Depending on where you are in Italy, the saying “off the beaten path” can mean many things. In a city as large and congested as Rome, it means getting away from tourist spots, seeing the real Rome, and eating the real Rome.

One of the places that you can go to is in the Trionfale neighborhood. We visited there on a recent trip to see the market early one morning and experience how Romans go grocery shopping. Of course, like here in the U.S., small local food stores are under great pressure from the supermarkets. They compete by offering the best quality ingredients around and very personal service.

From the fresh market, we went to another local shopping experience across the street. La Tradizione is a family-run gastronomia (or specialty food store). They specialize in serving meats, cheeses, prepared vegetables, and other dishes along with a small and carefully chosen selection of wines. I love to buy some cheese and meat with a fresh bread and go to the park or a quiet street to enjoy a simple meal without having to go to a restaurants.  Sometimes I will even go back to  the breakfast room of the hotel where I normally stay to relax in the company of fellow travelers.

We had fun capturing this video on our last visit to Rome. Enjoy our experience with Eleonora Baldwin, our resident cheese expert, and Francesco, one of the owners of La Tradizione. He’s always there to share his knowledge and taste some cheese with you.