On my recent visit to Rome I was lucky enough to be invited to join a Food Tour hosted by LivItaly Tours, and I am very excited to be able to share the experience here on FjordsAndBeaches.com.
There was one thing in particular we were excited about before visiting Rome, and it was an obvious one: Italian food (and wine, of course). And gelato, but let’s keep the list short for now. Because of this, I was incredibly happy to be able to bring Ida on one of the popular food & wine tours in the city; LivItaly’s Rome Food Small Group Tour!
We met up with our guide, Tiffany and her husband Dario (who was training as a guide for the tour) in the Jewish Quarter of Rome. Tiffany hails from Indiana, but has spent the last 10 years in Rome after falling for the city as a result of a semester abroad. Right down our street, or what? We were soon joined by the only other guest on our tour, and off we went.
LivItaly guarantees that there are never more than 6 people in a tour, which we absolutely loved. The intimacy of being only 5 people made the whole evening feel more like dinner with friends than an impersonal tour. We got to get to know our guides and the other guests, all while learning loads about Italian food, culture and history. In between facts and stories we were able to ask Tiffany and Dario any questions we may have had, and they gladly answered, explained and embellished after hearing them all.
Side note: I LOVE learning and sharing what I know, and kept quoting Tiffany for the rest of the trip, leaving Ida mesmerised at just how I remembered everything they told us on the tour.
During our tour we visited 3 restaurants, where we got to try some traditionally fried specialties, pizza and pasta; a gelato bar, where we got to gorge in our favourite flavors; and lastly a cafe where we finished it all off with the best espresso in Rome. Walking between meals made for the perfect break, to get some fresh air, take some photos of the sights on the way, and ask some more questions.
Side note: I think I literally squealed when Tiffany revealed that we were looking at the place where they believe Julius Cæsar was stabbed.
Not going to lie, I was mostly excited about the wine. Being a wine enthusiast (which is grown up speak for ‘I love wine’), I am happy to say that I was able to leave the tour with some actual knowledge on the topic, going beyond simply knowing what I like and what I dislike when it comes to the grape juice we are all so fond of. Going beyond this, Tiffany took us all the way back to the ‘beginning of alcohol’, and told us its entire history up until today!
Fun fact: Humans started making alcohol around the same time as we stopped being hunter-gatherers. Some scientists and historians believe that these to events go hand-in-hand, and that humans started settling in one place in order to keep making this fun-filled poison.
Other things we learned include the recipe for pesto, and the history of the pizza. And did you know that the ground level in Rome today is way higher than it was in Ancient Rome? This is due to the frequent floodings of the Tiber river in the late Middle Ages, bringing silt over the river banks again and again. Truth be told, Ida and I actually spent our first 2 days in Rome looking at the Forums and various ancient ruins thinking ‘wow, they were really good at basements in those days..‘
Summing up, we really had a great time on the Food Tour with LivItaly. We left feeling very full (of both food and knowledge), and both really enjoyed ourselves. We got to try some amazing Italian dishes, and I’m still processing some of the things we learned. If you’re looking to spend a great evening learning things you won’t be able to google your way to, go ahead.
A huge thank you to Tiffany and Dario, and to LivItaly Tours for having us!
Book the tour we went on here, but make sure to have a proper browse around the website before you do, as LivItaly also have plenty of other tours in the Rome area.
I’ll leave you with another fun fact that will have you sorted for life: In Italy they believe that the bubbles in Prosecco expand your stomach, in turn getting you ready to eat more food. Because of this, Prosecco (or bubbly wine) is usually drunk before meals. You’re welcome.
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