It’s not enough to know WHERE and WHAT to eat when you travel. You also need to learn a little about the HOW of it. Following the local food customs can significantly reduce friction between visitors and locals, while increasing the overall enjoyment of your stay.
When it comes to food and drink, every culture has its rules. And Rome is no exception.
Take a minute to check out these 14 tips so you can eat like a local in Italy’s capital. There’s also a bonus tip on how to cook like a local in Rome. It’s one of the best ways we know to get to the heart of a place!
- Don’t eat within 10 feet of any monument in the Old Center (including the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, and the Colosseum). You could be slapped with a hefty fine!
- Romans don’t walk around eating their food, regardless of the neighborhood. The only exception to the rule is…
- Grab a cone for the evening stroll (passeggiata) along Via del Corso. Both the stroll and the gelato are an essential part of daily life in Rome.
- Don’t ask to sample a bunch of different flavors. Pick one and commit.
- If the person behind the counter asks ‘con patta‘ (with cream), the answer is YES!
- Only order cappuccino in the morning. Anytime after noon, you should order an espresso. In Italy, espresso is the exclamation mark at the end of a meal!
- Drink your coffee standing up at the bar. It costs extra (sometimes as much as 3 euro per person!) to sit down.
- Don’t ask for your coffee to go. There are no paper cups and no such thing as take-out. (You also won’t find any sprinkles or syrups to drizzle on top.)
AT THE MARKET
- Don’t touch the tomatoes! Or anything else. Ask the vendor for what you want. (Point if you’re Italian isn’t up to snuff.)
- You don’t need to tip in Italy. You’re probably already paying a supplement through the servizio (service charge) on your restaurant bill and/or the coperto (cover charge), sometimes both.
- If you still want to tip, just round up the bill a few euros.
- The proper way to eat long pasta is with a fork. Just a fork. No spoon. No knife.
- Take three or four strands, then twist them around your fork until you have the perfect bite.
- And for heaven’s sake, don’t slurp! 🙂
👩🍳 Cook Like a Local in Rome 👨🍳
What's better than eating pasta in Rome? Staying in a vacation rental where you can live (and shop) like a local...and cook your heart out!
Our FREE Guide shows you exactly how to cook one of the city's most popular pasta dishes in the comfort of your borrowed kitchen. Here's what you'll get for free: a Roman pasta recipe, kitchen essentials checklist, regional ingredients overview, shopping guide, and $50 off your first Airbnb stay!
Are you planning a trip to Rome and considering staying in a vacation rental?
Then you’ll want to check out our new guide, Cook Like a Local in Rome. This info-packed PDF shows you exactly how to cook one of the city’s most popular pasta dishes in the comfort of your borrowed kitchen.
Here’s What You’ll Get for Free:
- Bucatini all’Amatriciana Recipe – a rich and flavourful pasta dish made with fresh Roma tomatoes, guanciale, and plenty of grated Pecorino cheese.
- Kitchen Essentials Checklist – so you can make sure your holiday rental is stocked with the basic tools you’ll need before you start cooking.
- Regional Ingredients – an overview of regional ingredients featured in the recipe so you can hand-pick the best.
- Where to Shop – so you can buy top-quality ingredients where the locals shop, with shopping recommendations for five popular neighborhoods.
- How to Eat Long Pasta – tips for eating bucatini, spaghetti, and linguine so you can eat long pasta like an Italian.
- BONUS: $50 off your first Airbnb stay!
So don’t just eat pasta in Rome. Go for the full immersion and make it yourself! GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW
PLANNING A TRIP TO ROME?
- an authentic recipe for one of Rome's most popular pasta dishes,
- a kitchen essentials checklist,
- an overview of regional ingredients,
- shopping recommendations for 5 neighborhoods,
- tips for eating long pasta like an Italian,
- and a BONUS: $50 off your first Airbnb stay!