By Yasmine El Tabib
It’s true… Una vita non basta. One lifetime is not enough to explore all that Rome has to offer. Even an entire week is scarcely enough to pack in all of the must sees like the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica, the Roman Forum, Campidoglio, the Janiculum, the Fountain of Trevi, the Spanish Steps…. The list goes on, and that doesn’t even include any of the hundreds of churches whose amazing architecture and art should be witnessed by every traveler!
Travelers with tight schedules will get the best cultural experience by choosing either lunch or dinner to have a big, sit down meal, and having a light, on-the-go meal for the other. In saving yourself for one big meal, you’ll be able to partake in the Italian tradition of ordering EVERY course (antipasto, primo, contorno, secondo, dolce). And don’t be mistaken–the small pizzerias and bakeries are just as much a cultural experience as a long, drawn out meal. Professionals, students and families visit their favorite ones on the regular to enjoy the freshest breads, pizza and baked goods. Taking away meals from places like these also allows you to really take in your surroundings, as you can enjoy them in Rome’s famous piazzas. Here, we’ve compiled a list of seven of the best quick cheap eats in Rome and the nearby iconic spots to eat them at.
Famous, and for good reason. Located right by Campo de’ Fiori and Torre Argentina, the smells that waft out from Roscioli are heavenly, and the food is exquisite. The bakers work hard all day, constantly bringing out long, rectangular slabs of pizza. Order as much, or as little, as you’d like- the person that helps you at the counter will place their knife down to show you where they are cutting and you can ask for more or less (like most places, pizza here is priced by the weight). They also offer a variety of other deli-style dishes and many mouth-watering desserts. Walk through the Campo’s market or head to nearby sites like the Pantheon.
With a buffet-style of serving food, I Molisani is a wonderful way to taste many different Roman dishes and also allows you to get the serving of your heart’s desire. The staff is extremely happy to talk with you and help you with your selections. Take some to-go for a picnic in the nearby Villa Borghese. You may find yourself coming back for a quick treat throughout your trip.
Without any signage, Panificio Firenze isn’t overrun with tourists and is a local favorite. Enjoy a panino or some pizza, but also take advantage of their grocery section by filling up on water and snacks for the rest of your adventurous day. Don’t forget to make a stop to admire Bernini’s fountains in Piazza Barberini.
Right by the Pantheon, L’Antica Salumeria is the perfect pitstop to satisfy the cravings that you’ve worked up during the day. Come for the perfectly seasoned salami, fresh cheese and bread. Sit outside and enjoy your panino on the steps of the fountain and obelisk in the Piazza della Rotonda in front of the Pantheon. The people watching is prime here.
Stop by La Montecarlo while you’re near Piazza Navona for a quick slice of pizza. While you might want to go to your old standbys, we encourage you to try some of the more inventive toppings!
While wandering through one of Rome’s most beloved neighborhoods, Trastevere, a stop at Pizzeria ai Marmi is obligatory. Take some away to enjoy on the steps of the fountain in the Piazza di Santa Maria.
Try the pizza bianca (white pizza with olive oil) at Forno Campo de’ Fiori. Along with some fruit from the Campo’s market, you’ll have a delicious meal that will allow you to get on with your day and to the million places on your list.