Yesterday I had the pleasure of exploring Testaccio, a lesser-visited-yet-incredibly-beautiful neighborhood in Rome just southwest of the Colosseo and east of Trastevere, with Eating Italy Food Rome Tours.
Led by guides Kenny and Domenico, the tour took us from the historic stands in the Mercato Testaccio (including a seafood shop run by the family members of renowned Italian cinema star Marcello Mastroianni) to famous spots like Volpetti and Giolitti. The group sampled various kinds of Italian cheeses, expensive meats, balsamic vinegar that made my eyes roll back, supplì and of course the three most famous Roman pasta dishes: Amatriciana, Carbonara and Cacio e Pepe. Two members of the group were filming a segment for Viator, and I may have found myself caught on tape saying something ridiculously silly.
Wait for it.
We also spent some time in the Cimitero Acattolico di Roma (The Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome), which I found particularly beautiful. It’s here that poet John Keats, Percy Shelley (the husband of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley) and famous jeweler Bulgari were buried. Keats, ever the romantic, had inscribed on his tombstone, “Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water.” Indeed, his grave doesn’t even include his name. (So emo.)
I highly recommend this tour for anyone visiting Rome for the first time. It’s a great introduction to an incredibly vast and beautiful city. When asked what my favorite part of the tour was, I responded, “It’s a toss-up between the pasta and the dead people.”
DISCLAIMER: I was offered a complimentary tour through a friend. All opinions are my own because I am a slave to no one. NO ONE!