Sitting in the heart of Italy, Rome is renowned for delicious Italian dishes that we could only dream of here in England. From cheesy pasta to wood-fired thin-crust pizzas, if you’re planning your next European adventure, make sure this culinary exquisite location is on your list.
Italy has been serving up delicious pizza dishes for hundreds of years, but things haven’t always been the same. Traditional Italian pizzas are round and typically eaten at dinner because wood-fired ovens took hours to heat up, but more and more restaurants are serving these delicious slices at lunchtime too, so you’re never too far away from a cheesy feast. In this article, we uncover the best places to find some of these mouth-watering pizzas in the ancient city of Rome.
Samantha and Ryan Looney from Our Travel Passport told us a little more about their trips to Rome and why they recommend everyone visits to try the pizza at least once:
“We love visiting Rome because it's so full of life. From the rich history and incredible art to the colourful streets and charming plazas, there's literally so much to do and see! The tiny mopeds speeding through the streets, the old women gazing out on the city from their flower-covered balconies, the paint chipping off all of the houses, and the smell of fresh pizza constantly drifting through the air all add to the magic of The Eternal City. Rome is the perfect romantic getaway because you can get a mixture of history, art, and delicious food. And any date that involves pizza, gelato, and a sunset view of the Colosseum is pretty epic if you ask us.”
Head to the Monti district, a stone’s throw from the Roman Forum and you’ll stumble across Alle Carrette, a traditional Roman pizzeria serving up pizzas unlike any other. One of the prettiest streets in the city, the location of this small eatery is just the start of its excellence.
We spoke to Elizabeth, who writes about her foodie adventures on her blog Elizabeth Minchilli, she loves visiting Alle Carrette for a taste of traditional Roman pizza:
“Every Roman has their favourite pizzeria. While their choice has a lot to do with taste, of course, it also has as much to do with location. Just like having a favourite neighbourhood bar, all Romans have their favourite corner pizza joint. This is where they head on a Sunday night when the family feels like going out for an inexpensive meal. Or where they can stop on the way home from work during the week, for a pizza to go. These dependable, local places rarely get written up in guide books or blogs. Mostly because they aren’t doing anything beyond the norm: good pizzas cooked to order in a wood-burning oven.
While I’ve included all the best and trendy pizzerias in Rome in my app, EAT ITALY and in my book Eating Rome, you’re more likely to see me on a Sunday night eating pizza at Alle Carrette. Alle Carrette is typical of a good local Roman pizzeria. The dough is left to rise overnight, then rolled out super thin. The wood-burning oven is huge and its high temperature means that they can turn out pizzas fast and furious. Toppings are for the most part traditional. You’re not going to find any pumpkin or balsamic reduction here. Instead, this is where I order a Capriciosa, which in Rome means prosciutto, mushrooms, artichoke heart, olives and a hardboiled egg. A bit of everything!”
Located in the Trastevere neighbourhood, right in the city centre, Dar Poeta is known by locals and tourists alike for its friendly atmosphere and delicious Italian cuisine. Unique pizza cooked in a wood oven is what makes the pizza totally delicious. Sara who blogs at Gathering Dreams loves visiting Italy and recommends trying a traditional pizza at least once on your visit:
"Rome is one of the most incredible cities in the world. Every time I visit it, I am surprised by its history and beauty. Yes, it can be chaotic and hot but nothing compares to the magic of walking side by side to ancient Roman ruins next to a busy modern road. Plus Italians really know how to cook, and in Rome, you can have some of the most delicious Italian food. If you want to eat the most fragrant, crispy mouth-watering roman pizza head to "Dar Poeta", in the Trastevere quarter.”
Sara went on to talk about her favourite Italian pizzeria, Dar Poeta. She explains a little more about her favourite pizza options:
“Keep in mind it's not possible to reserve a table in advance so be prepared for a bit of a wait. But it's well worth it. And remember: Roman pizza is quite different from Neapolitan pizza. The crust is thinner, and it tends to be crunchier due to the presence of extra virgin olive oil in the dough.
Try the pizza bufala, with buffalo mozzarella: simple, yet delicious with great quality ingredients. You won’t be disappointed."
Ivo a Trastevere
Ivo a Trastevere has been serving authentic Italian pizza to the city of Rome for over 50 years, first opening in the 1960s. Created by Ivo Stefanelli in the 60s, the restaurant outgrew its humble beginnings and moved into an enlarged kitchen in the 80s, the start of the legacy it holds today. Serving all the traditional combinations along with a few unusual twists and flavours, you’ll struggle to find fresher and tastier pizza anywhere else in Rome.
Cass from Loving Life With Cass loves the pizza from Ivo a Trastevere and can’t recommend it to friends and family enough: “I love exploring Rome! The beautiful city is filled with history, culture, art, and of course, delicious food. I am Italian, so every time I visit Rome, I get the chance to connect with my background. I always end up having unique experiences that allow me to feel like I am getting back to my roots.
“Being Italian, my favourite pizza will always be my Nonna's classic homemade cheese pizza. However, while I was in Rome, I enjoyed a lot of fantastic pizza that was almost as good as my Nonna's. One of my favourite places to eat amazing authentic Italian pizza is at Ivo a Trastevere. This great restaurant is located in my favourite neighbourhood in Rome, Trastevere.
“Trastevere is a charming little neighbourhood that is filled with narrow cobblestone streets. The Medieval era neighbourhood is located across the Tiber River and is the perfect area to get lost in and enjoy delicious food."
Gabriele Bonci's Pizzarium
Not a pizzeria that you’re traditionally used to, Bonci’s Pizzarium has a plethora of fresh and seasonal produce served on a variety of pizza bases, from focaccia to traditional thin crust dough, whatever you fancy, is on the menu.
Jet Set Christina loves visiting Rome and visiting Bonci’s Pizzarium is one of her favourite spots: “Bonci's Pizzarium is hands down the best pizza in Rome, maybe in the world! It's casual, there's no seating, and it's a MUST on any trip to Rome. It's right near the Vatican - so an easy stop if you're planning on seeing Vatican City.
It may sound cheesy but I just love the romance of Rome. Everywhere you look in Rome, you see so much love. Families, friends, lovers, everyone in Rome is in love. People are holding hands, kissing in the streets, laughing on Vespas, sightseeing around together, or just smiling over Bellini’s. There's live musicians playing romantic songs at night, candlelit patio restaurants with some of the best food you can find anywhere, and of course, endless wine. Rome is just so romantic. Everything about it!”
We’re sure your tummies are rumbling after all that talk of pizza, so why not book your next cruise to this wonderful city? We offer a number of cruises from Southampton that’ll take you right to the heart of the ancient Roman city.