Rome audio tour: Testaccio: The Hearth of Roman Food Tradition

Testaccio: The Hearth of Roman Food Tradition

Walking Tour

45 mins

About the Tour

Rome’s history is incredibly long and fascinating, and so is its culinary tradition. Testaccio, today a busy and lively borough which never lost its popular and authentic character. It’s the perfect place to explore both the history and cuisine. Since Roman times, the area hosted the emporium, a river port where the boats hailing from the several corners of the empire docked to unload different goods. A market area since then, Testaccio is also famous for another reason: here was born the local culinary tradition of the so-called quinto quarto, or five quarters – referring to the habit of cooking and eating offal – due to the presence of the old slaughterhouse. Today, the borough honors its origins being the heart of the most genuine Roman food scene. You can experience it browsing around the market stalls, dining in some of the best traditional restaurants of the city, grabbing delicious street food or having a drink in an up-to-date venue. I’ll show you my favorite spots, while pointing out the milestones of the local history and some examples of the contemporary artistic soul of the borough.

Tour Producer


Luciana Squadrilli

I was born in Naples, the home of pizza, yet I moved to Rome over 20 years ago and now I call this incredible city my hometown. After studying communication and marketing, I decided to follow my passion for food and travel, becoming a professional journalist and food critic. After 10 years at Gambero Rosso, one of Italy’s leading Food&Wine publishers, I decided to freelance. I contribute to several magazines and websites writing about restaurants, chefs and products and I tirelessly travel all over Italy and abroad to discover new fancy restaurants as well as awesome products created by artisans. I also write about everything Italian for foreign publications. Yet, over the last few years my main focus has switched to pizza. I love this humble yet fantastic food and, after writing La Buona Pizza, a book dedicated to the work of some great Italian pizzaioli and their bond to the places they live and work in, I also launched with my co-authors Tania Mauri and Alessandra Farinelli, a pizza-related website: pizzaontheroad!

Major Landmarks

  • Pyramid of Caius Cestius

  • Monte dei Cocci

  • Testaccio Market

Directions to Starting Point

The tour starts from the sidewalk right under the Piramide, in piazzale Ostiense. You can easily get there by metro, taking the B line and stopping at Piramide, then just cross the road. Otherwise, you can take the 3 tram from Trastevere, the 769 from the Basilica di San Paolo or the 77 from San Giovanni in Laterano. If you already are in Testaccio area, you can take one of the many buses and trams running along via Marmorata towards Piramide.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Various eateries on the tour, Monte dei Cocci, Mattatoio, Testaccio Market

Best time of day

While Testaccio has many highlights even for the nightlife, I’d recommend to take this tour with the daylight to enjoy most of the places.

Please see the opening times for all the stops on the tour below:

Monday - Friday: 8:30am-2pm, 4:30pm-8:15pm
Saturday: - 8:30am-8:15pm
Sunday: Closed

Taverna Volpetti
Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Sunday: 12pm-11pm

Felice a Testaccio
Monday - Friday: 12:30-3pm, 7pm-11pm
Saturday: 12:30-3pm, 7pm-12am
Sunday: 12:30-3pm, 7-11pm

Flavio al Velavevodetto
Monday-Sunday: 12:30-3pm, 7:45-11pm

Mercato Testaccio
Monday - Saturday: 7am-3:30pm
Sunday: Closed

Monday - Sunday: 12pm-1am

Contesta Rock Hair
Sunday, Monday: Closed
Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 9am - 7:30pm
Wednesday, Thursday: 10am - 10pm


Testaccio is a safe area, yet quite congested at times. So take care when crossing busy streets and when walking on streets without sidewalks, and beware of pickpockets.


Loved the tour but many places were closed during our walk. I would recommend putting some info in the description concerning operating hours and days for the stops. Over all though we did enjoy the walk tho

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 2 years ago

Hello, thanks for your feedback! We have now addedd and updated the operating hours/day info.

Posted by Luciana , over 2 years ago

Enjoyed this tour ahead of visiting Rome. I hope to go this neighborhood you recommend and try some food here. Thank you

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 2 years ago

Hello Michael, I'm glad you liked it!

Posted by Luciana , over 2 years ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Testaccio: The Hearth of Roman Food Tradition