Congratulations are in order - you're getting married, and have decided to honeymoon in one of the world's most beautiful and romantic destinations: Rome, Italy.
In addition to being one of the most historic and breathtaking cities in the world, Rome is also home to some of the world's best food. If you've never been to Italy, you and your partner are in for a real treat.
Rome's culinary history and culture runs deep. To make the most of your time in Rome, it's necessary to understand what makes Roman cuisine special. Then, you can begin to plot your course through this culinary mecca.
While Roman food has undergone transformation over the centuries, some elements of classic Roman cooking date back to ancient Rome.
Items such as bread, cheese, olive oil, shellfish, and some vegetables were part of the ancient Roman diet. Meats like pork were eaten back then, but sparingly. Other ingredients that we think of as Italian staples, like the tomato, were not introduced until the colonization of the Americas.
Other regional and global influences are apparent in Roman cuisine today. For example, Rome is home to a large Jewish community whose influence is evident in one of the city's signature dishes, Jewish style artichokes.
Like other Italian cuisines, Roman cuisine is defined not only by its history of cultural influences but also by a handful of local specialty ingredients.
In fact, many classic Roman dishes are composed of a small number of high-quality, uncomplicated ingredients, allowing them to really shine. Pecorino romano, artichokes, olive oil, guanciale, pasta, gnocchi, and tripe are common ingredients in classic Roman dishes.
One of the most famous dishes in Roman cuisine is pasta. Specifically, there are four Roman pasta dishes the city is famous for, and all of them are worth trying!
Carbonara: One of Rome's most iconic pasta dishes, spaghetti alla carbonara features pasta tossed with a sauce made from eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, guanciale (cured pork cheek), and black pepper.
Bucatini all'Amatriciana: Bucatini pasta with a sauce made from tomatoes, guanciale (or pancetta), Pecorino Romano cheese, and red pepper flakes. It's a flavorful and hearty Roman classic.
Cacio e Pepe: A simple yet delicious pasta dish made with spaghetti or another type of pasta, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. The result is a creamy and flavorful dish.
Gricia: Similar to carbonara but without the eggs, gricia is a pasta dish made with guanciale, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. It's a rich and satisfying Roman classic.
The perfect Italian honeymoon feast is a meal you'll look back on fondly for many years to come. Setting the scene for that perfect memory takes just a little planning. From bustling trattorias to romantic cafes with breathtaking views of the city, there are virtually endless options for where to dine in Rome. Here are some of the most romantic restaurants in Rome, and some factors to consider when choosing where to eat.
Aroma is a Michelin-starred restaurant located inside the five-star hotel Palazzo Manfredi. Aside from the award-winning food, what makes this restaurant really special is the view. Aroma offers stunning views of the Colosseum, making it the perfect setting for a romantic dinner in Rome.
Il Bacaro is located close to attractions like the Pantheon, but offers a quiet, laid back respite from the clamor of the city. Eat outside in front of the ivy-covered building and enjoy a menu of authentic Italian dishes and some more modern interpretations.
For something a bit more relaxed, try Trattoria Monti, a cozy trattoria with soft lighting, intimate atmosphere, and great food.
For more ideas, check out our list of fabulous Rome restaurants for a romantic honeymoon dinner.
The Roman culinary experience is more than just a meal -- it's a journey. When in Rome, dining is the main event; prepare for a lengthy meal at a relaxed pace, complete with a series of courses.
Appetizers and Antipasti - Begin your meal with Roman antipasti. Popular options include salumi e formaggio (a selection of cured meats and cheeses), prosciutto e melone, which is thin slices of prosciutto (cured ham) paired with sweet melon, suppli (fried rice balls), baccala mantecato (salted cod whipped into a creamy spread, often served on crostini) and artichokes.
Primi Piatti - The primi piatti or "first course" can include a variety of pasta dishes, risotto, soups, and other dishes that are served before the main course. This is where you might find a classic carbonara, cacio e pepe, or gnocchi alla romana.
Secondi Piatti - The secondi piatti is the main course. Popular main dishes in Rome include meat, fish, and poultry dishes, like saltimbocca, oxtail, salted cod, roast lamb, and tripe.
Dolci - Roman desserts are not to be missed! Maritozzo con panna are sweet buns filled with cream or sometimes ricotta cheese. Italian classics like gelato or tiramisu are also common.
Of course, wine plays an important role in the landscape of Roman cuisine and in the dining experience. Pairing your meal with just the right Italian wine or beverage can take your dining experience to the next level. Rome is surrounded by vineyards, and the region produces several excellent wines, including Frascati and Cesanese.
Italy is also the perfect place to indulge in prosecco, an aperol spritz, or a negroni. If you're not sure what to order, ask your server for a pairing recommendation.
Roman cuisine reflects the city's history, incorporating elements from ancient Roman, Jewish, and regional Italian culinary traditions. It's a delightful mix of flavors that continues to be appreciated by locals and visitors alike.
A honeymoon in Rome is the perfect opportunity to explore all that this cuisine has to offer, and make lifelong memories you and your new spouse will treasure for the rest of your lives.
To experience the best of Rome's hidden gems or to get personalized recommendations from the city's local experts, consider booking a Rome food tour. A food tour is a great way to discover lesser known spots and can't-miss dishes with the help of someone who knows the Roman food scene intimately.
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