Eating Antipasto in Rome
Antipasto, the Italian Appetizer
Antipasto literally translates as ‘before the meal’, and that is exactly what it is, an Italian version of an appetizer. It is that wonderful moment after you chose what you want to eat, and before your main course arrives.
In real restaurants in Rome (not tourist traps), pasta is made fresh, so this means that you may have about 15/20 minutes to kill before you can indulge in your carbonara or amatriciana. Are you going to waste those 15 minutes of your Roman vacation just sitting there watching others eat? Of course not!
Land or sea antipasto. A matter of choice
Antipasto can take many forms. Meat, fish or vegetarian. Platters of cold cuts, prosciutto, mortadella, bruschetta, cheese, stuffed or grilled veggies, artichokes, fried zucchini flowers, fried baccalà, fresh mozzarella, focaccia. Depending on the restaurant, you might even find special creations from the chef. That is what an antipasto is all about.
Depending also on the kind of restaurant you decided on, you might even find fish-oriented antipasto also knows as antipasto di mare. Octopus salad, marinated anchovies, tomatoes stuffed with tuna, the options are endless.
The fun part is to have every member of your party each have an antipasto and then share. It’s a great way to taste typical and local flavors and learn what you like best.
We love this ritual so much that we have created a tour called Aperitivo: Italian Cocktail Hour Tour in Rome. Definitely worth trying!