By Roberta Stuart
When staying in a central city hotel Rome on your Italian holiday, all attempts at maintaining a diet must fall by the wayside. There are incredible gastronomic experiences that are awaiting you all through the city.
Coffee Casanova Style
Think Italian gastronomy and very soon your mind will drift to coffee. Drinking coffee and cafes are a way of life here in Rome, and every Roman has their favourite. One café that has been serving up espresso for hundreds of years is the Antico Café Grecco. This is considered to be one of the world's three oldest cafes, having been operating since 1760. During its expansive history, characters such as Casanova, Lord Byron, Keats and Goethe have all enjoyed their beverages here among the charming décor.
Dining in Trastevere
Across the river from your city hotel, Rome's oldest suburb Trastevere offers a range of authentic dining experiences away from the tourist glare. There are many typical trattorias here filling local Roman tummies each day. One of the most popular of these is Dar Poeta - 'the place' to try out the very best of Roman pizza. Their bruschetta is also a work of art - make sure you try out their honey and gorgonzola variety.
Browse the Markets
Every Roman knows the importance of using the freshest ingredients, and many of them purchase supplies each day at the city's oldest market, the Campo dei Fiori. Wandering the stalls taking in the sights and smells, as well as munching on freshly made street food, is a simple pleasure that has to be experienced while in Rome. The market is open until 1:30pm daily. If you are looking for a sit-down meal around the market, then you ought to pull up a chair at Ristorante Grappolo d'Oro Zampanò, with the tranquil sound of the piazza's fountain serenading you as you munch on one of their specials. The panzanella - tomato and bread soup - is particularly delectable. Rome's other great food market is the Mercato di Testaccio, which is a marvellous place to sample locally produced cheeses.
Do it Yourself Roman Cuisine
Having experienced such a symphony for the senses as you ate your way around the city, you may also want to learn how to recreate some of these rich Roman dishes yourself at home. By taking a cooking course during your stay, you can do just that. Gambero Rosso Cooking School offers courses that last between one day and several weeks.
Satiate the Sweet Tooth
If you have a sweet tooth, then you should head for one of the city's best kept secrets - Dolce Maniera on the Via Barletta. This is a 24-hour bakery that offers affordable and delicious pastries made fresh on site. The nutella-filled cornetto is to die for, and there are so many choices you will be hard pressed to just choose one. Memorise the way to the bakery from your city hotel - Rome can be confusing - and you can return time and again to sample all the goodies on the menu.
While staying in a city hotel Rome, sampling the full range of Roman fare on offer is an absolute must. Knowing where to eat can be intimidating with such an abundance of choice on offer. If in doubt ask a local, as every native Roman has their swathe of personal favourites they are passionate about.
Looking for a city hotel Rome? Roberta Stuart is the Travel Manager for World Hotels, a company offering the best rooms at a Rome centre hotel and a selection of unique and four and five star hotels around the world.
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