CasaManco serves standout pizza al taglio among a sea of disappointing competitors. Located in the Testaccio Market in a tiny stand, Paola and Andrea serve up their special pizza 6 days a week all year long and do it so well, it’s well known as one of the best pizzas in Rome.
One of Rome’s most famous neighborhoods, Trastevere is piece of ancient Roman life in the center of the city. It’s location (on the other side of the river) from the rest of Rome’s historic monuments creates an atmosphere of a town-within-a-city. And while it has more than its fair share of tourists and study abroad students, there are also hidden areas to this neighborhood where locals have lived for decades and small quirks that make it a spot in Rome not to be missed. To help you steer clear (for the most part) of the tourists traps, I've created a Trastevere neighborhood guide with a list of my recommendations for places to eat and drink and things to do.
Trastevere is known as a foodie destination in Rome, hence why there are so many food tours dedicated to this neighborhood. It’s almost impossible to choose favorites among its many restaurants, aperitivo spots and bars, but you won’t go wrong by heading to one of these spots.
The Roman Food: Da Enzo
It's a classic for a reason. I've talked about it a lot in the past but Da Enzo is one of my Roman classic faves at this point. It's a *bit* touristy but still serves amazing local food. Try the cacio e pepe, carbonara, coda all vaccinara and DEFINITELY get their tiramisu with a nutella surprise. Make sure to call at least a couple days ahead, otherwise go around 9:00 when the first wave of diners leave.
The Pizza: Ai Marmi
There are a lot of pizza options for you but I really enjoy heading to Ai Marmi for a quick pizza and fritti when I'm hungry and just don't want to commit to a full dinner. You get to see the pizzas being made right in front of you and can get a generous meal for a deal.
The (Gluten-Free) Pizza: Mama Eat
While I haven't been here, I'm dying to try their gluten-free or lactose-free pizza. Having food allergies or intolerances is very difficult in Rome, but at Mama Eat they have a separate kitchen for gluten-free food and the pizza is supposed to be quite good.
The Trattoria: Il Duca in Trastevere
A Trastevere standby, Il Duca gives you everything you need from a Roman trattoria. The carciofi (artichokes) are everything.
The Gelato: Old Bridge Gelato
Some decent gelato in the heart of Trastevere.
The (Better) Gelato: Il Teatro del Gelato
Some great, organic and locally sourced gelato from across the bridge.
Aside from its culinary specialities, Trastevere is one of the nightlight hubs in Rome. You’ll find a lot of Americans here (especially in the most popular piazzas and roads) and even some locals as well. It’s definitely more appealing to younger crowds and those looking to go OUT. Bar hopping is very common, and there aren’t many club options in this neighborhood.
The Craft Beer: Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà
If you like beer and are in Rome, you go to Ma Che Siete. My boyfriend claims it is one of the best beer shops in Rome with about 15 rotating beers on tap with superior "delivery mechanisms". The other would be Open Baladin.
The Aperitivo Hotspot: Freni e Frizioni
Where the cool people go to drink and smoke outside. Inside you'll find a full (vegan-friendly) buffet for their aperitivo. Great cocktails and atmosphere.
The Wine and Meat Bar: La Prosciutteria
There are several of these located around the city and they are serve decent wine, alongside great meats and cheese boards or sandwiches. Go for a glass bottle and enjoy some great Italian products.
The Cocktail Bar: Alembic # Ak bar
Edgy; trend; instagrammable drinks.
Talking a walk around the neighborhood is my first recommendation but after you’ve maxed out on your daily steps, here are some other options.
The Nature Option: Botanical Gardens
A short walk from the hustle and bustle of popular Trastevere, the Orto Botanico of Sapienza University is a beautiful place to wander. The gardens are lush and a nice way to get away from everything in the center. 8€ entrance.
The Religious Relic: Basilica di Santa Cecilia
This gorgeous basilica is dedicated to St. Cecilia, patron saint of music. It has a gorgeous fresco, a buried ancient Roman house and remarkable catacombs that you pay €4 to visit. Another perk of heading here is that you get to see the less touristy side of Trastevere, where things are slightly calmer.
The Hangout: Piazza Trilussa/Piazza Santa Maria di Trastevere
Head to one of Trastevere's main piazzas (Piazza Trilussa or Piazza Santa Maria di Trastevere) to sit outside, drink a cheap bottle of wine and listen to street musicians. In the warmer months there's always a crowd of people mingling and you can really experience Roman nightlife the local way.
The View: Gianicolo
Gianicolo is Rome's second largest hill and offers a great view overlooking the Roman skyline, reachable by stairs from Trastevere. Head up here in between meals or drinks to watch the sunset because the view is worth it.
This definitely isn't an exhaustive list, but it's one that I'm constantly adding to and testing out ;) Keep an eye out here for future updates on Trastevere and new neighborhood guides for other parts of Rome!
Pizza from Naples will change your life. I had, with no exaggeration, a culinary epiphany when I tried my first pizza napoletana. The chewy crust, tangy sauce and mozzarella that actually has a flavor gets me every time. Unfortunately, there are only so many day trips I can make to Naples, which is where Da Michele Pizzeria comes in.
Da Michele is a pizza institution in Naples. It’s been around for since 1936 and is ranked on multiple websites as the “best pizza in Naples”, which can also be translated to “best pizza in the world”, by the transitive property. I’ve tried the real thing, so when I heard they opened a new shop up in Rome, you can imagine how excited I was. I went there last Friday night for dinner, around 7:30 to avoid the notoriously long lines (there are no reservations taken). After a quick look around the children’s museum it’s located in, an interesting aspect of the new pizzeria in itself, we found the entrance and were sent up to the second floor.
I had heard great things about Da Michele’s new location and the pizza really lived up to expectations. They import their products (tomatoes/mozzarella/flour) from Compagna to maintain flavor consistency and while nothing can live up to the magnificence of a pizza from Naples, theirs came pretty close.
On the menu are some new offerings, including nodini fritti (fried pizza) and other appetizers. Just like the original spot, they serve only pizza margherita and pizza rossa. Edoardo (lucky guy) went for double mozzarella on his pizza and it was decadent.
My pizza margherita was amazing. Da Michele has the flavors down just right and takes the time to check that every pizza is perfectly (read: lightly) charred, top and bottom. The only difference I found in the two variations was that my pizza in Rome was a bit heavier than the original. But it's to be expected with a doughier pizza than its Roman counterpart.
Da Michele pizzeria is a great option for families, couples or even a solo pizza excursion (which is sometimes required if you're alone when the pizza craving hits). If you can't get to Naples for the best pizza of your life, a trip to Da Michele or a classic Roman pizzeria (options 1 & 2) is a must.
Da Michele in Rome is located close to Pizza del Popolo and the Flaminia metro stop. No reservations are accepted so get there early and don't expect anything but the classics and a handful of Italian beers to go along with them.
Explora, Via Flaminia, 80/82, 00196 Roma
Every day, 12 pm-5 pm and 7 pm-12 am