One of my top restaurant recommendations in all of Rome is Tonnarello – so much so that it gets a whole post dedicated to it!
(This post is Part 2 to our first Saturday in Rome. If you want to read about what we did this morning, catch up HERE!)
Expect a Queue!
Located in the Trastavere district, Tonnarello is right in the thick of it all! This restaurant is POPULAR and had quite the line. We queued up around the middle of the day, which was probably smart. The line gets significantly busier as it gets closer to peak meal times. I believe we only waited about 20-25 minutes.
Plenty of Seating for Tonnarello
Tonnarello has an insane amount of seating for the restaurant, both indoor and outdoor. The outdoor seating area was expansive. You look near the restaurant… Tonnarello. Across the sidewalk – Tonnarello. Everywhere you looked, there was seating for Tonnarello!
Time for a Tonnarello Feast
The moment we sat down to enjoy our meal, we understood the hype of Tonnarello. This is true, good, authentic Italian food. We started with a bottle of Citto Toscana red wine to split because that’s how every meal in Italy should start, in our opinion.
For an appetizer, we got Calamari, which is one of my all-time favorite appetizers. In the States, Calamari is very often served with marinara or a similar dipping sauce. But here, they only give you a lemon to squeeze over it and that is perfectly adequate! The flavor is so good it doesn’t need to be covered up by any sauce.
We also got bruschetta, aka Tris di Bruschette – Pomodoro, Bufala e Parma, Bufala e Alici, for an appetizer! I have never really been a big bruschetta fan because I’m not much of a raw tomato eater and I don’t do well with un-melted cheese (it’s a texture thing)… but in Italy we trust. I ate tomatoes, cheese, and even tried an anchovy. I’m still proud of myself to this day, I think my palette is expanding!
Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of my all-time favorite dishes (it’s a classic, right!?) so I had to try it in Italy for good measure. Here it’s called Tonnarello con le Polpette. It was truly delicious! I don’t even know what else to say. It was exactly what I was hoping for – an enhanced and authentic version of a dish I know and love.
To wrap it up, we got Tiramisu for dessert which was DIVINE and creamy and delicious.
Needless to say, we were both truly on a high from this meal. The amount of joy that food brings me is insane, especially when it’s this good. Talk about a dopamine rush.
Tonnarello – you will forever remain one of my favorite places and one of my favorite memories from my first trip to Rome! If you guys want to check out their official website to see if you want to dine here as well, here’s the link.
Trastavere at Dusk
After we could not eat another crumb, we said goodbye to Tonnarello and walked into the street. The Basilica of Our Lady in Trastavere was right next door so we peeked inside and were stunned by the architectural beauty! The artwork and ceilings in there were really intricate and beautiful.
We kept wandering and found street performers playing live music right in the middle of it all! There was a huge crowd all around them absolutely loving the vibe and soaking in the atmosphere. In front of the band, there was a group of little kids dancing their hearts out and it was the cutest thing. The energy in this area was just immaculate.
After that, we began our trek back towards our apartment! However, we were about 45 minutes out so we had plenty of things to see on our way home.
The Pantheon & Spanish Steps
On our walk back, we passed by the Pantheon and gazed at its beautiful glory at night time. Rome was absolutely hopping on a Saturday night, so while we stood there and admired the Pantheon we were completely surrounded by this buzzing energy and excitement of the people around us. The city felt so alive, which was such a wonderful thing.
The Spanish Steps were also in that area and that was my first time seeing them! The steps and the surrounding area were packed with people. I barely took any photos because I was just soaking up the moment, but we took a walk to the top of the steps and the view from up top was absolutely gorgeous.
After looking out at the view (which I forgot to photograph apparently), we walked down all of these cute streets past a bunch of shops, which were all lit up. It was really my first time seeing Rome at night so it was magical and all felt so surreal and new!
After a good long walk, we finally made it home. I couldn’t believe how much we walked today – according to our phone we walked 22,000 steps! Wow! It felt so good to get some movement in again after being cooped up inside for the past year and a half.
Anyways, it was off to sleep! Time to recharge.
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