when in Rome

So it’s been a while.  I’ll spare you the 2 year update and get right to the chase.

Let’s talk about Rome, most importantly let’s talk about food (yes again) in Rome.

I bring to you the 2014, Chillifingo top 5 tips for when in Rome.


Tip #1 – If it looks tour-isty don’t bother.

Here are the -obvious- guidelines on how to identify touristy places:

1. Extremely bella Italiana standing outside the place trying to horde you in.

2. Random people handing out flyers that look as if they were printed in a sweatshop and designed by my 3 year old god daughter.

3. A display of presumably cooked dishes on a table outside when in reality its play food from the local toy store.

4. Lot’s of Americans already sitting there. Yes I too, am from Murrica.

5. Very close proximity to museums, big piazzas or the pope.


Tip #2 – If you love Pizza, go to New York.

So Italy, at least in my mind, is 3 things: the Super Mario Brothers, The Godfather, and Pizza – yes in that order.

My expectations were as high as Dyke Van Dykes kite. I mean really, you ask yourself little things like:

1. “Okay, where do I expect to eat great Mousaka?” – Yes Greece (or the diner).

2. “Where do expect to eat great fufu?” – Nigeria, obviously.

Well the Pizza was so different (note, I am not saying it was bad) that it does not remind you of pizza. It’s like a sloppy joe, on crust, with more sloppy joe.

To make things sloppier, Roman style pizza is so thin that you literally can’t add anything else other than cheese if you want to eat it in a civilized way.

And by civilized I do not mean using utensils of course, I mean without making yourself look like a 6 month old eating Gerbers for the first time.

Me, I’ll stick to the New York style pizza. Fold once, eat, and digest forever.


Tip #3 – Always get an espresso, no matter what time it is or where you are.

I consider myself a coffee aficionado. I don’t really care about the PSI specs of the coffee machine or the roast or whatever. If it’s good coffee, I can tell.

Rome blew my mind when it came to espresso. It’s the Mecca of espresso. It has the Optimus Primes of espresso machines. It has Angels created by Michelangelo himself working as baristas. You get the point.

I even compared Sant’Eustachio coffee to Airport coffee. Yes they were surprisingly close and very good.

Drink it for breakfast, after a meal, in between meals, before you go to sleep. Trust me it’s worth the caffeine buzz. Plus you will need it since you’ll be walking pretty much the same distance it is from Earth to Mars in 3 days. More or less.


Tip #4 – Roscioli’s, you must.

I heard a lot about this place and wondered what the hype was all about. Old men and women citing stories such as “You need to book a month in advance.” or “You can only sit for two hours”. Come on, seriously?

Well yes, I tried to make a reservation 6 weeks in advance. Guess what, they were booked. Thankfully, they fit us in a day later at a different time.

And two hours is all you will get mind you. They will literally pick you up and throw you out the door on the 121st minute.

BUT, it’s two hours of mouth watering, hair raising, eye popping food. I will not get into the details, just try it.


 Tip #5 – There is always room for ice cream.

Imagine a vase filled with rocks. That’s your stomach with food.

Now imagine somebody pouring sand in between the rocks. That’s your stomach with food and more food.

Now take a glass of water and pour it in the vase. Notice how every square inch is utilized.

That’s your stomach with food, more food, and ice cream. Amazing isn’t it?