Italy’s a favourite travel destination for Brits – but it can be a somewhat-pricy destination. Holiday’s aren’t the time to start stockpiling your savings – after all, you’re there to have fun – but finding a bargain is a great idea. Plus, if you’re after some really tasty food, expense doesn’t always equal excellence.
With that in mind, we thought we’d track down some of Rome’s best - and cheapest - places to find decent, filling Italian food. Tie your napkin on securely – you’re in for a carb-loaded ride.
Via Flavia, 98, 00187 Roma, Italy
You think you know pizza well. You probably do. Which is why it’s time for you to sample the delights of pinsa. It’s basically soft, chewy dough shaped into an oval, and loaded with toppings. Do you remember the pitta bread pizzas you used to make when you were younger? Well, it’s like that, but far tastier. You can grab a plain pinsa (just cheese and tomato) for €3.50, but if you fancy something more extravagant, try the pear, Gorgonzola, walnut and honey version. They’re great for lunch as they won’t fill you up too much, so your afternoon’s sightseeing won’t be hampered by a full stomach.
Trying to steer clear of bread? There’s a small selection of pasta and rice salad. Pinsere is known locally as a takeaway joint, but there’s a small bar to perch on if you fancy resting your legs while you eat.
Forno Campo de’ Fiori
Vicolo del Gallo, 14, 00186 Roma, Italy
This much-loved bakery prides itself on using expert bakers who know how to bake the best ‘Roman bread’. It’s essentially a light and delicate base for their pizzas, and can be topped or filled with a variety of fillings, from salami and cheese to chocolate spread. Choose from dishes such as pizza with tomato, bread with olives, bread with walnuts, or give in to your sweet tooth and try one of their fluffy cakes.
The food on offer is sold by the weight, so just let the staff know how big you’d like your slice, and they’ll do the rest. No matter how large your appetite, you shouldn’t be paying in excess of €6. Don’t expect speedy service in the middle of the day – this place is popular with tourists and locals alike.
La Renella Panificio Trastevere
Via del Moro, 15, 00153 Roma, Italy
Hark! What is that delightful smell? It can only be the fresh breads and pastries of La Renella. An excellent choice if you’re after salty, cheesy pizza which fills you up for a night of drinking and dancing.
The wood-fired ovens at this historical bakery have been producing sensational pizza, bread and biscuits for decades, and it’s no surprise that its loyal customer base continues to come for the generous toppings and seasonal menus. You’ll be paying around €5 per slice, so if you’re super hungry, you can grab two and avoid splurging out on a super-expensive meal.
Via della Croce, 8, 00187 Roma, Italy
Is all this talk of pizza and bread weighing you down? Fair enough – if pasta’s more your thing, head to Pastificio to grab some freshly-made pasta for under €5.
Even though it’s based in one of the swankier parts of town, Pastificio offers great value for money and it’s where a lot of people come to buy dried pasta to cook at home – much like Carluccio’s in the UK (but without the eye-watering prices). For just €4 you get a heaped plate of pasta – there are two options available every day – and a glass of the house wine.
If you visit during lunch time, you may find that you have to head out to find space to eat, but that’s fine – head to the Piazza di Spagna and find a shady spot to enjoy your meal. Otherwise, find a chair near the bar and dig in – but be gentle with your cutlery, as it’s likely to be plastic.
Trattoria Vecchia Roma
Via Ferruccio, 12b/c, 00185 Roma, Italy
This restaurant is loved by tourists seeking out terrific food without great service – and some of the best gelato you’ll find in Rome. It’s always worth booking in advance if you’re planning on visiting during the evening, and dress smartly – unlike the other places listed here, patrons will be given a table, and it’s a proper sit-down meal.
Expect great service – even if you’re with tired, hungry kids – and make sure you give the Spaghetti Carbonara a whirl (it receives rave reviews on TripAdvisor). Another firm favourite with diners is the bucatini all’amatriciana, which flambéed and mixed up in a pecorino wheel. Cheesy heaven.
You’ll be paying around €9 for a main course, but don’t worry too much about starters – portions are generous.
Columbus Direct travel insurance comes with a huge range of freebies and benefits – so remember that you’ll get FREE lounge access if your flight’s delayed. That’s right – you and four other travellers can escape the crowds, and head off for some free drinks and snacks, complimentary Wi-Fi, and even a quick snooze. You’re our number one priority, and we’re the insurer you can rely on.