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Gourmet's food tour with

I aliways dreamt of experiencing a country through its food - dreamt could be a wrong word since I have been doing so all these while but to have a native walk you through the nooks and crannies and bring you to obscure un-touristy areas is godsent.

For sure there are tons of other options available so review them based on budget and itinerary if they have one to decide!

We made an online booking first, payment was possible at the end of the tour.  Josh met us at the entrance of Cipro metro - where our gourmet journey will begin. Josh is an American married to an Italian and they are expecting a baby boy in June. So then with Italian immediate family members, it meant he understood their tastes well and hopefully he would bring us to where they frequent.

Along the way we spotted St Peter's Basilica which I wish I had time for.

That's Josh, our guide for the day. 

Italian Coffee and Tiramisu at La Fiorentina
Fresh Baked Cornetto at Gabrielle Bonci Bakery


Our first stop, a taste of a typical Italian's breakfast - coffee and cornetto. Well both the bakery and cafe was done in one stop so we did not waste too much time on both. La Fiorentina had the rolls royce of coffee machines which got us all rather excited. 

23 drops makeths a espresso - and true to its claim, royally satisfying. 

Latte to kickstart the day.

We were offered one cornetto too many at the first stop - vanilla, chocolate, and almond. As mentioned in the previous posts, cornetto is their version of the croissant, and surprisingly not any less sinful. 


Sweets in the morning for the perfect sugarrush also meant we had a go at a dessert each - tiramisu notwithstanding. The cream puffed up pastry was on the sweet side - but all italian desserts are sweet! 

Icing chestnuts anyone?

Line up they all did at the counter. 

Italian macarons?

Paper thin napkins. 

Some education about the very first coffee machine. 

The tiramisu however was potent - soaking deep in espresso. My favourite went to the canolli - an easier treat to love. 

This bite sized sweet was made of a choux pastry puffed with sweet cream - nothing too spectacular.

The other desserts that got us tempted.

I spy a minion cake.

Food and wine tasting at Trionfale market

Trionfale is the largest closed door market in Italy - I am surprised that this was considered their largest since our wet markets locally are similar in size. 

Tons of vegetables on offer. 

Whatever these are, they look so good!

Rudy red tomatoes. 

The cheese shop we dropped by in the market.

A ton of cheese.  

A chunk so huge, I wonder how long it takes to finish eating.

Josh taught us how to identify quality buffalo cheese - fact is, they are produced fresh and have to be eaten within the day. 

Buffalo cheese with tomatoes

These were rich and creamy and if it weren't for the fact the day was still young, I would have eaten seconds or even thirds of this. 

Tomatoes, were also so delicious - on its own sweet and bursting with juices. 

Fragolini di bosco  

Baby strawberries that were sweet but somewhat too soft. These are a huge contrast from the large bulbous ones that I have been eating all my life. 

Homemade wines

For sure the Italians are known for their wines but I did not know they sold them this freely - straight off the barrel into containers. 



Josh shared that cheap dates were made of these - a bottle of these more potent wines and pizza in hand, a budget date was complete. We had a go at both the red and white, both caused a rush of blood and well, bottoms up ultimately with a good look at everyone in the eye - the tale goes, a good stare and look in the eye before chugging down the wines ensures good sex for the 7 years. Truth or not, one of his tour participants had the cheek to muse "another 4 more to go" in the very presence of his wife! 

I kid you not at 1.6 EUR a liter. 

Someone's mineral water bottle filled with wine. 

The quality seal.  

The man behind parma ham and melon. 

Sweet melon meets savoury parma ham. I found the ham a tad thick cut and not so complementary with the melon. 

Drop by this shop for fresh pasta!

Behind the counter of the pasta shop!

Chocolate pasta 

Eggplant Parmigiana

Most Italians eat market bought pasta though traditionally a pasta machine is given to every newly wed. At this store, the variety of pasta is enough to knock you out completely and they have interesting flavours like chocolate! I wonder how that tastes like. We were there to try their eggplant parmigiana, made from scratch and sold in portions. 

This was a vegetarian lagsane with sheets of pasta, fresh tomatoes, eggplant and cheese - hearty meal indeed. Their tomatoes tend to be on the sour side, whetting the appetite a fair bit.  

Along the way we spotted a wild boar head hanging, a real one to boot. Pretty scary upfront. 

A swordfish at the wet market too. Unlike Japan, the wetmarket smelt like one - somethings cannot be hidden unfortunately and fishyness is one of those. 

Looking like baby crabs.  

Tasting of local meats and cheeses at La Tradizione

Otherwise known as a cheese museum, this was like a toystore with 300 cheeses and 150 different meats, including the finest prosciutto, salami, basalmics and olive oils. Unimaginable joy when there was a platter of cheeses with varying degrees of richness and pungency. The proscuittos dished out were lipsmacking delicious too.

The window truffles were so tempting.

There was a special cheese filled in a goat's stomach on sale too - I wonder how marvellous that would go in the platter.

Proscuitto de parma aged 4 years (40 EUR/kg) was one of the two hams we tried.

Meet Chinoto Cinisi 9 Years priced at 170 EUR a kilo. I wonder how people eat such expensive ham!

We were also shown cheese in goat's stomach - a delicacy methinks!

Pizza from Pizzarium

Voted best pizza by CNN, the small shop is easy to miss. Enter it and be engulfed by the aroma coming from the oven. Priced at just 3 euros per portion, the combinations that get churned out everyday are endless and almost impossible to repeat. Chefs play around with ingredients and viola - that's how their pizzas are presented. 

Premium flour on their shelves.

Christmas offerings. 

Pizza pandemonium once we were inside the shop. 

The options never end. 

Pick your fresh pizzas that get sliced on the spot.

There was a total of 9 different flavours that we attempted with some more outstanding than the rest but the key lay in the bread base - dense like foccacia with a degree of chewiness that made us all enamored with their pizzas. Unfortunately these only taste good eaten fresh, any attempt later is inadvisable. 

Fillings scattered to the brim.

And then I lose count how many pieces I ate. 

3 different types of  Roman pasta with wine at Falcone

Falcone is your typical Italian restaurant - red bricks and all with an owner so jovial, he chats with us in Italian even though we hardly understand a word and then introduces his precious dog Sophia to you. Indeed such hospitality is unimaginable here at first visit and I get touched to tears at such hospitality. Patronized by mostly locals, this is a haven for pastas. 

The buffet that greeted us at the door, thank goodness our tour did not include this. 

Pita bread that I had not much space for. 

An italian meal is never complete without wine and we had both pasta and wine together. I could really get used to having wine so regularly. 

The first was a simple bacon and tossed in parmesan cheese. 

Penne in tomato sauce, this was on the sour side from the tomatoes. 

Cacio e pepe, pasta tossed in black pepper and cheese was the best pasta was saved for the last - mamma mia kind of awesome - al dente noodles with bacon, cream and yes, we actually reduced portions for the best dish. 

For novelty's sake, we had a tiramisu and a display of fireworks - as they would do for any celebration. Best tiramisu? It was an imbalanced portion of mascarpone and sponge fingers.  I'm not complaining about the distribution. Loved every bite and it had to be the best tiramisu attempted in Rome for the day. 

To more great food, cheers!


Il Gelato Bistro

Our last stop and rightful one after all that we have eaten.  

Josh called the owner the "Leonardo Da Vinci" of Gelato. His audacious flavours include blue cheese, celery and even wasabi in summer. I baulked at the idea of the first two and succumbed to ordering celery subsequently. The cheese was an odd one to taste - cold, smelly, salty then sweet, the culmination of flavours was hard to comprehend and like.

Price list. 

Some say real gelato is discovered when you look at the pistachio flavours - if it is a shade of green, it is more of less coloured since pistachios are supposed to be brown. Well theirs was of course brown. Daring flavours with gelato that had a certain sweetness that cloyed on for longer than desired. Not quite the best eaten on the trip, however. 

The range of audacious flavours. 

Free tastings of flavours..! 

This must have been fresh tasting celery.

Black sesame?

Buttery peanut butter.

Tangy mango.

Icecream creations!

Double the sin with whipped cream.

Loved the colour of the berry gelato.

Mini cones!

Winter with gelato is always such a tease - brain freeze or not, I eat them with gusto.

65 Euros and 4 hours later, it was a food tour that was completed without regrets.  We parted with all smiles, some stories exchanged and a bag of goodies - certainly a lovely way to experience a country and chomp it up readily. 

Expresso to perk the caffeine addict up - eating too much makes one too sleepy! 

Thank you Josh for the really enjoyable tour - until the next visit!

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.


  1. OMG! Those are wild strawberries! They are very expensive! & rare here.

    1. oh?? they are? hmm...i think we've been over pampered with the korean ones.. :P