Sapori e Delizie, Via Giovanni Lanza, 102, 00184 Roma, Italy
Pizza is a part of my personal identity, as well as it is of Italy’s. I grew up in the Bronx and the guys at the pizza shop I’ve been going to since birth are basically a part of my family. I know that Italian pizza is different from NYC style pizza and I was beyond excited to try it for the first time.
Off the beaten tourist path there was a small, yet vibrant storefront with seriously delicious and affordable pizza. The little interior is set up like a pizzeria, but there is table service like a restaurant. I ordered the Ortolana, mozzarella, eggplant, zucchini, and peppers…no sauce. Very different from my traditional order of a plain slice, yet I knew this would be a different creature entirely.
I watched the man behind the glass prepare the pie, because I would be receiving a whole pie (and would eat the entire thing). Whipping up the dough, gingerly throwing this clump of cheese here, and those veggies there. I was shocked at how quickly the pie went in and came out of the oven, a flash of just mere minutes.
The dough was soft, yet thinner than the thick slice I’m used to. The cheese was delicately added, not sliding off. The veggies were juicy and baked to perfection. It was different, but in a good way. I can’t say which is better, Bronx or Italian pizza, it’s like apples and oranges…I love them both! I still folded the slice, because you can take the girl out of the Bronx, but she will never stop folding her pizza. Pair with copious amounts of house red.
Gelateria La Romana, Via Venti Settembre, 60, Roma, Italy
All gelato is good, but all gelato is not truly great. This gelato is worth waiting on line for, even if you’ve paced multiple empty gelaterias along the way. It isn’t super close to any metro, but I swear to you it’s worth the trek. It’s the best gelato I’ve ever encountered, no others even come close. The place has been open for almost 70 years. It is pristine inside, and the workers are very efficient. The menu is not in English, but they are willing to help you decide and offer samples. When you do make your choice, get ready for the most creamy, rich, and delectable chilled treat of your life.
Piperno, Via Monte Dè Cenci, 9, 00186 Roma, Italy
Walking through Rome’s Jewish ghetto was surprising. The architecture was beautiful as it is throughout the city, but here it is quiet in the maze like backstreets.
Trying to find the restaurant was a task. With a physical map, googlemaps, map apps, it mattered not. Luckily, we tracked a person down who was happy to help. In a hushed corner, the name almost all but covered in vines.
Inside it was a bit fancy, a bit dated, almost like dining in an art museum. I loved the shade of green, similar to the vines outside.
We were here specifically for the Jewish specialty of fried artichokes. What came out was a masterpiece. I am not particularly crazy for artichokes, they are just OK in my book. These delicate morsels were on sight, beautiful. They flaked under the fork and knife. They were sweet, earthy, and had the finest crisp.
They are worth the journey. My friend enjoyed her favorite pasta of the trip here and I a scrumptious fish dish.