EATING IN ROME
So you want to learn how to make fresh fettuccine pasta like a real life Italian? Here's my nifty step-by-step guide on how to make your own fresh pasta. Straight from the mouth of a real life Roman
Heavy on the carbs. That’s the way to do Rome. You need the pasta really. How could you possibly wiz around all those sites on anything less than a carbohydrate rush?
Pasta in Rome is delightfully faff and fuss free. So simple, so delicious, so completely diet-destroying.
Here are the big blockbuster dishes:
Few foods inspire such a ferocious response from people as 'offal' does. Tell someone you've prepared offal for tea and you'll likely receive a barrage of onomatopoeia - 'bleurghs', 'eurghs' and probably a bit of gagging.
Rarely will you hear the words 'PHWOAR! Entrails? Please do pass over the plate!'
But, unless you are a Vegetarian, you cannot say you have eaten properly in Rome unless you've tried offal. Oxtails, brains, calf intestines and lamb inners are all menu stalwarts in Rome.
Rome is a haven for gelato. There are probably just as many gelateria as there are churches in the city, from huge labyrinths offering over 250 flavours, to pokey windows, to gourmet establishments offering everything from pistachio to parmesan.
Rome is to the gelato afficiando, what Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory is to Augustus Gloop.
Here’s my guide to three of my favourite gelato in the city (all natural of course):
My bathroom scales will attest to how much I have consumed in Rome.
Here's my guide to the top five street foods you must not miss in Rome
'Saltimbocca' literally means 'jump in your mouth'. Such an apt title of a dish I have never known - these tender, tasty little morsels of meat literally melt in your mouth.
Decadent breakfast debauchery at its finest. A maritozzi con la panna is a sort of raisin studded breakfast bun (not dissimilar to a brioche), sliced in half and filled with enough whipped cream to warrant a pieface slapstick sketch.
What’s not to love?
I thought us Brits were masters of a pig sandwich. Most of us have grown up on a Saturday morning diet of sausage sarnies and bacon baps. We’ve all enjoyed a great big gorgeously greasy hog roast on Bonfire night.
Sadly, I think the Roman counterpart comes up trumps - a panino con porcehetta puts our sad and limp water-pumped sausage slapped between two slices of white hovis to shame.
PLACES IN ROME
The Beehive Ho(s)tel - note the (s) - is an eco-conscious boutique hostel, or ‘poshtel’ if you will, located in the heart of Rome. It has all the amenities you’d expect from a modern boutique guesthouse, and more, all for the price of a hostel.
According to the most official looking survey I could find (welovedates.com), Rome does not make the Top 25 Most Romantic Cities in the World. She’s been pipped to the post by smaller, more manageable cities like Florence and Venice, and is currently lagging somewhere behind Dublin.
Perhaps it’s because Rome is so hot and busy, and full of so many ancient artefacts that sheer visual fatigue makes it hard to look at anything at the end of the day, let alone your good-looking partner.
But, Rome can be romantic. Think of Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant navigating their way through small back streets on a vespa. Think of Anita Ekberg frolicking about in the Trevi Fountain.
To prove it, I've provided a little guide to the best views in the Eternal City:
Rome is a daunting city for someone with chronic FOMO, like me. It is essentially a giant pit of ancient ruins, huge museums, world-class art, insane food, loads of booze and many, many tourists who know this. Which is precisely why I teamed up with Walkable Rome to learn all things Roman.
Campanella 3 is the sort of treasure you find and immediately want to keep to yourself, for fear others will spoil it.
I’m afraid I became a bit like Gollum from Lord of the Rings after my stay here.
Call me boring (you’re wrong) but is there any greater joy than that which when, you throw open the door to your new home for the night/weekend/fortnight, sweating profusely and dragging 20kg of luggage behind, you are greeted by the site of a beautiful hotel room, fitted with things (unlike your own house) which actually work and look fabulous at the same time?
I think not.
Such was my feeling when I entered my room at The Blue Hostel.