As far as foodie destinations go, few places come close to Italy; it’s a nation dedicated to making life delicious. When visiting the birthplace of so many global favorites, it’s easy to find your fill of pizza, pasta, and gelato, but it’s worth traveling the entire length of the boot to try each region’s own delicacy.
In the capital city of Rome, you’ll feast on amatriciana and carbonara pastas and carciofi (artichokes) cooked in olive oil, garlic, and white wine. You’ll also find a sampling of all the best dishes across the nation, if you know where to look.
“What I love about Italian food is the simplicity of the ingredients that bring out so much flavor,” Simone Amorico, CEO of Access Italy, a luxury tour provider in Italy beloved by the likes of Oprah and the Obamas, told Travel + Leisure. “The outdoor dining always creates a romantic and enjoyable setting, even in the most casual restaurants.”
As for his personal favorites to try on your next Roman holiday, Amorico suggests a heaping plate of cacio e pepe and the aforementioned carbonara or amatriciana and meatballs, all of which are made with the fresh and simple ingredients he craves.
“On the other hand,” he added, “Rome offers the freshest fish and seafood in the world that most people don’t know about. From the coast of Lazio, the freshest and most tasty fish and seafood come from San Felice Circeo and Ponza.”
Pierluigi, founded by its namesake Umberto Pierluigi, has been serving Italian delights since 1938. Over the years, the restaurant has updated its menu to reflect the changing tastes of Italy, while maintaining an authentic charm all its own. Amorico suggests digging into its seafood specialties like its seafood platter (meant for sharing) or lighter dishes like its catalana di gamberi “Pierluigi,” a steamed prawn salad with rucola, cherry tomato, potato, olive oil, and lemon.