When I first moved to Rome I was no fan of the food markets. The market closest to my apartment in Balduina was the Trionfale market, which at the time was scattered messily on the sidewalk on both sides of the wide via Andrea Doria. It was haphazard and confusing and way too much like the life I had left behind me in Africa.
As I grew to love Rome and her beautiful and chaotic ways, I grew to love doing my grocery shopping at the market. When the Trionfale market moved from the sidewalk to the large, orderly space still on via Andrea Doria is was very much a part of my weekly routine and I was very sad to leave it when we moved across town to Monti.
Last week I had the chance to go back to my old haunts when I was invited by Trionfale Tours to spend the morning with them learning about their favorite places.
Run by Rome transplants Nicole Biscardi from New York and her Salerno born husband Alessandro Conforti, we started the morning off right with warm slices of pizza bianca and learning about the best Pecorino Romano, wheels of Gorgonzola covered in alpine herbs and that Parmesan tastes best in the first one and half hours after the wheel is cracked open.
Nicole and Alessandro introduced us to fishmongers who sell fish that was still wiggly, fresh from the nearby waters of Anzio, to one of the only butchers in Rome who sources Kobe beef and showed us the spot to find some of the freshest eggs in Rome.
After a quick cup of a surprisingly delicious, fizzy and slighty astringent Cesanese wine we headed to a nearby elegant Prati apartment for a cooking demonstration by Alessandro.
While we chatted about summer on the Amalfi Coast, where most of spend as much of the hot months as possible and where to find the best cocktails in Rome, Alessandro was making some classic Roman pasta dishes. Before we got to pasta, there was hand cut proscuitto and some of that parmesan and pecorino we had learned about. Next up was plates of perfectly cooked Amatriciana and Carbonara both crispy guanciale and al dente Gragnano sourced pasta. A dish of crunchy puntarelle was the perfect and classic accompaniment.
Dessert was a gilded tray of traditional mignon pastries that despite us all protesting how full we were, we managed to finish.
This was a very fun morning that stretched well into the afternoon and is an excellent activity for your visitors to Rome or for yourself to learn about a neighborhood you may not venture to on your own and to sample foods you may not have tried yet.
When visitors ask you what they should do before a tour of the Vatican send them to Trionfale Tours.
Trionfale Tours run Tuesdays through Saturdays