Testaccio...where I wish to be
I have a new favourite suburb. It's name is Testaccio, and it's in Rome.
Testaccio is not the most aesthetically beautiful area, no, but it's certainly charming. And it's undeniably cool. It's Rome without the mayhem, and it's where I wish to be.
Let's talk food. Testaccio is filled with tasty eats. Wholesome, delicious, deeply nourishing and often indulgent. It's where I wish to be.
Ben and I would cross the bridge from where we were staying in Trastevere and hang out in Testaccio. This became our most well trodden path, under the ancient arch and over the Tiber. We'd retreat here for nourishment. And we were always always pleased. Pleased? Please...we were ecstatic.
Here we have our most favourite Roman restaurant, Felice. Few menu choices, all done simply and all simply wonderful.
Bread and vino. Spaghetti with salted ricotta, tomato and basil. Rigatoni all carbonara. Involtini al Sugo (beef roll in tomato sauce). All shared, all outrageously delicious.
If you're after classical Roman-style pizza with a super thin base and classic, clean toppings, you'll be very happy at Nuovo Mondo. The waiters are super friendly and the prices decidedly un-touristy. We shared a magherita pizza, a prosciutto and mushroom pizza and some arancini. This was our very first meal in Rome, and we were very happy indeed with this delicious introduction.
Speaking of pizza in Testaccio, let me show you 00100 Pizza. It's where I wish to be pretty much all the time.
This hole in the wall joint, the creation of two young chefs, is completely fuss free and produces downright delicious food. They specialise in trappizzini - crisp, dreamy triangular slices of pizza filled with delicious stew-style dishes. It's a revelation. They also serve pizza by the slice ("al taglio"), of which we sampled many.
To drink, they have specialty beers available, as well as boutique soda. Fabulous.
Some of the bites we had...
Pizza al taglio with pureed chickpea topping,
and blue cheese with balsamic reduction.
Trappizzini with braised octopus filling,
and another with chicken cacciatore. It's where I wish to be, in this pizza pocket. Right in there.
Lastly we have Volpetti. Any visit to Testaccio, to Rome, is not complete without a visit to this Italian deli extraordinaire. Our first visit saw us selecting goodies from the main deli for a picnic in a nearby park. Park...picnic...perfection.
We had mozzarella balls, spinach pie and thick slabs of tomato herb pizza.
With berry and apricot torte for dessert.
Now that's a picnic I always want to be a part of. With this guy.
On our second visit to Volpetti, we sat in the informal cafe next door to the deli. This cafe is filled with a huge variety of freshly made dishes to takeaway or eat in. Deciding what to eat here is unequivocally one of life's toughest decisions. True story. Plus, this was our very last meal in Italy. After three weeks, it was terribly hard to say goodbye...
More pizza slabs, fried zucchini flower, a plate of sautéed spinach, a beautiful eggplant orecchiette dish and an open caprese sandwich. Much, much deliciousness.
Volpetti love. Busted posing for a photo out the front like a true geek. Red cheeks. Embarrassment.
I can't help it, I just love this place, and that's the whole truth. Testaccio. It's where I wish to be...