The Undercover Tourist

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Traveling to Rome? Don't want to look like a tourist? Check out this foolproof traveler's guide, complete with restaurant reviews and insight from Roman residents!

Text of The Undercover Tourist

  • undercovertouristthe

  • your survival guide: eating in Rome like a local

    Table of Contents:Things to Avoid........................................4

    The Roman Restaurant Scene.............6

    What the Romans Think.......................8

    Real Italian Food vs. Fraud...................8

    Ethinic Food in Rome...........................10

    Restaurant Guide..................................12

  • Things to Avoid as AnUNDERCOVER TOURIST

  • By following these steps you will be well on your way to becoming an undercover tourist. Inside are specific instructions you must follow if you wish to

    fully succeed. Good luck!

    When using your map, step to the side. There is nothing worse than a tourist taking up precious sidewalk space with a big old map! Map out your trip in advance so you have a feel for where you are going before leaving. Rome has some complicated streets!

    Dont keep your camera around your neck; instead, keep it in hand or in a bag. A camera around the neck screams Tourist in Italy.

    Italians tend to dress nicely. Try to at least half dress up for each day. Still, comfortable footwear is a must for all of the walking youll be doing. Be realistic! Socks & sandals/hawaiian shirts/sunhat/flip flops/sweats are all no-gos!

    What is a tourist trap?A Tourist Trap is a place where you will find mainly tour-ists and almost no real citizens of Italy. Avoid them at all costs!Use our guide to learn how to order your authentic mealsWrong pronunciations will give you away.

  • Types of Places to Eat:roman


  • When searching for a place to eat in Italy, there are a number of different options for where you choose to go. These places can be very confusing for Americans, so knowing their

    differences can be helpful, and keep you from looking like a lost tourist.

    A ristorante is a sit down restaurant. A ristorante can be fancy and pricey at times, but are great places to experience a full Italian menu that includes the antipasti, primi, secondi, and dolci.

    A pizzeria is a restaurant that specializes in pizzas. In most cases, pizzeria still use a wood-fired oven. They sell other dishes, including pastas, at lower prices than ristorante. A trattoria is a family-run restaurant and is more casual than a ristorante. Trattoria are moderately priced and specialize in dishes specific to the region.

    An osteria is an informal wine bar that serves re-gional foods and appetizers and offers tastings. One can go to an osteria for an aperitivo. In Italy, a bar not only serves alcohol, but also serves sandwiches, coffee, pastries, and even ice cream throughout the day. Bars are usually inexpensive and quick, as you usually arent supposed to sit down to eat. A pasticceria is a caf and bakery that serves pas-tries, coffees and sandwiches. Pasticcerias are great places to have a quick breakfast at a moderate price. It is similar to a bar, but specializes in pastries.

  • A greeting is always in order upon entering any store or restau-rant. Ciao, or Buongiorno/Buona sera are acceptable.

    Let your server know how many are in your party, and that you would like a table:Siamo due/tre/quattro: we are 2/3/4 and una tavola per 4/3/2 ~ a table for 4/3/2.

    We would like to eat outside..............Vorremmo mangiare fuori

    What would you recommend?...........Cosa consiglia?We are ready to order...........................Possiamo ordinare.I would like _____ and then place your order.....Vorrei. (Vor-raye)~ una pizza margherita per favore I would like to drink............................Da bereWhere is the bathroom?.......................Dove il bagno? How much does it cost?.......................Quanta Costa?The bill, please.......................................Il conto per favore.

    Il cornetto ~ Italian croissant. Ciambella ~ donut. Un panino ~ a sandwich. Caf ~ espresso.Caf macchiato ~ espresso with some milk. Caf Americano ~ coffee.Cappucino ~ espresso with steamed milk (not normally con-sumed after noon).Succo di frutta.arancia, limone ~ Orange juice, lemon-ade Lo bevi qui? ~ Will you drink at the bar? (Sometimes this is cheaper).

    Crash Course: Basic Phrases for Eating Out

  • Il Bar: DrinksBirra ~ Beer. Birra alla spina ~

    Beer on tap. Vino ~ Wine. Cocktail ~ Cocktails.

    Un bicchiere di ~ A glass of or

    Shots ~ Shots (Rum e Pera is the recommended shot,

    Rum and pear juice).

    Pizzeria/Tavola calda:

    Un pezzo di pizza ~ a piece/slice of pizza. Pi/Meno ~ more/less.

    Questo ~ this one (Dont forget to point). Qui ~ here.

    Da portare via ~ Take out. Un kilo di pasta mezzo kilo di insalata ~ a kilogram of pastahalf a kilogram

    of salad.


    Cameriere ~ waiterCarne ~ meat Pollo ~ chicken. Manzo ~ beef. Bistecca ~ steak. Vitello ~ veal. Maiale ~ pork. Pesce

    ~ fish. Verdura ~ vegetables.

    Posso avere una forchetta, un coltello, un cucchiaio, un piatto,

    un tovagliolo? ~ Can I have a fork, knife, spoon, plate, napkin?

  • Deciding What to Ordereat like

    a pro

    This list of classic Roman dishes are a must for sampling local cuisine. Italian food varies from region to region, each claiming

    their own pastas and pasta dishes. Rome is no exception. On your trip, be sure to order some

    of these classic dishes!

    Fiori di zucca:Large zucchini flowers, deep fried and stuffed with mozzarella cheese and anchovies. Often served as an antipasti, or appetizer.

    Suppli:Think deep fried rice balls. Originally a recipe to use up left-over risotto, Suppli are Breadcrumbed cro-quettes made from rice in tomato sauce, stuffed with mozzarella cheese.

    Pasta alla Carbonara:This primi course is a must. Spaghetti served in a sauce made from eggs, guanciale( bacon from pigs cheek), black pepper and pecorino

    cheese. Blissful eating!

    Pizza alla Romana: Romans are proud of their pizza. Think thin crusts, crunchy white pizzas, simply brushed with olive oil and a bit of whole rosemary.

    Pasta cacio e pepe: This simple dish has Rome written all over it. The pasta comes in a creamy blend of olive oil, pecorino cheese and black pepper sauce.

    Trippa alla Romana: Not on most touristy menus, but adventur-ous and tasty enough to give a shot. Tender tripe is served in creamy, hot tomato sauce, served

    with greated pecorino cheese

    Saltimbocca alla Romana: Another simple (and salty!) dish, thin pieces of veal are pounded and cooked with white wine, sage and prosciutto. Delicious.

    Ciambelle al vino:Wine comes with dessert made for dip-ping. Think biscotti for vino. These hard cookies come in the shape of doughnuts, and are dipped in wine at the meals end.

  • When traveling to Rome, the naive tour-

    ist can be tricked into consuming American-ized dishes hidden be-

    hind Italian associations or stereotypes. In order

    to avoid confusion, here is a list of the top ten

    dishes to avoid while in Italy.

    Top Ten Italian-

    American Dishes:

    Fettuccini AlfredoChicken

    Parmesan Spaghetti and


    Pepperoni PizzaPasta PrimaveraItalian Wedding

    SoupCesar Salad

    Chicken PizzaHawaiian PizzaSalad with Ital-

    ian Dressing

  • Get Thelocal


    I think that tourists are fundamental for the good of the country. It is also good to see the streets filled with people of other nationalities who want to make a contact with culture, history and customs different from their own. -Flora Scionti

    In my opinion tourism represents a very important experience, whether you travel becuase you can, for cuiosity, or for pleasure. In any case, the most im-portant aspect is discovering elements of different cultures and lifestyles. Cooking may be one of the most important ways to find out more about dif-ferent people because visitors interact directly with their hosts! But being aware and knowledgeable as a tourist is also important, capable of making good choices and becoming an undercover tourist! -Lucia Palaia

    We heard from three residents of Rome on their thoughts on tourism in the Ancient City. Want to know what the Romans think? Read their words -- they may just surpsie you!

  • Get Thelocal


    Check out these Romans absolute favorite restaurants for a night On the Town!

    Retr is a pizzeria, grill and wine cellar hidden in an alley in Viale Marconi. In the summer you can eat outside in their large gardens. It is called Retr because it is located in the back of the famous Viale Marconi.Pizza is their main specialty, but they have others such as ciambella. Dolce is a welcoming place. It is situated in Via Tripoli-tania. When you enter Dolce, the bakery where they make their sweets is visible on the left so you can watch them make the pastries. The unique thing about this restaurant is that you order your sweets first, and then eat the rest of your meal afterwards. The desserts there are fabulous., such as New York Cheesecake and millefoglie with white choco-late, prepared with great care.

    Il Focolare is a typical and historical restaurant of Rome, located in the neighbourhood of Monteverde, a short walk from Gianicolo. It offers traditional cooking with meat and fish cooked in tasty ways. The pizza is cooked in the wood stove, so there is somthing for everyone at Il Focolare. For dessert, the hot zabaione is their specialty, and it is pre-pared and served right in front of the customer!The restaurant is made up of a spacious room, divided in two halls. In the summer there is a really

  • pleasant open space. Il Focolare is a family-owned business, so they offer high quality food at a great pric