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Best Roman bakeries and the art of making bread in Rome

Bakeries in Rome: a little bit of history

Beginning of Roman age people did not have bread, they used to eat a kind of focaccia named “puls” and made with an ancient variety of spelt flour. Spelt in ancient Latin was named Farrus, so the word “farina” is probably coming from this recipe.
Differently from ancient Romans were already experts in the art of making bread and used to eat a recipe named pita.
When ancient Roman and Greek culture met, ancient Romans were amazed by the Greek art of making bread and started to make similar recipes. In the beginning, bread was just baked in house and quickly become very popular. Considered by many a fashion trend and criticized by important people of the time, like Catone (the censor), the bread will instead survive and will become popular amongst rich people soon.
When bread starts to be popular amongst rich families too, in each house of rich people the slave chef needed to wear a kind of mask and gloves to protect bread while working. After some years, bread becomes so popular that expert bakers from Greece came to Rome to teach local baker men to make bread.
Bread in Rome was named differently according to the eating style: nauticus (if baked for sailors), gradilis if made to be eaten while assisting shows at the Colosseum or amphitheater, ostiaries if baked to be eaten with oysters, durus and sordid if baked with not quality flours.
It seems to be that the number of bakeries in Rom during Augustus’ age, were more than 300, all of them managed by greek people. Archeological memories of those from the excavations in Pompeii, where were found burnt bread and complete bakeries with Owens, benches, and displays.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, trade of bread disappeared, but people carried on baking at home, in the meantime, a new religion was spreading with bread and wine as the focus of the rite: Christianism.
During feudalism, with a completely new social and economic organization, mills for grinding grains become the property of the feudal lord, people could bake their bread in the oven but were forced to pay taxes to the lord.
Around 1000 A.C. with the starting of corporations of the arts and works, the baker comes back to be a profession.
It is more than 1000 years that in Rome people love bread and pastries with dried fruit or aromatic herbs, raisins, pignoli, candy skin. Still today one of the most famous pastries, Maritozzo, traditionally baked for wedding parties, is now a must to taste, beloved by Romans.
The most famous bread in Rome is baked in two villages: Genzano and Lariano. Protected with IGP label in 1997, is done with flour 0, mother yeast for two steps raising time and covered with a particular whole-wheat flour. Bread comes crunchy and flavored outside and soft and white inside.
Bread leftovers never are wasted in Rome, after few days, if losing softness is still today used fo traditional simple recipes as bruschetta, bread, and beans soup, wet with milk was breakfast dish for kids, mixed with meat for polpette (meatballs).

Here you are the best bakeries in Rome

  • Panella: Via Merulana 54 (Santa Maria Maggiore/Vittorio)
  • Roscioli: Via dei Chiavari (Campo de Fiori/Argentina)
  • Antico Forno Urbani: Piazza Costaguti (Jewish Ghetto)
  • Roscioli: Piazza Campo de Fiori (Campo de Fiori/Navona)
  • Panificio Mosca: Via Candia 14 (Prati/Vaticano)
  • Gianfornaio: Via dei gracchi 179 (Prati)
  • Antico Forno ai Serpenti: Via dei serpenti 122 (Monti)

 

Here you are some of the tours you can book to visit these bakeries.

 

Click on the one you prefer to book it.

How to reach Rome from the airport and vice versa

Many foodies ask us how to reach Rome from the airport and vice versa. No stress! There are may ways: the best choice depends on the location of your hotel, and on how many you are, and of course on the airport you land.
Take note that Rome is served by two different airports: Fiumicino (located west side) and Ciampino (east side).
Fiumicino (FCO) is the biggest Roman airport and it is called Leonardo da Vinci. Terminal is organized in 4 different docks: T1, T2, T3 and T5.  T5 is reserved to air companies from and to USA, and from and to Israel.
National and international flights from Rome vary according to final destination of air companies. There are info points managed directly by air companies in the main hall of the airport. Be sure about your airport name when leaving before planning your departure transfer.

For both airports

By Taxi

There are several Taxi Company available. Biggest and reliable Company is 3570 Tel. number +39 063570, operators english speaking, many taxi drivers speak English.

From the airport to Rome by taxi

There are always taxi cabs available outside the building of the Airport, waiting for passengers in line. Taxis licensed by Rome City Council are white and have a sign bearing the word “TAXI” on their roofs. The symbol of Rome City Council is clearly visible on the front doors and the license inside the back left. Other vehicles may well be driven by unauthorized persons and the fare could therefore be a great deal higher.
Tourist fishing is illegal. If someone stops you inside the building (even if wearing a kind of badge) asking if you’d need a taxi, simply ignore them and make your way to the exit. Taxi cabs are waiting at the taxi stand.
Taxi fare from both airports to Rome City centre is fixed. According to the address of your Hotel in Rome final fare may vary. Rome is a large city, fixed fares refers to an area that correspond to the ancient city limit (Aurelian Walls). Hotels outside this area will be reached with the meter fare.
Check if taxi driver is applying fixed fare
Fixed fares are inclusive of all extra charges from/to both Airports (prices are per journey and not per passenger).

  • From Fiumicino Airport to within the Aurelian Walls and vice versa: € 48.00
  • From Fiumicino Airport to Castello della Magliana – Parco dei Medici and vice versa: € 30.00
  • From Fiumicino Airport to Nuova Fiera di Roma Exhibition Centre and vice versa: € 25.00
  • From Fiumicino Airport to Ciampino Airport and vice versa: € 50.00
  • From Fiumicino Airport to Tiburtina Station and vice versa: € 55.00
  • From Fiumicino Airport to Ostiense Station and vice versa: € 45.00
  • From Fiumicino Airport to Port of Civitavecchia and vice versa: € 120.00
  • From Ciampino Airport to within the Aurelian Walls and vice versa: € 30.00
  • From Ciampino Airport to Tiburtina Station and vice versa: € 35.00
  • From Ciampino Airport to Ostiense Station and vice versa: € 30.00

From Rome to the airport

Booking a taxi cab pick up. You can call radiotaxi number and book a transfer for next day, or you’d call number from your Hotel. When you call a taxi please take a note of the code of taxi cab (provided by the radiotaxi) and be sure to jump in to the right taxi cab (taxi code is displayed on  the side back doors of the cab). We recommend you to leave the hotel 3 hours before departure of your flight. If you’d like to pay by credit card advise the radiotaxi when making the booking.
You can book a taxi directly from the app https://www.ittaxi.it/ and pay by credit card. App is useful to call taxi in other Italian cities too. Very useful in case of very crowded days as per example, in case of bad weather, strikes and stuck of public transportation.
Booking a private limo transfer – you’d call one of the private companies that provides transfer to/from airport. Prices may vary according to Company. Usually more expensive then public taxi.
Airport shuttle service– shuttle shared service is available from centra located Hotels. Is a shared private vehicle with stops to pick up/drop off others at their hotels. Prices about € 40,00 per  journey.

Train (to Fiumicino only)

  • Leonardo express train connects Roma Termini with Fiumicino, flight takes 30 minutes approx. Fare is about € 14,00 per person
  • Line Fiumicino – Fara Sabina (FM1): with stops at Tiburtina, Tuscolana, Ostiense, Trastevere – From Monday to Saturday every 15 minutes and Sundays or public holidays every 30 minutes. Fare: € 8 euros

Bus

From Rome termini station you can take Terravision buses to Fiumicino (every 30 minutes) and Ciampino (every 40 minutes) – € 4,00 fare per ticket

Our recommendation

If you are min 2 people travelling with luggage and your hotel is not located close to one of the main stations and within Aurelian Walls, taxi is the best way. Taxi will pick up you directly at the Hotel without being forced to manage a transfer from the hotel to the train station and then to the airport. Compared to the price for transport from the hotel to the train station and train ticket, taxi is more convenient and comfortable.

 If you’d need any further recommendation about how to move in Rome, contact us by email, we’ll be glad to help you.
Enjoy your Roman holiday!

Gnocchi alla romana: the original recipe

Gnocchi alla romana: how to make it

 
An easy recipe for an impressive dish that can be prepared in advance for a great dinner with guests!
Gnocchi always scares a lot of people, because it’s said that they’re not easy to make, but this “gnocchi” is not like that made with potatoes or ricotta: it is made with semolina flour, so it’s easier to deal with.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup semolina, quick-cooking or finely ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus 1/2 cup
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 pound taleggio, cut into chunks

Preparation

Preheat oven to 200c°. Butter 1 cookie sheet with 3/4-inch sides.
In a 3 to 4-quart saucepan, heat to scalding milk, salt, and 6 tablespoons butter.
Pour in the polenta in a thin stream, whisking vigorously, and cook for about a minute, switching to a wooden spoon as the polenta thickens. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup grated cheese and 4 egg yolks and mix well. Pour polenta in a buttered cookie sheet and smear to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Allow cooling.
Using a pastry cutter or water glass, cut 3-inch quarter moons out of the polenta. Arrange to lean up against one another in a buttered baking dish and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese and the cubed taleggio. Place in oven and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is light golden brown. Remove and serve immediately.

Boast of Roman traditional food: Porchetta

Roman porchetta: the original recipe

Traditionally, porchetta is a nose to the tail affair, in which a whole pig is deboned and roasted on a spit. This was probably not the most practical option for those hoping for a taste of Rome closer to home.

Ingredients

  • A rectangular piece of boneless pork belly and a piece of pork loin of roughly the right size to be rolled up inside, skin left on (how much each piece weighs depends on the shape, but aim for a total weight of about 3.5-4kg)
  • 50g garlic, crushed (about 10 cloves)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes, toasted
  • 30g sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp lard or olive oil, at room temperature
  • 200ml white wine (optional)
  • Rolls, to serve

Preparation

Combine the seasoning ingredients into a smooth paste. Place the pork belly on a clean, flat surface, score the flesh, then rub the paste into the meat with your hands. Sit the loin long-side parallel to the shorter side of the belly, and then roll up tightly.
Tie up tightly with butcher’s string at about 5cm intervals, and leave to sit, uncovered in the fridge, for at least 8 hours. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.
Heat the oven to 160°C. Pat the meat as dry as possible with kitchen paper and put on a rack in a roasting tray. Roast for 4 hours, then turn the oven up as high as it will go and roast for another 30 minutes, or until the crackling is golden brown (keep an eye on it).
Remove from the oven and allow to rest, uncovered for 30 minutes. If you’re making gravy, remove the meat and rack from the tray and skim off the fat. Return the rest of the juices to the pan along with the wine and put on medium heat. Stir well and season to taste.
Carve the pork into slices. Stuff into rolls and drizzle with gravy, if using.

Campo de Fiori in Rome

Visit with us  a celebrated fresh fruit and vegetable market by day, meet incredible people working there like Emanuele and Ginna, Franca and Riccardo. Snoop around the market with us and learn everything about Roman style food and ingredients, tasting stunning water buffalo mozzarella cheese and salami.