell you, Italian food is the gateway to Italy.
While Walks of Italy offers a plethora of different tours all over Italy, it’s their food tours that struck a chord in our hearts. These tours truly make you feel like family. It seemed like we had known our guide, Simona, for years. In fact, Simona studied abroad in the very same town that I grew up in. I don’t know who the hell sent her to Silverdale, Washington, but I’m glad we were able to have that local connection.
While the world seemed small, we needed giant appetites to get us through Walks of Italy’s Rome food tour. The website tells you to come with an empty stomach for a reason. We started our day with a sampling of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That may sound harmless enough, but after eating countless pieces of fresh bread that’s been dripped with a melange of oil and vinegar, I was already feeling satiated. Throw in more bread topped with various truffle oils and I was ready for a nap. That was only twenty minutes into our three hour tour.
We walked the market as Simona pointed out the fresh and local produce. We ended up ducking into a small cove that serves as a butcher shop and were offered platters of cured meat. Some of the samples were spicy, some were sweet, and all were satisfying. As cured meat and cheese pair well together, the following stop had us at a cheese shop within walking distance from the market. This was where all my dreams came true. We feasted on real, fresh mozzarella. Did you know that the mozzarella that we eat in the States is a fraud? Real mozzarella di bufala campana comes from the Italian water buffalo that grazes in certain areas in Campania, Lazio, Apulia, and Molise. I thought that I had tasted real mozzarella before, but I was wrong. So wrong.
I was ready to deliriously waddle back to our apartment for that nap, but I was reminded that the pièce de résistance was still to come. We had our very own pizzas to make. If copious amounts of cheese, meat, bread, and truffle oil wasn’t enough, I was now expected to make and eat my own pizza. Yes, it was a quite a burden. One that I was all too happy to bear.
In true Italian fashion, we ended our tour with what is arguably Rome’s best coffee. I was never the person who could just drink a shot of espresso straight, but after trying Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè, I was a convert. You can’t beat a well-made shot of coffee, in Rome no less.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do and eat. Eat well. We highly recommend Walks of Italy not only for their incredible food tours, but as a great company in general. Be sure to head over to their website and check out their numerous tours in Rome, Vatican City, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Pompeii, Amalfi, Tuscany, Umbria, Milan, and Puglia. Flights to Rome tend to go up during the peak seasons, but deals can be found if your travel days are flexible. If you’re looking for a Rome city break, check our villa rentals in the surrounding countryside. The food is just as spectacular.
Our gut-busting Rome food tour was courtesy of Walks of Italy. All opinions are our own. Would we pay for this tour in the future? Definitely. We believe that it’s worth every penny.