Rome can be a culinary delight! But as one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, it has a plethora of tourist traps that can quickly turn it into a culinary nightmare. Food tours can be a great way to mitigate those risks. Let a local expert guide you from sight to sight, exploring the traditions and customs that go with each dish. In this guide, I’ll cover the best Rome food tours to take and why to take them.
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Is a Food Tour of Rome Worth It?
Guided tours are one of the best ways to get truly acquainted with the city’s culture and cuisine. I recommend you add at least one food tour at the beginning of your schedule. Not only will you get great food on the day, but you will have invaluable knowledge to make sure you get great food every day of your vacation.
A great food tour will run anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and leave you enriched and energized by what you just tasted. We hire amazing guides who are passionate about giving you the best possible experience—both educational and tasty!
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Our 5 Best Rome Food Tours
Trastevere has been considered one of Rome’s chicest neighborhoods for years, not just because it’s where I called home. Far enough away from the mega monuments of the Colosseum and the Vatican, Trastevere can seem like a completely different city.
On this super-popular evening food tour, you will learn about the rich food culture of Rome’s picturesque Trastevere neighborhood. Then head out to the first of four stops at beloved local eateries, where you’ll discover the true roots of Roman food.
This is an invaluable look into the food culture of Rome and can be a great way to start a trip and avoid those perilous tourist traps later in the week.
Look, I’m pushing forty, pub crawls weren’t my scene when I was in my twenties. They definitely aren’t my scene now. But that is not what this is, this is about high-quality mixology.
Rome has seen a resurgence in its cocktail scene over the last few years, and this tour takes you through the heart of some of its best bars and its talented mixologists.
You’ll also get to wander through three of Rome’s most traditional neighborhoods, overall, it is a great way to understand both the city and its nightlife. A great option for couples.
Known as the birthplace of Roman cuisine, Testaccio is where classic dishes like Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara were born. Rough and rugged Testaccio is a version of the real Rome that very few tourists ever see. Its market is one of Rome’s oldest (even if it is housed in a fancy new building).
Why should you consider this tour? Well, it’s the birthplace of Roman cuisine, you’ll get fifteen different tastings, meet locals, and on top of that, be away from the hordes of tourists at more central markets like Campo di Fiori. For the real foodie, this is a must. To visit Testccio is to truly understand Rome’s food scene.
If you have already spent the day exploring the Vatican, then this could well be the perfect food tour for you. Prati surrounds the Northern walls of the Vatican and is one of Rome’s most residential neighborhoods, it also has some of Rome’s best markets, delis, and restaurants.
You’ll try some world-class pizza, drink plenty of great wine, and refresh yourself with some homemade gelato. Again this is a great way to meet the locals and try some wonderful food. Great to pair with a tour or trip to the Vatican Museums.
For the best value cooking class in Rome, look no further. You’ll learn how to create a tantalizing tiramisu dessert, then you’ll get your hands dirty in some dough. The secrets of Italian pasta are made clear as you work that pasta into fettuccine and ravioli.
After your hard work, sit back and sip some wine as you share some laughs about your pasta escapades with your fellow travelers. Your pasta will taste even better, knowing how hard you worked on it!
Should I Take a Food Tour of Rome
Should you take a food tour of Rome? Well, unsurprisingly, my answer is yes, but realistically only you can answer that. A food tour gives you unrivaled access to local knowledge and expertise, allowing you to open up a side of the local cuisine you normally would be able to (at least not without fairly fluent Italian). If you are a food historian, a food lover, or just love the social aspect of enjoying a new culture with like-minded travelers, then a food tour is a must.
But don’t worry, we won’t abandon you if you don’t want to take a tour. You can also check out our completely free guide to Roman food, a handpicked selection of our (mine and our expert’s) favorite restaurants, and much more in our Free Guide to Rome.
Alternatively, why not check out our best history tours? Below are five of our best-selling Colosseum tours and why you should take them. Pair them with a food tour for a deep dive into Roman life.
Our 5 Best Colosseum Tours
Right up there with the Vatican Museums, visiting the Colosseum is, without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Rome. This grandiose structure stands in the center of Rome, reminding us of the city’s rich history.
The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater in the world and can hold up to 70,000 spectators. When the Colosseum was still used for gladiatorial matches, it was the scene of many fights between gladiators and animals—often to the death.
All of our Colosseum tours enter the monument through a back entrance, making sure you not only skip the lines but also enter through a shorter security line. Check out our full guide to the best Colosseum tours for more details and maps. Here are our top recommended Colosseum tours:
This tour is for the budget traveler that wants exclusive access and great value. You get skip-the-line access and three areas of the Colosseum in one tour.
Walk through the gladiator’s gate out onto the Arena Floor, where gladiators fought in front of the crowds of Ancient Rome.
For no-frills travelers who want a great guide and great value, this is a great option. This complete Colosseum tour provides a concise and engaging overview of ancient Rome. You’ll explore the Colosseum’s first and second floors and get to know where the elites of Rome lived during the peak of the Roman era.
Want to see both the Vatican and the Colosseum? This combo tour gets you more bang for your buck by combining them! You’ll enjoy skip-the-line entry at both the Colosseum and the Vatican.
First, dive into ancient Roman history at the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill where you’ll walk in the steps of Gladiators and Emperors. After lunch, rejoin the tour at the Vatican to hear stories of papal intrigue and see some of the world’s most celebrated artworks by masters like Raphael and Michelangelo, and, of course, the Sistine Chapel.
This exclusive experience is o for the night owls. The tour ends between 10 pm and midnight, depending on the start time. You’ll get the opportunity to experience the Colosseum and Arena Floor at night without the crowds. Tickets are extremely limited and only offered 30 days prior to the tour, so plan ahead!
This is our most exclusive Colosseum tour, and few visitors get the chance to explore the Underground area before heading to the Arena Floor. This is because it’s an active archeological site with extremely limited access. Don’t miss your chance, tickets sell out fast since access is tightly limited here.