Calling all foodies!
The second half of September each year marks the opening of one of the season’s most delicious festivals in Rome: Taste of Roma. Visit the festival and explore over 70 different dishes and wine pairings by the city’s most celebrated, innovative, and upcoming talents. Now in its 7th edition, the Taste of Roma food festival is organized over 4 days – 20 – 23 September 2018 – with two “sessions” each day. The structure of the event can be a bit confusing to out-of-towners who have never visited before, so we’ll break down everything you need to know below!
Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Standard fare tickets cost €16 per person while VIP tickets cost €60. Various discounted and group fares are available. Visit the ticket page on the festival website for all the information.
This year Taste of Roma has created a family package for €30, valid for 2 adults + 2 children under 10 y.o.
*Note: tickets are sold for a specific “session” (see below) and are only valid for that session. Also entrance tickets do not include any tastings, which are paid for separately. Inside the festival, cash is not accepted. Instead you will need to charge a Sesterzio Card. More on this below.
The festival is split into different sessions across the 4 days. The chefs at the stalls organize presentations during each session, and structuring guest entrances in this way allows for the chefs to prepare the food fresh throughout the day, clean up, and gives the guests more of an opportunity to see each of the presentations and taste dishes.
The available sessions are as follows:
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Friday, September 21, 2018
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Note that your entrance ticket does not include any tastings, which must be paid for separately by charging your “Sesterzio Card”. Tastings cost between €6 – €8 Sesterzio (€1 = 1 Sesterzio), which special dishes costing up to 10 Sesterzio.
To give a sense of quantity, 15 Sesterzio is about 2 tastings or one tasting with a wine pair. 60 Sesterzio is about 5 tastings, 2/3 glasses of wine and a coffee. It’s important to remember that these are fine dining chefs that are preparing haute cuisine, not your typical festival food.
Left over Sesterzio may not be refunded for cash, so be conscious of how much you charge your card. Any leftover Sesterzio may, however, be donated to a partner charity.
Restaurant: Glass Hosteria
The Italian-born, Michelin-starred chef spent many years in the United States before coming back to Italy to lead the kitchen at Glass Hosteria. Her tasting dishes include such imaginative plates as Daikon ravioli, goat cheese, raspberry and artisanal almond milk and new interpretations of traditional Roman classics like a Maritozzo (a stuffed Roman brioche roll) with smoked sardine, pickled vegetables, stracciatella cheese and yuzu with cream.
Restaurant: La Pergola
The internationally known chef needs little introduction for his vast contributions to “Modern” cuisine, where he continues to push the boundaries in the kitchen at La Pergola, the rooftop restaurant of Rome’s Cavalieri Hotel, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel by Hilton. Some of his tasting dishes include gastronomic delicacies like Fusilli corti bucati De Cecco with rabbit ragu on carrots mousse with powder of lyophilized porcino mushrooms and Grana Padano cream.
Making a name for himself in the Roman haute cuisine scene, chef Riccardo di Giacinto created the restaurant All’Oro around his personal philosophy for food, and decided to create a hotel to go along with it. Some of his tastings include simpler plates but nonetheless innovative, like a Roman macaron and a Carbonara reduction.
Located inside the Grand Hotel Via Veneto, Magnolia restaurant headed by chef Franco Madama is challenging the perception of low performing hotel restaurants – which is proven by their award of a Michelin star this year. Their “Modernist” cuisine approach to the kitchen results in some very unique proposals on the menu, including Octopus, creamy chocolate, Parmigiano Reggiano, smoked duck and Pumpkin bread, pork Cinta Senese cheek, green apple and truffle mayonnaise which really takes the Italian cuisine to new heights.
Merging flavors and cultures from Japan and Brazil, fusion chef Roberto Okabe leads the kitchen at Fingers, located just a stone’s throw from Piazza del Popolo in Rome. The chef offers to delight the palates of his guests with fusion plates, such as Potato cream with cuttlefish ink and mushrooms and asparagus tempura, Takoyaki, and Tayp and Luna.
View all of the chefs and their menus here.
If you’d like to stay near the Taste of Roma food festival, Rome Accommodation manages several convenient accommodations in the vicinity. The MAXXI vacation rental is perfect for up to 7 guests in 2 bedrooms and 2 baths.
Located in the elegant residential neighborhood of Flaminio, the chic Belli Arti vacation home can accommodate up to to 6 guests in 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. The home is decorated with eccentric objects, art, and artifacts collected over the owner’s lifetime of traveling with world.
For large families or groups of friends, just across the river and close to the Vatican, the Mazzini vacation apartment can accommodate up to 14 guests in 5 bedrooms and 3 baths. A spacious living and dining room makes for a comfortable place to gather after a long day exploring the Eternal City.
Have you visited the Taste of Roma food festival before? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!