when in Rome, EAT GELATO!!!!! LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF IT. haha. this is where gelato originated from, and there are so many nice gelato places here you’ve got to check out! ^^ as well as food heh. super grateful for all the recommendations i had this time from friends and blogs etc, such that every meal was an awesome one (:
first up, this is my ranking of gelato in Rome hehe:
#1 : Giolitti (Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40)
this is one of the most famous places for gelato in Rome, and after you’ve tried it, you will know why ^^ IT’S DAMN AWESOME!!!! i am totally convinced that it’s the best gelato you can find in Rome hehe :D i don’t know how to explain it either. i’ve actually had so much awesome gelato, it’s really difficult to distinguish them much. but this had just a really outstanding touch, which i can’t pinpoint exactly, but it was just amazing :’) and they have lots of flavours for you to choose from!! always a plus point ;)
#2 : Old Bridge Gelato (Viale Bastioni di Michelangelo, 5)
if you like pistachio gelato, YOU HAVE TO TRY OLD BRIDGE. it has the most richly flavoured pistachio gelato ever! it is so awesomeee. not kidding, the taste just enveloped my taste buds and spread through my mouth so beautifully. soooo delicious (: and their servings are huge, which is another plus point for me! ;)
#3 : Gelateria Valentino (Via Del Lavatore, 96)
this is probably what you’ll call decent gelato (: it wasn’t WOW or anything, but it was pretty yummy! and i liked the flavours we had here – cookies and this extra dark chocolate that was almost black in colour!! haha it was damn awesome. super rich :D
#4 : Gelataria I Caruso (Via Collina, 13)
1 Caruso is famous for their pistachio (yes if you’ve noticed, i had pistachio gelato at 3/4 gelato shops i went to haha. big fan here :D) and nocciola (hazelnut) flavours! they were good, but i felt that they were sorely lacking in flavour compared to my top two choices. it just seemed kinda muted. i actually prefered the gianduja (hazelnut chocolate) flavour more, because it had a fuller-bodied taste. then again, it is decent, as most gelatos in italy are! (:
*i’ve only tried ONE gelato that i felt was bad (at cinque terre), in my entire stay in italy (where i’ve definitely eaten more than 10 gelatos haha) so it’s probably quite difficult to get a bad one ;) when in doubt, check tripadvisor! if it’s listed, it’s probably decent at the very least ;)
Where to eat in Rome
so of course you don’t just want to eat gelato when you’re in Rome – there are plenty of other things to choose from. and Rome does its al dente pastas PERFECTLY. this was the first (and only) place i’ve tried real al dente pasta, and i’m surprised to say that i love it!! (: haha. i’ve been hearing a lot of people say that it’s really hard, but i actually quite like the kind of bite which this seemingly-undercooked style of pasta has! (:
if you like seafood, Rome is a good place to get your fix in italy. due to the presence of two ports in the Lazio area, Rome is blessed with ample quantities of shellfish and fish ^^ and i’ve got the PERFECT place to recommend to you for this :D
i first read about Il Bar Sotto Il Mare on Bing’s blog, and when she said that they nearly fell off their chairs because of how good it was, i was thinking, “i’ve got to try this!!” and OMG i wholeheartedly truly agree with this haha :D it was SO SO SO yummy! and i would say that prices were really reasonable, with all pastas costing just €13! for seafood, i think this is a really good deal ;)
the saute di cozze e vongole (€12) is mussels and clams cooked in a white wine sauce, and i daresay this is the best sauteed mussels dish i’ve tried in my whole life so far. the sauce was so densely flavoured that every mouthful was a delight and we were just trying to use all sorts of ways and means to slurp up all this goodness ^^ sounds super unglam (oops) haha but we just couldn’t waste any bit of it!!
this was my first taste of al dente pasta ;) LOVE IT. the vermicelli alla pescatora (€13) is one of the dishes that came highly recommended by the staff, and we can see why. if you love seafood, this dish has everything that you could possibly look for – clams, mussels, prawns, squid (i can’t remember what else, but it was a lot of seafood!). best of all worlds ^^
and we loved their food so much that we ordered another pasta – vermicelli con vongole (€13) which was really yummy too! (: but my advice is – stick with the vermicelli alla pescatora and try something different! (: i actually wanted to try the nero di seppia (squid ink) pasta but they ran out :( try it and tell me how it is!!
the best part about this restaurant, which complemented the delicious food, was the impeccable service. the staff here were really friendly and nice to us! (: we have had experiences in italy where the staff are so horribly stuck up, and always give us a black face when we attempt to share food. here, because we’d initially just ordered an antipasti and a pasta, they immediately gave us extra plates so that we could share our food. and one of the staff who could speak english practically helped us translate the ENTIRE menu, because it was all in italian. so sweet of them! (: as i said, good service always goes a long way.
Il Bar il Sotto Mare
Via Tunisi, 27, 00192 Roma
Tel.: +39 06 39728413
for some meat while you’re in Rome, check out I Butteri, which has this delicious balsamic steak (tagliata di manzo all’aceto balsamico, €19). the flavour of the balsamic vinegar isn’t very strong, but there is a hint of its aroma as you devour the steak, which is super juicy!! (: and it comes with a yummy side dish of potatoes!
we also tried another rather interesting dish, which was a wild boar (cinghiale alla buttera, €18), which was ironically more sour than our balsamic vinegar steak haha. i think it was due to the olives in it. this was an alright dish – not super outstanding or anything, but yummy enough (:
Piazza Regina Margherita 28, Rome, Italy
Tel.: +39 06 4425 0904
this last restaurant isn’t really a recommendation per se. it’s more like a place we chanced upon and they had really reasonable lunch sets which we decided to go for! :)) €15 for a two course meal (you can choose from appetizers, first and second course) and it includes bread as well. the quality of the food wasn’t outstanding – we felt that it could have been much tastier! don’t have to go specially looking for this place, but if you chance upon it, no harm trying (: or try something else next to it haha there are TONNES of restaurants in that area (:
Clemente Alla Maddelena Ristorante
Piazza della Maddelena, 4 Roma
Tel.: +39 06 6833633