Despite the enjoyable chaos and drama of Roman life, the food is everything except that. There’s nothing complicated: simple food with fresh ingredients. With all the bakeries, pastry shops and salumerie in almost every corner of the city, you will get the best. J2 insisted that the first thing we had to try was porchetta. It’s roasted pork seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs. That on bread and you’re set for lunch. Right round the corner from S. Maria in Trastevere on Via della Lungaretta we found Pizzarius. Despite the lack of imagination in the name we were not disappointed. It’s a touristy place yes, but our lunch was delicious and that’s what matters the most. A lovely day, blue sky, a fountain, some musicians in the piazza doing the entertaining and one of the best sandwiches you can find. You see, the surroundings complete the experience. However lunch is not over until coffee so we headed to Caffé Di Marzio for an espresso. It is proper coffee and you can’t beat the price at €0.80. You literally get a shot of the stuff but you do feel robbed when you come back to Surrey and order a (look-a-like but tastes-nothing-like) coffee from one of the chains for just under £2. But that’s another story…

For dinner we gravitated mostly towards two particular eateries. We went to L’Archetto when we were too tired to walk at the end of long day. They mainly serve pasta with all the sauces you can think of, but pizza is also on the menu. I was told that they don’t have the proper brick ovens but I wanted to have a taste anyway. You see, I was also thinking of my lovely readers and how much they would appreciate my opinion on things…! On a serious note though, I thought that the food was good…(J had spaghetti alla Norma which he quite liked) till we ate at Ai Balestrari in Campo de’ Fiori. Unlike L’Archetto, the rooms are quite dark. The first time we went there I felt as if I was in a kind of limbo. The place was not as clean. I had to change my glass which had some dust fluff in it. But the food made up for whatever other things this place lacked. Second time round we were given a better table on the ground floor. Their home-made pasta with simple tomato sauce was exactly what I needed, after having some stomach issues earlier in the day. My A-team had a couple of pizzas I think and everything was yummie. For the last day we decided to have a taste of the serious stuff: Saltimbocca (veal with prosciutto and sage), Carciofi alla giudia (deep fried artichokes), puntarelle (chicory salad with an anchovy dressing – not that much to my liking I have to say but good nonetheless) and a crostata for dessert which sadly had a soggy pastry. Pity because otherwise it could have been lovely. Having wine with meals is not an everyday thing for me, so I decided to avoid it like the plague after the second day. As good as table wine gets in Italy, two glasses in one sitting were a tad too much for me. I should have known…


Rob x


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