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wanderlust . travel colourfully .  gypsylife

love . live . breathe it all in 



leanne yew

People who love to eat are always the best people
— Julia Child

Dining at Le Mani

Probably one of the biggest reasons why the hubby & I work so well together is our absolute love of food ^_~ We pretty much have the same huge appetite though I will fully admit he can put away more than me and we can have trouble sharing our food (well he does... haha I'm a little nicer about it...a little)

So of course when we decided that we were going to Rome - a lot of the planning I did revolved around exactly how many meals we had to enjoy. We wanted to have really authentic, simple, local Italian fare as coming from Tokyo, there are several delicious Italian fine dining restaurants so we didn't want to go anywhere too fancy with food foam, gastro experiments, tiny portions etc.

I chose our accommodation location based on its distance from major sites & the fact it was close enough to walk/catch a taxi to an area called Trastevere.

Trastevere is on the other side of the river. It is a popular dining location filled with restaurants, pubs, bars etc with the locals, expats and University students. You won't find the mob of usual tourist restaurants, amped up exponentially in price or English menus. I advise brush up on your Italian or at least learn a few phrases because there is rarely English menus & at most the staff will speak basic English. I made sure I had a few phrases already known and then just picked up a few more phrases whilst I was there.

Truffles galore adorning the carpaccio

the hubby in his element - eating

a little bit tired, but eager for food

ravioli... no more needs to be said

We first ate at Le Mani (which was recommended to us from some expats we met at the Colosseum whom had all lived in italy for over 5 years). Delicious, simple, tasty and the amount of truffles!! Sooooo good! We had the three dishes above & a bottle of vino - and it was a very reasonable price of around 20-30Euros each.

Surprisingly we were prepared to spend a lot in Rome on food as we had read about how Rome prices were a bit dastardly - but Trastevere was a great area to get great authentic food for decent prices! 

Roma Sparita - a favourite of Anthony Bourdain.

One restaurant we were determined to try was Roma Sparita (praised by Anthony Bourdain for their Cacio e Pepe). It was further vindicated by the locals we met, that if we were only there for a short amount of time - we must visit and try their delicious pastas if we could get a seat.

simple grilled vegetables to start

a simple bolognese

famous for their pastas 

the infamous Cacio e Pepe

The food was delicious (the parmesan cup the Cacio e Pepe is cooked in...yummmmm), the service kind & friendly, atmosphere - lively yet not too loud - it is definitely a place to visit if you are a lover of pasta! 

towards Roma Sparita - in the beautiful courtyard

TIP: Italians generally have very late dinners, the earliest starting at 8pm,  we still hadn't managed to get onto Italian eating time as we kept wanting to eat at 7 - 7.30pm - it worked out perfectly! We were able to eat at all the restaurants we wanted to without booking and pretty much just walking in at around 7pm. Though for Roma Sparita I would recommend booking, we were just very lucky as we tried to book however their website was down, so we went in a little early and got a table! 

the summer night markets in Rome

With very full bellies, we decided to walk off our meals by walking along the river back to our little B&B. Along the banks of the river in summer, Rome hosts a variety of eateries, carnival games, bars, candy stores, nutella stands with delicious crepes & chocolate covered strawberries & other summer madness. The food is more pizza, bar food, drinks, cocktails as due to the set up - a proper kitchen is a bit hard to set up.

However it was the perfect way to end the night, walking along the river, aglow with summer fun, lighting up ancient ruins and having a taste of gelato.

You have to taste a culture to understand it
— Deborah Cater