Despite temporary lockdowns, restrictions, and all the social distancing aimed at containing the spread of Coronavirus, there is one unchanging feature in the lives of Italians during the end-of-the-year holidays: great, quality, seasonal food. We like to spend our money on the very best ingredients and will happily leave the neighborhood to buy some delicacy that is particularly well-done, or well-reviewed.
Now, last year, we
about the main cakes and desserts you can buy that are specific to the Christmas season. In 2020, we tell you where to go to get some great pandori and panettoni as you visit or are spending an extended period of time in Rome.
The good thing? If you’re not here yet, these places are not going anywhere, and you can very well bookmark this post for your next December visit to the Eternal City!
This is a frequently asked question when we talk to our guests at From Home to Rome’s managed apartments. After all, as they spend time in the city center, they will happen upon many a supermarket selling different types of pandori and panettoni.
Well, there is absolutely nothing wrong with those – they’re cheap, the quality is good and the taste is absolutely fine. They’re a good introduction to what comes next…
That’s right: if you enjoyed what you tasted, then the obvious next step is buying the work of actual cake makers!
You see, Rome has a proud baking history – in fact, you can say that bakers and the history of the city go hand in hand.
As you can read in
this old blog post
, bakers were considered rockstars during the Roman Empire, and to this day pastry chefs are equally revered.
This is why we have picked some addresses of fantastically inventive artisans whose work with Christmas cakes is awarded and recognized year after year!
Of course you’re aware of Roscioli, even if you’ve never been to Rome – it’s on books on visiting Rome, it’s passed around by fellow tourists, and it’s even
on our very own website
. This family name stands for awesome food, whether it’s pasta, pizza, bread or cakes. The Rosciolis are a staple in the Roman food scene, and at Christmas time buying their seasonal cakes is a must.
This baker in the Quartiere Trieste area offers panettone all year round – and it’s commonly found in the lists for the best pandoro and panettone in all of Italy. The most famous type here is called Gianduioso – with a luscious filling of hazelnut cream.
A short distance from the Appian Way and the catacombs of Saint Callixtus, this is arguably the best pastry shop in Rome, awarded with the top score by the likes of Gambero Rosso – Italy’s version of Epicurious, to give you some context.
As most bakers working with panettone, the Bompiani people will do a great traditional cake but they also indulge in original, more avant-garde flavor combinations. Among them, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the white chocolate and… caviar (yes, caviar!) panettone.
Out in the suburbs of Rome, far from the city center, many people flock to this place because of how good their panettone tastes – so good, it routinely wins the “Festival del Panettone” (this needs no translation, we don’t think) award!
Since 1966, this unassuming café in the Quartiere Trieste area has offered its customers a peculiar type of pandoro – with a zabaione (eggnof/egg cream) filling that drives people crazy. Romans will stand in line for hours just to secure this treat, which is lovingly nicknamed after the café itself: “cremolato“, quite simply put.