Not the word that comes to mind when you think of Rome?

It wasn’t for me, either. That is, I believe, one of the reasons it took five visits to the Eternal City for me, as I told friends, to “get” Rome.

On this last visit, I had a mere day and a half to squeeze in visits to some of my existing favorite spots (mostly to eat, or drink espresso.) I didn’t have the slightest desire to trek to major sights — heck, I almost didn’t plan on seeing the Colosseum (until I realized that it’s not a visit to Rome without it making an appearance.) I’d been to Rome on my own, with friends, with family, and with my ex-boyfriend — all of whom had their first visit. So I’ve done the museums, monuments, and musts (and their lines) more times than I’d care to admit.

I still wanted to experience a new side of the city. I thirsted for a deeper experience. And, I knew I’d be hungry.

After consulting with friends and fellow travelers/expats, I honed in on the illustrious Testaccio neighborhood. A bit rough around the edges, but with the right ratio of Romans to tourists and a reputation for some of the city’s best food, I was ready to dig in.

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