A Taste of History: Rome's Oldest Restaurants

By Megan Hills

Have your history and eat it too at Rome's oldest restaurants

When in Rome, do as the Romans do and get stuck into its fabulous dining scene. We don't have to tell you about Rome's incredible street food and fresh pastas - the international hype speaks for itself - but there are a few grand establishments worth trying that really know what they're doing. Try the dishes at some of Rome's oldest restaurants below for a true taste of tradition.

La Campana

This family-run trattoria is a stalwart of the Roman dining scene, with nearly 500 years of patronage and Italian comfort food. Founded back in 1518 and named after Pietro de la Campana, the restaurateur who opened the establishment, it remains a firm favourite with both locals and tourists - especially because the Pantheon and Piazza Navona are nearby. Try the Artichokes alla Guidia and Saltimbocca for some real classic tastes. Nearby Sites: Pantheon, Piazza Navona

E niente, posso resistere a tutte le tentazioni ma davanti a loro,mi inchino.

A post shared by @just_anto64 on May 10, 2017 at 5:23am PDT

Ristorante Peppone

It's a story we're all familiar with - a small town boy named Giuseppe Tozzi leaves the countryside for the big city, dreaming of fame and fortune. Even back in the 1800s, it was a cliche and one that Giuseppe (nicknamed Peppone) owned wholeheartedly. He opened up a traditional restaurant in the 1890s and it's persisted till now, run by his great grandchildren who bring the flavours of his hometown Abruzzo to the capital. Nearby Sites: Via Veneto

Checchino dal 1887

If you're keen to try quinto quarto - Italian for offal - then you've come to the right place. Popular with locals, this restaurant has lived many lives starting off as a wine cellar, then a slaughterhouse, then eventually a restaurant. Started by a young couple, the restaurant really hit its stride once their daughter and grandson breathed new life into the business and revamped its dishes. With quinto quarto tasting menus, vegetarian options and a mean spaghetti carbonara, it's worth stopping by here on the way to see Monte Testaccio. Nearby Sites: Monte Testaccio

Fried artichokes in Rome. Been waiting for this for a long time. #waitingmakesitsweeter

A post shared by Christine Barbour (@dcbrocksjewelry_rawredefined) on Jul 8, 2017 at 12:54pm PDT

Ristorante Piperno

Jewish cuisine is a strong influence on many of Rome's tastes and dishes and you'd be hard-pressed not to find Carciofi alla Giudia (artichokes cooked in the Jewish style) on menus in Rome. As the oldest joint in the Jewish quarter dating back to 1860, it's no surprise that they specialise in the dish - so much so that they threw spring parties called Carciofolata there. Their homemade pastas are also a thing of beauty, try the taglioni.

Uma grande mistura de sabores! #gelato #fassi #italia #roma

A post shared by Valnice Lopes (@val_nice) on Jul 1, 2017 at 2:56am PDT

Palazzo del Freddo di Giovanni Fassi

Skip dinner and head straight for dessert at Palazzo del Freddo, a gelato sanctuary started way back in 1880. Forget the mom and pop soda shops you'll see in the US, gelato is serious business here with classy interiors and over 30 different gelato flavours ranging from safe vanillas and hazelnuts to bolder choices like rice and pineapple. Order an extra large scoop, grab a marble-topped table and be prepared to feast - the dessert's next level here.

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Airport Travel in Rome - Best Transfers

Nothing can deflate the feeling of landing at your vacation destination and feeling lost. What do the words say? Why doesn't your GPS work? Does data really roam? So, let's talk about travel in Rome - getting to and from the airport, the airports themselves, and whether you're better off using public transport or booking a transfer! Travel in Rome - which airport? Rome has two airports: Leonardo da Vinci International Airport and Giovan Battista Pastine International Airport. So, depending on where you're flying from, you'll likely end up in one or the other. Travel in Rome - how far away is each airport from the city? The good news is that both airports are equidistant to the city center, each taking around 30-35 minutes by car. Travel options in to Rome from the airport Before we talk about transfers, which may be your best option as they take all the stress out of your arrival, let's explore alternatives first. Hire a car If you're planning on doing your own driving throughout your vacation, then hiring a car might be your best bet. Both Leonardo da Vinci International Airport and Giovan Battista Pastine International Airport have numerous rental companies based within walking distance. If you're landing at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, you could rent a vehicle from Hertz, Enterprise, or Europcar, among others. Or, if you're landing in Giovan Battista Pastine International Airport, you could try Firefly, LEASYS, or Thrifty. Prices differ depending on the vehicle you want and the length of time you want it, so it's best you do your own price comparison. That way, you can get the best deal for you! Public transport If you're only staying in Rome for a short period and your baggage is manageable, then you might consider taking public transport to the city center. Both airports have decent connections, so it's more than doable! Public transport from Giovan Battista Pastine International Airport You have two options here. The first is a relatively simple shuttle bus, which will set you back €6, and takes around 35 minutes to get into the city center. The second is via train. From the airport, get the Airlink shuttle to Stazione FS di Ciampino, and then a train to Roma Termini - Rome's central train station. This will take 35 minutes and will set you back €2.70. Public transport from Leonardo da Vinci International Airport Again, you have two options to choose from. The first is another shuttle bus. It's slightly more expensive at €7 and takes around 35 minutes non-stop to the center of Rome. Similarly again, your other option is a train. You can get it straight out of Leonardo da Vinci International Airport; it takes 32 minutes and costs around €3. And now, let's talk about transfers. Travel in Rome - why you should book a transfer from the airport As a stranger in a strange land, it couldn't hurt to get some know-how from the locals. And that's what you'll get in spades if you book an airport transfer. Cab drivers will be able to provide you with local tips and tricks with a vacation twist, so be sure to strike up a conversation and see what tasty gossip nuggets you can mine. Besides, you may have already started celebrating your vacation on the plane, so leaving the driving up to someone else might be the best - and legal - course of action! Suppose you're traveling to a city that doesn't use English as a second language. In that case, it can be difficult to articulate directions, read bus and train timetables, or understand what stops and connections you need to make on any given journey. And, let's be honest, it's the last thing you want to worry about when arriving at your vacation destination! With a transfer, you've already booked the trip, and your driver will know exactly where to take you. Plus, you needn't worry about being overcharged by a sly driver looking to make a quick buck off of a clueless tourist. Unfortunately, it's one of the most common issues you'll run into in Rome, but with a prepaid transfer, there's no need to negotiate! Travel in Rome - types of transfer vehicles from Leonardo da Vinci International Airport Minibus In a group, a minibus is your best bet. They can sit up to 7 people depending on your choice of vehicle, and the baggage area will be yours to own! As it's a private vehicle, you won't have to worry about any other stops on your journey, and this halves the travel time to 35 minutes. Price-wise, you're looking at anything from €30-100 per head, so it's worth researching which works best for you. Car The most stylish choice on this list, a private car is also the most expensive. Like the minibus, your trip to Rome will take around 35 minutes. Unlike the minibus, prices range from €60-400 per person, depending on your vehicle type. That's a lot of dough, but if you've got it, why not flaunt it? Oh, and it's a car, so it can only seat 1-3 people. Travel in Rome - types of transfer vehicles from Giovan Battista Pastine International Airport Minibus Seating 1-7 people, a minibus will set you back anything from €80-280 per person, and takes around 32 minutes. Car A private car from Giovan Battista Pastine International Airport will take around 32 minutes, can seat 1-3 passengers, and will cost anywhere from €60-450 And that's our guide to transfers and travel from the airport in to Rome! Need some vacation inspiration? Check out Go City. With us, you can see all of Rome's best bits when and how you want.
Dom Bewley
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A Roman run-up to Christmas

When we think of Christmas evening activities carol singing, mulled wine and German Markets spring to mind. However, you wouldn’t usually associate any of those with Italian culture. So what do the Romans do for a winter’s evening in the run-up to Christmas? Rome is a magical place during the festive period; the strong Catholic beliefs as well as a westernised celebration of the season means the city is engulfed in the lights of church candles, smells of roasting chestnuts and the chatter of bustling shoppers. The Eternal City offers some unique experiences come the colder months, and especially at Christmas time, that are nothing short of bucket-list-worthy. So if you’ve already done your shopping and fancy something a little different, follow our evening itinerary for an insider’s alternative to celebrating in the capital. 1. Admire the views from Pincio Stand at the Pincio in Villa Borghese, the viewpoint at the top of the main steps into the city’s central park, and take in the views of the city at nightfall. As the sun goes down, you can watch the terracotta rooftops of the capital fade away under a warm glow of Christmas lights. To your left you can look all the way up the main shopping street Via del Corso, to the grand Piazza Venezia where the impressive Vittorio Emmanuele II monument stands, and to the west you can see Piazza del Popolo and the Egyptian obelisk of Ramesses. You can even see the great dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica away in the distance. 2. Ice Skating at Castel Sant’angelo Take a walk across the ancient engraved bridges over the river Tiber and hire some skates under Castel Sant’angelo for a spot of atmospheric ice skating. The large round castle was built by the Emperor Hadrian initially as a mausoleum for him and his family but in later years it was used as a fortress and even a prison and today it stands as a museum. Lit up at night, the castle is a spectacular sight – and if you’re lucky, you can catch a show or a figure skating performance on the ice as well. 3. Christmas in Saint Peter’s Stroll along the Lungotevere, the northern bank of the river, under the arch of trees and up to Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter’s Square) to see the tall, illuminated Christmas tree outside the church. Pope John Paul II brought over the northern European tradition from his native homeland when he was pontificated in 1982. If you’re in Rome on Christmas Eve, you can even catch the unveiling of the nativity scene in the square, too. As well as being a picture-perfect opportunity, it gives you another reason to visit the iconic monument in all its glory. 4. Be a local in Trastevere Explore your way through the cobbled streets of Trastevere (which literally translated means across the Tiber) for a warming glass of wine and a slice of oven baked pizza. The area has numerous star-rated options so you won’t be left disappointed – and you’re guaranteed to be served with a smile! If you need to walk off your dinner, brave the winding Via Garibaldi to get to Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill) for breathtaking views across the city. On your way up, look through the gate on the right of the church for a Renaissance masterpiece, The Tempietto, designed by Bramante. 5. Celestial chanting at Sant’Anselmo all’Aventino For something a little different, walk up the Aventine hill to hear some celestial Gregorian chants at the 7.15pm Sunday service at Sant’Anselmo church. This church serves as a monastery and college and is seat to the Abbot Primate of the Order of Saint Benedict (Black Monks). It’s not your usual yuletide carol singing, but a must-do to finish off your trip in spiritual style.
Go City Expert
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The Best Street Food in Rome

Grab it and go - here's a guide to the best street food in Rome Rome is a city best seen on foot and luckily, there's a whole variety of street food perfect for snacking on while wandering its cultural sites. As with the best Italian food, these budget-friendly dishes are fantastic simple comforts and prioritise fresh, quality ingredients. From doughy delicacies to sweet treats, check out some of the city's popular favourites below. 😏😏😏 . 🍕 . #pizza #mortadella #scamorza #mozzarella #pizzaaddict #pizzafreak #pizzabianca #torontofoodphoto #torontoeats #torontofood #torontofoodies #buono #buonappetito #feedfeed #heresmyfood #blogto #oldpost #italianfood #italianfoodporn #italianfoodbloggers #cucinaitaliana #cucinamediterranea #cookinglight #nosauce #piattiitaliani #piattitipiciregionali #buzzfeed #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste A post shared by 💟Healthy💟Positive💟Recipes💟 (@for.the.love.of_food) on Mar 28, 2017 at 1:29pm PDT Pizza Bianca This flatbread is a popular favourite and is a foccacia style bread, served fresh out of the oven. Baked with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, it might not sound like much but it's utterly addictive. It's available at most bakeries and makes for a tasty snack to tide you over between meals. It can also be served with a number of fillings, including melted mortadella cheese, tomatoes and prosciutto for a heartier meal. Supplì = Sorpresa ____________________________________ #pasticcioroma #pasticcio #testaccio #rome #italianfood #italianrestaurant #goodfood #restaurantwithaview #romefood #lovefood #mangiarearoma #topfloor #skygarden #photofood #eatanddrink A post shared by Pasticcio Roma (@pasticcioroma) on Mar 4, 2017 at 2:32am PST Supplí These deep fried rice croquettes are similar to arancini, however the rice is flavoured with meat or alternate sauces and packed around a ball of melted mozzarella. Served frequently as appetisers at restaurants, they're also great street food snacks and everybody has their own take on the recipe with meat, tomatoes and even pizza-flavoured renditions at different stalls. I know a girl that started to cry when eating this gelato A post shared by KELLY UMPHRED EATS (@umpharoni) on Mar 14, 2017 at 11:03am PDT Gelato Rome's numerous gelaterias are the bane of any dieter, but fantastic for culinary travellers. With numerous stalls and sit-down restaurants all over the city, this sweet treat is made with milk, cream, sugar and is generally thicker and richer than regular ice cream. With numerous flavours including stracciatella (a vanilla ice cream sprinkled with chocolate) and fruitier options like cherry, it's a treat made for hot summer days. È quasi ora di pranzo 🕐🍝 E io che faccio? Trovo nella mia galleria questo #trapizzino per la rubrica #solokcal 🤤 È uno degli #streetfood più bbbuoni da assaggiare a Roma 🤙🏼 Detto ció, mi vado a preparare l'insalta con il tonno 🥗🐟😝 che sennó quest'estate la prova costume la supero dal ginocchio in giù 🤘🏼 #trapizzinoroma #🇮🇹 ~ #devisolofareclick #lifeisbetterwithmysneakerson #marsgoldencurlyinsneakers #marsgoldencurly #food #italia #igersitalia #igersroma #volgoroma #lunch #foodgasm #travelgram #picoftheday #lavitainunoscatto #nm_smallsteps #nike #vivo_italia #foto_italiane #volgoitalia #fromwhereistand #foodphotography #italianfood #foodstagram #foodpic #foodpics A post shared by Mars🌙☁️GoldenCurlyinSneakers (@marsgoldencurly) on Mar 30, 2017 at 3:45am PDT Trapizzino These triangular dishes are a mash up of pizzas and sandwiches, using pizza dough to create a sandwich pocket filled with cheese, tomatoes and beef ragu. As with any great street food recipe, every stall has their own spin on it and creative variations include offal, octopi and eggplant parmesan. Quando em Roma, coma como os romanos: pizza al taglio. No Bonci Pizzarium o chef 👨‍🍳 Gabriele Bonci criou os melhores sabores com ingredientes de altíssima qualidade. Pertinho dos museus do Vaticano, é uma parada ideal. ✨✨ Bonci Pizzarium: the best option to eat like a Roman. A short walk from the Vatican museums and million amazing flavours. #roma #rome #italy #pizzaaltaglio #boncipizzarium A post shared by Traveleatandrepeat (@traveleatandrepeat_bylu) on Mar 24, 2017 at 9:38am PDT Pizza al Taglio As one of Italy's most famous culinary exports, Pizza al Taglio is a must for any Rome traveller. These large rectangular pizzas are served by the slice (much like New York's famous dollar slice joints) and topped off with anything you can think of: artichokes, zucchini, truffles, prosciutto, olives and more. With simple bases like tomato and cheese (margherita), tomato (rossa) or olive oil, garlic and rosemary (bianca), there's an endless number of varieties. Che ne dite di un panino con la porchetta di Ariccia?😍 #food #amazing #yummyinmytummy #tagforfollow #l4l #delicious #follow4follow #cooking #foodaddict #foodblog #foodie #rome #porchetta #Insta_FoodandPlaces #follower #food_instalove A post shared by Buzz&Foody (@buzzefoody) on Mar 23, 2017 at 4:25am PDT Porchetta You can never go wrong with slow roasted pork and the Italians have taken it to the next level. Porchetta, sandwiches stuffed with juicy deboned pork and crispy crackling, are a hit with both locals and tourists and can be found at street food stalls all over the city. Sprinkled with salt and herbs such as rosemary, it's a simple comfort that always hits the spot. There's been a recent rise in places that serve processed porchetta that just isn't the same, so keep an eye out for the mom and pop shops that serve up the real deal.
Megan Hills

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