a food tour of rome: or, that time i ate my weight in carbs.

Posted on Feb 4, 2014


Confession time: though baguettes & brie & pain au chocolat will always be near and dear to my heart… I really, really needed a break from French food. So much so that it was pretty much our main inspiration for hopping on a flight to Rome for  a weekend of carboloading.

Due to our location precisely in the middle of nowhere, the hubs and I have been cooking more in our day-to-day than ever before. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing — it’s actually been really fun. But, like? Seamless, we really miss you. And pizza? Real, true blue pizza? We miss you more.

As such, eating our way through Rome was a must. Cue our Rome Food Tour with Walks of Italy.

The Markets

We were scheduled to convene bright and early on Saturday morning, smack dab in the middle of Campo dei Fiori. We enjoyed a quick breakfast at Relais Orso, and then walked over to the square. Breakfast probably wasn’t necessary, but cappuccino clearly was, AND it was included. Seeing as we’re spending a year on some sort of strange married-person student budget, who are we to turn down included breakfasts, amiright?

Anyway, with a little bit of food already in our bellies, we met our guide, Joseph, and two other families at the base of Giordano Bruno and set off to first explore the markets.

the market

As we weaved our way through the stalls (as stealthily as you can with a group of 11), Joseph told us a bit more about himself. I was surprised to learn that he was a transplant from the Netherlands… though his love for all things Rome was abundant. At first I wasn’t sure if having an expat guide was a good or bad thing, but in the end, it made it more interesting. He was able to highlight things he knew we would find intriguing — like the entire Italian concept of shopping at a separate store for each part of your meal, and the general lack of supermarkets, even in a large city like Rome. Though there is the same idea in France, Carrefour has pretty much made a permanent mark, even in our little village. In practice, I’m not sure I could deal with going to a separate butcher, bakery, and fruit/veggie market every few days just to re-stock, but for the purpose of our tour, it was quaint and lovely.

First thing was first, though! And that was pizza bianca from Roscioli. Yes, same as the place we dined the night before, we’re so fashion forward.


Clearly Joseph was dishing out the sass in exchange for some pizza bianca and bread for our next round of tasting: oil & vinegar back at the market. Because when you’re in Rome, you eat olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and approximately one bajillion different types of pesto.

market tastingWe tried all of these from the same pair of women running this section, and though they spoke limited English, they were completely charming and adorable. My personal favorite? Everything tartufo, naturally.

Oh, and limoncello, but of course.


Already feeling full, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to make it through the rest of this little tour, but never fear: make it I did. The rest of the afternoon was a blur of salami, cheese and wine… so, basically, how I would like every afternoon to be.

meat & cheese

AND THEN. It was time: time for pizza making. I don’t know if I can fully express just how severely I’ve been missing pizza since our move. I mean, sure, Roman style pizza is different than New York pizza. But different in all the best ways. Most importantly: it is extremely unlike France’s version of pizza which is… no. Just no. I wanted a life-sized version that I could just wrap myself up into before falling asleep in a melty pile of cheese. This was everything.

pizza makers

We were all business. The best part? There were leftovers, WHICH I ate cold in our hotel room later. I mean. Please. It was just what the doctor ordered. And not the weird finger doctor that plays screamo music in the French ER, either (…in case you missed it). This was Roman pizza for the soul. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

After a quick cup of coffee at Eustacchio, we said our farewells and strolled back to our hotel. We knew we were stuffed for the day. We are not people who skip dinner, but we skipped dinner, so keep this in mind if you’re trying to cram a lot of food-related activities in one day. The tour should definitely stand alone.

Now, I’m going to go cry into my wine that my next real pizza isn’t for quite awhile. Sigh.


the romantic

– Thanks to Walks of Italy for inviting us along on this tour as their guests. I wouldn’t mind being bribed with Italian food, but alas, that wasn’t the case here. All opinions are, as always, my own.

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in true life: rome | 36 comments


  1. It’s breakfast time on Wednesday morning for me. Is it wrong that this post has made be believe I could eat an entire pizza (washed down with vino) before I go to work?

    I need to do this tour next time I visit Rome!
    Clare recently posted..When Winter Gives You the Cold Shoulder…My Profile

  2. I literally just ate dinner, but I’m still hungry after reading this. Looks like an amazing tour!
    Laura recently posted..Nice: Finding a Little Piece of Russia in the South of FranceMy Profile

  3. Um, cold pizza is the BEST! I argue this with Chef all the time. Also, your pictures are making me drool at my desk. Sounds like a delightful time!
    Natalie @ In Natalie’s Shoes recently posted..The Katz’s MeowMy Profile

  4. Ohhhhh this tour sounds like so much fun. And what were you thinking about having breakfast first!???
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted..My hOtel: The Landmark LondonMy Profile

  5. I waited until after lunch to read this and still I’m hungry! I want to try it all!
    Heather recently posted..Snapshot: Central Park in WinterMy Profile

  6. I love Rome so much. Reading this made me ridiculously happy and altogether sad at the same time. I think it’s awesome how Romans (and other Italians) shop at different stores/markets for different items. I just love everything Romans and Italians do, ok? And that includes pizza.
    Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) recently posted..Does Your Hotel Have a Carbon Monoxide Detector?My Profile

  7. I haven’t been on a tour with Walks of Italy but I’ve read tons of positive reviews of all of their tours. Next time we’re in Italy I plan to sign up with those guys for several tours. I definitely like the idea of this food tour. It’s one thing to visit a city or region known for its food and to get a taste in different restaurants. But I think it takes it up a notch to get an insider’s view that can only come from a tour.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted..Atlanta Family Fun on #NBARoadTripMy Profile

    • yes, definitely do keep them in mind on your next trip! we were eyeing a few of their options, but this was the only one we had time for with such a short visit. definitely recommended.
      Lazy Travelers recently posted..jetsetters: @mangovoyageMy Profile

  8. there are a load of non carbs on that pizza (and in these photos) … you’re fine.
    stay carbloading Italian style, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted..Is Visiting Lakeshore Beaches in Autumn Really Visiting the Beach? – A Trip to Glimmerglass State ParkMy Profile

  9. I loved this tour! I sucked down the olive oil like it was shots of limoncello. And might I say, your pizza looks really good.
    Leah recently posted..Five Packing Essentials for Snow SkiingMy Profile

    • the olive oil was to die. you don’t realize how crappy your local grocery store stuff is until you have real olive oil.
      Lazy Travelers recently posted..jetsetters: @mangovoyageMy Profile

  10. OHHHH i hearted this tour so much and would die to do it again. i miss Joseph!! that Dutch dude is one cool tour guide, if you ask moi 😉
    lola recently posted..Getting Glam + Glitterati in LAMy Profile

  11. Ok so I’m realizing that I have to stop reading your blog when I’m hungry…I mean, I was doing OK until I got to the pizza…
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Mandarin Bar Las Vegas – Cocktails with a ViewMy Profile

  12. You made a pizza?! And got to keep it?! Now this is my kind of food tour. Must. Get. To. Rome. ASAP!

    • psh hellz yes i got to keep it. (i think otherwise it would have just been me working for a roman pizza shop one afternoon, no?)
      Lazy Travelers recently posted..jetsetters: @mangovoyageMy Profile

  13. Just did my first ever food tour and it was in my hometown here in London but I loved it and am now completely sold on doing another one abroad – I love Italian food so would love to try this out when I’m next over there!
    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) recently posted..Locking down your love in Salzburg, AustriaMy Profile

  14. As a Chicagoan, I can understand how you treat pizza seriously. I would love to try the Rome version, not to mention the New York one. Looks like a great tour with Walks of Italy.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Canoeing with manatees on the Crystal RiverMy Profile

    • ooh you silly chicagoans and your silly, silly pizza. you probs won’t like the rome OR new york versions because they taste delicious.

      Lazy Travelers recently posted..style spotter: après-skiMy Profile

  15. This looks….amazing!! It’s been years since I’ve been back to Rome – so jealous of your little getaway – but this is making me want to hop on a plane immediately! Looks delicious! And pizza making?! How fun!!
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Music Monday: Ghost.My Profile

  16. OMG – Italian food is so delicious! Why can’t the gods make it without carbs?

  17. Looks great! Thinking of doing this this summer…how involved is the pizza making? Do you get to make your own dough etc?

    • on this particular tour, the dough is pre-made and it’s more about rolling it out, adding the toppings, etc. it was definitely more of an eating experience than a cooking experience :)
      Lazy Travelers recently posted..city dwellers: new york’s gramercyMy Profile

  18. I’ll be in Rome in September and will look up Walks of Italy. Sounds like a fun experience


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