Food - Beverage, Rome
An entire window filled with Absinthe and the paraphanelia attendant to its ritual beckons to the curious tourist. He hesitates, capitavated - looks about to see who might be watching - and bolts through the door!
Dubbed "the green fairy" it is an emerald color - distilled, highly alcoholic, anise-flavored spirit derived from herbs, flowers and medicinal leaves of Artemisia absinthium (wormwood).
Absintheurs typically add water to a dose of absinthe, which causes the drink to turn cloudy (called “louching”) - the same delightful metamorphosis happens when you add water to Pernod and it turns a bright, foggy chartreuse.
My introduction to absinthe was, indeed, a ritual. Once the absinthe was poured into a lovely stemmed glass, a slotted spoon was placed across the mouth of the glass - a small sugar cube placed on the spoon - absinthe poured over the sugar - the cube of sugar set aflame - and as it melted into the absinthe below, a little ice water was added. My taste buds were enchanted!
The ritual complete with special slotted absinthe spoons and other accoutrements is essential to the experience of drinking absinthe. The flavor is similar to anise-flavored liqueurs. If you like Pernod - you will love Absinthe!
Although it originated in Switzerland as an elixir, it is associated with France and Parisian artists and writers whose romantic link to the drink still lingers in pop culture. You will see a brand in the shop, Capri, with a portrait of Van Gogh. Was he an Absintheur, perhaps? At one time absinthe was portrayed as a dangerously addictive, psychoactive drug due to the chemical thujone. (Not my experience!)
By 1915 it was banned in a number of European countries and the United States. Even though it was vilified, no evidence shows it to be any more dangerous than ordinary alcohol although few modern medical studies have been completed. A modern absinthe revival began in the 1990s, as countries in the European Union began to reauthorize its manufacture and sale.
What to buy: Absinthe - they say they can send it to you in the U.S. but you cannot send it to yourself.
What to pay: A nice gift package - Absinthe, spoon, glass - costs 60 to 80 Euro
A whole building dedicated to ice cream? You are not dreaming, it's true! Fassi is this fantastic ice cream shop inside the Ice Building. It's a piece of history of Rome, and absolutely one of the best ice cream shops ever! Many options about flavours, cones and everything else. Can't leaved Rome without going there before!
What to buy: Ice cream, ANY
What to pay: from € 1,40 on
If you enlarge the picture you can see an Italian
mama waiting for the vendor to cut her
delicious dried ham , cut slice by slice at
the local market.
This was my favorite market in Rome from
the ones we visited. Also in a very nice neighbourhood. This one is in open air.
The stalls stay there day and night , but it
is only open in the morning till the early afternoon.
What to buy:
If your renting an appartment or staying in a
BB and got your own kitchen you can take
with you some of the meat specialities..
cheese , olives ...
We absolutely enjoyed the colorful stands and
What to pay:
Local market , local prices.
Do you want to take with you the real stuff ,
or are you going to pay loads for it at the airport. :-)
It's a small but famous bar. It's ice cream can really change your life. Absolutely the best ice cream you can ever eat. It won't give you a wide range of flavours options, but you can be sure that those ones they have, oh brother, they will make you think that life is wonderful.
What to buy: My favourite flavour is lemmon cream, but I have to admit that the best they do is dark chocolate. Don't eat them together because lemmon cream's taste is very delicate and it would disappear with that strong flavour of chocolate. Juste eat two ice creams!
What to pay: From € 1,30 on.
When we walked by the first time I was standing
still and staring inside. This bakery was some
sort of treasure island...
The man behind the counter was making
gestures 'this is really good'.
Since it opens 8 in the morning , we knew
were we would get our breakfast.
A wide range of bread , sweets , pasta fresca...
pizza. Simply delicious......
What is in a name : Elite!
It is actually a supermarket. But it is slightly
different from the usual ones.
The decoration of the shop is quit posh...
Wooden shelves , marble floor , paintings on the
ceiling. A lot of common products. BUT of course
also a lot of specialities. Have a look at the
cheese and meat counter. It just looks fab..
Why we stopped here? We saw all these
bottles of limoncello. A divine Italian liquor.
The perfect gift I think.
If you go in , you might get some other ideas as well.
Why not take a little jar of pesto for you mom
in a not so common flavour?
This is one of those rare shops you walk by
and immediately want to enter. At least I do.
They say they got specialities from all over
the world. But I got carried away by the intence
smell of fresh roasted coffee beans. Wow!
Next thing asking for attention was the
counter filled with chocolates. Italian chocolates.
If you buy those they pack them for you in
a coffee pack. (price , I forgot , chocolates are
never too expensive for me. ;-))
There is just too much to try...
You will have to take a look for yourself.
In the back was a wine bar - and a place to eat
very informal. Crowded and these were
not tourists. A good sign? I guess.
What to buy: Maybe you can check on their website first , to
get some inspiration and calculate how
much place left you got in your luggage.
They also got more then one shop in Rome.
I love these places. And I always do some
effort to track at least one down.
So we took the bus from 'Termini' towards
the 'porta Pia'. In the middle of the
'Piazza Alessandria' is a covered market.
The atmosphere is relaxed and different
from the places that got flooded by tourist
here they are quit amused by it. People
are helpfull and friendly.
What to buy: Some fresh fruit.
I also bought some olives and a combination
of mushrooms and vegetables in vinegar and
oil. A delicious and fine sort of salami ,
a fieuw tranches of th famous italian dried ham ,
What to pay: Very little if you aske me...
Via di Porta Cavalleggeri, 43
Bottega del Cioccolato
Via Leonina, 82
Galleria Alberto Sordi
Via del Corso
Dogana Vecchia 12-13 - San Eustachio
Via Marianna Dionigi , 36
Moriondo e Gariglio
Via del Piè di Marmo, 21
What to buy: Chocolate
A few years ago, as a student, I was in Rome with my backpack and a tent, it was really budget trip. Now, when I live here I can see that you can eat good and cheap while in Rome.
First of all, make your own grocery shopping in a local NEGOZIO DI ALIMENTARI (Grocery shop). You can buy great bread, cheese, prosciutto - ham , tomatoes for 10 Euro and have a nice picnic for at least 4 people. There are 1000 of amazing places to sit and make a picnic. Go to Villa Borghese or Piazza Farnese. (Just bring with you a knife, a small table cloth etc.)
You can buy also for lunch a slice of pizza in PIZZA al TAGLIO for 3Euro per person.
Try to buy sandwiches not in a bar (at least 3-4 Euro) but in PANETTERIA 2Euro (a bread store).
If you feel like going to restaurant, go for a tourist menu, I've seen prices 8-10 Euro close to Pantheon, Borgo Pio area.
Or go to TAVOLA CALDA , kind of Italian fast food, but very tasty. Everything is pre made and you can choose what you like, prices 5 Euro per dish. Lot's of bars, have a section of Tavola Calda.
Right now if I were on a budget trip to Rome I could live on 10 Euro per day, but to have a treat from time to time better count 20Euro.
You do not have to buy water it's potable from the fountains.
Remember, if you sit in a bar everything is more expensive.
The same for elegant restaurants if you sit outside you can pay more, better ask before.
The service is usually included, 1-2Euro per person, so most often you do not have to leave extra tip.
What's important, Gelato - Italian ice-cream cost 2Euro and you can not miss it!!!!
After walking most of the Porta Portese market, we made our way back to the northern part of Trastevere via the Via B. Musolino. There I found a very busy bakery that sold cakes, cookies and savoury pastries. It was a Sunday, and the shop was very full. That's why I couldn't make a proper photo of all the sweet delights there. We were going to have lunch soon, so I only bought some savoury pastries.
What to buy: Six pieces which were 2 mini pizza's (one bite), 2 fluff pastries with spinach and ricotta and 2 with some nice tasting meat.
What to pay: The six for only € 1,39, a great deal!
“Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.”
— Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180)
Moriondo & Gariglio is the oldest chocolate shop in Rome. It began business operations in 1850 when the first shop was founded in Turin as the chocolatier to the House of Savoy, Italy’s royal family. When Vittorio Emmanuel and his Court and family moved to Rome following the country’s unification Moriondo & Gariglio followed, opening a branch in the new capital.
Its recipes have been handed down for generations over the company’s 100+ year history. The chocolates are hand made on the premises.
We visited this old-world shop, with its red walls, dark wood trim and glass shelves lining the wall, at day’s end; the shop was empty of customers. We could take our time with our selections; samples were even offered. Nothing is prepackaged; anything you want will be boxed by hand by the sweet, non-English-speaking staff. But do not worry: this is chocolate, a universal language! Chocolates are not the only confections for sale; those made from almonds, chestnuts, and other nuts are also very good.
It is on the under ground floor of the Termini station.
Although the signboard a "drugstore" is attached without knowing why,
in fact, it is a supermarket.
Although the kind of articles is not necessarily extraordinarily abundant,
Price is quite cheap compared with other supermarkets.
I bought four two-pieces of breads, salad with dressing, four apples ,four bananas, fruit yogurt, and two Cork lights. I paid 8.9 euros. It is quite cheap.
The price of bread was 0.49 euro in two pieces. The taste is not bad, either.
We were gathering our breakfast together..
to eat it in the zoo a little bit later.
So first we went to the covered market and
afterwards we ran into this bakery.
It is almost like I got an extra censor to
walk unconciously towards these place...
What to buy:
Bread , cookies , cold drinks ,
those delicios stick with sesame seeds...
And much much more...
I know it is of the beaten path.
But it is the real Rome.
It must have been one of my most royal
breakfasts in Rome.
In the Piazza dei Fiori are market stalls selling household goods, clothes, flowers and fruit and vegetables as well as cheese and other groceries.
I love the herb and spice stalls. The colours of the spices, and the smells appeal to the senses.The goods are in tubs and each has its label with its name and use. I often felt tempted to try the cures for rheumatism, asthma etc, but instead stock up on dry herbs that i cannot find in Cairo.
What to buy: In the market I usually stock up with oregano, basil and rosemary.
Then there are pasta spices, mixtures of herbs with some other dried bits [ whether tomato, chili or red pepper , I don't know ] but when added to my sauce gives a more authentic Italian taste.
One time I chose the hot version. It nearly burnt my mouth...it was hot. I ended up giving it to my daughter's Ethiopian nanny. I have also taken the soup mixture.
What to pay: a small bag costs a couple of euros, depending on which spice or herbs you choose. I only ever take a small amount as I have been lucky to go frequently, and if kept too long [years] the herbs tend to lose their flavour