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We wouldn’t really consider ourselves foodies – we just love food. However, we aren’t all that adventurous with our choices and often shy away from food tours because of that. But the food in Rome was different.

All of our favorite foods and drinks surrounded us in that city – pizza, pasta, espresso, wine, and gelato. Plus, some favorites we were yet to experience. And we were determined to taste everything – which is why a Rome food tour was a must during our visit.

Ever since reading Eat, Pray, Love I was determined to unashamedly gain at least five pounds if I ever made it to the Eternal City. And, I’m proud to say, I easily surpassed that due to our very food-focused visit to Rome and our amazing guide from Secret Food Tours.

Since this trip was to celebrate my 29th birthday (as well as the last week of our five-month trip to Europe), we really went all out. Starting my birthday morning off with a three-hour tour filled with fun surprises and long-time food loves, was really special.

It set the tone for a fantastic visit and allowed us to really appreciate how embedded food is in the Italian culture. Plus, the rainy morning we were greeted with made way for a sunshiney day we happily soaked up as we ate and walked and talked our way through the streets of Rome. Can we just go back already?!?

italian food tour rome

Highlights of Our Rome Food Tour

We not only ate a ton of amazing food on our tour, we learned many interesting facts about the food and drinks we were served, as well as the areas we were walking through.

For example, our guide pointed out the exact spot Julius Ceasar was murdered (we’d have never known!) and shared that tomatoes were thought to be poisonous when first imported from the Americas, and were only used as decoration for a long time.

It was so much fun to walk and talk between our face-stuffing sessions. And we luckily had a great group, which meant tons of laughter and storytelling amongst the participants as well!

italian food tour rome

However, in all honesty, even the most interesting facts and stories just couldn’t hold a candle to the deliciousness we consumed that morning. While I plan to share all about the foods we ate, you’ll have to take a tour yourself to find out where to buy the best ones in the city – it is a ‘secret’ tour after all. And for €69 per adult, it really is a great deal when you realize how much delicious food you will get to enjoy.

italian food tour rome

But First, Coffee

After meeting our guide, Silvia, and the other tour participants at the Piazza della Rotonda, in front of the stunning Pantheon (that famous domed building, you definitely need to go inside!), we set off for some much-needed coffee.

italian food tour rome

I was saving myself for the rich espresso I knew they had in store for me, and decided last-minute to also upgrade to the drinks package (for €12.5). So, not only did I get to try a perfectly made espresso, I had a deliciously tart Aperol spritz as well. Heaven!

italian food tour rome

While here, we got to learn more about our local guide Silvia – who was a beautiful soul with a wealth of knowledge, as well as the other people on tour with us. There were four girls from Ireland who were always laughing, a cute couple from outside London who were also on a birthday trip, and two college-aged girls from the U.S. – one of whom was doing a work program in Rome at the time. We love spending so much time together, but this was definitely much-needed socialization time.

italian food tour rome

A Classic Favorite and a Yummy Surprise

Thoroughly jazzed up on a mix of caffeine and bubbly cocktail goodness, I couldn’t wait for our first food stop – an adorable little pizza shop with alllll the options!

italian food tour rome

Our guide gave us a few pieces of each of the main pizza options the Romans tend to enjoy – including marinara (tomato sauce only) and Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil – this one had a yummy pesto).

I also got to enjoy a yummy local beer with my pizza, which Buddy and I ended up splitting. My eyes are always so much bigger than my stomach.

italian food tour rome

We were loving life with the pizzas and beer, but then we tried a supplì – which literally translates to ‘surprise.’ And oh my, what a surprise – a fried risotto ball with gooey mozzarella inside. This is what the Italians decided to do with leftover risotto … and it is genius. We liked this more than the pizza, and that is really saying something.

italian food tour rome

Cheese and Meat and Wine … Oh My!

On our way to our next restaurant stop, we made a special stop in the market to try the freshest of fresh cheese at the Campo Dei Fiori. This cute market is a can’t-miss stop while in Rome. And the Pecorino cheese was amazing!

Plus, it was fun to know we’d be trying a pasta with it shortly. But first, we had some more cheese to try – this time with wine.

At the beautiful, somewhat fancy restaurant we visited next, they had a lovely setup ready for us – complete with a tasting tray of a few meats and cheeses, bread, high-quality olive oil for dipping, and wine. Oh wine, how I love thee!

italian food tour rome

At this point in the tour, we were getting a little full. But, we still had a few more stops to make. And little did we know, the best was yet to come!

italian food tour rome

Becoming Cannoli Addicts

My best friend’s family is from New York, so I’ve heard of cannolis and I’m pretty sure I have tried one at some point. But what I recall having was more like a rolled up cookie with frosting inside. What we had at the Sicilian pastry shop we stopped at was nothing like that.

First of all, these were freshly made for our group and had the most wonderful Ricotta filling in the entire world. I wanted to just live inside that cannoli. Buddy an I even went back the next day for more and tried a chocolate and orange-flavored one, but really just don’t bother. The original was the best!

italian food tour rome

And as part of my special drinks bonus package, I also got to have a delicious limoncello, which I happily sipped on while admiring the pastry case. Turns out, those little cakes that look like boobs … yea, they are meant to.

Even MORE Delicious Food in Rome …

After the cannolis, I was sure we were close to the end of our tour. But then we walked around the corner and into another restaurant with a table set up for what looked like a full meal. The pasta course … mamma mia! I told you this company really gives you your money’s worth on the tour.

italian food tour rome

As our guide explained that we would get to try two of the most well-known, oldest Italian pasta dishes, I argued with myself over how much I would be able to manage to try. But then it came out and I couldn’t help but take seconds when offered. It was just that good! Plus, it came with this amazing Frascati Wine, made from grapes grown on volcanic soil.

italian food tour rome

Tasting Classic Italian Pastas

The two pastas we tried were very simple – as most Italian dishes are. But they are made with such wonderfully fresh ingredients in such loving and intentional ways, it really does make all the difference.

The Amatriciana pasta is one of the most famous in Rome – made with that beautiful pecorino cheese we tasted earlier, tomato sauce, and pork cheek. It had a saltiness that was perfectly balanced by the acid of the tomato. And while I’m not a big meat eater, everyone raved about the pork mixed into the noodles!

However, my favorite was the Pasta e Pepe – basically just pasta with some pasta water mixed with pepper and cheese. This was invented during war times because it would hold well and the pepper would warm up soldiers on cold nights.

One Last Sweet Stop

Of course, no Italian food tour is complete without gelato. I really appreciated that we were each able to get a small cup of whatever we wanted. And since it was my birthday, the sweet woman behind the counter added a little cookie stick to mine.

italian food tour rome

I really enjoyed the coffee and chocolate flavors I chose, but Buddy went for a non-dairy chocolate that one of the Irish girls got before him and let me try. I told him there was no question, that was his top choice – it tasted like brownie batter! Of course, there were smiles all around as we slowly enjoyed our ice cream, standing in the sunshine in stunning Rome.

What a tour! We were all sad for it to end. However, we had much more to see and do – it was my birthday after all. But first, more of that delicious espresso … because there is no napping when a beautiful city is awaiting you.

Find out more about our amazing first trip to Rome – including the pasta-making class we took for my birthday dinner, our trip to the Vatican, learning to make pizza, and more!

italian food tour rome

We would like to give a special thanks to Secret Food Tours for hosting us on their yummy Rome food tour. We had a fantastic time with our guide Silvia, and look forward to checking out these tours in other cities! As always, all opinions are our own.

Read more about our Europe travels here. And to learn how we traveled in Europe for five months on a budget by house sitting, read this guide.

Delicious 6-Stop Rome Food Tour of the Most Authentic Italian Dishes