Monday, 24 March 2014

Picnic in the Park With Goodies from Volpetti

We woke up early to head over to the Roman Colosseum. I knew the lineups would be long so we wanted to get there before 9 am to beat the crowds. Okay, it was still crowded but we didn’t have to stand in line for too long.  It was my first time there and I was in such awe of how magnificent it looked. It was incredible to be in a place where people once used this place as a real Colosseum.

Then we walked around the Roman Forum. I loved seeing the House of Augustus and imagining what life was like during this time. I had downloaded an audio tour App from Rick Steves on the Roman Forum so  I enjoyed my time walking around with earphones and listening to the history and description of each area.

After spending the full day site seeing and walking, we were very tired and not overly hungry. Both of us looked at each other and said, let’s do a picnic with charcuterie and a bottle of wine!  This is something we often do when we are at home when we don’t want to cook, or when we want to have a light meal. We go to our favorite deli and bakery and load up on cheese, salami, prosciutto, jams, olives and bread. So to have this as our meal in Rome was just like being at home but this time we were getting our charcuterie right in the heart of culinary heaven.

We headed to a place called Volpetti in the Testaccio area of Rome. 


We had read about this place in one of our guidebooks and also researched it on the internet and heard great things about it.  We walked in and immediately one of the people behind the counter asked if we wanted a sample of cheese. Yes please we both said with a big smile. When you walk into Volpetti, you see fresh baked goods on one side, a wonderful section of cheeses, meats and terrines in the centre area, and a section of jams, wines, truffles, mushrooms, and other fine foods in another area. I immediately gravitated towards the beautiful brown truffles that were just sitting on a table in the open and took a whiff of that heavenly scent it gives off with my eyes closed.

Look at these beautiful black truffles! It smelt like heaven.
When it was our turn to order our items, we had a really nice man behind the meat counter help us choose our prosciutto and cheese. I mean, there were so many different types of prosciuttos and the selection was a little intimidating, so we asked the man which one his favorite was and that’s the one we went with.   

This man was so helpful and so knowledgeable! He also helped us choose a wine to pair nicely with our food.

Volpetti was a true gem of a find and I highly recommend this place.  The people that work there are so friendly, there is a large selection of local items and the quality is superb. After purchasing some prosciutto, cheese, baguette, wine, terrine, pastries and jams, we walked across the street where we saw a nice park with several benches and small tables.  It was about just before 6 pm and the evening and setting was just perfect for a picnic in the park. There is something to be said about sitting in a park in Rome, munching on a baguette with house cured prosciutto and cheese with a glass of red wine, and just enjoying the moment, as simple as it may be.


  1. I remember seeing Volpetti on an Anthony Bourdain episode, he said it was a Roman institution. Is that Jamon Iberico Bellota in the last picture? It looks dark to be prosciutto.

  2. Yes, you are correct. :) In addition to the prosciutto, Volpetti also sells Spanish jamon iberico bellota so we just had to buy some. It's so hard to get in Canada.